When I was at Fright Fest, I rode the Whizzer while it was raining somewhat hard. On the way up the lift hill, I thought I noticed some sparks coming off of the first car (like right where the train meets the lifting device (not sure how it works)). Now, I realize that I could have been imagining these "sparks", but has anyone else ever noticed this? If so, do you know why this occurs? Thanks!
Speaking of whizzer: I notice that there appears to have once been separate areas for loading and unloading. The unloading area still appears intact adjacant to the storage tracks, although a chain rope has been installed to prevent people from accessing the platform.
Does anyone recall this separate unload / load operation? I am sure it would improve ride throughput if restored.
They don't use the unload platform because it's extremely unnecessary. The only restraint Whizzer has is a seatbelt, which means loading times for the ride are very quick. Additionally, there are only twelve seats for attendants to check, which even further speeds up loading times compared to a train with higher capacity. Unload platforms function to decrease load times by having trains already empty when they enter the load area. That way, the train can be dispatched as soon as the block ahead is clear. This isn't a problem on Whizzer, as loading times are already quicker than the time it takes for the train ahead to clear the block.
In other words, Whizzer crews are already able to load the train well before a dispatch is allowed. Thus, an unload platform would do nothing for capacity while costing the park more money for the number of employees who would have to be staffed to the unload platform.
-Nate *** Edited 11/26/2003 3:54:41 PM UTC by coasterdude318***
I see your point coasterdud, but you have to remember, it used to run with (I beleieve) four trains instead of the two we now have. With four trains, you would have stacking and as such if you only used the one platform, you would be holding people captive until they got to that one station, hence the need for a separate unload station. *** Edited 11/26/2003 4:09:15 PM UTC by redman822***
Yes, but it only runs with (max) three trains now. Thus, it's unnecessary to use it to attempt to increase capacity at this point, especially on a 25+ year old ride. And even with four trains, it'd be possible to operate the ride without the unload station functioning.
Anyway back to the Sparks on Noveber 2nd the last day. I also saw those spark you saw. Dave there not supposed to run Whizzer in rain but they did. Also right as I was getting off I saw you getting on. Iam surprized you didnt see the sparks.
Anyone who really knows the answer to this feel free to correct me because I want to know what it really is if I am wrong... but this was my best guess when I noticed the Wildcat sparking up a storm this summer at Cedar Point...
If you look at Schwarzkopf coasters like the Wildcat models, Whizzer, etc. you will notice the sparks between the wheels and the track. I believe this is electrostatic discharge caused by the material (polyurethane or nylon?) of the wheels rubbing against the steel tracks. If you look at the back of Intamin coasters you will see a metal strip that drags along the track positioned behind the right rear wheel. My hypothesis is that this metal strip acts as a ground to prevent the sparks caused by these two materials constantly rubbing on each other. It isn't anything that can hurt you unless you introduce something highly flammable to the area. I have also noticed the sparks with most Schwarzkopf coasters. Seems like a normal problem that Intamin later addressed with their rides.
So the contact rail has current flowing through it and there is a collector on each car, (is this like an accumulator?) that collects this current and powers up the motor. The motor then propels the two wheels that sit on the guide rail to move the car forwards? You're thinking that this has something to do with the sparks when it is raining? How big of sparks are you seeing on this? Does it spark anywhere else on the track?
(I am sitting here at work being bored and want to solve this mystery now instead of writing my report for art history...)
Holydumb26 said: Anyway back to the Sparks on Noveber 2nd the last day. I also saw those spark you saw. Dave there not supposed to run Whizzer in rain but they did. Also right as I was getting off I saw you getting on. Iam surprized you didnt see the sparks.
Umm, I think you mixed up your CoasterDude's.
I saw it sparking on November 2nd as well, it looked like it was the metal up-stop plate (don't know the technical name for it) hitting the track. Two metal objects scrapping together thus causing sparks.
Whizzer doesn't run in the rain because of the tires that bring the train into the station and stop the train. Since Whizzer has no roof over the station, those tires easily get wet and when those tires are wet they can't do their job of stopping the train in the station. So when the train comes in, it overshoots the station.
The rain only affects the advancing tires if it's raining pretty heavily. It's the same situation on Iron Wolf, and it's why sometimes Whizzer (and Wolf) do run in the rain, if it's not pouring. However, there's also the queue issue I mentioned above. There are low areas in both the queue and the exit path that can accumulate 6" or more of water, and there's no way around them. This is why Whizzer may also be closed when it rained earlier in the day.
I don't think that's what the strip is for on the Intamins.
I've noticed such a strip on S:ROS's red train before & yet the blue train doesn't have one at all,so perhaps the strip is used for something else such as blocking maybe.
The strip could be used as part of a photo cell blocking system...some coasters do in fact use ssuch a setup which reflects light off of the strip & to a sensor or relay on the track & then in turn back to the PLC.