Arrow and Vekoma

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 5:01 PM
It seems that their track design and trains are almost identical.

Were they once one company that split into two?

Why are a lot of the rides built by these two manufacturers so similar?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 5:11 PM
Someone correct me if I am wrong, but Vekoma licensed Arrow's (crappy) technology.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005 5:12 PM
IIRC they had an agreement that allowed Vekoma to use trains manufactured by Arrow
Wednesday, June 22, 2005 5:54 PM
Didnt Vekoma just merge with someone too. I know arrow did as of late with S&S which makes things seem pretty good with some good developers in a firm.

Vekoma needs this, I have road a few of their coasters, and they just dont strike me as something all that great. Although back on the website a while back they did have a cool looking coaster, which had a platform that tilts down. That looked cool, but they never really made other than a few types of coasters ie the dutchmans, boomerangs, and invertigos, and whatever you might call the deja vus of this world.They seem to be also more of a six flags type of company considering that six flags/premier installed these coasters in many of their parks. So hopefully they come up with some more innovations.

So feel free to correct me if im wrong on the Vekoma merger, but i never thought that it was with arrow. Plus arrow coasters are almost unmistakeable with their tracks and so therefore are the Vekoma ones.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 6:15 PM
Vekoma, AFAIK, has not merged with anyone. As for not building the cool designs you saw on their website its not really their choice. They're only going to build what the parks buy from them. No matter how many innovations Vekoma comes up with none will be built unless a park is interested.

FYI, the Deja Vu models are called Giant Inverted Boomerangs, or GIBs for short.

There is little/no difference between Arrow track and Vekoma track per the agreement eightdotthree mentioned above.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 11:26 PM
Actually there are some significant differences between Arrow and Vekoma track.

First of all, every Vekoma track I have seen has been bolted together. At the joint between sections, the rail is, for lack of a better word, mortised, and two hex-head bolts thread through the rails to hold them together, with the heads on the side opposite the guide wheel. By comparison, most Arrow track is welded, or held together with internal sleeves, or with bolt flanges outboard of the rails.

Second, the most recent Arrow coasters (I think Roadrunner Express might have been the first) employed a different track tie construction, with a single curved box-beam welded to the spine and rails. All of the Vekoma Arrow-style track is built with the older style, with separate box sections welded to plate gussets.

It's also interesting to note that while Arrow switched to a simpler track design for their suspended coasters, Vekoma's suspended looping coasters and inverted Boomerangs use the 'classic' track design, although some of their newer track uses a dual spine.

Finally, on the subject of mergers and the like, after the troubles with the Giant Inverted Lawn Ornament coasters, Vekoma went bankrupt, and as I understand it, at least where key personnel are concerned, the company now known as Vekoma is very different from the Vekoma of a few years ago. THAT group formed Kumbak Coasters, and I believe they're a group that will do quite a few rides that they'll never get credit for... (I believe they're doing Everest for Disney)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Thursday, June 23, 2005 12:02 AM
Space Mountain at DLP is a Vekoma with welded track.

On the subject of Kumbak, the one project that is confirmed they did is the refurbishment of Space Invader at Blackpool. It was a small Jet Star type ride (similar to Flitzers) by Zierer, but after an accident... it went down to 2 seats per car! With Arrow harnesses retrofitted... OUCH. Last year, Blackpool hired Kumbak to refurbish the ride and built new 3 passenger cars with T-bars. Reports are actually positive now on the ride.

Kumbak is rumored to be building the ride portion of Efteling's new water coaster.

Thursday, June 23, 2005 12:20 AM
I thought Everest was from Vekoma proper, Dave. That's the buzz on all the Disney boards, at least.
Thursday, June 23, 2005 12:29 AM
Dave, wouldn't Desperado (or Pepsi Max, whichever actually opened first) be the first Arrow coaster to employ the newer curved track ties?

Also, I know I'd seen another looping Arrow with these ties on RCDB, but I can't find it now. I'm certain it was not in the US, but I can't quite recall when it opened...mid- to late-'90s, possibly. I remember the photo consisting of a loop with part of a lift hill behind it, and the track was sort of a greyish-turquoise color. *** Edited 6/23/2005 4:31:35 AM UTC by Vater***

Thursday, June 23, 2005 1:01 AM
Dave - thanks for the correction. I'd been lead to believe Arrow and V'koma track styles were virtually identical.
Thursday, June 23, 2005 4:06 AM

By newer, curved track ties, what do you mean, exactly? Could you try to describe the difference you're talking about a little more?

Thursday, June 23, 2005 8:24 AM

Dollywood's Tennessee Tornado uses the new track ties. Is that the looper you were thinking about?

~Rob Willi

Thursday, June 23, 2005 9:30 AM
Canyon Blaster at the Great Escape has both the curved ties and the old ones -- maybe some of the old Opryland track was too far gone to re-use?

You can see it switch from one to the other here:

It looks like 1994 was when they started using the newer style. Almost everything they built after that seems to use the curved ties. (Except for a mine ride here and there, X, obviously, and Powder Keg which looks more like the Arrow side of S&S than the S&S side...)

Thursday, June 23, 2005 10:41 AM
Thanks for the info.

However, this leads me to another question.

Morgan hypers seems to also use a very similar track design. Did they also liscense the design from Arrow?

Thursday, June 23, 2005 10:44 AM
Dana Morgan knows Ed Morgan and Karl Bacon from Arrow quite well.

See... Ed's Dana's dad. ;)

Thursday, June 23, 2005 11:42 AM
That, and Dana was once the President of Arrow-Huss. When Toomer and Co. did the internal buy-out, Dana formed Morgan Manufacturing instead of joining them. I suspect he just didn't want to move to Utah. :)

Morgan's track ties are flat plate steel. Their track fabrication is very different from Arrow and Vekoma. With Arrow and Vekoma, the track ties are welded up and then welded to the spine and to the rails. With Morgan's track design, as nearly as I can tell, the track ties are cut from steel plate and welded to the spine sections to build up a track section, then the rails are welded in place.

I'm not familiar with the intimate details of the process for any of 'em, but looking at the finished product you can see that the Morgan track spine is not continuous.

I don't know which coaster was the first to get the 'new' Arrow track ties. And the Vekoma track ties look just the same as the old Arrow ones. :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Thursday, June 23, 2005 1:42 PM
HeyIsntThatRob? - no, it's not Tennessee Tornado, I'm familiar with that one.

Ah! I found it! It wasn't on RCDB after all, it was on the park's official website--the exact photo I described above. Built in '96, Roller Coaster at Al-Sha'ab Leisure Park in Kuwait may have been the first Arrow looper to use the newer track style (click the thumbnail to enlarge the photo; and there's also a low-quality off-ride video).

'Blow your brains off.'


I'll take Poorly Translated Catch Phrases for a thousand, Alex...
*** Edited 6/23/2005 5:51:16 PM UTC by Vater***

Friday, June 24, 2005 4:53 PM
Speaking of Arrow's suspended coaster track design, they used that in the expansion of the now defunct Lightning Bolt at MGM Grand Adventures in Las Vegas.
Friday, June 24, 2005 5:55 PM
Huh. It's kinda hard to tell from RCDB's pictures (and I haven't ridden either one), but Lightning Bolt's track extensions look identical to Powder Keg's... which in turn looks pretty close to (but not exactly the same as) their suspended track.

Powder Keg looks a lot more like Arrow stuff than S&S stuff -- except for the trains.

Friday, June 24, 2005 6:59 PM
Lightning Bold

Powder Keg

Vampire (suspended)

All three very similar. I wonder if by Lightning bolt (1997), if Arrow was moving towards the new track styles. I wonder if they'll ever use the older style, even if it is the newer version of the older style, again with S&S. I just hope S&S keeps making steel coasters.


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