21 years of 'Corkscrew'...too many?

Tuesday, July 17, 2001 4:37 AM
The corkscrew at Alton Towers is 21 years old this year.
It had a re-fit a year or two ago (it got new trains to theme with 'UG'land) but having been on it many times over the last 7 years I can't help but notice that the ride has got a lot rougher!

I have the biggest bruise on my hip!

Is 21 years too long to have the same coaster running if it batters your riders within an inch of tolerance? My friend and I were actually discussing this whilst still riding, it was that bad!

I know the ride was the centrepiece for a very long time, but with rides like Nemesis, Oblivion and (the hole soon to become) 'Air', is it maybe time to bid a fond farewell to this much loved coaster? It would mean a loss of memory but with space being tight in the park, is it time for a re-think?

Some things just don't last forever...

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"'cos you know, it's strange! You stand in a library and go "AAAAARRRRGGGHHHH" and everyone just kinda stares at you, but if you do the same thing on a aeroplane everyone joins in!" *** This post was edited by Xen on 7/17/2001. ***
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Tuesday, July 17, 2001 4:50 AM
That's interesting. I find Cedar Point's Corkscrew, now 25, reasonably smooth after all these years. Loch Ness Monster at BGW and Demon at SFGAm have also aged pretty well. That's curious, because Alton Towers doesn't strike me as the kind of place that wouldn't take good care of their ride.

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
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Tuesday, July 17, 2001 4:53 AM
I Agree 21 Years of the same coaster can get pretty boring. I totally agree that it has also gotten rougher. I think that Alton Towers should refit some of the track pieces to make the ride smoother or just plain demolish it and build a new coaster.
This is also a weird occurance because Corkscrew at cp is very smooth after 25 years and the viper at darien lake is almost 20 years old and is quite smooth.

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SFDL
*** This post was edited by SFDL fan on 7/17/2001. ***
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Tuesday, July 17, 2001 5:01 AM
I'll also throw the much maligned sooperdooperlooper (Hersheypark) onto that list. Now in its 25th season, it still provides a fairly smooth ride... and, contrary to popular belief, a very fun ride.

Same can be said for Busch Gardens Tampa's Scorpion. Like the s.d.looper, its also a Schwarzkopf creation and has been running for at least 20 years (or nearly... I think it opened in the early 1980's). Still relatively smooth and still fun (and with a relatively intense loop for its size).

Not sure what the "life span" of a steel coaster is. There are wood coasters that have been around for 70+ years (one near Altoona PA is nearing 100), but all of these have seen lots of replacement lumber (some practically being "rebuilt"... much of the original lumber and machinery replaced, perhaps not all at the same time, but over the decades). What about steel? How easy is it to replace worn, rusted, weakened steel? Or is easier to just replace the whole coaster?
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"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."
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Tuesday, July 17, 2001 6:04 AM
First off, if you still have high ridership and low maintenance, then there is absolutely no reason to remove a ride, unless you are so cramped for space, there is no other option.

Another thing I have noticed, are Vekomas seem to have more of a slight problem with aging more than Arrows. I don't know why this is seeing that both run exactly the same chassis and feature the same track gage.

Then there is the aging of the older vs the newer Arrows.

Take Viper at Darien over Vortex at PKI. In the mid 70's to mid 80's Bacon and Morgan (the original B&M) designed their rides around hand written designs as opposed to the new models being built from 1986 with the newest computer technology. Well, Viper, Corkscrew, Double loop, etc (done w/o computers) features smooth, natural transitions as opposed to Vortex, Drachan Fire, Shockwave, which give hard transitions (done with early computers) This new computer technology made their jobs easier, but was a little "off" on some of the numbers, which cause the large Arrows to have rougher transitions.

With the technology of the early nineties and beyond, the computers have been more "right-on" and will only improve. So ride Tennessee Tornado and compare the difference between old and new, and you will see a remarkable difference that modern technology has allowed with the "Corkscrew" idea.

The large Arrows that have the most violent transitions require a little "tweaking" and will then be fine.
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Tuesday, July 17, 2001 10:14 AM

SFDL fan said:
"I Agree 21 Years of the same coaster can get pretty boring. I totally agree that it has also gotten rougher. I think that Alton Towers should refit some of the track pieces to make the ride smoother or just plain demolish it and build a new coaster.
This is also a weird occurance because Corkscrew at cp is very smooth after 25 years and the viper at darien lake is almost 20 years old and is quite smooth.

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SFDL



*** This post was edited by SFDL fan on 7/17/2001. ***"




NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Does that mean Gemini is too old and needs to be torn down? I can't believe it. I love Gemini. Just because a coaster is over 20 years old doesn't mean it's past it prime.
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Tuesday, July 17, 2001 10:35 AM
Double Loop is 24, and it still considered one of the smoothest Arrow multi-element coasters. Guess WoA has taken good care of it.

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"Villain-Once You Drop, The Fun Don't Stop!"~SFWoA Rules In 2001~X Marks The Spot In 2001(SFWoA)~With SFWoA ANYTHING Is Possible!
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Tuesday, July 17, 2001 10:55 AM

PointMan said:
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Does that mean Gemini is too old and needs to be torn down? I can't believe it. I love Gemini. Just because a coaster is over 20 years old doesn't mean it's past it prime."

Yes and no. I like Gemini - nicely designed coaster, some decent hills, great head choppers, but when I was on it 2 weeks ago I came off with sore kidneys. there are some really jarring moments on that ride. they need to address those before it gets out of control.

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/s/
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Tuesday, July 17, 2001 11:10 AM
john peck made some good points, but I'd like to add that resurfacing a steel coaster is what keeps them from becoming rough. Layout has a lot to do with WHERE the rides become "bangy". Resurfacing basically removes rusty spots, etc. so the steel remains smooth underneath. Simply repainting doesn't do the job. BGT resurfaced Kumba, and basically saved the ride - it was beginning to hurt a little in the corkscrew section. Arrow, Schwarzkopf, even B&M, they ALL require some maintenance, just not nearly so much as woodies.

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rollergator - intent on improving the "guest experience" - coming soon to a park near you
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Tuesday, July 17, 2001 12:00 PM
How in the world can you get hurt on Gemini, you must have been trying hard

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You are the Weakest Link, Goodbye.
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Tuesday, July 17, 2001 12:01 PM

Jeff said:
"That's interesting. I find Cedar Point's Corkscrew, now 25, reasonably smooth after all these years. Loch Ness Monster at BGW and Demon at SFGAm have also aged pretty well. That's curious, because Alton Towers doesn't strike me as the kind of place that wouldn't take good care of their ride."


Notice how those examples are Arrow coasters, while the Corkscrew @ AT is made by Vekoma.
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"Bathroom 1 looks too intense for me"-Ed Markey
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