Is it possible?

Thursday, September 11, 2003 8:23 AM
Hope this isn't an old topic, but I was wondering if it would be possible (however unlikely for whatever practical reasons) for a wooden coaster track to be placed on B&M style supports? I imagine some kind of substructure resembling typical woodies may be needed directly under the track, but is there anything keeping such a substructure from being placed on top of larger and fewer supports?

I can't imagine the ride would look necessarily all that good, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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Thursday, September 11, 2003 8:26 AM
I'm sure it is possible, isn't SOB's loop similar to what you are talking about (wooden track on a metal track frame)?
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Thursday, September 11, 2003 8:29 AM
That is what I'm thinking of and SOB is kind of what prompted my post. It is only on one feature though, and not the entire ride, which is more my interest. Maybe I am actually wondering what practical reasons keep this from being seen more too.

*** This post was edited by Dale Picolet 9/11/2003 12:32:40 PM ***
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Thursday, September 11, 2003 8:51 AM
I think if the same or similar type of spine as SoB's loop was used, it could definitely work. It would also make for an extremely smooth wooden coaster.

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-Mike Buscema

'No matter how skilled the designer is, every time we push the envelope we learn new things about coaster design.' --Dana Morgan
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Thursday, September 11, 2003 9:02 AM
Maybe cost. Maybe.

Or it could be that wood builders are just used to how they've been doing it, and so far theyre really hasn't been a need to move to anything different. I am sure it is possible, though.

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Thursday, September 11, 2003 9:36 AM
I would assume that a standard wooden coaster-style steel subframe would have to be constructed to span the gaps in between the supports (kinda like a Villain or Great White structure). If you have that, then I think it would be possible. I suppose it would add a new thrill to the experience, or at least make it possible to construct a wooden coaster in a weird spot, like entirely over a lake or over an entire amusement park.

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Thursday, September 11, 2003 9:36 AM
Why would it make "an extremely smooth wooden coaster?"

TECHNICALLY there are some wooden coasters out there that use steel supports, though these supports are designed using basic wooden coaster lattice work etc (examples: Great Escape's Comet, Coney Island's Cyclone, Moreys Piers' Great White, Martins Fantasy Island's Silver Comet, SFWoA's Villlian, etc). Some of these are smooth (Martin's Silver Comet), others are not (Great Escape's Comet, Morey's Piers' Great White two years ago).

Isn't it the style of track (traditional Wooden or tubular Steel) that makes the ride smooth or rough? A wooden track on B&M style supports would be only as smooth as the degree of maintenance would allow.

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Half of the people surveyed agree, half disagree and another half are unsure.

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Thursday, September 11, 2003 9:42 AM
I don't think that structure has anything to do with the smoothness of a wooden coaster- its what's on top that counts. The Great Escape Comet is a smooth wooden coaster with a steel structure, while the Great White was quite rough a few years back. Seems Morey's did some nice work during the off-season, as I had some of my best Great White rides ever this summer.

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Thursday, September 11, 2003 9:54 AM
I see your point, SLFAKE, but SoB's loop is uncharacteristically smooth. This is purely speculation on my part, but I would guess that the rigidity of the steel spine and track ties doesn't allow for as much track warpage as a typical wooden structure, or even steel lattice structure. Whatever the reason, the track on SoB's loop is definitely smoother than the rest of the coaster, and I would assume that if an entire coaster were built with this type of spine it would retain that smoothness throughout.

Like I said, purely speculation. I may be completely full of...er, excrement.

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-Mike Buscema

'No matter how skilled the designer is, every time we push the envelope we learn new things about coaster design.' --Dana Morgan
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Thursday, September 11, 2003 10:56 AM
Well because of the need of walkways, wouldn't it look kinda wierd?

I personally don't like wood coaster on steel supports, because the steel supports on say Villian where the track isnt as well maintained dont give, therefor making you feel every little bump, though Cornball Express is as smooth as glass.

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Boulderdashdashdash

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Friday, September 12, 2003 11:04 AM

SLFAKE said:


...Some of these are smooth (Martin's Silver Comet), others are not (Great Escape's Comet....


Woah woah woah, dude...

Great Escape's Comet is one of the smoothest woodies still out there.
I know... I was just out there towards the end of August, and it is probably one of the smoothest woodies out there with excellent air-time... even MORE smooth than Big Dipper at Worlds of Adventure (wood track, wood frame).

I think you better do a little research before you conclude anything, dude...
Oh, and BTW: Most/all of CCI's coasters were wood track with steel supports.

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Friday, September 12, 2003 11:12 AM
Well, he was expressing an opinion... it really has nothing to do with researching and coming to a conclusion! Its possible that his experiences on the GE Comet have not been as positive as many others.

And speaking of research, a quick jump over to RCDB shows me that only 10 of the 34 CCI coasters that they have listed were built with steel supports.... hardly what I would refer to as "most" or "all."

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Friday, September 12, 2003 11:15 AM
Dawg said: "I think you better do a little research before you conclude anything, dude..."

and then Dawg said: "Oh, and BTW: Most/all of CCI's coasters were wood track with steel supports."

Wha? Out of the 34 CCI woodies only 10 have steel bents, the other 24 are wood...hardly most/all. Perhaps someone else should do some research...? ;)

mOOSH

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*** This post was edited by Mamoosh 9/12/2003 3:15:45 PM ***

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Friday, September 12, 2003 11:15 AM
Wow, Moosh and I were thinking alike with that one ;)

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Friday, September 12, 2003 11:16 AM
Scary, Rob...scary! ;)

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Friday, September 12, 2003 11:18 AM
You're telling me! :)

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Friday, September 12, 2003 11:25 AM
Okay guys, break it up. ;)

Back on topic, I think you'd need lattice work not unlike intamin box track to span the supports. I don't remember seeing wood bedding for the rails on the SOB loop. Anyone know?

Otherwise, why not? Anybody have a picture of the skycoaster at Boblo Island?
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"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza

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Friday, September 12, 2003 11:35 AM
Like this, jf?

FYI, you know you could consider the "pioneer" of steel supported wood tracked coasters? Harry Traver. He even developed one that was portable!

mOOSH

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*** This post was edited by Mamoosh 9/12/2003 3:40:14 PM ***

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Friday, September 12, 2003 11:40 AM
SOB's loop is ALL steel. The coaster goes from the wood track into the steel loop then back onto the wood track. Its my favorite loop of all cause you can feel how diffrent wood and steel are. Main problem is steel vibrates alot and wood will crack becuase of that. This is a major concern with sob they are always making sure that section of track is in good condition.
*** This post was edited by TheRIckser 9/12/2003 3:40:53 PM ***
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Friday, September 12, 2003 11:50 AM
SOB's loop has standard laminated wooden track all the way through it. There is no difference in the rails. The only difference is in the use of a steel spine and steel track ties instead of wooden frames and wood track ties.

I was talking with a professional wood coaster engineer earlier this summer and he admitted that wood coasters are not optimized structures...that is, most wood coasters have a lot more structure in them than is needed to support the track and train. With that in mind, there really is no reason not to build the coaster on towers and piers as is done for steel coasters, except that some I-beams or other structural members near the track would be required to support the span between towers.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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