Life Expectancy of Steel Coasters

Thursday, February 21, 2002 1:57 PM
As the coasters get bigger and bigger, what do you think will be the average life expectancy of B&M or Intamin coasters?

How long do you think the first Beemer, Iron Wolf, will last? I'm asking because after seeing a relativley young Arrow coaster (Drachen Fire) go away before it's due time (IMO) and many other Arrows before that having been dismantled, and left to rust (Black Widow) the first B&M is still standing. Many people dislike Iron Wolf and claim it is rough. Some say that is exactly what led to Drachen Fire's demise. 

I also wonder how long in you're opinions hypers will last. I'm mainly wondering about Intamin and B&M rides like MF, Superman: Ride of Steel, Raging Bull, Nitro etc.

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Coasterbuzz Ruined My Life!

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Thursday, February 21, 2002 2:02 PM
They will remains as long as they dont get too rough or unsafe, Many of Arrows first creations still stand, Canobie Corkscrew was first built in 76' i think and is still operating, Black Widow would have operated but Six Flags decided not to open that park. Drachen Fire had bad connections if you will and caused it to be a lot more rougher than it should have been, Therefor it was/is dismanteled.
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Out of the coasters i've ridden here is what 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 tangl
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Thursday, February 21, 2002 2:41 PM
There is a huge difference from Iron Wolf and Drachen Fire... Iron Wolf is popular. Even on days with relativly light crowds, Iron Wolf maintains a line, usually filling the whole train. From the stories I've heard, Drachen Fire didn't do that.  Drachen Fire's demize was due to lack of popularity, not roughness (though roughness was a reason for it being not popular, but so was the location.)
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I still have no signature.
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Thursday, February 21, 2002 3:15 PM
I still gotta say out of all the coasters at SFGAM I find Iron Wolf the roughest and least comfortable there and mind you this is teh same park that has Shockwave.
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Does CCI know how to make a bad coaster?
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Thursday, February 21, 2002 4:05 PM
Well, how much longer would you expect a coaster like Iron Wolf to be open?
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Coasterbuzz Ruined My Life!
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Thursday, February 21, 2002 5:27 PM
I think that B&M's are gonna be around for awhile, as they're built so well.... I can't see them becoming that much bumpyier, so I think they should last longer than the typical arrow coaster

How about the Canadian Womens Hockey Team beating the American Team 3-2? ! GO CANADA GO

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GO CANADA GO! GO CANADA GO! GO CANADA GO!GO CANADA GO! GO CANADA GO! GO CANADA GO!GO CANADA GO! GO CANADA GO! GO CANADA GO!

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Thursday, February 21, 2002 5:36 PM
Ozzyhead, I'd expect to see it around longer than Whizzer, Demon, and Shockwave. If it were to be removed, I'm sure it would still live on at one of the so-called "teir 2" parks of Six Flags. When is the last time you rode it, anyways? It's really not bad at all anymore with the new restraints. Sure, it's still rough and headbangs, but it doesn't hurt because it's so soft, unlike the old plastic hard-as-a-rock restraints.

If you want to use an example of a coaster that might go thats also at SFGAm, use Shockwave. That thing almost never has a line longer than Iron Wolf, except in the morning, for an obvious reason (location.)

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I still have no signature.

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Thursday, February 21, 2002 6:09 PM
I rode it during fright fest and let me tell you with the cold those restraints were hard as rocks.  Only time I refused to reride a coaster when the line was basically a walkon I rode Shockwave 3 times and loved every minute of it.
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Does CCI know how to make a bad coaster?
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Thursday, February 21, 2002 6:35 PM
I don't dislike Iron Wolf as much as shockwave, but lets face it, the both of them are pretty rough.  I think Wizzer, and the Demon will be around alot longer than the both of them, however, Iron wolf takes up a pretty small chunk of land, and the land shockwave takes up is just parking lot space, so they are in no hurry to get rid of either of them.  I do believe however that land is getting kind of precious at SFGAM, so we will see some rides go in the next couple of years, which one's?  Thats for the big wigs to decide.
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Thursday, February 21, 2002 6:48 PM
...depends a LOT on the layout...high-lateral machines, rides with more twisting elements, rides in poor-weather locations, all will probably require more long-term maintenance, but I see no reason they can't replace worn track as needed and keep 'em running a LONG time.  Rides with simpler out-n-back layouts, like AC, will probably also last, but wil require even less maintenance - look at Maggie (and she's a pretty old Arrow)!

Almost forgot, coo man chu, Canada can have hockey gold, as long as the US women continue kicking butt in hoops!  Says great things about international b-ball that the US men were FORCED to use professionals to regain dominance...great game...worldwide...can't wait for March (collegiate cagers tourney) - the Madness is beginning to take hold! 
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Florida needs an Intamin and/or CCI soon...PLEASE!
Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!

*** This post was edited by rollergator on 2/21/2002. ***

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Thursday, February 21, 2002 7:29 PM
The headbanging that people experience on Iron Wolf is not due to roughness. It is the tight, sudden, quick transitions of the track layout.
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Im going to grab a cold one! WHAT? Walk to my computer! WHAT? Turn the thing on! WHAT? Log on to Coasterbuzz! WHAT? I said log on to Coasterbuzz!! WHAT?WHAT?WHAT?
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Thursday, February 21, 2002 7:30 PM
Here's another angle on this question ...

What's some of the oldest operating steel coasters?  It may not be the oldest, but SFOT's Runaway Mine Train was built in 1966 and is still going strong with new improved trains added last year.  Some of us would even like to see some of the theming from previous years restored ...

Is maintenance of a steel coaster more or less labor and cost intensive than a woodie, all other things being equal? 

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Thursday, February 21, 2002 7:56 PM

Chitown said:
The headbanging that people experience on Iron Wolf is not due to roughness. It is the tight, sudden, quick transitions of the track layout.

Exactly. There's a big difference between "roughness" and a poorly designed transition. I think a lot of the Arrow loopers suffer from just one or two transitions that hurt, and that's all it takes to keep people from re-riding. Iron Wolf has a couple of bad ones, too, but I'm not sure I'd call it rough. Man, they've come a long way! 

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Without the chaindog, you'd never get up the lifthill...

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Thursday, February 21, 2002 8:32 PM
I think even "sudden" transitions can be smoothed out with proper BANKING of the track...in steelie terms, B:KF or Ga Scorcher are great examples.  For woodies, Roar.  Lots of turning twisting track, but nothing bangy.

gravityrules, steel is way more expensive to build, usuallly, but requires much less maintenance...it really does require a caring and talented crew to take GOOD care of wooden coasters, even moreso for twister-type layouts.  Otherwise, you'll just gets lots of trim brakes and even more "reasons" they're "needed"...not to say they're never needed, or even that they necessarily ruin the ride (Hi Jeff ;)) but they are WAY overused IMO...

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Florida needs an Intamin and/or CCI soon...PLEASE!
Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!

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Thursday, February 21, 2002 8:44 PM
I think a steel coaster's life depends on how much money the park wants to invest in maintence.  with unlimited funds, the park would work on these coasters all night, looking for rust, checking for all loose bolts, chain, and shainging old parts that are barely worn every day.  This would prevent the ride from deteriorating, but in reality, it doesn't happen.  It all boils down to the money and time that is being invested once the ride is built
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Thursday, February 21, 2002 8:49 PM
Well, a really good idea on what parks are doing to extend life expectancy on coasters is to take a look at my baby Excalibur http://www.coastergallery.com/2000/V13.html 

Now if you take a gander at the track replacements you'll see that Valleyfair has done a pretty solid job on being on top of replacing inferior track with replacements. My guess is that this is pretty common place in the industry, but I could be wrong.

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Excalibur Crew for 2002!

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Thursday, February 21, 2002 9:06 PM
Comparing the B&M coasters to the arrow coasters isn't fair. A 98 ford escort will most likely be running better than a 78 BMW. The oldest of the B&Ms are about the same vintage as the newest of the Arrows, with the couple obvious exceptions. The very first steel coaster is still operating (built by arrow, but that is irrelevant). Like any other mechanical device, a coaster can be run indefinitely, if you're willing to foot the repair bills.
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Friday, February 22, 2002 10:08 AM

gravityrules said:

What's some of the oldest operating steel coasters? 


The Matterhorn was the first coaster with tubular track and it is still going strong after over 40 years.  The steel frame of the Coney Island Cyclone is 75 this year and still functioning.  With proper maintenance, the life of a steel coaster should be pretty much indefinate.


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Friday, February 22, 2002 5:43 PM

TrBiggar said:
Ozzyhead, I'd expect to see it around longer than Whizzer, Demon, and Shockwave. If it were to be removed, I'm sure it would still live on at one of the so-called "teir 2" parks of Six Flags. When is the last time you rode it, anyways? It's really not bad at all anymore with the new restraints. Sure, it's still rough and headbangs, but it doesn't hurt because it's so soft, unlike the old plastic hard-as-a-rock restraints.
If you want to use an example of a coaster that might go thats also at SFGAm, use Shockwave. That thing almost never has a line longer than Iron Wolf, except in the morning, for an obvious reason (location.)
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I still have no signature.

Last time I rode Iron Wolf was on the last day of operation. Don't get me wrong though, I'm a big fan of this ride (right behind RB IMO), and same goes for the big blue guy at SFGAm who so many hate, I'm just asking from a nuetral standpoint, since I've heard many people talk bad about this excellent coaster.


What I mean, is if  coasters like Excalibur, or Matterhorn have lasted so long, and with technology improving since then, I'd expect a coaster like Millie, or Raging Bull around for a really long time.
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Coasterbuzz Ruined My Life!

*** This post was edited by Ozzyhead on 2/22/2002. ***

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Friday, February 22, 2002 5:53 PM
Well any one here who is a regular atendee at BGW or ha sbeen there and ridden nessie knows that coaster is about 25 years old now I don;t feel liek doing the very simple math but its around thre somewhere and that coaster still is very smooth and provides a great ride. that is my opinion of course but I think most people here will agree though.

and yeah df passed on as a result of unpopularity.

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All at once the ghosts come back reeling you in now.

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