Has Thunderbolt Express ever run?

Sunday, March 3, 2002 7:51 AM
Has the Arrow launched loop at Camden ever run while it was sittting there, or has it always been dormant?

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Off with the trims!
My fellow Americans; Let's Roll!
http://www.woodencoaster.com

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Sunday, March 3, 2002 8:00 AM
I believe that it used to operate, for at least a while, after it was moved to Camden from Kings Island. However, because of Camden`s lack of funds to maintain it, they`ve chosen to let it stand to face the elements on its own. RIP Screamin` Deamon. Shaggy would probably know more.

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I`ve ridden Son of Beast 67 times!

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Sunday, March 3, 2002 9:45 AM
As far as I understand the situation, the ride ran from the time of installation up until last season when it was said to be closed for the season for maintenance. I believe the intent was to reopen it for the 2002 season.

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"When I was growing up, we were taught something called manners. You'd understand that if you weren't such an idiot." - Jack Handey

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Sunday, March 3, 2002 2:49 PM
I too want this historic gem to see a new life. It was my first inverted coaster. It was closed in 2000 when I was there, but the restraints still work! :) Don't ask....

Does anyone have pics of it from its days at KI? I need some for modeling reference.
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Don't.....look.....back! The Headless Horseman awaits you in 2002!
http://www.angelfire.com/oh4/tk173/modelsmenuindex.html

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Sunday, March 3, 2002 6:04 PM
Sure, it used to run. I've ridden it. In fact, I have POV video of it, trouble is I shot it on 8mm so I don't have any way to play it back right now.....

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
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Monday, March 4, 2002 7:43 AM

kpjb said:
As far as I understand the situation, the ride ran from the time of installation up until last season when it was said to be closed for the season for maintenance.


It's last season was the summer of 99 which was a very inconsistent season for the ride.

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Monday, March 4, 2002 7:45 AM

Arrow Guy said:
I too want this historic gem to see a new life. It was my first inverted coaster. It was closed in 2000 when I was there, but the restraints still work! Don't ask....


This ride won't open again in my opinion. From what i've heard the replacement parts are extremely hard to find and there are some significant problems with the ride's mechanical system. Also, this one's not an invert arrow guy. it's an arrow shuttle looper.

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Monday, March 4, 2002 8:24 AM
Perhaps Camden can contact Six Flags and purchase some Black Widow parts that are sitting in a field at Old Indiana.
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Monday, March 4, 2002 8:32 AM

I rode the Thunderbolt Express at Camden in 1999, it ran from 1 PM - Closing. The ride was much the same as when it stood at Kings Island, rough in the front and smooth in the back.

Fun Spot also has an Arrow shuttle looper, the Afterburner, which was SBNO for much of the 2000 season. However, it opened with the park in 2001 and ran perfectly the entire season. As for parts, I think there are available, but costly.

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Monday, March 4, 2002 9:04 AM
Johnathan: I'm pretty certain that Arrow Guy said "inverted" to mean a coaster that goes upside down in a loop.

An Arrow Shuttle Loop was my first "inverted" coaster also - Lightning Loops at Great Adventure! I'd love to experience the launch and steep dip of these coasters again.

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everything's better with a banjo

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Monday, March 4, 2002 10:26 AM
Obtaining parts is not the hard part.

Purchasing them might well be. The ride never seemed to be very popular when it was operating...whatever it needs to make it fully functional may have too small of a ROI to be reasonable for a park like Camden.

Pure speculation on my part, of course...!

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Monday, March 4, 2002 3:34 PM
Johnathan, if anyone knows their Arrow rides, it's me :) I referred to it having an inversion. It was my first looping ride, in July of '82....ahhh the memories! Batman at SFGAm was my first "Inverted" coaster, the kind you refer to.

And parts for these can't be obsolete....there are three running in great condition as of this writing, and a couple more that need homes. ;)
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Don't.....look.....back! The Headless Horseman awaits you in 2002!
Model coasters and rides

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Monday, March 4, 2002 3:44 PM
I went last season, and the "park ranger" told me that the computer went out on it, and would cost $35,000 to replace. He said it would be open this season. I also asked if they'd repaint it, he said "maybe". I hope they open it again, I was too small to ride it at PKI.

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smile...it's cheap, and people will wonder what you're up to. :)

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Monday, March 4, 2002 3:52 PM

thank you for straightening out what you meant arrow guy, i totally understand now. :-)

concerning the parts issue. the arrow "shuttle loop" design has not been an active part of the arrow rolling stock for years now. i totally agree with Rideman's post. the parts may be easy to find but very price prohibitive. keep in mind that camden park is basically a ma & pa run park that has generally struggled financially over the last 10-12 years. though just in the last season a significant rise in attendance at the park has led to more extensive marketing and incentive programs to raise park attendance further.

in the past camden park has marketed their rides historically. they want people to know that the big dipper is an ace classic coaster that was built during a very significant slump in the amusement industry. they also want people to know that this ride is a favorite of many enthusiasts. these kinds of things build the parks reputation as a significant player in the regional amusement industry......not necessarily for world class thrills but for historical relevance.

if camden park would repair the thunderbolt express and pursue marketing the ride as one of the nation's "first steel looping rollercoasters" they could significantly increase the amount of visitors to the park while also further increasing it's significance to the amusement industry.

for these reasons i would love to see a rebirth of the thunderbolt express but honestly i don't believe that camden park has the foresight to take on an endeavor of the price or magnitude. if you disagree please tell me why......i would love to hear someone else's opinion on this.

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Monday, March 4, 2002 4:45 PM
I disagree, sort of. I think they do have all intentions of running it again. Maybe not for 2002, but they do have a looping coaster in a drawing/logo on their site. Also, how long can they let that thing sit without operating? In the middle of an operating park with just two wood coasters, a steel looper will raise questions that they will get sick of answering.

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Off with the trims!
My fellow Americans; Let's Roll!
Woodencoaster.com

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Monday, March 4, 2002 6:19 PM

Well, it has sat idle for 2 1/2 years now so time will tell.

I have not ridden the coaster. I did not ride it as Screamin Demon at KI and have only been to Camden once... that was enough. IF they re-open it, I would perhaps visit to say I have ridden it.

Buuuuut....

I have always "heard" that the ride is not operational because of the cost of repairing it, as well as the fact that it will not pass a state inspection.

If it cannot pass an inspection, then I am sure I do not want to ride ;-) Anyway, there is something much scarier there.... ride the cable cars. OIY!

Shaggy

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Shaggy
A.K.A. John K.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2002 6:50 AM
I heard the ride, and the rolling stock in particular, was in horrible condition when it last operated. If the ride needs a new train, then operation of the coaster might be beyond Camden's current reach. Although I fail to see why Six Flags would charge an obsense amount for parts from one of their stored Arrow shuttles, seeing as how they are making NO money sitting in fields. Any money would be better than no money, right?
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Tuesday, March 5, 2002 6:55 AM
So thats the ride my Dad kept talking about. When it was at PKI, my dad rode it (supposedly) for 40 min straight, since no one was in line. I was wee, so I was off in Hanna Barbera land with Mom.

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Live on the edge and remember the Twist of Fate.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2002 12:40 PM
Joe, does your dad (or anyone) have any pics of it from KI? I am in desperate need of some. Sure I have lots from Camden but do not remember KI's landscaping/ queue setup. All I remember is climbing the 9,856 steps and wanting to get off! My first words described it like Peppermint Patty in her waterbed.....Peanuts fans will understand! As for a new train, I didn't notice anything major, although there was minor cracking in the fiberglass and the wheels were some sort of black hard rubber compound, which rubbed off easily. Those should be replaced!

Tinkerbell, that sounds much more reliable than the story I was given when Fun Spot's didn't run. Something about "an animal got in there and messed up the wiring"....boy was I ticked! Esp. after waiting 6 years to ride it.
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Don't.....look.....back! The Headless Horseman awaits you in 2002!
Model coasters and rides

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Tuesday, March 5, 2002 12:56 PM
Hey Arrow Guy, great animation on your site. I even saved it as an active desktop item :)

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Off with the trims!
My fellow Americans; Let's Roll!
Woodencoaster.com

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