I took my family to Silver Dollar City last week and was impressed with, among many other things, the trains used for Thunderation. I had never seen such unique trains for an Arrow Mine Ride. Were these standard trains for Arrow's Mine Trains in the early 1990s or were these unique to Thunderation and Silver Dollary City? Does anyone know the history of the development of Thunderation? Thanks...
tall and fast but not much upside down
I'm not sure, but I think KI's Adventure Express uses similar of not identical trains. They're larger, roomy, and the restraints are forgiving. SDC's trains include the locomotive lead car while KI's does not. At any rate, they're second gen Arrow trains and marked a move away from the tinier cars we find on early installations.
SDC ran alternating backward and foreward cars within the same train for a while. I'm not sure why it was changed, something about the general audience shying away from it. I chose a backwards facing seat for my first ride ever and it was thrilling.
The theme of the trains is 'modern' and pretty on one, and rusty and dilapidated on the other.
It's unique layout and terrain make it one of my favorite mine train coasters anywhere.
I agree that its unique layout and terrain makes Thunderation a top mine ride. As an aside, I left wondering whether the size of Time Traveler and its placement next to Thunderation will diminish the overall effect of Thunderation
tall and fast but not much upside down
I LOVE SDC. I've went there about 5-6 times and my family and I just love the park. Some really good coaster. I love powderkeg. Workers are real nice and their food is really good. Very underrated park IMO.
It's one of my favorite parks ever. I dare say I prefer it overall to Dollywood, which is a lot closer to me.
But I'm an overall package kind of park goer and the original SDC seems to have it all. While the two parks are similar, I think SDC has it over DW for food, scenery, shopping, and even theme. And there's a cave. While the rides maybe aren't quite as big and fancy, it's still an overall more satisfying day for me.
I'm really looking forward to trying the new Time Traveler in the spring. If it's a hit it will surely seal the deal.
For your original question about the trains on Thunderation, they were the evolution of what Arrow had started doing in the late 1970's. When they built Gemini at Cedar Point in 1978, they went to individual restraints and roomier seats. The next mine train to open was in Japan in 1988 and it also featured similar seats and restraints.
Adventure Express at Kings Island and Road Runner Express at Six Flags Fiesta Texas also feature the same type of cars.
Did you know some parks converted their original Arrow trains to move away from the single position lap bar to individual restraints? Hersheypark had Premier Parks do it to Trailblazer along with a braking update in 2003. Then, Six Flags hired someone to do it to the mine trains at Great Escape and Six Flags Great Adventure. I don't think it was Premier Rides as the lap bar design is completely different on those.
I wish Cedar Point would do something about the trains Cedar Creek Mine Ride. Make the trains roomier, individual lap bars and do it where a rider's minimum height requirement is around "40.
I haven't been on Thunderation but the trains on KI's Adventure Express reminds me a lot of Magnum's trains.
To that point, Magnum was literally seen by Arrow as an oversized Mine train, which is why it opened with upstop pads instead of upstop wheels.
Hey, let's ride (random Intamin coaster). What? It's broken down? I totally didn't expect that.
Given that the relatively tame Zierer coaster at Knotts (Jaguar!) also feature a 48 inches height restriction, could it be more of a corporate decision?
Six Flags Magic Mountain also feature some odd height restrictions: Gold Rusher, their Arrow Mine Train has a 48 inches height restriction while Ninja, their much more active and exciting Arrow Suspended is their family coaster: 42 inches minimum for riders!
Yeah, Demon at SF's Great America has a 42" height requirement, while Demon at California's Great America is 48". The same exact ride.
The trains are basically the standard Arrow Mine Train/Hypercoaster Train that was first used on Gemini at Cedar Point. It also features the upstop wheels they begun using in the early 90s on these types of trains.
Can you imagine riding Magnum XL-200 with the First Generation Arrow Mine Train Cars with the one size fits all Lap Bars?
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