Posted Tuesday, July 13, 2004 10:01 AM | Contributed by D.J. Niecestro
Four people are recovering after shards of metal allegedly started flying Monday while they were riding Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point. Witnesses say metal shavings cut into riders causing a great deal of bleeding.
I was going to say that the problem with cable snapping is not something that is going to go away soon, due to the rides inherent design. This has been an ongoing problem, and will continue to be as well. What a horrific thing to happen to those riders. I used to say that riding TTD was the best 18 seconds of my life, and can not believe how bad it must have been for those that were hurt during this accident. *** This post was edited by ltlbat 7/13/2004 10:38:47 AM ***
That thought occured to me too Den. I would think that there's just way too much investment in the project to tear it down. Removal costs alone would be huge, plus they had to do a lot of land movement, re-routing the "river", moving of the other rides. I think there are so many other money factors beyond the money they could sue Intamin for (which would probably cause Wicked Twister and both Steel Venoms to go into the crapper, as do you really think Intamin would be willing to maintain them after being sued for multi-millions?) if they had to remove the ride that it's still in their best interest to keep plugging away with what they have.
Although maybe they need to revisit their '07 plans to make sure that Kinzel's retirement present is enough to make people forget this semi-disaster ...
Tear down? Nah. I mean, even the god awful Journey Into Your Imagination (didn't kill anyone itself, but did inspire suicide in many) didn't have a full 'removal'. The most I see happening would be a propulsion system replacement, mabey with something with newer technology.
I just can't see Cedar Point just tossing TTD out after two years, especially with the huge marketing campaign and other things out there.
I guess I am confused about the whole cable shredding/ snapping problem they have had occurring with TTD. I would think that Intamin and CP would have devised a certain type of determination that after so many days, launches, etc, that the cable would need replacing. It snapped on a busy weekend and the ride was down for some time, now people have been hurt because of it. There has to be some type of preventative measure to determine the replacing of the cable, and not by it breaking. Maintenance's main focus anywhere should be proactive and not reactive repairs. Intamin SHOULD certainly know this by now. *** This post was edited by ltlbat 7/13/2004 11:20:59 AM ***
Well, I don't know much about the Dragster technology or aircraft cables but I know that carriers have launch mechanisms that are complex and require significant maintenance. Give the energy and stress place on the ride and it's parts it is no wonder that it is maintenance intensive. Of course, I can't seen Kinzel really happy with pouring money into this ride when he has a wood coaster across the park that is a money pit as well.
I wonder if the cable was the appropriate technology for the ride. Would a LIM have worked?
I think it's the end for Intamin, at least as far as Cedar Fair goes. You'd have to be crazy to buy another ride from them with the track record thus far. At the very least, I wouldn't buy anything from a guy that considers a couple of fatalities statistically irrelevant.
I think Intamin may be in some trouble here. I think CP should just go ahead and put lims on this ride. The cable has snapped how many times now? I have counted 3. Now it has snapped and injured customers. This isn't good.
Jeff, do you know who did the Disneyland version of Big Thunder? Was it Arrow? I know that some are Vakoma and other are Arrow. Anway, I think Intamin is up **** creek with no pattle (cliche #4 today) and needs to rethink their current status in the amusement park biz. All of a sudden, those S&S Thrust Airs sound really good, eh?
Who said the cable snapped this time? And the others? *** This post was edited by The Mole 7/13/2004 11:59:44 AM ***
The thing about cables, is sometimes they can fray before the expected duty cycle is finished. With a ride that puts that much stress on a cable it's harder to predict. I wouldn't see TTD going anywere. And I am not sure any other technology can get the ride to the speed it needs to be.
What I suspect will happen is that Cedar Fair and Intamin will look for solutions to the problem and perhaps even have to pioneer new cable technology. The only other option is modification or removal both which seem unlikely. But let's look out 5 years from now....after years of being a money pit and having extensive downtime they could bite the bullet and shorten the thing so that the launch system can be run at a lower speed without so much stress and problems. That, or a switch to LIMS perhaps but I think that would be a fairly large electric bill would it not? If they would even work at all in this situation.
It's a tough situation to be in. But that's the risk you run when you push the envelope. Sometimes you push it pass the technology. The funny thing is, I am sure the Cedar Point patrons would have been just as happy with something much shorter. Or even a more traditional Intamin like the 10 looper at Thorpe. I'm still wondering why we haven't seen another one of these. It's a great ride.
I could be wrong, but didn't CP say somewhere, when TTD first opened up, that LIMS would take twice the amount of "Runway" to reach 120mph. If that's the case then there is no way (as of right now)to put LIMS in.
BUTTtttt...What if S$S came into the picture. I wonder how possible it would be for S$S to change over the Intamin launch?
Though I don't see any of the abvove ever happening. CP/Intamin just need to find a cable that can handle this job.
It seems to me that it's not just the cable that is the problem. I say that, because there are SOooo many other cables out there that do relatively the same job as TTD just in a different place. I'm wondering how much TTD "troff" is becoming the problem for the cable (ie, it's causing more friction that it should). Or how much the pulleys and powerhouse are effectting the proopeties of the steel in the cable thus causing it to fray.
As many problems as the cable has been having, it just doesn't seem like fixing the cable will fix the problems (unless they change it every 2 weeks $$$.)