Dark sections on Vortex's (KI) lift hill?

Olsor's avatar
[In Jerry Seinfeld voice] What is the deal with the dark sections on Vortex's lift hill? Here's the standard picture taken from the Eiffel Tower.

There's a dark section slightly above and to the left of the second loop, a dark section above and to the left of the first loop, and one more near the top of the lift hill.

These dark spots appear in any number of pictures of Vortex (see here--thanks, Gonch; here; and here) taken in different years (before and after the recent paint job) and, presumably, different times of the day and operating season. They're visible in pictures I've taken on two different cameras in May 2003 and August 2006.

I got nothing. Anyone know what the deal is?

The rumor has it some of the Bat lift stairs were reused on Vortex's lift. Although I'm not sure if that would explain it being there after the repaint. That's strange... I've never noticed that before.
At first it looked like a problem with the photo but since it's visible in others, I see that's not the case. Weird. Maybe those parts of the ride were painted with paint that was defective, causing them to fade prematurely? That's the only thing I can think of.
crazy horse's avatar
Just the clouds blocking the sun.

what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.
Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

It's probably a poltergeist. I would call in the paranormal experts.

Or, it could be slightly misaligned or warped rails that creat more guide wheel friction in those sections.

crazy horse's avatar
Or you could call the "paramountal" experts;)

If its not the sun, it could be where they grease the lift.


what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.
Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

I never thought about something blocking the sun, although it seems odd that the sun seems to block the same areas, time and time again.
john peck's avatar
The dark spots appear where there are shadowed and darker trees behind the ride. Notice how much lighter the track sections are with the lighter folliage. The track is partially transparent (ties open parts) so you see things through the track. Its just an optical illusion.

*** Edited 3/10/2007 11:52:41 PM UTC by john peck***

That seems like it would be impossible to be an optical illusion when it shows up from so many different angles, sunlights, times, etc.

It looks to me like it's just the places where the grease falls off the chainlift. It's the same kind of spattered blackness that most coasters get only at the top and bottom of the lift. Does Vortex have breaks in it's chain, or midcourse motors or risers or anything?


Brett, Resident Launch Whore Anti-Enthusiast (the undiplomatic one)
Not that I know of. There IS a little kink in the lift just over midway up though, stupid Arrow. Maybe grease falls out of the chain guide there.
CoastersNSich's avatar
I think these black sections also could have been marked by a small fire caused by a short-out of the light bulbs along the lift hill.

Dental Plan! Lisa Needs Braces.

HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar
Aren't there anti-rollbacks located on Vortex's lift hill in the event that the chain would break, it wouldn't slide back down the hill? If that's the case, wouldn't there be a little extra grease on those anti-rollbacks to prolong the life of them?

Just adding speculation on what may be causing those darkened sections of track.

~Rob Willi *** Edited 3/11/2007 2:31:24 AM UTC by HeyIsntThatRob?***

Vortex's rollbacks are normal steel coaster rollbacks. They run all the way from bottom to top of the lift.
Olsor's avatar
The dark sections are also visible on Windows Live Local.

KI Central's got yet another picture. And thanks to the above post and KIExtreme, I found a close-up shot (see also this picture and this one).

In the dark sections, the handrail (or lighting rail) is dark in addition to the track.

??? *** Edited 3/11/2007 3:01:50 AM UTC by Olsor***

crazy horse's avatar
Maybe they are marks to tell the operator where to park the train on the lift.

what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.
Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

pkidelirium said:
Vortex's rollbacks are normal steel coaster rollbacks. They run all the way from bottom to top of the lift.

Right, that's to keep the train from falling back in the event of the chain failing. But what keeps the chain in place when it breaks?

I've heard from several people in the past that anti-rollbacks for the chain (not the train) are in place because of the lift's location and it would be a mess to clean up in the event of the chain breaking given the terrain around the ride.

Now I've only heard this explaining why Vortex's lift has a clanging noise despite not having a train on the lift.

~Rob Willi

I always thought it was greese, but I have no idea. I have to pay closer attention on my next front seat Vortex ride.
You know, I haven't thought of that...

I've noticed Vortex having a loud clanging even when empty, but I hadn't put any thought into it.

Maybe those ARE chain rollback areas, and it causes grease to splatter at those points?

I know a couple former Vortex crew members. I'll ask them.

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