On our last day at SFMM, we made Deja Vu our last ride of night. As we were waiting to board next, the train missed the catch wagon on the second spike so the train basically coasted down between the spike and the loop.
A huge group of employees showed up including supervisors and ride mechanics. They manually got the catch wagon to grab the train and pull it back up the second spike.
As the train was released to go through the course backwards, I looked at the one mechanic who was standing on the platform right beside the ride-op controls if he was going to move before the train shot through the station. He just looked at me and smiled.
The train shoots through and he doesn't flinch one bit. He had to have been within inches of this train and it didn't phase him. I know he is used to this being a mechanic but isn't he by law supposed to remain in a safe zone just like the customers and rideops when the ride is in motion?
Just curious. Please don't turn this into a Six Flags doesn't no safety response.
Was the mechanic actually standing on/in front of any kind of yellow lines, posted signs, etc.? It may not have been as close as it seemed from your point of view.
For example, I'm used to taking the subway when I go to Philly (Market-Frankfort, primarily) and as a result, I stand exactly where a door will be when the train stops, just at the yellow safety line, and I don't flinch as it comes in - I just stare straight ahead as it zooms past, slows, stops, and opens the doors, then I step in. I'm not over the safety zones (until it's stopped with the doors open ;) ), but someone who isn't "a regular" may think the same thing about me - too close to a considerably fast-moving train to be safe. The same could be true of the mechanic if he was actually behind the yellow lines.
Chris the Coaster Freak said:
Mechanics do have bypass by Six Flags rules to be in ride areas during operation. While is isnt that smart, technically he wasn't doing anything wrong.
That is definitely NOT true. The rules have always been in place, but after the accident at SFGAm last year, SF initiated a new, chain-wide system of rules and re-training to keep people out of ride areas during operation, including mechanics. Sometimes mechanics think they're above the rules and that because they work on these rides so often, they know what they're doing and won't get hurt. Unfortunately, incidents like the one at SFGAm prove otherwise. At most parks, it's certainly a terminable offense.
I was very lucky to have worked on the CP Blue Streak in 92-93, the last 2 years it was still a "classic" coaster, before the new brakes, lap bars, etc... We used to ride the running boards sometimes when the trains were leaving the station to check lap bars (the train had to be out of 'A' block before the second train entered the brake shed - the 'A-set' switch was back there). There were some close calls.
Basically, if you have anything that heavy moving at all (let alone how fast Deja Vu flys thru the station), you're asking for trouble when you get too close to it. A co-worker at the Point was sending a Blue Streak train out, and a wheel ran over the tip of his shoe - split it open, stitches, crutches, it was pretty ugly.
Ha! Imagine that. (End sarcasim) ;)
Chuck, and no, they weren't standup coasters.
On Magnum this season there were a couple times when we would stay operational while they brought back a car's fiberglass shell to be re-attached to the car's chassis. They would work on it with trains flying by every couple minutes (faster than if there was 3 train operation at the time, mind you).
Being in the operator's booth, I would cringe everytime a train would go by them because I was afraid that they would either be hit by a train or someone would reach outside of the train and hit them/drag them down the brake run. They wouldn't just stay out on either side of the track either, they would often cross the track (while in operation) to get to the toolbox that's mounted on the railing.
When I think about it though, the ride ops themselves can be in the same proximity to a moving train. Our catwalk that crosses the midway comes within inches of the return track.
*** Edited 2/13/2005 4:34:25 AM UTC by CPgenius***
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