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^Oooohhhh... I dont recall any steam coming from the pond in the summer months during my time at GASM. And its a man-made pond as well so theres that. But since the ride was moved from Jersey im sure it wasn't SFOG's idea to put the motor up there.

 

Speaking of my time at GASM... I remember one morning during the chilly months (mid October I believe), the mechanics were testing the Ninja and it valleyed in that final turn before the brake run. That was the first time I.saw them use the winch system (which I didnt even know Ninja had). (End CoasterNerd Rant)

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If something were to happen to the Ninja's (SFOG) lift motor, the ride would be down for an extended amount of time since the motor is located at the top of the lift. The Ninja is the only coaster in the park with the motor at the top instead of the base of the lift. Really Vekoma? What were you thinking?

I know at least some of the SLCs have the lift motor at the top of the lift as well. Maybe even all of them? You can hear it "whirring" at the top of the lift on every SLC I've ever ridden.

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^Good question. I guess for the same reason they decided that the guide and upstop wheels can just sit off of the track and leave the train to bang around every time it moves through the ride course!

 

Most coasters require a crane to change the lift motor- just a much shorter one than Ninja or an SLC would need. Putting the motor at the top of the lift does seem stupid!

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Six Flags St. Louis Fun Facts:

-Colossus, at eighteen stories, is the largest Ferris wheel in any American amusement park. It is also built on the site of the Pet-A-Pet petting zoo.

-In the 2011 off-season, Tony Hawk's Big Spin was officially renamed Big Spin. Before the season began the park quickly changed the name to Pandemonium, but the park maps for the year had already been printed and Pandemonium was listed as Big Spin.

-A flat ride called the Hannibarrels sat SBNO from 1997-2013, and has been finally demolished to be replaced by Tsunami Soaker.

-A Dark Knight Coaster clone was ordered for SFSTL and American Thunder was ordered for SFNE. But when they didn't get permits for American Thunder at SFNE, the rides were switched.

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China is on the cusp of having more currently-operating gravity-powered roller coasters than any other country in the world. Right now, the United States holds that title.

 

As of the writing of this post, China has 619 and the United States has 625.

 

http://rcdb.com/r.htm?nm=na&cs=277&st=93&pl=26380&ot=2

http://rcdb.com/r.htm?nm=na&cs=277&st=93&pl=59&ot=2

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All three of Holiday Worlds wooden roller coasters opened on the same day, May 6th.

 

The Raven-May 6, 1995

The Legend-May 6, 2000

The Voyage-May 6, 2006

 

Also, The Voyage was never intended to have three 90 degree turns. The Gravity Group was making minor tweaks to the design during construction when park president, Will Koch, suggested they add a 90 degree turn right after the first one. The Voyage was also supposed to go under the break-run before entering the last tunnel.

hw_voyage_2.jpg.7d09c823240730a03abce9f5f00aac83.jpg

HolidayThanksPre3.jpg.4d42d91f1f3cc4d3001f8d18b8f39089.jpg

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Here are some things that I can share...

 

- All B&M coasters remove all trains from the track at night, and the transfer track that they sit on does not have the trains resting on the wheels they ride on. This is to eliminate the wheels from getting "flat spots" from sitting in a certain position and ensuring the riders get a smoother ride.

 

- There was a Mr. Freeze ride planned for Great America originally. It made it so far that the park announced plans for it, but was cancelled after all of the Premier LIM issues that the first installations had.

 

- Someone pointed out some changes between Raptor and it's "clone." In fact, none of the B&M rides are exact clones, as B&M does slight tweaks to each design that are usually imperceptible.

 

- The original Batman and Raptor are the only two B&M inverts to not have stairs on both sides of the lift hill. Batman is unique because it's lift catwalk terminates with a platform that you can just walk right off. Cedar Point's terminates into a three sided cage. You can see the lack of cage on the TPR video of Batman. It's really quite weird.

 

- The Arrow Mega Loopers were built to run four trains, and their transfer tracks were made to accommodate this. The lift was blocked into two sections.

 

- Most (if not all) B&M rides are now blocked so that you can dispatch the next train the moment the first one leaves the lift, and the lift will adjust to "crawl" speed until the prior train clears in front of it.

 

- For I don't know how long, but not long, Outer Limits: Flight of Fear at King's Island (and maybe KD too, not sure) would taunt the riders before the launch. The one that I remember was the ride saying, "Intelligent life on Earth? Then why are you strapped into the harnesses?" followed immediately by the launch. From what I understand, this didn't last long AT ALL.

 

- Adventure Express at King's Island was built with a bunch of theming that you rolled past too quickly to really see the effects in action. From what I was told, the team that themed it was told that the train would be moving slower and riders would be able to see things better than they are.

 

- Weight dropped Schwarzkopf shuttle loops (all four of them) could on occasion hit the forward top track bumper. I know that at least one park called this, "Ringing the bell."

 

- Drachen Fire was a very unique Arrow coaster, with one of the most unique parts being the ride structure itself looks like nothing that Arrow ever used before or since, specifically the lift hill.

 

- Heath Ledger was originally supposed to be involved with the filming for the Dark Knight Coaster's intro.

 

Here are some not roller coaster fun facts that I know...

 

- Rumor is that the room in the Indiana Jones Adventure that is pitch black and your jeep "stalls" in it for a second before progressing on was supposed to be themed, but Disney ran out of money in theming and nixed that room. Cast members jokingly call it the "million dollar room" because of this.

 

- Indy opened with an effect where a high speed freezer on the roof flash-froze large blocks of ice, and when the Eye of Mara would "strike" the ceiling a chunk of it (the ice, playing the role of the ceiling) would fall. This effect was incredibly expensive and broke down a lot so it is no longer there, although the machinery for it is still on the roof and can be seen in aerial photos.

 

- The boat ride at Animal Kingdom at one point had a "fire breathing dragon" in it that foreshadowed the 'upcoming' mythical animals section. The rocks are still there, but the boat ride isn't.

 

- Animal Kingdom was made with some trails off the regular path where guests were supposed to randomly walk, including one that had rocks placed in a stream that you could walk over. They have since been covered up.

 

- Epcot used to have a show in the Wonders of Life pavilion called the Making of Me that included you getting to "see" Martin Short being born, as well as an animated Sperm race.

 

- Part of the reason that Sea World in Ohio decided to close was because they had a non-compete agreement with Geauga Lake not to add any rides. That, and the incredibly short operating season made it hard for Sea World Ohio to keep up.

 

- Sea World Ohio and Geauga Lake were located in two different townships, which was an interesting challenge when the parks combined as both had different laws.

 

- I have to double check this one, but I believe that Cedar Point originally approached George Millay of Sea World about adding a Sea World near them. Then Geauga Lake approached him. He felt that both were shady, and it wasn't until years later and a management switch that they started building Sea World there. (This can be read in his book, which I don't have handy at the moment to double check.)

 

- George Millay founded both Sea World (the first marine park) and Wet N Wild (the first major water park). He also had a large role in the founding of Magic Mountain.

 

- Harrison "Buzz" Price figured out not just the location for Disneyland, but also the location of many different parks, including I believe the Busch parks, the Marriot parks (all three of them, the third one that never opened), many Six Flags parks and a bunch more. (Again, I don't have his book handy to double check, but it was extremely surprising to see how many parks he placed.)

 

- Both Six Flags Over parks (Georgia / Texas) are not owned by Six Flags, but just managed by them. The management group for at least one of these parks has negotiated with operators who were NOT Six Flags to manage the park, as they were not happy with how Six Flags was handling things.

 

*whew*, that's enough for now

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^ Awesome post, thank you!

 

If something were to happen to the Ninja's (SFOG) lift motor, the ride would be down for an extended amount of time since the motor is located at the top of the lift. The Ninja is the only coaster in the park with the motor at the top instead of the base of the lift. Really Vekoma? What were you thinking?

 

I know that for ropeways (chairlifts, gondolas...), you have the choice to put the motor either at the top or at the bottom. And the best choice, if possible, is the top, because you have more grip on the cable, due to the natural tension the cable gives you with its weight. So you use less power.

I don't know for coasters but I think it's the same.

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^^Thanks for sharing all that!! One of the best posts I've seen in awhile. I knew the B&M transfer tracks were set up like that, I always assumed that was to make wheel inspections and changeouts easier, but I never knew the flat wheel issue was the real reason. Totally makes sense, though! Really goes to show how much engineering goes into their coasters.

 

The Arrow mega loopers had an estimated 2000pph capacity with 4 trains. They mention it at 1:03 in this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2J1cE59yBY

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All B&M coasters remove all trains from the track at night, and the transfer track that they sit on does not have the trains resting on the wheels they ride on. This is to eliminate the wheels from getting "flat spots" from sitting in a certain position and ensuring the riders get a smoother ride.

Here's a photo to go with this, in case anyone's wondering. There's a set of wheels that runs down the track's exact center that lets the train roll into position.

 

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Any chance they don't do that with Diamondback? POS rolls on square wheels.

 

One of Nitro's trains ran terribly near the back earlier this year but later in the year it was back to normal. I'm not sure why it took them so long to fix it. I'd expect Diamondback to be back to normal on opening day.

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I'm a little curious....how does B&M lift their Inverts and Flyers off the tracks while in storage?

They don't...they're the exception to the rule since there's no way for them to hang without being on their wheels. Here's the storage tracks of Crystal Wings at Happy Valley, which is a Superman Ultimate Flight clone.

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I'm a little curious....how does B&M lift their Inverts and Flyers off the tracks while in storage?

They don't...they're the exception to the rule since there's no way for them to hang without being on their wheels. Here's the storage tracks of Crystal Wings at Happy Valley, which is a Superman Ultimate Flight clone.

 

Actually, you're wrong. If you look at that picture more carefully, you can see that the track transitions from the tubular design to a box design because the wheels are not actually what the train is resting on. There is no exception to the rule.

 

You can see it clearly in this picture from wikipedia of the Magic Mountain Batman train:

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/8f/Batman_station.JPG/800px-Batman_station.JPG

 

Look directly below the number four and a little to the right. You'll see relatively large black wheels at the front and back of each train part. That's what the trains rest on when they are put to bed, not their running wheels in any way - those go onto a metal bar just like in the picture of Crystal Wings that does absolutely no weight bearing.

 

If the original question was how are the trains removed from the track for refurbishment, it's basically the same for all B&M rides where there is a rolling lift on an I-beam that removes one car at the time into a position that it can be lowered down (nothing below it).

 

Oh, and one other random fact for now...

 

A lot of people say that parks have five and ten year plans, and that simply isn't true. Especially in the past 10 years where a lot of parks have experienced financial difficulties, as well as the fact that the parks want to respond as best as possible to the market conditions, most parks do not have more than a year planned out, and those plans are often tentative. I know of one park which had pieces of a roller coaster arrive on site and the person in charge of the park had to call the corporate offices to ask what they were for, when he was told that they were in fact for a ride that was being built next year.

 

This isn't always the case, and often parks have some sort of solid idea about what they will get, but it usually isn't much beyond, "Thrill ride" or whatever.

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- Drachen Fire was a very unique Arrow coaster, with one of the most unique parts being the ride structure itself looks like nothing that Arrow ever used before or since, specifically the lift hill.

 

Thats because Drachen Fire was originally going to be a B&M but since B&M was a small company and already had Kumba and Batman The Ride clones to deal with that year, they scrapped Drachen Fire and the project was passed on to Arrow.

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- Drachen Fire was a very unique Arrow coaster, with one of the most unique parts being the ride structure itself looks like nothing that Arrow ever used before or since, specifically the lift hill.

 

Thats because Drachen Fire was originally going to be a B&M but since B&M was a small company and already had Kumba and Batman The Ride clones to deal with that year, they scrapped Drachen Fire and the project was passed on to Arrow.

 

Your assertion still doesn't explain why Arrow utilized a 100% different support structure for the ride, even if that was true. But no, B&M didn't have either Kumba or Batman clones to deal with that year.

 

I found a good picture explaining how inverts are taken off the track, credit to whomever took this (Google Image Searched it) of Banshee:

 

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-d1X602G7lxg/Ulx03fngoCI/AAAAAAAAJl0/iFJW8WsYQSM/s1600/NPNBanshee+10-11+%25288%2529.JPG

 

Look where the transfer track is and follow it back, and you'll see the track itself get smaller where the running wheels stop being what is the main thing holding the train on the track. Then, look at the bottom of the platform nearest the track and you'll see how there is a lip on either side that comes out toward where the trains would be. That is where the train's storage wheels will hold the ride so that it stays off it's track at night.

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Actually, you're wrong. If you look at that picture more carefully, you can see that the track transitions from the tubular design to a box design because the wheels are not actually what the train is resting on. There is no exception to the rule.

 

Look directly below the number four and a little to the right. You'll see relatively large black wheels at the front and back of each train part. That's what the trains rest on when they are put to bed, not their running wheels in any way - those go onto a metal bar just like in the picture of Crystal Wings that does absolutely no weight bearing.

I have noticed those extra wheels before, I assumed that they were there to bear the weight of the train if the running wheels were removed. Thanks for the correction! I hope you continue to post in this thread, you have awesome info!

 

Maybe this is a dumb question, but what is that I-beam in the station of Batman for? I'm referring to the one that has all of the row numbers on it.

 

Also, as far as the flyers go, I assume the storage wheels are the ones that fit into the station I-beam that moves to switch the train in between the load and flying position?

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I have noticed those extra wheels before, I assumed that they were there to bear the weight of the train if the running wheels were removed. Thanks for the correction! I hope you continue to post in this thread, you have awesome info!

 

I try. I don't know what else I can fully say, but I'll do some thinking on it. Glad someone is finding it interesting.

 

Maybe this is a dumb question, but what is that I-beam in the station of Batman for? I'm referring to the one that has all of the row numbers on it.

 

It's not an I-beam, but it's similar. Behind it is the moving part that controls the harnesses for the ride - Look in that Magic Mountain picture *directly* below the number four and you'll see a device that looks sort of like a metal box with a piece sticking out of it at a 45 degree angle to the back of the train. These get pushed down by a device in the station to unlock the harnesses on the ride.

 

When a person locks the harnesses on the ride, this piece snaps back up and the harnesses all start their ability to click down into position.

 

It's a little more complex than that, but really that beam is just there to cover up the moving part and to for looks.

 

Also, as far as the flyers go, I assume the storage wheels are the ones that fit into the station I-beam that moves to switch the train in between the load and flying position?

 

Being honest here, I'm not 100% certain on how those are stored. I believe that is correct, but I have never fully seen one in action. I do know they don't stay on their weight bearing wheels though, you can go through rcdb.com to see some really nice pics of Tatsu in storage (pics 51ish, I think) and you can only really tell that it's in storage because the wheels at the bottom are about an inch off the track. I believe that part of the weight is supported also by the outside wheel, but that only accounts for one of the two wheels that would be needed to keep the weight bearing wheels off the track.

 

I'm relatively certain it works the exact same way, but I'm not positive. Sorry I couldn't be more conclusive there

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Also, as far as the flyers go, I assume the storage wheels are the ones that fit into the station I-beam that moves to switch the train in between the load and flying position?

 

The wheels that you are talking about are only used for the S.A.M. (swinging arm mechanism) that folds the train up into the flying position at the time of dispatch. Thats the I-Beam that you are speaking of.

 

Speaking of flyers... at times, the S.A.M. can sometimes be lowered too low preventing a train from re-entering the station to be unloaded. An operator at Superman Ultimate Flight at SFOG (or any flyer with a dual loading platform) can unload a train using the other platform before calling maintenance to reset the SAM but (and dont quote me on this because I havent worked at any of the other SMUF clones) flyers with a single platform would more than likely have a Signal 2 (SFOG's term for a train loaded with guests during a breakdown).

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The wheels that you are talking about are only used for the S.A.M. (swinging arm mechanism) that folds the train up into the flying position at the time of dispatch. Thats the I-Beam that you are speaking of.

 

Maybe you'd know this then - do flyers rest on their running wheels, or do they have some sort of hidden way that they rest off them? I can't imagine that B&M would have figured out something for everything else but flyers, but I'll also freely admit that I don't really care for any flyers that I've been on, and I've paid a lot less attention to their details because of it. Which perhaps is ironic, because I was in quite a good position to witness a lot of that history.

 

Two more random fun fact for the night:

 

The most influential roller coaster that doesn't get enough credit for it was definitely Six Flags Great America's Shockwave. While the quality of the ride itself is (was) highly questionable...

 

1) Shockwave was the first ride marketed as the tallest ride and fastest ride (admittedly, fastest was only a US claim). Before that point, parks didn't really brag about height and speed. Proof? The record holder for speed until 1988 was the American Eagle across the park. Cedar Point supposedly saw how great the tallest and fastest marketing was playing to the public, and at that time extended Magnum to be over 200 feet tall. Magnum is often given the title of touching off the "height wars" because it was 200 feet, but it wouldn't have been that if not for Shockwave.

 

2) When B&M was starting out, they looked at the steel work being done by Clermont Steel Fabrication for Shockwave, and was impressed enough that they hired them as their US fabrication plant, which Clermont remains to this day. (From what I understand, they looked at the completed Vortex, but watched the actual fabrication method of Shockwave.)

 

Without Shockwave, would Magnum have been what it was, and without the right manufacturing plant, could B&M rides have been good enough to make them the gold standard in the 90s?

 

And, one more fact. And sorry, no proof... so feel free to dismiss this one:

 

There was no such thing as the "Six Flags Ride Rotation Program" beyond it being something that some ACErs came up with to explain the ride movements within the chain.

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