Japanese Coasters: Why all the stairways?

Saturday, January 26, 2002 2:29 AM
After looking at many, many photos from multiple parks around Japan, I have noticed that almost all of them have a stairway next to he whole circuit. Does anyone know why this is? My only geuss is that it is a required standard in Japan for ride inspection. Anyone know more?
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Saturday, January 26, 2002 3:03 AM
Hey

This is part of safty regulations in Japan due to it being such a high Earthquake region. Most coasters are fitted with starways but not all.

Cheers --- Dave

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Saturday, January 26, 2002 3:40 AM
I'm not too sure about this. Nasai said that after a rainstorm, several employees walked along the track of Steel Dragon 2000 drying off the rails with towels! :)
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Saturday, January 26, 2002 4:18 AM
The stairways are for climbing!
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Saturday, January 26, 2002 4:56 AM
The only coaster I rode over there that didn't have stairs was Big Thunder Mountain at Tokyo Disneyland.  Perhaps Disney got special permission because of the big fake mountain. 

I can't quote Japanese law, but I'm pretty sure it's just a requirement.

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- Peabody

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Saturday, January 26, 2002 7:05 AM
That makes sense, being in an earthquake-prone region. Probably for quick evacuation in the event of an emergency.
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Saturday, January 26, 2002 7:22 AM
I always thought it was for the tourists to see the coaster but not actually ride it...
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Out of the coasters i've ridden here is wat i rank them overall:(ive been to canobie lake and SFNE)
1. S:RoS 2. Yankee Cannonball 3. Riverside Cyclone 4. Canobie Corkscrew 5. Thunderbolt 6. Galaxy 7. Mind Eraser 8. Dragon coaster 9. poison ivy's tangled
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Saturday, January 26, 2002 7:31 AM
You're kidding, right!?
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- Peabody
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Saturday, January 26, 2002 7:57 AM
Kevin,  yeah.... that is what I had seen with SD2K.  Weird stuff there.  The stairs are definitely there for many reasons, but chiefly for inspection purposes.  Japan, obviously, is a very high earthquake zone, especially near Mt Fuji.  (Fujikyu highlands comes to mind) and in the southern areas next to Kobe, and Kyoto.  Since there are many parks near these zones, along with the population, parks are hugely aware of the risks and build the coasters with this in mind.  When I was in Nagoya last summer, I watched a large crew walk the stairs after a major rainstorm, and towel off the entire Steel Dragon.  I was literally amazed at the care, and over the top maintenance that they have for their rides.  Ask Peabody....the White Cyclone is WHITE.  I have never seen such upkeep.
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Saturday, January 26, 2002 9:38 AM

nasai said:
I watched a large crew walk the stairs after a major rainstorm, and towel off the entire Steel Dragon. 

Wow! How long did that take?

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Saturday, January 26, 2002 10:51 AM
They did the coaster in about 45 minutes.  Then it started raining again, so I went to the pools.  After the rain, they started the same thing over again.  I had never seen this done before.  Has anyone else seen such a thing?
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Saturday, January 26, 2002 11:41 AM
I don't know about the earthquake prone theory. California is an earthquake prone zone too, and we don't have all those stairs.
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Saturday, January 26, 2002 11:52 AM
Maybe they should come to America and see the advantage the enthusiasts se with a wet track :)
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Saturday, January 26, 2002 12:13 PM
It isn't a theory regarding earthquakes.  Unlike the U.S., Japan deals with heavy loss of life in major earthquakes, mostly due to the congested population.  They have a shaky "trigger finger," so to speak.  They are very careful and do very heavy inspections, and again, they used the walkways, when I saw them, to wipe the coaster down, and get it in shape for the day.   SD2K, at least, has a huge need for speed to get over the large 2nd and 3rd hills, so water really slows the ride down significantly.  A dry track is the only option.  It does NOT run in rain.  You can get drenched on White Cyclone, though:)
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Saturday, January 26, 2002 12:21 PM

nasai said:
Has anyone else seen such a thing?

I haven't seen a traditional coaster dried like that, but I have seen La Vibora (Intamin bobsled) at SFOT dried with towels and leaf blowers.  That ride cannot run under any wet conditions.

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Saturday, January 26, 2002 1:26 PM
Why would it matter if a coaster has wet rails? Wouldn't the rain make the track slippery, thereby increasing the speed of the train? I wouldn't think they would be concerned with the ride being a bit faster than usual, unless it would mess up the blocking system or brakes.
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Saturday, January 26, 2002 1:51 PM
No, the rain does not work in favor of metal or grease.  Without getting too adult on a family forum, let me say just one thing...   if you are married and you want to 'know' your spouse, you might want to steer clear of the pool, as the water makes 'knowing' difficult.  Get my drift???
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Sunday, January 27, 2002 4:28 AM
There's people on this site that would really like to "know" SD2K...:)
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Without the chaindog, you'd never get up the lifthill...
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Sunday, January 27, 2002 4:58 AM
Of course im Joking....hehe

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Out of the coasters i've ridden here is wat i rank them overall:(ive been to canobie lake and SFNE)
1. S:RoS 2. Yankee Cannonball 3. Riverside Cyclone 4. Canobie Corkscrew 5. Thunderbolt 6. Galaxy 7. Mind Eraser 8. Dragon coaster 9. poison ivy's tangled

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Sunday, January 27, 2002 5:49 AM
The mixture of water and oil or grease can result in very low rolling friction.  However rails are usually only lubricated on woodies.  I've noticed little or any difference in the behaviour of steel coasters in the rain.

Other than a danger of getting water in poorly sealed bearings or a lack of shielding in the car design to keep riders from getting hit by the spray, I see no need to dry the track of a steel coaster.  A properly designed and built coaster shouldn't have either of these problems running on wet track, and obviously many, many steel coaster operate sucessfully in the US, Canada, and Europe without drying the track.

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