American Eagle Great America Question

Tuesday, November 9, 2021 11:20 PM

I've not seen anything about this, but, what is up with American Eagle only running the Red side. In both trips we've made to the park this year, there has been no sign that the blue train is even on the ride let alone running.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2021 9:00 AM

I learned recently general consensus red is a much superior ride these days, due to both layout (extra hills on the return back out of the helix) and the amount of wear against the most recent repair/retracking. I hypothesize, running blue backwards all those years could of leant to some of that degenerative differential… Maybe these factors in turn with the rides current demand and staffing shortage.

American Eagle is still the best coaster at SFGAm. And should not be neglected. That helix may be the best visual element on any roller coaster. Thank god they already got the freestanding, to ward off an RMC threat.


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Wednesday, November 10, 2021 2:17 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

Kstr 737 said:

American Eagle is still the best coaster at SFGAm. And is probably being neglected like Colossus was until the day RMC starts their work. That helix may be the best visual element on any roller coaster. Thank god they already got Viper, to ward off a "No wooden coasters left" threat.

Fixed it for ya.

To be fair (To be faaaaiiiir) I haven't been to GrAm since '05-ish and can offer no true take on AE's condition. But if what I said above happens, I would be zero percent surprised.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2021 9:17 PM

Won't happen. They already have an RMC.


To being an "us" for once - instead of a "them".

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Wednesday, November 10, 2021 9:34 PM
Jeff's avatar

And how many B&M's, so...


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Wednesday, November 10, 2021 11:40 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

And SFMM already had a dueling and racing coaster.

Edit: Sorta

Last edited by Tommytheduck, Wednesday, November 10, 2021 11:41 PM
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Thursday, November 11, 2021 12:54 AM

American Eagle is a great ride that has been highly neglected by poor management. It’s an exciting racing experience, and the park refuses to race it because the won’t maintain the structure to support both trains.

AE is one of my favorite coasters and I haven’t went back to the park since they quit operating it properly

Six Flags also loves to reduce capacity on this ride to save labor costs.

Last edited by super7*, Thursday, November 11, 2021 12:55 AM
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Thursday, November 11, 2021 12:09 PM

How do you know all of this?
If it won’t support two trains, then can we be sure it will support even one?

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Thursday, November 11, 2021 12:28 PM

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Thursday, November 11, 2021 8:53 PM

RCMAC said:

How do you know all of this?
If it won’t support two trains, then can we be sure it will support even one?

Why else would they run them staggered and not give customers the racing experience? There is no other reason. When they run both sides they stagger the trains at commands of management.

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Thursday, November 11, 2021 9:03 PM
Schwarzkopf76's avatar

I'd say the American Eagle has been the best running racer for 2 decades or more. The CF racers suffered from their respective GCI re-dos, removing every ounce of air time. AEagle has frankensteined-trains, but they run very well and stay together. Just rode it Sunday... and the week before, and before and before..

Has moved into my top 10 woodies simply due to so many woodies falling out.

edit - and when they do run both sides, they are almost always racing. Kudos to Great America!

Last edited by Schwarzkopf76, Thursday, November 11, 2021 9:04 PM
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Friday, November 12, 2021 9:57 AM

I think AE is top 10 too.... One of the most under rated coasters in the country. But I give a lot of weight into the visual experience of a ride.

Not to be misquoted, I'm not saying I don't believe they would ever RMC it, but having Goliath, already checks the basic box of experience to ward off an immediate marketing/industry trend.

I think there were a few parks out there that wanted an RMC and it got overlaid on a structure that didn't necessarily immediately need it because the park found an easy cheaper route to an RMC... SFDK, SFoG maybe SFNE, definitely SFMM... (vs. the actual strong candidates that did have problematic rides worthy of the redesign: SFFT, SFoT and Cedar Point).

So considering that trend of what Six Flags was doing... GrAm had two wooden "candidates" and decided to go ground up. I'm glad that they did! Especially considering what they would turn around and unnecessarily do to Colossus.

I wonder if RMC was like "hey we want to prototype this lift hill/stall truss design" and gave them an offer they couldn't refuse... Or someone at the park level played preservationist. Taylor's RMC doc implies Goliath was a last minute project.

Last edited by Kstr 737, Friday, November 12, 2021 12:24 PM
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Friday, November 12, 2021 12:59 PM

Kstr 737- Why would running the blue side backwards cause additional wear and tear? Not being argumentative, seriously asking.


But then again, what do I know?

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Friday, November 12, 2021 1:39 PM

ShaneDenmark said:
Kstr 737- Why would running the blue side backwards cause additional wear and tear? Not being argumentative, seriously asking.

I'm not knowledgeable enough to know whether this is a major issue or not, but by turning the cars around backwards, I could see a slight change in the center of gravity of the cars, possibly impacting the ride. If you think about it, on a typical PTC car, the first row riders are sitting back behind the front axle, so the center of gravity of the car is a bit further back. However, if you turn the car around, the people sitting in the "front" (i.e. the "back" row of the car but the front of the car when in motion) are right on top of the axle. That could change the dynamics a bit, though I would question if it truly is enough to make a huge difference.

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Saturday, November 13, 2021 10:35 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

Kstr 737 said:

Especially considering what they would turn around and unnecessarily do to Colossus.


"unnecessarily?"My understanding was that it had only been running one side for a long time, they were unable to open both sides for it's final day despite long lines, and that it was extremely rough.Seems to me it was put out of its misery.

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Sunday, November 14, 2021 10:11 AM

When I was there in January 2014 the closed side had already been officially decommissioned and SBNO for a few years. The rails had rusted in a way the operating side had not. There is no way they could have fired up that side for the last day even if they wanted to. My understanding is that it hadn't operated in some time.

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Sunday, November 14, 2021 12:59 PM

My point is that Colossus could of remained a competitive and popular ride in the late 10s into 20s. It was a good ride. Ditto with Roar west, etc... Small and interesting enough to sustain if the chain chose to maintain (which they didn't, obviously).

Vs. Rattler, Mean Streak and Texas Giant which were problematic and/or boring from Day 1. One could make an argument the Boss is teetering on this ground too (especially against two great wooden coasters down the midway).

Of course the SF flagship park was going to get an RMC sooner then later. So there had to be something to RMC.... Again in the doc Shilke states Pysclone was the first choice but the timing didn't work...

To keep riffing on this tangent. Seems like Rolling Thunder would of been a better choice then Colossus, but that was trashed... And GrAm got the free standing build. It's just interesting to speculate the choice of structures within a single chain because it seems kind of arbitrary and I wonder how much was driven by GMs vs. Corp vs. the actual engineering reqs

.

Last edited by Kstr 737, Sunday, November 14, 2021 1:02 PM
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Sunday, November 14, 2021 2:16 PM

American Eagle usually will only run one side on less crowded days, or when the park is low on staff. I am sure with staffing being a problem most the year, the decision was made early on not to run the Blue Side this year. I would expect it to return next season.

Great America does a pretty good job of taking care of Eagle over the past 30 years I have been visiting the park. Some years the helix's are rougher then others but for the most part it's never been as bad as some other wooden coasters I have ridden.

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Sunday, November 14, 2021 10:06 PM
TheMillenniumRider's avatar

Walt S said:

ShaneDenmark said:
Kstr 737- Why would running the blue side backwards cause additional wear and tear? Not being argumentative, seriously asking.

I'm not knowledgeable enough to know whether this is a major issue or not, but by turning the cars around backwards, I could see a slight change in the center of gravity of the cars, possibly impacting the ride. If you think about it, on a typical PTC car, the first row riders are sitting back behind the front axle, so the center of gravity of the car is a bit further back. However, if you turn the car around, the people sitting in the "front" (i.e. the "back" row of the car but the front of the car when in motion) are right on top of the axle. That could change the dynamics a bit, though I would question if it truly is enough to make a huge difference.

Do the trains have the axles in the rear which are not fixed? If so would flipping them around cause any change in the wear pattern?

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