Goliath at SFNE + Rain

Friday, July 13, 2012 5:42 PM

I've been looking to make a trip out to Six Flags New England to try Goliath/Deja Vu, and was betting on Sunday to avoid crowds as it's supposed to rain.

Then, I noticed a small disclaimer on the park website: "Goliath is unable to operate in the rain."

I understand that taller rides close if there is lightning in the area, but I'm curious: is there something about Goliath that would make it unable to operate even in light rain? Is this innate to all Giant Inverted Boomerangs?

Saturday, July 14, 2012 10:10 AM

The Catchcars depend on the brake to hold the train and if everything is wet the brake could fail and cause the train to valley!

Sunday, July 15, 2012 1:34 PM

Oh, interesting. I didn't know a catch car was involved, always assumed it used a chain lift.

So do the brakes stop the train on the second tower, then the catch car attaches and pulls the train the rest of the way up? And are they just regular friction brakes or something else? I can see how having those fail would be not so good.

Sunday, July 15, 2012 7:24 PM

There are no brakes on either tower. The catch car holds the train in position on the towers until it is released. The brakes that are present at the bottom of the second tower and just outside the station are there should a miscatch happen so that the train doesn't valley in the ride course. Those will only engage should a miscatch occur. You'll know when those engage because it'll be loud. You could hear it at Great America across the park!!

The catch cars, however, are on a timer so if the ride is going through the course any faster or slower than the timers operate the movement of the catch cars up and down the towers you run into mechanical issues. If you look at the train, the "fins" that the catch car grab are only on the last 3 or 4 rows. Rain played a major factor in slowing the ride down which wouldn't sync with the timers.

Monday, July 16, 2012 12:50 PM

Thanks for the explanation! A catch car that meets a moving train sounds like a pretty impressive feat. I'm going to check out Goliath tomorrow and may spend more time watching the mechanical system than riding...

Monday, July 16, 2012 1:08 PM

Yes stand behind the towers and watch how the catch cars work and you will see how many moving parts have to work right. IMO they made these rides too complicated which is why they break down so much! The ride is a POS imo and im surprised that they sold these and that parks were stupid enough to buy them(only SF), which is why theres only a couple of them that are running in the US.

Monday, July 16, 2012 2:07 PM

It seemed like the one at Silverwood was running pretty consistently last year, on the day I was there at least.

Monday, July 16, 2012 4:40 PM

There's one in Spain and one in China as well as the three relocations (SFoG -> Mirabilandia, SFGAm -> Silverwood, SFMM -> SFNE).

I actually found the ride experience to be quite fun if not for the bad capacity (yeah, yeah) and the horrible reliability.

It did always strike me as playing with fire to try to make the catch car grab the train in motion and I've wonder if/why they didn't make it more like an anti-roll back with a bunch of ratchets that could grab the train at any point.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Monday, July 16, 2012 4:43 PM
Monday, July 16, 2012 5:43 PM

The moving catch car sounds cool on paper, but if it hasn't worked in practice then I'm surprised that the rides haven't been retrofitted with something like Andy suggested. Especially since (a) there has been ample opportunity with the relocations, and (b) the ride system [according to wikipedia] is 10+ years old. Did Vekoma just abandoned this design?

I'm excited to check it out regardless. That first vertical lift out of the station looks incredible and, judging from the POVs, the transition up into the second tower looks pretty seamless when everything is working as intended.

Last edited by Mobius, Monday, July 16, 2012 5:43 PM
Monday, July 16, 2012 7:01 PM

Keep in mind the Vekoma of today is not the same Vekoma that intially designed the GIB's. When the original Vekoma couldn't get the rides to run correctly (considering all 3 Six Flags models were delayed their first years) Six Flags filed a lawsuit for breach of contract that put Vekoma in bankruptcy and so ended what they once were.

I'm going from my GAm rides department memory because that's where I worked it/had the experience. I believe it was August of 2005 when the new Vekoma came in and observed cycles and reprogram the PLC but as always, it would run really well for a period of time and then crap out again.

It was totally understandable why it needed to leave as it just wasn't dependable and guests just came to expect some of the inevitable downtime issues.

When Silverwood bought the GAm Vu, I'm almost positive that they completely reset the program and "Un-Six Flagged" it so that it did begin to run more consistent. This ride does better in a park anyways that sees less attendance.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 3:20 PM

Well, when I got to the park yesterday morning Goliath was closed and the ride ops were running empty cars. I was told it had been closed for the past two days due to technical issues.

I went and did the rest of the park, then came back around 2pm and noticed that the queue was open. I jumped in line and waited maybe 10 minutes before boarding.

Sat in the last car, left "wing" seat. The lift out of the station, especially being in the very back, was one incredible. Having your entire body weight resting on those restraints is scary. The rest of the ride was kind of forgettable.

After a few hours, Goliath was back down for maintenance and as far as I know was closed for the rest of the day. For the short time that it was open, the ride capacity looked pretty bad.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 4:27 PM

Darn, not what I wanted to hear. I'll be spending a day at the park when I take an extended weekend up there for a Red Sox vs. Yankees game (better half's family lives close to the park), and was hoping to get a ride on it, but sounds like I'll have to be keeping an eye on it all day for a chance.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 4:40 PM

Yeah, I'm going back later this summer and hope that the problem will be worked out by then.

It would be nice if they'd post ride statuses online. Both Goliath and Bizarro had downtime issues yesterday, and together they sort of represent the main draw to the park.

Last edited by Mobius, Wednesday, July 18, 2012 4:40 PM
Wednesday, July 18, 2012 5:04 PM

Odd that Bizarro did, given how old and how (relatively) simple the design is. I must have some weird magic touch, because I've never been in a park with a GIB when it was down the whole day. (3 trips to MM, 1 to GAm, 2 to oG).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 6:02 PM

I think Bizarro had an issue where one of the trains was setting off a sensor that would lock it down. This would happen when it was about half way up the lift hill, so the second train could not get past the block brake and into the station. They reopened it running one train; not really a big deal.

Goliath had serious downtime. Didn't look like it ever valleyed or got stuck on a tower though, so I don't know what the problem was.

Last edited by Mobius, Wednesday, July 18, 2012 6:03 PM
Wednesday, July 18, 2012 10:31 PM

Mobius said:

It would be nice if they'd post ride statuses online. Both Goliath and Bizarro had downtime issues yesterday, and together they sort of represent the main draw to the park.

You can find out pretty much anything you want about SFNE here



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