# of Operating Trains? (SFO)

Monday, October 2, 2000 6:22 AM
I went to SFO 9/29, and every coaster had only one train running, while there were 20 - 30 minute waits for some coasters. I can't figure out why SFO would do that - is it damaging to run the coaster with > 1 train in the (relatively) cold? Are there additional operational costs to running > 1 train? Is it a function of staffing?

Any help would be appreciated. Please DO NOT turn this thread into a "SFx" sucks or "SFO vs CP" waste of time - I am objectively trying to understand this.


By the way S:UE is very INTENSE and AMAZING.

Monday, October 2, 2000 6:37 AM
I think most of SFO's staff is back in school. Bsides that, it IS the end of the season, the crowds are lighter. Lets not for get everyone's favorite little insentive, $$$$! Less trains per hour = less wear and tear on the tracks = less repair = less staffing = more profits.

Even though 20-30 minute wait for the Villain doesn't sound bad, I know, it could be less. Knott's is currently running a 1 train operation on Ghostrider on weekdays due to light crowds. The crappy part is that they own 3 trains, one is always under the station in the "garage" and the other 2 travel the circut. Well, how do they run only one train? Simple, one of them is loaded, the other runs empty ALL DAY LONG! Here is the kicker, every time the empty train pulls into the station, ride ops still have to check restraints, and dispatch the train. Half of the time, the empty train has not yet been dispatched when the loaded train arrives back at the station!!! How long does it take to not load a train???

Gotta ride 'em all!
Monday, October 2, 2000 7:45 AM
This has to be one of the most irritating practices on the planet. There's nothing worse than going to an empty park and having to wait forever because of single-train operations. We had that situation on Manits: The Coaster Formerly Known as Banshee at Cedar Point last Friday night. A walk on was turned in to a 20 minute wait because you had to load a stand-up train (a time consuming act) then wait for the ride to come back. That's a real switch from Millennium Mania, where they happily ran at least two trains on everything.

As far as cost goes, some maintenance people and mechanics I've talked to say the difference is negligible. A mechanic I talked to compared it to your car; Driving it more isn't going to kill it if you do regular maintenance. He mentioned there were situations where wheel wear would add cost, but it too, in the grand scheme of things, is negligible.

The worst example I've ever seen was at Darien Lake with Superman last year on closing day, where waits were half an hour with one train and no one was there.

It is NOT an issue of staffing. When a train is out on the course, the crew sits idle with one train operation when they could be loading another train.

Environment isn't much of an issue either, and in fact a colder track would likely keep urethane wheels cooler.

Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
Monday, October 2, 2000 12:48 PM
So based on a couple of posts (thanks, gents), it seems that some vague reasoning of maintenance / wear & tear.

It still doesn't explain why some coasters, like MF, ran with multiple trains during the same day that other coasters at the same park one ran one.

I would like to hear what the management of the park and/or ride ops have to say about this issue....any previous or current employees wish to help explain?

Doug *** This post was edited by Doug Rowe on 10/2/2000. ***
Monday, October 2, 2000 1:15 PM

I think its ultimately cheaper to just run one train, with the likelyhood of any breakdowns being reduced with a smaller amount of trains.

Randy Hutchinson
You build it, I'll ride it
Monday, October 2, 2000 1:55 PM
I was at Six Flags Ohio on Sunday. The park was deserted. Batman was running two trains, and had virtually no wait (10 minutes, maybe). Yet Villain was running 1 train, with an HOUR wait!

Go figure. Not commenting about SFO here, but operations in general. When a line gets to be a certain length, and you can add a train to the circuit, then the park should DO SO!


Monday, October 2, 2000 3:21 PM
Saturday was the exact same. Park was deserted. S:UE and BKF were walkons, as well as older coasters. Serial Thriller & Villain were hour waits though
Monday, October 2, 2000 4:08 PM
Belmont Babe and I were at SFMM a couple of weekends ago. What a disaster! Apparently they had already pulled most the coaster trains into the shop. Psyclone was running with just one,the wait was close to an hour and forty five minutes. When we got up to the loading platform we could see that all of the trains but the one that was in use were gone. The mine ride was closed, Superman was running one side only, Colossus was running one train ,you get the picture. There were several company picnics there that day and the park was jammed. Not much fun.
Monday, October 2, 2000 4:18 PM
I have seen this repetitiveness over the years here and all I say is:

"Conjoined Twin Mislexia Week"
Monday, October 2, 2000 4:37 PM
I think it is a matter of laziness we are talking about at SFO. Even though SFO is my favorite park, I just hate it when they only run 1 train... especially on the Villain! Next time I go, I am complaining to Guest Services and to whatever mechanics/ops I see. Expect to hear lots of griping this Friday, SFO....

Chris Boddy
AOL IM- CoasterChris2000
Monday, October 2, 2000 5:51 PM
Strange, we almost never have this problem at SFA. The only time this year that any of the full circut coasters had one train was when Superman was having some computer problems. We did have some single trains last year, but those were on days where it really did not matter, I was about the only one there.:)
Six Flags America IS a Six Flags park!
Monday, October 2, 2000 6:07 PM
I had that problem on Wild One, Roar, Superman and Two-Face (just kidding about the last one ;)). Wild One was painfully slow to wait for. Of course, then I had to wait to get off when Superman's chain broke. (Have I ever mentioned that the chain broke while I was on the ride? ;))

PKD was a serious offender the same weekend, but only on Rebel Yell, Anaconda and Hurler did it really get on my nerves.

Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
Monday, October 2, 2000 6:41 PM
Speaking from experience, you do not have the cream of the crop for operators in the fall. Multiple trains mean more coordination and timing. That means more training, and all the other stuff that goes along with it. Wear and tear is not much, as your busiest days in the postseason do not equal July and August numbers. But most capital budgets for parts are in place for the next season, and if you can avoid breaking something, more power to you.
Monday, October 2, 2000 7:41 PM
Besides, go to SF Great Adventure and see all the coasters with one train running. Terrible. The worst is the Rolling Thunder racing coaster. I have only experienced one occasion when they were racing. Why bother?

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