Steel Vengeance closed for minor accident

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 2:50 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

Some of these responses amaze me. "They just barely touched." "Non event." "Love tap."

This was a mechanical failure! Period. End of story. Whether they Love Tap, Boulderdash Tap, or overshoot the brake tolerance by a foot and don't touch at all, there is a problem that needs to be addressed.

What else is there to say?

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 3:16 PM
Jeff's avatar

That being a non-event and that it's something that has to be addressed are not mutually exclusive conditions.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 3:29 PM

Calling it a "non-event" is categorically false, and falls short of even the park's PR'd-up "minor accident" description.

I'm not by any means suggesting it's a big deal, but let's call it what it is - a failure of the ride's control system. Two trains should not occupy the same block, and they did. It's not the end of the world, but it is also not a "non-event."

Last edited by djDaemon, Wednesday, May 9, 2018 3:30 PM

Brandon | Facebook

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 3:43 PM
Jeff's avatar

Tripping and nearly falling and tripping and breaking my leg are both failures in my ability to walk, but it doesn't mean they require the same level of scrutiny.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 5:16 PM

Raven-Phile said:
... but don’t ask me to name Maverick’s trains...

Millie, Maggie, Draggie, Corky, Valry, and SteVen.

But then again, what do I know?

Thursday, May 10, 2018 10:23 AM

PhantomTails said:

This is what a 5 mph crash does to a person:

Care to revisit your statement?

Looks like a typical ride on the Manhattan Express or a Togo Ultra Twister. They don't shut them down every time they operate.

Thursday, May 10, 2018 11:48 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

I can't verify it was ever on the list but it's now gone from the FastLane rides. Could point to a continued 1 train operation?

Thursday, May 10, 2018 4:09 PM

Not a great start for Steel Vengeance...

Continued one train operation until RMC "makes adjustments to the ride." No Fast Lane Plus and boarding passes being given out at the ride entrance...

Top 4: Steel Vengeance, I305, El Toro, Maverick

Thursday, May 10, 2018 11:08 PM
Jeff's avatar

Remember that time RMC threw a subcontractor under the bus? Was that for the Dollywood ride?

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

Thursday, May 10, 2018 11:36 PM

Yep, they went after Velocity Magnetics which provided the launch system.

First, I'm glad that CP is being communicative about the issue. Granted, this is something they should have done Saturday Night / Sunday morning when they decided on the pass system, but better late than never. I've been planning a trip to the park for months for this weekend and while disappointed I appreciate that I know ahead of time what needs to be done to get on the ride.

Second, it's hard not to attempt to read between the lines of the park's statement. If it was a bug in the programming you'd think they'd be able to work it out by now, and at best they'd need to continue testing and/or get re-certified by the state. The wording suggests that it's an ongoing process and that makes me wonder if a bigger issue is at play.

Friday, May 11, 2018 12:58 AM

djDaemon said:
...I'm not by any means suggesting it's a big deal, but let's call it what it is - a failure of the ride's control system. Two trains should not occupy the same block, and they did. It's not the end of the world, but it is also not a "non-event."

How do you know that it is a failure of the ride's control system?

The only thing you know is that the ride failed. Why it failed has not been disclosed, but for a variety of reasons, a failure of the control system is actually one of the least likely scenarios. I say that because modern safety related control systems are built to a level of redundancy which makes a controls-triggered block violation highly unlikely. Each switch is queried in two different ways, and the block condition is monitored by both a classic check-in/check out system AND through train presence detection. In other words, if the check-out switch is triggered, the block still doesn't clear unless the train presence switches ALSO indicate that the block is clear. And, of course, we still have redundancy in the safety PLC itself. I believe modern systems use only one PLC instead of two as was once the standard, but that PLC is safety rated in that it internally runs its code in parallel on two non-identical processors.

What all this means is that an awful lot has to go wrong before the PLC will make a mistake. Add to that the fact that the block control logic is pretty simple and bullet proof, and the control system becomes one of the least likely causes of an incident like this one. The days of a single non-redundant switch causing a collision, as happened on Hercules back in the day, are pretty much gone...and accordingly, most of the collisions we have seen recently have been caused not by controls failures, but by mechanical failures. Situations where the control system is telling the ride NOT to advance a train, and the train advances anyway. Or as operator does something pathologically stupid, as on the Smiler...but it's worth noting that when the controls on the Smiler were overridden, the missing train was in a position where it could not be detected. I'm reasonably certain that the station areas on Steel Vengeance probably include train detection, and so in accordance with the current ASTM standards would not allow a manual override to cause the collision.

I fully expect the Steel Vengeance collision will prove to have been a mechanical fault, not an electrical, logical, or operational one.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

Friday, May 11, 2018 8:34 AM

That makes sense, but it seems odd to have such controls redundancy without having similar mechanical redundancy. Especially when it comes to things like preventing a train from proceeding to an occupied block.

Brandon | Facebook

Friday, May 11, 2018 8:50 AM
birdhombre's avatar

On a recent Holiday World podcast (skip to 17:40), Brian Pastor from IOE mentions the trains moving into the station sooner as the train ahead is dispatching. But he notes there's still a brake between trains. If it's a mechanical failure, do you suppose it still might have been avoided if it weren't for this new system? (Or maybe it's not new to RMC, just new to HW's 3 woodies.)

Friday, May 11, 2018 9:11 AM

Sad part is, I don't think Steel Vengeance even has (or at least it didn't seem to have it yet) this "multi-move" functionality. When it was running two trains, the second train would sit totally still until the previous one was clear of the whole length of the station. That was rather surprising to me as I know IOE implemented at least two blocks in the Twisted Timbers station to allow the second train to begin moving in before the previous one was completely gone. Perhaps this enhancement is part of what still needs to be done to get three trains going. By my timing, it takes about 22 seconds from dispatch until the time a waiting train is parked in the station. This is better than a ride like Magnum, but still an area where they could probably shave off several seconds. and give the ops more time to do their jobs.


Friday, May 11, 2018 10:45 AM

I think it's important to think about how RMC isn't used to building coasters with three-train operations. Steel Vengeance was the most high-scale ride they've done, and definitely at the most high scale park. It still makes myself and others wonder how the error came about. With SFNE being near me, WC always waits for train one to clear the station. Cedar Point was likely trying to operate the ride at a higher capacity than the RMC systems have designed. The further mess ahead will far outweigh the benefits.

Friday, May 11, 2018 10:54 AM
Jeff's avatar

There's nothing particularly novel about a three-train coaster.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

Friday, May 11, 2018 11:17 AM

It isn't the coaster quality, yet the quality of the guest's experience. Steel Vengeance itself is still the same coaster. Running three trains simply helps the park and allows us to enjoy the ride more.

Friday, May 11, 2018 11:29 AM

ryanandcoasters said:

I think it's important to think about how RMC isn't used to building coasters with three-train operations.

New Texas Giant was built with 3 train operation. Both single rail coasters opening this year have 3 trains. There's nothing significantly different about 3 train operation vs. 2 train operation.

Friday, May 11, 2018 11:40 AM
Bakeman31092's avatar

Does anyone know how the trains are advanced? If I remember correctly (and I may not be), Mean Streak was all gravity and thus there were no drive tires. Since the station was mostly untouched for SV I'd guess it's the same method.

Friday, May 11, 2018 11:45 AM
Jeff's avatar

The approach on SV is level and flat.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video


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