Coaster Aging

Wednesday, February 26, 2003 10:50 AM
Due to the recent topic about which coasters have gotten better with age. I was wondering what makes a coaster get worse. With wood its obvious but how does a steel coaster get rough and such, even if it well maintained.

If you don't like the ride shut up and get out of line.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003 10:52 AM
LOL, did you ever ride shockwave at SFGam or Viper at SFMM? That would have answered it for you.

If you haven't rode Raging Bull in the back row you haven't lived. The feeling on that first drop cannot be explained in words!

Wednesday, February 26, 2003 10:55 AM
Actually that wouldn't have answered *how* they get rough. Unfortunately I can't answer it either.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2003 11:41 AM

Dan The Man said:
how does a steel coaster get rough and such, even if it well maintained.

If it's Arrow

- John, whose favorite coaster on the plannet is an Arrow minetrain
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Wednesday, February 26, 2003 11:46 AM
I hate the "if it's an Arrow, it's rough" attitude of most enthusiasts. Although I haven't ridden all or as many as the older enthusiasts than I, I haven't found one to be extremely terrible.

What makes a steel coaster rough? A lot of it would go back to the design and construction process. I don't know what the factors would be, but that's where the coaster was "born" and what happens at birth always effects you when you're older.

You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003 11:56 AM
Personally Im thinking some people are way spoilled by the likes of B&M. Where were all the Anton ravers back when he was around? his coasters were smooth.

I agree that headbashing in restraints is not a pleasant experience but Shockwave never did that to me.

I hear the too rough argument way too much and it's become old and moot to me. If you like it, RIDE IT! If you don't, STAY ON THE PORCH! Coasters are supposed to move, shake, vibrate and shuffle, It's called sensation and being moved through the air at 65 mph in a compeletley smooth fashion does nothing for me, I can do that in my mini van.

Chuck, who has run into coasters that he considered painful and does not ride those anymore. I have also ridden many coasters that people say are way to rough and never had a problem with them myself.
Charles Nungester.
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Wednesday, February 26, 2003 12:09 PM
Man, it must be the off season. Even whne thye were tearing down Shock Wave, I don't remember this much Arrow bashing.

Let's keep this thread on target, shall we? I'll try to talk about the coaster that, from my own personal experience, has aged the worst: Iron Wolf (yeah, a B&M!), at SFGAm. As far as I know, this coaster is well-maintained. I assume this because all the other rides at the park are. Also, management obviously cares about this ride: A few years ago, they added the new-style stand-up shoulder harmesses (which have much more padding than the old ones) in an attempt to make the ride more bearable. It didn't work. This ride is a head-banging nightmare, worse even then Shock Wave: With thta ride, it was only a few instances: With Iron Wolf, it's a few instances in the first half, and then the entire second half. I'm going to venture a guess that the stressses have pushed the wheels and bearings farther out than they were intended, so the trains now shuffle back and forth like an old Arrow. However, I don't really know, and would appreciate Ride Man's opinion on this matter.

I hear America screaming...

Wednesday, February 26, 2003 12:36 PM
Correct me If i am wrong but im pretty sure this is how it happens.

On older Arrow coasters, the rails were welded together. Im pretty sure on modern-day tracks, the rails arent welded together, but rather bolted together and welded on the part where the train doesn't run on. Since Metal expands and contracts with the temperature, the areas where the rails were welded together also expand and contract. After many years of all the expanding and contracting, the areas welded together become rougher (more bumpy) because the steel has changed so much. This is why when the train goes from peice of track to peice of track, you feel sort of a bump.

Im having trouble putting this into words so if someone could make it easier. Im pretty sure thats what happens since my dad is a welder and I get to hear of this stuff somehow. So someone correct me if i am wrong.


Wednesday, February 26, 2003 1:58 PM
Here's Dave Althoff's excellent explanation of what happens when rides age poorly:

"Na na na na na na na na LEA-DER!" - Homer Simpson

Wednesday, February 26, 2003 2:05 PM
Many different factors come in to the aging of rides. One of the biggest that hasn't been mentioned so far in this thread is the quality of the foundations. Any settling in the foundations will distort the track and make things rougher.
Wednesday, February 26, 2003 5:49 PM
That wouldn't be the case on vekoma's coasters because they are bolted together at each rail segment & not welded together at all.

I'd have to agree with Charles on this one,I think it's because those of us who have ridden B&M's regularly have become spoiled by them & when they ride everything else they seem so much more rougher than before.

One thing to think about though is this:what if B&M didn't exist at all? if they never came into existence at all then I doubt we would be hearing all this Arrow & vekoma bashing because they'd be the only steel coaster builders making rides anymore.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003 6:43 PM
Being a train junkie, have to say that a nice new set of wheels and a well-maintained undercarriage make ALL the difference in the world to me....
Never go unarmed into a battle of wits...;)
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Wednesday, February 26, 2003 7:41 PM
I agree with You, gator. I also think BSFA is correct, but I must point out that there would still be Intamin and Schwarzkopf for some smoothness. I think B&M has spoiled us, however, I've been on Iron Wolf and Shockwave, and I personally liked Shockwave better. I didn't dislike Iron Wolf, but it was rough.

I think Shockwave's appeal to me were the most inversions ever for me, and the height of that hill. Not only that, but It was my first coaster @ the park, and a walkon, which is always good for me. I don't complain about Arrows, because my first steel and first inversion on a coaster was Arrow, so I've been used to it for a LONG time, and know how to hold my head against the Horse Collars so as not to bang my head.

There is no spoon.

Thursday, February 27, 2003 4:23 AM
one of the main reasons the old arrows like shockwave are rough... is because if you look at the wheel assemblies (such as when youre in the queue line and go under the station), you'll see that the side wheels do not make constant contact with the track. thus, when a corner is encountered, the train has a bit of lateral movement as the wheel slides over.

newer coasters, (even some Arrow's such as Tennessee Tornado) have the side wheels in constant contact or much closer to the rails. therefore there is little to no lateral movement.

"It's like something out of that twilighty show about that zone"

Thursday, February 27, 2003 8:22 AM
That's the exact problem Arrow & vekoma have both been faced with,the reason behind the gap between the guide weheels & rails is,as I've mentioned before due to the wheel frames/chassis being used on the trains.

The current system seen on vekoma's SLC is simply modeled after Arrow's corkscrew chassis,which doesn't allow for enough articulation & therefore requires the gap between the guide wheels & track in order to avoid binding in the turns,if you look on the VFD's & invertigoes the wheel mounts are seperately placed on either side of the train allowing for smoother articulation & closer positioning of the guide wheels in relation to the track,which is basically the same setup the both B&M & Intamin are using.

What I don't get is the setup on togo's stand up's,they seem to use the same system as B&M with all three wheel sets contacting the rail yet they are so unbearably rough,the probable cause is due to the painful restraints used in the design & not in the wheel frames at all.

Thursday, February 27, 2003 9:14 AM

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