Steel Curtain debuts at Kennywood

Posted Monday, July 15, 2019 10:50 AM | Contributed by Jeff

After rigorously testing Steel Curtain over 1,000-plus runs last month, Kennywood let members of the media and some others ride it first on Friday morning. TV crews arrived in the dark to set up for the very “First Ride” — set for 6:30 a.m. — for the dozen people who won Kennywood’s July 2018 online number-scratch-off and word-search contest to decode what its then-secret “Project 412” was going to be.

Read more from The Post-Gazette.

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Monday, July 15, 2019 11:59 AM

It's a very good ride and based on reactions I heard in person as well as online I think it's going to be a hit with guests.

My biggest surprise with the ride was how smooth it was in terms of forces and transitions. Some of the elements (such as the first drop) look like you'll be flying out of your seat, but the reality is that it's so well designed that you stay perfectly within your seat for the entire ride. There's not much in the way of hangtime, and there's some airtime but nothing close to being ejector. My friend made the point that Sky Rocket offers more hangtime and airtime than Steel Curtain does. I don't necessarily believe this will be a detriment to the ride for most, but as someone who enjoys getting thrown around like a ragdoll on Steel Vengeance, I found SC to be somewhat underwhelming.

The trains are extremely comfortable and easy to get in and out of. My friend is on the heavy side and he discovered that there's some discrepancy between seats for how far the bar needs to come down; in some seats he didn't need to have the bar pushed down at all, while in another seat the employees needed to apply all their weight to staple him down. S&S made the really strange design decision to have the restraints unlock via compressed air; there's a device that mates with the rear of the train (giggity) in the station to provide the needed pressure. The non-engineer in me wonders if this adds unnecessary complexity to the ride. It's not S&S without air, right?

One thing noted among many seasoned riders is that there's a strong vibration during the high g-force moments of the ride. It's hard to describe -- it's not like the shuffle on older B&Ms, but rather sort of like those foot massagers in which the vibration seems to resonate through your entire body. I'm susceptible to getting headaches on bumpy rides, so I was surprised to not be affected by this one. Again, I heard similar comments from other enthusiasts -- it's noticeable but doesn't ruin the ride. I hope this is something S&S can address, because without the vibration it would be by far the smoothest mega looper coaster I've ever been on.

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Monday, August 5, 2019 11:36 AM

Sounds like up time has been a challenge for the park:

https://www.post-gazette.com/life/recreation/2019/08/03/Kennywood-s...1908030068

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Monday, August 5, 2019 1:05 PM

I feel like "uptime" is the 2019 Word of the Year for coasters.

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Monday, August 5, 2019 1:35 PM

I'm curious if its related to the odd vibrations that I felt as the ride went through the course. I see PhantomTails mentioned it too.

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Monday, August 5, 2019 2:06 PM

I noticed the vibrations as well, at least towards the back of the train. Middle-to-front, not so much.

I do love the ride and hope to get some more laps on it before the summer's out. The seats are comfortable, the restraints are comfortable, and the layout is just FUN.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2019 2:29 PM

We rode it at KennyKon and the first thing out of everyone's mouth in our group when we got off was pretty much "It was good except for that vibration"

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Tuesday, August 6, 2019 5:11 PM

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019 5:44 AM

My wife and I are going Saturday. Hoping that it's operating when we are there. Sky Rocket was down our last visit, so at least we should be able to get that credit. Fingers crossed.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019 4:49 PM

According to Kennywood’s FB post today it’s a fluid situation and it’s hard to pinpoint when it will reopen.

I don’t see how prototype this ride is. Unless it has to do with the train design itself. Hopefully the park and S&S can iron out it’s issues soon.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019 6:40 PM

Two local stations are reporting that it’s back open as of this afternoon though the park hasn’t updated its website yet.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019 9:49 PM

I cancelled my birthday trip to Kennywood because it was closed, even though I bought tickets already. I couldn't justify the expense of driving all the way from Chicago and risk it not being open. I'm not sure if I'll have the chance to make it there before Sept. 15th. I might wait until next year at this point and just eat the cost of the ticket.

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Thursday, August 8, 2019 9:38 AM

Got to ride it yesterday.Its a great ride.Definitely a front seat ride.It was inversion after inversion and it was all really smooth.The lift hill is really steep!

I was upset when I first heard that Kennywood wasnt going to build the wooden coaster that was to go in the ravine.This was a great choice instead,its a winner.

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