Holding trains off line

Tuesday, July 30, 2002 5:57 AM

Why do parks often operate coasters with fewer than the maximum number of trains? I can understand on light attendance days that the additional delays to guests might be slight while allowing the park to reduce their maintenance cost by cutting down the mileage one or two of the trains get. But why do they do it on heavy attendance days?

What brings this to mind is SFGAm's operation of Shockwave on Saturday, July 27. My children and I arrived in the queue about 1:30 pm. We waited for 45 minutes to arrive at the station. The park decided then to put the third train on the track. I figured on a 5 to 10 minute wait. The delay stretched to 20 minutes, and finally a ride op announced an indefinite delay for technical difficulties. We left the line. I am upset at SFGAm's ride operations department that they would have had a train off-line anytime on a Saturday in July.

While it had been raining in the area that morning, it was easy to see from watching The Weather Channel around 9:30 am that the storms would likely clear sometime between noon and 1 pm and the park would likely fill later. Why would the park not have full ride capacity ready to go on an expected high-attendance day? What am I missing?

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Revised projection for 2002: 35 parks & 120 coasters. 21 & 82 through 7/18

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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 6:25 AM

I don't understand this either. We had the exact same thing happen on B:KF at SFWoA last year. It was also a Saturday in July right arounf 1pm. We waited about 1 1/2 hours in line; then when we got finally got up to the station, they decided to add another train. And of course, they had problems with the transfer track. It took about 45 minutes for them to sort everything out.

You would think on a Saturday (or Sunday for that matter) in the middle of summer you'd start off with all the trains running.

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Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein
Favorite Wood: Viper(SFGAm), Legend (HW)
Favorite Steel: MF (CP), Mamba (WoF)

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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 7:34 AM
Hershey Park is notorious for holding off another train for the Great Bear.
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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 7:38 AM
Hey is my two cents. There is no difference between two or three trains. If you are running three trains the third train is just sitting on the brake run. If they are running two when the first one leaves the station the second one pulls right in therefore no stacking. The line would be the same wether or not it is two or three trains running.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 7:43 AM

CoasterBGW said:
Hey is my two cents. There is no difference between two or three trains. If you are running three trains the third train is just sitting on the brake run. If they are running two when the first one leaves the station the second one pulls right in therefore no stacking. The line would be the same wether or not it is two or three trains running.

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Many B&Ms that run three trains will run with one on the lift, one past the brake run and one in the station. Raging Bull is a good example of this. When I was at Great America this last week, they were only running two trains and the lines moved noticibly slower than when they run three trains.

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Bob Hansen

A proud CoasterBuzz Member

"So you think your'e really brave, gonna see the DEMONS cave.
You silly dude, your'e only food, for the DEMON"

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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 7:46 AM
Sometimes they are performing routine maintenance on a train. I have seen this on Phantom's Revenge. You can see the guy under the train on the service track wrenching on it and then an hour or two later, they put it back on the track. It's just too bad that it take a long time some times to get it back on the track.

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The worst day at Cedar Point is better than the best day at work.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 7:48 AM

Kick The Sky said:
Many B&Ms that run three trains will run with one on the lift, one past the brake run and one in the station. Raging Bull is a good example of this. When I was at Great America this last week, they were only running two trains and the lines moved noticibly slower than when they run three trains.

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Bob Hansen

A proud CoasterBuzz Member

"So you think your'e really brave, gonna see the DEMONS cave.
You silly dude, your'e only food, for the DEMON"



My best example is the Mamba and I've noticed on many occasions that the difference between 2 trains and 3 trains is big, the line never stops moving when there's 3. I've also watched them transfer a 2nd or 3rd train on and they've never taken more than 5-10 minutes.

When there's 1 train I just go home.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 7:51 AM

This happens to me all the time at SFEG. I have to wait 45minutes due to 1 train operation on Twister II. My only guess as to why they would do this at any park is to lower the risk of two trains colliding in the station. I know it kinda sounds stupid but that is my best guess.

It would really benefit parks to always have the maximum amount of trains and keep the lines short, because waiting in lines is what everybody dreads about amusement parks.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 8:04 AM

CoasterBGW said:
Hey is my two cents. There is no difference between two or three trains. If you are running three trains the third train is just sitting on the brake run. If they are running two when the first one leaves the station the second one pulls right in therefore no stacking. The line would be the same wether or not it is two or three trains running.

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If this were true, why would the manufacturer/park bother with 3 trains?

I've seen plenty of times on Bull (to name 1 coaster) where there's a train on the lift, another mid-course and one loading. With only 2 running, there would be one on the lift and one mid-course with a lot of people waiting impatiently in the station.

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Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein
Favorite Wood: Viper(SFGAm), Legend (HW)
Favorite Steel: MF (CP), Mamba (WoF)

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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 8:08 AM

This topic has been heavily discussed previously: here and here.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 9:01 AM

jive said:


My best example is the Mamba and I've noticed on many occasions that the difference between 2 trains and 3 trains is big, the line never stops moving when there's 3. I've also watched them transfer a 2nd or 3rd train on and they've never taken more than 5-10 minutes.

When there's 1 train I just go home.



WellI've seen them transfer the train on the hotest part of the day (going from 2 to 1 trains) and it took them over an hour to do it. The line was then 2 hours long.

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Chris Knight
Jeff, Did you forget to feed the Raptor again? That Raptor is not in a good mood. See http://www.orlandosentinal.com/business/tourism/orl-asecbirds19071902jul19.story?coll=orl%2Dbusiness%2Dheadlines%2Dtourism and you know what I mean.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 9:56 AM

CP ismyhome said:
Sometimes they are performing routine maintenance on a train. I have seen this on Phantom's Revenge. You can see the guy under the train on the service track wrenching on it and then an hour or two later, they put it back on the track. It's just too bad that it take a long time some times to get it back on the track.

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The worst day at Cedar Point is better than the best day at work.

I was there last week too, and I noticed the same thing. I finally figured out that they usually only use a three train operation if the 2nd queue house is full. I might be wrong, but this is the pattern I have noticed over the past year or so.

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Cedar Point-America's Roller Coast.


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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 10:26 AM
Shockwave hasn't been running the third yellow train much this year at SFGAm. The lines for Shockwave are usually very short but the past few weeks I have seen the line longer than Bulls line. Its probally better that you left the line before waiting the 45 Minutes because you would have been kicking yourself later in the day since its alwasys walk on from about 4p.m. til closing.

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Deja Vu Count = 23
CoasterWorld

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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 10:44 AM
On some coasters, like Twister II that Rubberducky mentioned, ride operators need a seperate certification in order to run the ride with multiple trains. If you don't have operators who know the ride with multiple trains, then the park cannot put the other train on the tracks.

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"Standing in line to see the show tonight and there's a light on, heavy glow, by the way I tried to say I'd be there."-The Red Hot Chili Peppers

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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 10:55 AM
This has been rought up before. On most coasters, there is no difference between 2 or 3 trains running. It is all about dispatch timing.

(this changes on coasters that have seperate load and unload stations..)

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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 1:38 PM
At CP most of the time the lines move fast and considering a lot of there coasters have 3 trains and they always seem to run all of them. At PKI on the Beast sometimes on week days they will run 2 trains and the line will move noticble slower. Most of the time a train waits on the brake run but it still moves faster with 3 trains. I normally get mad when I goto a park and they only run one train when it can run two. I.E. I went to Dorney on a Thursday and Thunder Hawk had just one train on. Even though it was a walk on we had to wait a few minutes and I just don't like to wait when there is no reason to. Is it really much more work for those poor employees. With one train they do just about nuthing all day. One more thing, I was thinkin if CP had like SOB they would probally run 3 trains on it. They would be fast enough on it and it would never have a long line. PKI has most of the time 3 employees working it. 2 check restraints and one runs it. I know why Raptor is such a fast line and the employees are good. Because they have like 9 employees workin it. They almost always run 3 trains on that.
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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 5:31 PM
The ride sometimes isn't even certefied to run all the trains. This was the case for the opening week of Xcelerator. Extra trains=extra sensors, maintanance, and labor. There is no excuse to run 1 train on a saturday, though.
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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 8:35 PM
SFTL is bad about not running maximum trains. They almost always have two running on Batman but on the Boss and Mr Freeze they never run 3 and 2. It makes the possible short lines become long and it drives me nuts because when they do have two trains running on Mr Freeze, they never time them so they are ready to go right away!
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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 9:47 PM

I think it is harder to transfer inverted trains, but I could be wrong...

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