Coasters that run three trains

I have never been a big old wooden roller coaster fan, but lately I have been enjoying them for some reason. An enthusiast I talked to told me to sit in the middle row and I have to admit, the ride is much smoother. Not being above the wheels of the train does make a difference.

I am speaking of the "Wild One" at Six Flags America. The loading time is terrible. The ride is 1:58 seconds long, yet you sit in the unload zone for 4+ minutes before the next train gets dispatched. The main issue is those crappy seat belts that are all twisted up. There is ZERO reason for a seatbelt on this ride. The lap bar is 100% fine, yet we have to have attendants check each rider, help them click each seatbelt, which causes a 4-5 minute delay per dispatch.

Last edited by DoubleMeatTaco,
Schwarzkopf76's avatar

It would have been nice if the ride had a pre-lift section, but then again I always think that and then wonder why we don't have more pre-lift sections. It seems operations have taken a big hit industry-wide, and Hersheypark is feeling it.

Heck, I still wonder how we safely got 1,250 guests per hour on the CP Blue Streak with a manual operation... but, times change.

Forget the dispatches, just look at all the chocolate they had to use to build that ride.

Last edited by Schwarzkopf76,

Veliciocoaster also has a strict no loose articles policy. That locker area is chaos, and because of it that upper room is rarely full but it makes station operations extremely efficient.

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

eightdotthree's avatar

The loose articles policy isn’t the only reason for its efficiency. The gates open as soon as the train is stopped and unlocked. They don’t wait for everyone to exit the platform before letting the next train load. You are sitting down as soon as the previous riders are out.

They are also not turning away oversized guests at anywhere near the same rate.

I could go on. Busch Gardens seriously botched everything but the ride itself with Pantheon.

I loved Pantheon. It was instantly in my Top 10, and I'm hardly a ranker. But those six minute dispatches were just awful.

Back to the original point of the thread, Candymonium is blocked in such a way that it could benefit from increased capacity, but only if the ride crews were capable of dispatching them fast enough. In my experience over numerous visits, this virtually never happens -- the crews never seem to be in a hurry, and they're already handicapped by the park's moronic policy of not opening the gates until the guests from the previous train are all off the platform. Fahrenheit is in a similar situation; until recently they ran three trains but never had fast enough dispatches to warrant doing so. I'll save my other gripes about the weird ass operations at Hershey for another time. :)

I have to say, there are times when I miss the days of Gemini at CP running 6 trains at once... Back in the day, it really could eat up the lines like there was no tomorrow.

Jeff's avatar

Yeah, but I think they've built six coasters since those days. Gemini rarely needs that many trains.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

Gemini rarely needs to run six trains, but there are certainly times when it could benefit from the ability to run three on one side. I think the crew required to run three on one side is still fewer people than needed to run four on both sides, plus there have been times when they lost one side of the ride on a busy day.

It’s kind of hard to do that with only two trains on the track. But then, it’s kind of hard to do that when you’re doing 3-minute intervals on a good day.

—Dave Althoff, Jr.
…who has clocked Gemini at 3,400 PPH “back in the day”.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

Girlfriend wanted to take a 20 minute nap in the the car parked in shores lot one day this year, so I set the timer. I wasn't tired so I played with my phone and counted Gemini dispatches happened in that 20 minutes. There were 4. For those scoring at home that's puts the capacity at less than 800PPH even racing. It's not uncommon to see Gemini sport A 45-60 min wait on busy days as it's still a popular ride.

Seeing as how the lead car of each of the spare Gemini trains is now a parade float, even if IROC, loose article bins, and station gates went away, I don't think six train ops is ever returning.

Very true

Yeah, but I think they've built six coasters since those days. Gemini rarely needs that many trains.

Very true... Of course, back in those days, Mine Ride I think used to run four trains as well.

lead car of each of the spare Gemini trains is now a parade float

Just run a shortened 5th and 6th train... Who needs a lead car anyways. :-)

hambone's avatar

Walt S:

Of course, back in those days, Mine Ride I think used to run four trains as well.


You learn something every day... I never knew the Euclid Beach Thriller could run three trains at once.
"The Herbert Schmeck masterpiece first opened to the public in 1924. This coaster featured a 71'5" high first hill, and an out-and-back layout with the above mentioned "dog leg," and was the most popular ride in the park. In early years on a peak day, three trains, each with three four-bench cars, operated. By the 1960s the ride ran with a two train maximum." (

I have to wonder how they pulled off 3 trains at a time based on the layout, as it doesn't seem long enough for that (not that I had the opportunity to ride it, as it was gone before I came around.)

Back then blocks weren’t as we know them today. The Thriller cars had seats with stationary lap bars and no belts, allowing trains to be dispatched the instant riders were seated, and perhaps even as they were seating themselves. So let’s picture one train in the load position or on the lift, one on the course between the top of the lift and the final brake run, and one in the station on or near the unload position. Timing for this would be tight but it was entirely possible with two men in the station- one on the unload brake and one on the load brake and a coordinated effort. Everything was manual.
I have a feeling that the operation was tiresome and perhaps a bit risky. Station operators would really have to be on their toes and there may have been accidents or station taps. If operations changed to two train max it makes sense that it might allow for one operator in the station. He could operate the unload brake then release the train and beat it to the next lever. But they likely still employed two, with a more relaxed atmosphere.

I also don't doubt there were what would now be known as block violations. I'm sure at some point a train filled with riders cleared the lift with another still finishing the course.

I've read Euclid Beach Park is Closed for the Season (now a hard come by get book) and the 3 train days is confirmed in there. I don't recall them getting into detail how it was done, but it was done. Thrillers brake run was long enough I suppose there could have been a 3rd 'safety' brake and they'd get around having a block violation (train just clearing the lift could have a spot to stop if the station if unload didn't clear for whatever reason). I'd guess though they only had the two brake sections like the classics still around and their operators were really on their game as RCMAC described.

One note in that book I remember was a whole section on how they prided themselves on safety and maintenance, even in the last few years when the park wasn't making any money. The book suggested nobody was ever seriously hurt on the park rides. The only major incident was on Flying Turns, when one the lead cars hit a piece wood laminate which had come loose in the through. The lead car careened off course and ended angling over the edge with the rear cars still in the through. They rescued the man hanging over the edge and everyone was fine. The only thing the man requested was to get a full ride once it was repaired since he paid for one.

Apparently being "made whole" was a lot easier back in the 60's since all he wanted was a ride as compensation. :)

Really wish I could have seen Euclid Beach. Was born a year too late. Definitely seemed like my kind of park.

Three trains do in fact make a difference even if there is "some" stacking. If the train has completely stacked until the following train has returned, all while still waiting to enter the platform (all 3 being lined up) then yeah its worthless. All though it might not seem like an incredible difference, you save a couple minutes or more depending in the wait. Some coaster now, like Banshee and even Manta, can be cleared to dispatch once the train has released it's from the lift. They've engineered it now so they the chain incline will speed up or slowdown depending on if the previous train has cleared the next block brake.

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