Texas Giant sports steel track in $10 million upgrade

Posted Wednesday, March 3, 2010 8:46 PM | Contributed by kpjb

The new track on the refurbished Texas Giant will feature I-beam style welded track, dubbed "Iron Horse" by its manufacturer, Rocky Mountain Construction.

Read more from WBAP/Arlington.

Related parks

Thursday, March 4, 2010 3:46 PM

I actually like this news. The Intamin woodies, while they are technically wood coasters feel much more like steel to me anyway- so what the heck. Unless you are willing to spend mucho dinero on yearly maintenance like Holiday World does on Voyage it is my feeling that no wood coaster needs to be more than about 120 feet tall. I hope the restraints are not too restrictive though...

+0
Thursday, March 4, 2010 4:21 PM
OhioStater's avatar

Voyage cost approx. 8.5 million to build (rcdb.com)

How much do they spend yearly for its upkeep?

Just curious about what the initial cost/upkeep ratio is for a wooden coaster of that magnitude.

+0
Thursday, March 4, 2010 4:32 PM

I dont know about the steel vs. wood category. I have a feeling (apparently since Ive ridden some of these hybrids all ready) it will still feel like a wooden coaster.

My thought is I-beam track with some components of wood in it: wood coaster, Tubular steel track: steel coaster

+0
Thursday, March 4, 2010 5:28 PM

Colossus has a variety of track styles on it; much of it is traditional wood track, some areas have I-beams to carry the load with a wood cap, and some of it is traditional wood track but wrapped on two sides with steel plate, such that the road steel and guide steel are in fact the same plate wrapped around the wood stack.

What they're building for Texas Giant is just steel track profiled to match a wood track stack. I can't imagine what the thinking is behind that; as I noted in another forum, it would be easier and would probably ride better to simply lay a tubular steel track over the wood ledgers, much like what Seabreeze did with their Bobsled coaster.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

+0
Thursday, March 4, 2010 6:31 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Concrete Enchilada said:
From what I see, the track will be a few inches above the ledger beam. There seems to be bracket (?) between the galvanized steel ledger beam and the track. Any guesses on why they wouldn't have the track directly on top like a traditional woodie? It kinda looks a bit goofy.

My completely uneducated guess is to allow some play during construction so the cutting of the rails doesn't have to exactly match a shifting, expanding, contracting, moving structure.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

+0
Thursday, March 4, 2010 7:05 PM

Ok a couple of things:
#1 this is definitely no longer a wooden coaster
#2 this is definitely 2 credits as this will be a Phantoms Revenge style makeover not a simple reprofile

Beyond that more power to them, i hope it works well and sounds like it could be a solution for rides like Son of Beast and Mean Streak.


-Brent Kneebush

+0
Friday, March 5, 2010 6:38 AM

Here’s the real question we have facing us here. Are we witnessing the end of the true wooden roller coaster because parks are now unwilling to put in the time and maintenance on a wooden track?

I have a solution. Why not build a stronger wooden track? The Shooting Star roller coaster at Coney Island in Cincinnati, Ohio had 9 layers of 2 inch thick boards in the track. That made the track 18 inches thick and I rode it and it was the smoothest roller coaster I ever rode. By the way, the Shooting Star was torn down after they built Kings Island.

Last edited by Trackwalker, Friday, March 5, 2010 6:45 AM
+0
Friday, March 5, 2010 6:54 AM

F5Twister said:
I actually like this news. The Intamin woodies, while they are technically wood coasters feel much more like steel to me anyway- so what the heck. Unless you are willing to spend mucho dinero on yearly maintenance like Holiday World does on Voyage it is my feeling that no wood coaster needs to be more than about 120 feet tall. I hope the restraints are not too restrictive though...

You are exactly correct! No wooden roller coaster needs to be more than 120 feet tall. Better designs with less wood and you have a better roller coaster.

+0
Friday, March 5, 2010 7:33 AM

Jeffrey Seifert said:

Trackwalker said:

Even though the track is now steel, it still has to be inspected by some means. Also the wood structure has to be inspected. I don't care how many bolts or wood fasteners they have holding the thing together, it still has to be inspected every day. If they don't, they are asking for trouble. My guess is there will be walkways and handrails.

Do steel coasters get inspected every day? Most steel coasters have no walkways, and although some of those with wood structures do have walkways, not all of them do. I don't see how anyone can walk the tracks or inspect the structure daily on Excalibur or SFOT's Mine Train.

I know Gemini has walkways, but does someone walk the tracks every morning?

I never worked on a steel roller coaster so I can't tell you how they inspect them. But I'll tell you how we inspected the wooden coaster I worked on. We arrived at the park about 7:30 a.m. and started walking the track. It took about 2 hours to walk about 2,500 feet of track. We didn't have a bolt every foot in the side friction steel. The side friction steel sections were about 20 feet long with bolts on each end. The rest of the steel was held on by 3 inch wood screws. Every morning we walked the track, about 7 or 8 wood screws had to be replaced. When a section of track could no longer hold screws we would replace the wood. I can remember only once we had to replace track wood during the summer. All of our track replacement was done during the winter, sometimes in below freezing temperatures. The top or road steel was held on by bolts at each end with 3 inch screws in the middle spaced about a foot apart. The top steel never gave us any problems even though it was held on mostly by screws. It was always the side friction steel that was trying to peel off because of the constant banging of the cars on the side of the track. I see why the new coasters have a bolt every foot in the side steel because that's the most vulnerable part of a wooden track. Once we had 20 foot of side steel ripped off the track and thrown to the ground. We also had underfriction steel on the tops of the hills which we held on only by bolts, no screws. Not only did we walk the track every morning, but we rode the train during the day and walked under the structure during the day to see how the ride was operating. Once I rode the train for a final time before my shift ended. I was riding in front seat of the last car and as the train was going around the track I could feel the last car trying to pull away from the other cars. I looked over the front of the car and saw only one bolt left holding the last car on. So when the train made it back to the station, we had to replace all four bolts holding the coupling on the last car. Of course there was a safety chain in place in case the car fell off but you don't want to have that happen. If I had not ridden the train before I left that day, who knows what would have happened. So a wooden coaster should be inspected every morning, during the day and ridden by maintenance men during the day so make sure everything is OK. If they don't do this, they are asking for a major accident.

+0
Friday, March 5, 2010 8:17 AM

Trackwalker said:
Here’s the real question we have facing us here. Are we witnessing the end of the true wooden roller coaster because parks are now unwilling to put in the time and maintenance on a wooden track?

No. Certain new wooden coasters cost no more to maintain than comparable steel coasters.

Last edited by SupermanFan1, Friday, March 5, 2010 8:17 AM
+0
Friday, March 5, 2010 10:33 AM
Mamoosh's avatar

Looks like Hitler isn't happy about the change...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WP7JX1x3G-c&feature=player_embedded

+0
Friday, March 5, 2010 12:30 PM
ShiveringTim's avatar

Wunderbar! :)


Scott - Proud Member of The Out-Of-Town Coaster Weirdos
+0
Friday, March 5, 2010 1:03 PM

Perhaps I'm lacking the proper Enthusiast perspective, but if this improves what is largely considered to be a mediocre ride, and/or helps it remain viable for longer than it otherwise might, then I don't care what the track is made out of.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Friday, March 5, 2010 1:07 PM
+0
Friday, March 5, 2010 1:09 PM

Trackwalker said:
Here’s the real question we have facing us here. Are we witnessing the end of the true wooden roller coaster because parks are now unwilling to put in the time and maintenance on a wooden track?


No but we are probably witnessing the end of the true wood mega-coaster. If this works, then we could very well see steel track on several of those record-breaking monstrosities from the late 80s and early 90s that have become impossible to maintain. I understand Six Flags is already looking at three more of these conversions with Rattler possibly next.


I have a solution. Why not build a stronger wooden track? The Shooting Star roller coaster at Coney Island in Cincinnati, Ohio had 9 layers of 2 inch thick boards in the track. That made the track 18 inches thick and I rode it and it was the smoothest roller coaster I ever rode. By the way, the Shooting Star was torn down after they built Kings Island.

Given the era in which it was built, Shooting Star was probably constructed with Douglas Fir. These days everyone likes to use Southern Yellow Pine which to me produces an inferior track bed that frequently needs maintenance. It seems to me that it would make more sense to spend the extra money up front and build a durable track bed out of Douglas Fir, which should then cut down on the amount of maintenance required.

Last edited by Jeffrey Seifert, Friday, March 5, 2010 1:09 PM
+0
Friday, March 5, 2010 1:09 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

^^While I agree, there are somehow a whole bunch of people who like the ride just the way it is.

Edit: Jeffrey snuck in on me.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Friday, March 5, 2010 2:12 PM

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

+0
Friday, March 5, 2010 1:19 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

I liked it. But, I will not judge the new design until I ride it again.


854 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
http://www.rollercoasterfreak.com My YouTube

+0
Friday, March 5, 2010 1:37 PM
rollergator's avatar

ApolloAndy said:
While I agree, there are somehow a whole bunch of people who like the ride just the way it is.

Was...and LOVED it. ;)

But paraphrasing what Jason just said, I consider this NEW Giant to be its own ride, and I'll judge it on its own merits. The "original" Giant at this point is nothing but a memory, IMO.

+0
Friday, March 5, 2010 4:17 PM

On the other hand, we have another mega wood coaster getting a significant upgrade this season, and I am guessing at a significantly smaller cost than the Iron Horse retracking. Both methods represent different solutions to the same problem.

I wonder...if it turns out that the maintenance and rideability headaches of these big wood twisters can be solved through improved rolling stock without having to shut the ride down for two years and spend an 8-figure sum to rebuild it...and without making it not a wood coaster anymore...what option would you expect a major park operator that is a little short on cash to opt for?

I also wonder what the axles on the new Gerstlauer trains for the Giant are going to look like. Somehow I think I know, and I suspect it won't be pretty. And...will the Iron Horse track allow the train to go fast enough on curves to stay stuck to the outside rail? Or will it ultimately revisit the sins of the past, giving us slowed-down coasters that bounce all over the place?

I've never ridden the Texas Giant. But of the major woodie makeovers being given these days, I know which one I am most looking forward to, and it isn't the Giant.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

+0
Saturday, March 6, 2010 3:51 PM
CoasterDemon's avatar

RideMan said:
On the other hand, we have another mega wood coaster getting a significant upgrade this season, and I am guessing at a significantly smaller


--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Which other mega woodie is getting an upgrade? Sorry If it's been posted, just can't remember...


Billy
+0
Saturday, March 6, 2010 5:18 PM

Timberliners - Voyage. Holiday World's solution was to change the rolling stock, not the track.

I'm not sure if better rolling stock would solve all the problems of the older mega-woodies. I think a major part of the problem with the mega-woodies of the 80s and 90s was that they were not constructed very well. Texas Giant isn't just getting new track, there will be some structural changes as well.

+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2021, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...