Does anyone happen to know offhand how much rollercoaster trains cost? I've been wondering because it seems to me that it would be a reasonable thing to do (if it were affordable) if the parks would purchase at least one extra train. Then they could operate the trains in rotation and extend their useful life (in calendar terms) and/or keep the coaster operating at full capacity if (when) one of the trains broke. Any answersn would help me get my mind onto other subjects. (Nuthin' like the feeling of one's brain spinning its wheels)
I really have no idea, but with the complexity of them I'd imagine they're quite expensive. I think I'd go out on a limb and say a full size (36 seat) Intamin mega coaster train accounts for close to a million dollars out of the coaster's price.
If a park can pick one up used it would be cheaper than buying a new one to have sitting around collecting dust.
At the end of every season trains should be ripped down and inspected for worn part. Actually every day they are looked over too. The off season is when most of the stuff is replaced. Parks usually stock a supply of the most used items and everything else they order form the manufacturer.
I had to help gather a few park orders working for Great Coasters. Just basic stuff like anti-rollbacks, chain dogs, and seat parts.
Plus theres the whole problem of where you are going to put said extra coaster train, the track is built to house only the amount of trains that can run at one time safely indoors (and besides it would screw up the computer and is not good for the wheels to be in one position bearing wait for that long). Its not like you could keep it outside either, because if you did it would take allmost as much work to get your extra train going that it would to fix the worn one.
Of course I would be willing to house said train (as long as it is a PTC, B&M hyper, Intamin Hyper, or GCI Millienium Flyer) in my house as long as I could use it as a couch :).
I'm sorry but this is a bad idea. I mean how often are you going to use an extra train? Just look at what they did with the extra villain train at SFWoA. The villain always ran with 2 so then shipped the other one over to the other side of the park to run on the RWB. What if a steel coaster broke down? These kind of things aren't interchangeable and even if they were, what are you going to do pick up the train and move it all around the park whenever a train breaks down?in conclusion if it's not broken don't fix it
I don't necessarily agree that a "spare" is automatically a bad idea...as a matter of fact, it's *exceptionally* handy at year-round parks where you might need to work on a train during peak operations and don't have the luxury of off-season rehabs. I also appreciate the ability to stay at/near max capacity even when one train is suffering from broken seats or restraints or even the dreaded "protein spills"...;)
Not necessarily cheap enough to use for your living room sofa, but when you're running a park, it's just part of the "cost of doing business"....
For that matter, Conneaut lake has the sparen NAD train for Blue Streak, I have seriously tempted calling them when they will use the NAD train again, so I can go there when they do, I hear the Airtime is insane in it, while the antique original train is pretty mild.
I remember hearing Ghostrider had a spare train so it could run full cap. even when one train was undergoing repairs.
Also, the Shockwave/GASM had/has an extra transfer track for a spare train if the park decided they wanted to have four.
I'm not so sure about a retroactive purchase of an extra train, "just for kicks." But if the coast was designed with it in mind and/or you have an easy way to get a train in and out of the transfer tracks, I say go for it. Worst comes to worst, you can cannibalize it for parts ala Vekoma flyers. *** Edited 2/6/2004 4:25:04 PM UTC by ApolloAndy***
Zima, I don't think it was intended that you have some "utility" train that you keep out back and truck out to any coaster (and maybe log flumes too while we're at it... they're all the same :)) that experiences faults with one of their trains. It's new trains for specific rides, which you'd keep under cover in the transfer track shed for the ride, that has room for all of the trains. You're not trying to squeeze them onto the course of the ride anywhere, or leaving them out on the ground somewhere, they'd be on a transfer track unused, or they're not doing the job they were bought for - to easily replace other trains when damaged or out for maintenance.
As has been established, this is a common practice with year-round operations. I'd be surprised if on any of Disney's coastersm they have any less than about twice the number of trains they run on a good day. On a somewhat related note, I noticed Dueling Dragons had storage space for six trains. Is this ride designed to run six trains (i.e. three on each side), using the unload station as a block?
It's really not worth the bother of seasonal parks, because really they're generally pretty sturdy things and can easily handle a year without needing any serious work. There are of course many rides out there that can't operate with dispatch times they were designed for, so for optimal capacity they don't use all the trains, so the rides basically came with spares. *** Edited 2/6/2004 4:43:38 PM UTC by auscoasterman***
auscoasterman - Dragons is able to (and has when I've been there) run three trains per track, using the unload station as a block. I believe under those conditions it's one of, if not the highest capacity ride in the world.
Dragons with 3 trains would definatly reach Gemini sized ride capacity numbers, in fact if memory serves me right DD is a shorter ride then Gemini so if they could dispatch fast enough I bet it would beat Gemini.
But, and I have stressed this before, CP has guests that WILL, and DO, speed up dispatches *considerably*. IoA has SOME lackluster staff, and TONS of "uneducated" guests, so there is ALMOST no chance for DD to hit the kind of capacity numbers that Gemini is capable of hitting.
My best guess is that Gemini with two trains per side would roughly equal the capacity of DD with three per side. If DD were at CP, and had three trains running, then it would likely be the highest-capacity coaster on Earth...