Coasters that run three trains

What is the point of a coaster to run three trains, IF there are ALWAYS two trains waiting behind the train in the station to dispatch?

I am speaking in particular about Candymonium at Hershey Park. Candymonium has 3 trains with 7 cars per train. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 28 riders per train. That is great, three cars is awesome, however, outside of optics and having the ability to run three trains, what is the advantage? It doesn't speed thing up as they only have one station to unload the passengers. Train A dispatches while Train B and C are waiting in back of it. Train B pulls into the station, and by the time Train B dispatches, Train C and A are waiting in line after the two minute ride. Is there anything messed up with my logic here? Having three trains with this setup is no different than running two trains, right?

If the coaster was setup like Storm runner, where they have two loading stations with a track that moved between the two, that would make sense and three or possibly four trains, could help in the number of riders per hour.

I know this forum has people that know a heck of a lot more than I do about this type of thing. What am I missing here?

Jeff's avatar

Three trains only makes sense when the two blocks after the lift are long enough in duration to load the train in the station.

The best examples I've seen are Raptor and Gatekeeper, which have a slow enough roll in the final brakes to make sense provided that loading is fast enough. Both are possible, but it depends mostly on the composition of the guests, and whether or not they have crap to put in the bins.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Jeff:

composition of the guests

LOL. I assume you are referring to the people who end up being too fat to ride? As in they didn't try out the seat that is located in front of the ride entrance to see if they could fit or not? In this case, the bar needs to click three times.

This ride has free two-hour lockers outside the ride, where technically you are not supposed to bring anything on the ride. Of course, people still do and they have the tiny bins for things like glasses, hats, etc. that they try to sneak on. All of these factors slow up the boarding process, and in my opinion, makes a three train coaster useless.

I'll never understand the constant need to carry all the things with you all the time. It's not even remotely exclusive to just parks. I passed another employee leaving work earlier this week and she had an insulated lunch bag and a back pack that looked like it was fit for a mountain trek. This is a pretty active workplace with little downtime outside of lunch. I have no idea what she was carrying. I get taking some stuff with you to parks when you have small kids, but I am always floored at Disney at the people with older kids and everybody has a survival pack. We've only got one kid, mind you, and we can usually get away with one fanny pack. If my wife decides the kid needs to go amateur cosplay for a certain restaurant or a visit to Galaxy's Edge, then the bag goes in a locker.


Fun's avatar

I don't know why Hershey chose a three train operation. My guess it that they always wanted to ensure at a minimum 2 trains were always running in the event one train had to be taken out of service. The cost to have simultaneous three-train operation was probably negligible at that point. Plus you reduce wear and tear on each train by diversifying the number of laps per train.

Great Bear has two and could have been three but they chose differently twenty years ago.

Yeah I travel as light as possible in a park, preferably only needing a lanyard around my neck (ticket, credit cards, id) and my phone. Will sometimes carry a portable charger as well. I hate when I need to carry my car keys.


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

Good point. This ride is only two years old. It's apart of the 150-million expansion to chocolate town and probably cost upwards of 30+ million. I imagine they are all running them at the same time to get the same wear and tear, and then as needed, they will pull a train off for maintenance. I think this is my issue, I have never rode a world class coaster that was brand new. I am used to 25+year old coasters at Six Flags that are anything but butter smooth. They also run on ONE train most of the time for different maintenance issues.

ApolloAndy's avatar

Lots of coasters at various points in their lifespans have stacked three trains. It really depends more on the policies and guest behavior than the design of the coaster, though not having an MCBR and having a relatively short ride length probably doesn’t help. Does Goliath oG have/ run 3? I think that’s the closest analog. MF with separate load and unload and a really long track length makes sense to run 3.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Raven-Phile's avatar

It would seem, but if you watch the latest problematic coasters video from ElToroRyan, he actually breaks down that even the 3rd train on Millennium isn’t as significant as we would like to it is.

It’s a nice, deep, nerdy dive into capacity and how small things can hinder it greatly.

HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

But more importantly, do we get to learn what is a block zone?

Jeff's avatar

DoubleMeatTaco:

I assume you are referring to the people who end up being too fat to ride?

No, just those who carry a lot of crap and/or are oblivious to what's going on.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

DoubleMeatTaco:

All of these factors slow up the boarding process, and in my opinion, makes a three train coaster useless.

At busy events, Olympia Looping runs five 28-seat trains, with a dispatch approximately once every twenty seconds giving a throughput of around five thousand guests per hour. There's footage of it in that mode here:

They achieve this by having one operator per car.

Based on a typical ticket price of €9.50/ticket that equates to a gross income of the order of $50K/hour.


And 50 thou/hr maybe doesn’t go that far when you’re paying and housing a huge crew and transporting the world’s largest coaster in 90 trucks, lol.
When I rode the ride it was a slow, rainy evening so I likely wasn’t treated to the full effect of super high capacity, and still the operation went so fast that it was a little unsettling to this check, double check, recheck American boy. It was so odd to look around and see other trains flying around the track, too. It just didn’t seem right.
Wouldn’t that be a dream come true to own a business like that, though?

Raven-Phile's avatar

HeyIsntThatRob?:

But more importantly, do we get to learn what is a block zone?

For those of you who are unfamiliar, a block zone is a section of ride that only one train may occupy. At the end of a block zone is a method to stop the train in case the block zone ahead is still occupied. This is the safety system that prevents roller coaster trains from colliding with one another.

Richard Bannister:

At busy events, Olympia Looping runs five 28-seat trains, with a dispatch approximately once every twenty seconds giving a throughput of around five thousand guests per hour. There's footage of it in that mode here:

Somewhere in Ohio, a Cedar Fair ride operations manager just had a cold chill run down their spine.

RCMAC:

And 50 thou/hr maybe doesn’t go that far when you’re paying and housing a huge crew and transporting the world’s largest coaster in 90 trucks, lol.

It's only 50 trucks, and the team is not that big – ten in total required to assemble it. See https://olympialooping.com/#facts for the details.

It's a money machine.


kpjb's avatar

I'm still flabbergasted how that coaster travels.

I hope to make my donation to its travel fund next September.


Hi

At the end of our evening at Oktoberfest we rode Reisenrad, the huge traveling wheel. From up there I could get a good view of the parking lot near the ride where they store all of the trucks. (Looked like at least 90 to me…)
The minute I can post photos I’ll do it. I’d seen a million photos and vids of the ride but the minute I got up on it I was blown away by the size and scope of it.
The good news about this ride is that it tends to stay put once it’s built up. (I think lately it’s played Prater in the summers then heads out on the fair circuit, choosing dates that are several weeks long.) But ten guys setting up for a week with no money coming in. I mean they gotta eat and press their shirts. Ok, that last part is a stretch but I did notice that the European carni… er,… showmen seemed a little less rough and a little more professional than the fellas here in the US.

Cedar Fair doesn't seem to want capacity on its rides nowadays, which is sad given how Cedar Point used to be the champion of capacity outside of Disney and the german fairgrounds. Whatever ride they purchase, they will throw often too short seatbelts on them and force the ride operators to deal with guests who can't figure them out. Then, add the IROC training program that doesn't allow many things that would boost capacity and you have a recipe for a disaster.

I remember when Stunt Pilot opened at Silverwood: the plan was to use continuous loading on the 10 car Raptor trains and to that end, they got two trains for it. Come media day, IRT (International Ride Training, who created the IROC training and operational guidelines, used at this park too) said no to that. No moving trains with guests in the station or operators that are not standing in a yellow box. They had to temporarily reorganise the station and the ride foolishly ran where one train was in the final brakes before the other had even parked and started offloading. Thankfully, Silverwood told IRT no to their rules for that ride and the ride operates today with the moving train in the station and has the largest capacity of any coaster at the park.

Back to Hersheypark, they oddly followed the Cedar Fair model of having seatbelts on the trains, which are not meant for those and awkward to use. It should have good capacity, as like with both Goliaths in 2006 (SFOG and La Ronde), they can advance a waiting train into the station as soon as the previous one is halfway out. This saves a few seconds every cycle. Both of those Goliaths have two trains, not three.


eightdotthree's avatar

It’s getting ridiculous out there with some of these parks. I’m baffled at how slow Pantheon is when compared to Velocicoaster. Velocicoaster rolls into the station and stops. Restraints pop up. People get off. People get on. Restraints get checked. Train leaves the station. Repeat. No employee is really hustling or stressed in the station. There’s just no BS… or loose articles.

Busch Gardens actually unlocked my row’s restraints on Appolo’s Chariot so I could get up and gather my glasses and fanny pack from the storage bin. Early this spring they had me do the exact opposite.


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