Thunderhawk restraints

Friday, March 21, 2008 7:21 PM
I was just looking at a video of the new restraint system that was being tested on the vekoma inverted coaster at Morey's pier. And, it looks like it would be a great system for any inverted coaster.

Does anyone know if the new restraint system will be used on Thunderhawk at Michigan's Adventure? If they do use the new restraint system, I think it would be one million times better than the old head basher restraints, because there is basically nothing around your head, as a majority of the restraint is below shoulder level.

It is very similar to the restraint on Superman at Six Flags Great America. And looks very compfortable. I think it will even superenhance the feeling of flight, because you will have clear view of where you are going.

Has anyone been on the Vekoma at Morey's with the new restraints? I'm curious about how that went. People were riding it in the video I saw, and they all looked very happy with it.

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Friday, March 21, 2008 7:34 PM
I don't remember where, but someone from the park is quoted as saying that the trains would be refurbished, but the restraints would be the same design.
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Friday, March 21, 2008 8:12 PM
If you are right, and the park goes with the old restraint system, I don't think it will be long before they switch to the new one. If the new restraint is successful, there would be no reason why they wouldn't use it. It just wouldn't make sense.

I also think that the company that designs, and sells the coaster would insist that the new trains are used, otherwise they would be wasting their time in designing new trains for their inverted coasters, and, It would also make sense, because they would want to sell the new concept to parks that might be more interested in purchasing the coaster design, if it was more enjoyable for their guests.

Having several running coasters with the new restraints would obviously give them a new marketing tool to sell them. And, I think this kind of restraint would work even better on rides like Raptor at Cedar Point. Can you imagine Raptor with no headbanging?

I think they are on to something.

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Friday, March 21, 2008 8:44 PM
If the current restraint system is safe and only slightly uncomfortable, why would the park spend money it doesn't need to?

Remember, this is Cedar Fair. It's all about ROI.

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Friday, March 21, 2008 9:30 PM
The trains were sent to the Vekoma manufacturing plant to be completely refurbished, and from what I've heard they'll be replacing everything on the train including the restraints. Which means they'll be getting new restraints anyways, so it all depends on if CF decided to go with the newer design or the generic design restraints.
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Friday, March 21, 2008 10:32 PM
Once that ride was properly being cared for at Geauga Lake, it was not that bad of a ride. It was still an SLC, and therefore not a great design, but it didn't beat the crap out of you. I don't see any reason to replace the trains.
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Saturday, March 22, 2008 1:09 AM

Timber-Rider said:

Has anyone been on the Vekoma at Morey's with the new restraints? I'm curious about how that went. People were riding it in the video I saw, and they all looked very happy with it.


I think that video is from when they were testing it. Even though Morey's opens tomorrow, only Mariner's Landing Pier is open and the pier with the Great Nor'Easter isn't open until May 10th so I don't think anyone here has ridden it yet.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008 9:09 AM
The Nor'Easter trains weren't refurbished, they were replaced. It's not just the restraints that are new. The seats, framework, wheel assemblies, everything is redesigned. The wheels still run the same way - the'd have to, short of rebuilding the whole track. Otherwise it's a complete redesign, not just slapping some new restraints on the old seats. Morey's is the only operator that has purchased these new trains so far.
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Saturday, March 22, 2008 1:03 PM
I totally agree with Jeff in that there was nothing wrong with Thunderhawk. When I saw it take the turn before the station with no shuffling I thought "This might not be so bad." I agree that Raptor is probably worse.
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Saturday, March 22, 2008 2:01 PM
Raptor is worse? I sure wouldn't go that far.
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Saturday, March 22, 2008 4:29 PM
I sure would if you were talking about the Cobra Roll, or last section before the final braking.


Raptor is my second favorite coaster, but If I didnt brace myself for those parts of the ride, it would be rather uncomfortable.

On an SLC however, I'm a firm believer that if you ride in the correct position, butt scooted back, back and head against the back and head rest, (just like Mantis) you should have a pretty painless ride. When you go into people slouching forward, or looking down, then you get into the pain. Holding the handlebars helps too. *** Edited 3/22/2008 8:29:58 PM UTC by xX eNeRtIa Xx***

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Saturday, March 22, 2008 4:53 PM
Huh, sounds like the same strategy that works for "rough" B&M inverters.
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Saturday, March 22, 2008 9:10 PM
Jeff, I only rode Thunderhawk once last summer so maybe it was the pleasant surprise of not having the crap beaten out of me that may have "colored" my experience. It was still a much more pleasant experience than Serial Thriller (at Astroworld) or Mind Eraser at SFA.

I thought that Raptor was a strange experience last year, as most B&M's don't tend to experience headbanging that badly. Afterwards, I watched a few minutes of the onboard video that you can buy and almost everyone's heads were being thrown around.

The only B&M invert I can remember having an issue with was Talon in its first year. Some of the low sections threw me around pretty good. I rode it again at the Dorney Coasterbuzz event and got my ERT's worth and then some while enjoying it all the while.

Otherwise than that, Batman the Dark Knight (now Batman the Ride) at SFNE and Dominator both have the interlocking corkscrew problem where things get a little bit rough.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008 9:29 PM
A lot of you are asking why parks would want to spend money to replace trains that already work fine. I say this. This is only my opinion.

If I were Vekoma, and, the restraint system works better than the old one. I would be one to do what makes good business sense, and offer the newly designed trains to the parks that already have their coasters at no extra cost. And, work on replacing the old systems in the off season.

It would give the company a good rep for actually caring about the coasters they build, and the people who are riding them. Obviously the new trains will greatly reduce head injuries.

Makes me wonder if B&M might head down that road to replace their bulky restraints on their inverted coasters. Their flying coasters have the most compfortable trains on any rollercaoster. But, their inverted coasters, and especially the stand up coasters are real head bangers.

Mantis and Raptor have more headbanging than any coaster I have been on. Iron Wolf at Great America is even worse.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008 11:11 PM

Hoek said:
The trains were sent to the Vekoma manufacturing plant to be completely refurbished, and from what I've heard they'll be replacing everything on the train including the restraints. Which means they'll be getting new restraints anyways, so it all depends on if CF decided to go with the newer design or the generic design restraints.

The new train design involves more than just changing the restraints themselves but the whole chassis/seating assembly as well & they are basically "new" trains re-engineered from the ground up.

When it comes to wether or not parks with SLC's will purchase these trains or it's all about the overall cost of the design vs any increase in ridership that can be expected,CF & MIA have made it clear that they will be using the original trains that Thunderhawk was built with when it was at GL & that they'll undergo a full rehab to be ready for when the ride opens this year.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008 2:57 PM
Timber-Rider, there is NO WAY Vekoma is going to replace the 60 or so SLC trains they have operating all over the world FOR FREE. That makes no business sense! An educated guess says the trains costs about a million dollars each!

That would be like all the car companies replacing our cars every time a safer design came out.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008 4:15 PM
No doubt. If history has shown us anything the last ten years, it's that selling a product in this business is a careful balancing act. The manufacturers just don't have the cash flow for re-do's, because they don't sell that much product in the first place.

Although you gotta give credit to B&M and The Gravity Group for not directly manufacturing anything. That sure has worked out for them.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008 8:14 PM
I would have to agree with Jeff, the last time I rode thunderhawk, it wasn't as rough as when I nicknamed it Serial Killer in the SFWoa days...
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Sunday, March 23, 2008 11:59 PM
This article answers a lot of questions:

http://blog.mlive.com/muskegon_chronicle_extra/2008/02/videos_hopes_high_for_parks_ne.html

In on of the paragraphs it says that their getting new seats and restrain harnesses.

There's also a couple pictures of Thunderhawks station going up at Mia blog:

http://miablogonline.com/

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Monday, March 24, 2008 11:46 AM
"New restraint harnesses..." - I'd love to see the new design but keep in mind that could mean new harnesses of the old design. I suppose we'll just have to wait until the trains arrive. Less than a month or two... :)
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