Custom Coaster Trains

I believe this is my first post here. So hello everyone.
I've looked through a bunch of posts and was hoping to find why Custom Coasters (or the parks that were receiving their rides) chose for the most part Gerstlauer trains over PTC trains starting in 2000.
The reason I ask is because it can be seen that the quality of the rides featuring the PTC trains are clearly superior to ones featuring G-trains. Is this the only reason why so many of the later model CCIs rank so low or is it because of poor ride design or poor maintenance or both?
Here are the rankings according to Mitch's poll for the major CCI coasters featuring PTC trains and G-trains and the year they were built.

PTC Train
(1993) Outlaw Adventureland 65
(1994) Hoosier Hurricane Indiana Beach 68
(1995) Cannonball Run Waterville USA 102
(1995) Cyclops Mount Olympus 44
(1995) Raven Holiday World 11
(1996) Great White Morey’s Piers 62
(1996) Megafobia Oakwood Theme Park 18
(1996) Timber Terror Silverwood 17
(1997) Zeus Mount Olympus 70
(1997) Stampida Port Adventura 42
(1997) Tonnerre de Zeus Parc Astérix 24
(1998) Excalibur Funtown USA 48
(1998) GhostRider Knott's Berry Farm 27
(1998) Rampage Alabama Adventure 14
(1999) Silver Comet Martin’s Fantasy Island 41
(1998) Shivering Timbers Michigan’s Adventure 13
(1999) Tremors Silverwood 6
(2000) Boulder Dash Lake Compounce 5
(2001) Cornball Express Indiana Beach 22
(2002) New Mexico Rattler Cliff’s Amusement Park 23

Average Ranking 36.15

(1998) Twisted Twins Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom 125 (average)
(2000) Boss Six Flags St. Louis 78
(2000) Hurricane Myrtle Beach Pavilion 140
(2000) Medusa Six Flags Mexico 163
(2000) Mega Zeph Six Flags New Orleans 63
(2000) Villain Geauga Lake 88
(2001)Cheetah Wild Adventures 92

Average Ranking 107

I left off a few from this list. The family sized coasters, LCSM, and Underground (I have no idea what this ride is or how to classify it) and Legend. It’s hard to judge Legend based on the fact its rankings have gone up and down when it did have a G-train running (though it was vastly superior to other coasters running G-trains). However it dropped to 17 in 2005 when they added the new PTC trains and dropped a few spots since. Does anybody know if Twisted Twins ran PTCs for a while?

I was hoping Geauga Lake would snatch up the two old Wildcat trains and add them to Villain. I’m finally going to give it a try since it’s supposedly getting re-tracked this off season. Do you think any or all of the CCI coasters would benefit from switching to PTCs or is there no saving them whatsoever?

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
Twisted Twins has always had G trains. Modifications have been done to Legend's track since the PTC's were introduced (throwing off the apples to apples comparison). Underground is a wood coaster dark ride with a custom CCI 2-bench train.

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

I thought the two companies signed a deal that all of CCI's coasters built in 2000 would come with Gerstlauer trains. However, that now appears to be incorrect considering that Boulder Dash has had PTCs.

Prowler. Opens May,2 2009.

CCI switched from PTC trains to Gerstlauer for political reasons, from what I understand. If no one wants to elaborate on that, you might be able to find something on Google about it.

Wildcat's old trains are done. They're pretty beat-up, and I don't expect them to show up anywhere else (aside from spare parts for other coasters). I'm also 90% sure that Villain's structure won't be able to handle the heavier PTC trains. That said, I really don't know, nor do I know how much Cedar Fair is willing to invest in a ride like that.

To the best of what I've heard, CCI got into bad financial conditions (obviously, since they went out of business), and PTC wouldn't sell them anymore trains. One of the reasons that has been much mentioned is that CCI was selling their coasters for too low of a price.

I gather that either one of two things happened; either 1) PTC wasn't being paid on time for their trains and/or 2) they stopped extending credit to CCI. So what did they do? They went to Gerstlauer to get their cheaper, lighter trains that really shouldn't be running on some of the higher-speed CCI-tracks.

So you're right that if you bought a CCI-coaster in 2000, that it most likely came along with a Gerstlauer train. The main reason that people don't like them is because they have no padding (and the people who mostly don't seem to mind have natural padding:)).

I firmly believe that Holiday World didn't buy PTC's to replace the Legend's Gerstlauers due to a couple of enthusiast complaints. We only make up a very insignificant portion of any themepark's clientle, including HW. I strongly believe that the general public were being beatup and bruised on the ride. Thankfully, I never had the chance to compare.

The thin metal lapbars are yet another issue. I rode The Villian in its first year, and while it wasn't a bad ride (then), that last small bunnyhop before the station sure hurt. I whacked my thighs right into it. After seeing the rating of The Villian and seeing that it's ten spots below The Boss (which absolutely sucked due to excessive roughness) now, you can guarantee that I'll be finding something more sudate to ride when we hit GL in June.

For example, I never did get the SLC or boomerang credit when I visited in 2000:)

CCI did not order PTCs because they owed PTC money and PTC would not build for them unless the park paid PTC directly for trains. Boulderdash Got PTC's as did Cornball Express.

BTW, Some of us don't consider PTC's superior to Gerstlauers Yeah, The padding and the fact fiberglass don't break on them are great on PTC's but Gerstlauer dosen't box you in and seatbelt ya either :)


DantheCoasterman's avatar
^ Yeh but doesn't it feel great on a G-train when your thrusted up against that hard, cramped, unpadded lap bar? The sensation just feels SO good! ;)
Chuck, I'm not picking on you, but judging by your photo, I'd say you fall into the category of those with natural padding (of course that may have changed since). Yes, I know it's not right that I don't have a photo up so you can pick on me. I'll have to take care of that.
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
I have some "natural padding" and love the Boss, but I still MUCH MUCH MUCH prefer PTC's to Gerstlauers.

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

Pick away, Lost 30pds Going for 130.

Dan, Don't tell me you've never been bruised by PTC lapbars. I have and the fact that it curves inward doesn't help matters. The only Ratchet I never had that problem on was SFGAM's Viper. The bar is straight and bends across the lap not forcing you to sit slightly sideways.

Chuck, who was more refering to the Gerstlauers not taking all day to wake up and roll freely. Most parks just overpack PTC bearings and the coasters are slower because of it.

DantheCoasterman's avatar
Yeah, I have. But with Holiday World being one of my homeparks (along with SFKK & Beech Bend) I am used to mostly PTC's.

Plus, I have no natural padding so every time I come in contact with a G-train lap bar I experience the *full* effect. lol, fun stuff....;)

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
Chuck, I think you're thinking of American Eagle, not Viper. The Eagle has odd lap bars like you describe. I'm pretty certain Viper has the standard ones. And I complete agree with you about the curve forcing your legs inward. I have large legs and that is my only gripe with PTC's. For overall comfort, I still prefer them though.

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

Love taps :).

Theres been a ton of coasters I've ridden and had sore thighs. Strangely, THE BOSS wasn't one of them and we rode it some 30 times on our visit three years ago.

The easyist way for a tall man to ride PTCs with those inward curing lap bars is to ride alone and strech your feet into the other person's foot well, the only way I dont get black and blue from that stupid bar. However that being said, when I do ride solo like that I get some great air. So PTCs for me are a gamble, if Im alone they are sweet, if not I too prefer G-trains over them, and of course those sweet MF trains.

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

Not to try and look stupid here, but I have a question. I have been on the site for a while now, and have become a coaster fan in the last 3-4 years. I see all the talk about different coaster trains. Ptcs, MF's, G's. Can anybody either give me a good description and maybe a website I can go to so I can read more. And also, I live in central PA, so maybe you can identify what certain coasters like Phoenix, Twister at Knoebels, Comet, Wild Cat and LR at Hershey, and el Toro and Rolling Thunder at Six Flags Gadv are running so I can visually picture the different trains and different rides!

Thanks for any info!

gary b

I hope that helps you out.

There are two types of people in the world. People who like coasters and idiots. (new forums have been added)

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
Phoenix and Twister use PTC's (Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters)
Lightning Racer and (now) Wildcat use MF's (Millennium Flyers). Comet uses PTC's.
El Toro uses custom trains by Intamin (manufacturer of the ride too).

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

PTC (Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters) Most common train for wooden coasters. Out of the ones you listed, Phoenix, Twisters, Comet (3 seats per car) Wildcat had them, Rolling Thunder (3 seats per car). Think boxy enclosed trains. They're the most common, heaviest, and apparently beat up the track the most. Nice amount of padding, but some people complain about the restraints.
G-train (Gerstlauer). Lighter trains, less padding, don't beat up the track as much as PTC and are found on the newer CCI like Villain, Boss, etc.
MF (Millenium Flyer Trains built by Great Coasters) Introduced in the late 90s for their own coasters. Very light and track very well. There is some science to it that I'll let everyone else explain. Of the coasters you mentioned, Lightning Racer features them as will Wildcat this year (which will be an even lighter version).
El Toro sports custom Intamin trains that have very open sides. *** Edited 3/26/2007 4:28:13 AM UTC by CoasterGuy2***
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
Actually, the MF trains are not "very light", but have recently been redesigned (lightened) to be the same weight as a 6-car 2-bench PTC train.

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

rollergator's avatar
This topic is hotttt....

Thanks CoasterGuy2, your "homework" really drives the point home. Only the defunct MegaZeph, with an O-n-B layout, cracked the top 70 among the G-train rides. I should've just gone to the data a LONG time ago. :)

Most CCIs are just too aggressive in nature to run "mostly unpadded" trains. How about that Sonny, eh? ;)

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