Gwazi/Roar question

So, Gwazi and Roar west both opened in 1999. Why did Roar get the GCI trains, while Gwazi got the PTC trains? Was it cheaper to get the PTCs, or is there some other reason?

coastin' since 1985

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
Since it was at the transition of exclusively PTC to exclusively GCI, I would guess either BG opted for a "tried and true" or perhaps cheaper set of trains and Marine Land decided to try out the new trains OR, the MFlyers weren't quite ready yet when the papers were signed.

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

Jason Hammond's avatar
After Talking to the guys at GCI they would love to change out the remainding PTC's for MF's. They are doing it to the Hershey Wildcat this year.

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rollergator's avatar
I'd guess that Gwazi needed more trains than GCI could have had available for it. This year, 2007, is the first year that SIX(!) MFlyers have been built, right? As GCI is a small but growing company, and only got into the TRAINS aspect more recently, there was probably NO WAY they could have gotten MFlyers built for Gwazi (4) and Roar West (2) at the same time...

Wonder if GCII needs any *more* help? ;)

P.S. Since this has come up a few times...Gwazi is indeed *open* 12 months a year. But in calculating the age/wear-and-tear, it IS important to note that Lion and Tiger get ALOT of "rest breaks", where one is working while the other one takes a snooze. I'd say they really run *almost* twice as much as your ordinary wooden coaster...but not near the 3x that is often stated for year-round rides (say, Ghostie for instance).

An article in Roller Coaster magazine discussed how GCII's Mike Boodly had to convince Gary Story to allow him to put the Millennium Flyers on the CA version of Roar and assured him that the coaster could be modified to run PTC's with minimal effort if the MF's didn't work out as planned. I'm going to guess that Mike tried to convince Busch to let him do that with Gwazi and wouldn't go for it so he approached Six Flags the same way. Then again, as gator said, building six trains for Gwazi (Gwazi DOES have six trains total, I believe) might not have been possible within whatever time frame GCII was working with.
^^And don't forget all the "resting" that takes place between dispatches :) Perhaps we should change the overall operation to 1.75 times the rate of a seasonal coaster.

*** Edited 2/7/2007 3:13:25 PM UTC by Jeffrey Seifert***

That's probably a little more accurate. It's not like Gwazi's crew is lightning fast! The Phoenix completes three or four laps in the amount of time it takes Gwazi to complete one.
rollergator's avatar
Pretty sure Gwazi only has the four...there's none in the storage areas when there's two running on either side...

But the operations policy per Busch is rider sits, seatbelts checked (slowly), then the train ops have to somehow get the attention of the board ops to release the lapbars...after those are checked, THEN the train can be released. once it returns to the station, all riders must exit BEFORE the gates open for the next train. Is that a slower way of doing things than at most places? ;)

I swear I once saw (or thought I saw) two trains running on each track (well, running on one track and idle on the other) and a third in the storage shed. But I could be wrong.

The load/unload procedure is so ludicrous, it's really comical.

rollergator's avatar
^ Hit the hospitality house first. The line doesn't go any faster, but you care less... ;)
*** Edited 2/7/2007 8:05:26 PM UTC by rollergator***

Jason Hammond said:
After Talking to the guys at GCI they would love to change out the remainding PTC's for MF's. They are doing it to the Hershey Wildcat this year.

Perhaps if things go well with Wildcat's new trains & ridership improves that may be enough to convince SFI to make the switch?

It worked on the Premier launchers when paramount led the charge in 01 with SFI following suit the following year.

I can't see Busch or SF making the switch unless the PTC's become unbearable or a maintenance headache. I'm guessing GCII's good relationship with Hershey is something that made this possible.
rollergator's avatar
Rob, I think there was also *something* mentioned about Wildcat's trains being "near the end of their lifespan". I recall from the GCII tour that the *anticipated* life of a coaster train is about 10-15 years. Wildcat turned 10 this past season, so....

Seems short to me, since most trains are refurbed SO completely every year, but I'd take GCII's guess over mine *every* time... ;)

Given our guesstimate of "double usage" for Gwazi, that means the trains are at *about* year 14...near the end of their life-cycle under any circumstances. I believe the one Tiger train was even wearing was shaking pretty bad, and even said something about "getting off the lawn"... ;)

Actually, Chris (GCII) once told me that Gwazi was estimated to be three times its actual age, which makes it something like 24 years old now.

I had no idea that there was an expected life span for PTC rolling stock. It seems to me that a lot of PTC trains can last a lot longer than 10-15 years if properly maintained. Don't Thunderhawk's trains date back to the early 80's? The Phoenix has car bodies that are 20 years old but the chassi date back to when the ride was built in 1947. But maybe twisters are harder on trains than less convoluted out-and-backs?

I could see BGA/T getting new trains. On the other hand, I imagine SFA doesn't have the coin to spend on train upgrades (unless there's a maintenance cost benefit).

SF doesn't have the money to do anything, yet they still do. But I can see where you're going with this- if one of the two were going to be more compelled to make the switch, it would likely be BGA. After all, they're ditching SheiKra's brand-new trains for floorless ones.
rollergator's avatar
LOL, I can see where GCII would estimate Gwazi at 3x chronological age...those guys don't spend enough time at BGA to see how often the ride ISN'T running.... ;)

LOL! :)

P.S. Do we know that SheiKra isn't "retrofitting" the existing trains? Seems more likely, cost/benefit wise...
Then again, cost/benefit wise, I still say the wrong coaster is getting new trains...

Maybe they speed up operations when the GCII folks are in town? ;)

Referencing another active topic, do the "new" trains on SheiKra make it a ride to count twice?

ApolloAndy's avatar

rollergator said:Is that a slower way of doing things than at most places?

Don't get me started on Deja Vu. For a ride with a single train, designing the seats in idiotic configurations then making the ops do two restraint checks when they can't see each other clearly is like just asking for nightmarish capacity.

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."

Gwazi does have 6 trains, but two are kept in storage so they can always have spares.

That means GCI would have to build SIX MF trains just for Gwazi if they put those trains on there. With the way business is going with them, they'll have to hire even more people if they want to do that. Either that, or get started on those six trains really early.

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