With the recent advances with the Timberliner cars (and also with Iron Horse steel track/topper track) I'm really on pins and needles about the future of woodies. I think it may be really great for some big coasters like Colossus, Mean Streak (anyone else hear the removal rumor?), SOBeast, and some that are in wretched shape - like GA Cyclone.
When I sat in the seat at Holiday World last year, it was comfy, but still a bit odd - especially the lap bar. I'm also wondering if the trains could be fitted with nylon wheels and run on old Arrow loopers.
I highly doubt you could just change the wheel type and stick them on a steel coaster.
What's green and has wheels?
Grass. I lied about the wheels. :D
But anyways, why couldn't trains be retrofitted with another wheel type and/or gauge? I think Timberliners would be awesome on KI's Vortex or that crappy multi-looper at Carowinds.
^^Of course, maybe a few changes. I think they would probably be really nice on an Arrow. Perhaps Morgan (well, S&S now?) will do more Phantom makeovers; imagine those trains in loops (with a nice soft flat headrest, found on some Anton rides like Mind Bender). Could really breath some life into some old rides (that were never that good to begin with).
I'm pretty sure Timberliners are not the same gauge as Arrow loopers, mine trains, etc., and as an engineer, I'll guarantee that it's not a simple matter of scaling things up to match the gauge.
As far as seeing them on non-Gravity Group coasters, I *do* think we'll see that, but doing so would almost certainly warrant a near-total retracking of whatever ride they got put on. Part of what PTC trains do by not steering is that over time they force the track out of its proper shape. A Timberliner dropped into a track that has endured years of PTC-warping will not necessarily be smoother. It will track better, but in doing so it'll be perfectly steering itself along the lumps bumps and jolts that the PTCs wore in, possibly to the point that the ride would be rougher than it was with the PTCs.
Steelie Timberliners - not in their current form. Woodies we'll see I think (and I suspect is part of the reason that GravityKraft is its own entity), but I'd bet they'll almost always be sold in conjunction with a good bit of re-tracking.
You mean like what they were doing on the Voyage last season during testing?
I don't know if you are familiar with the 3-year retracking project on Raging Wolf Bobs at Geauga Lake...that ride was beaten to death with the old PTC trailers for years, then Six Flags switched over to the Gerstlauer trains and took three years to finish retracking the ride. In the areas that had not been retracked, the Gerstlauer trains exhibited much of the same shuffling and hunting that the PTC trailers had...and because they have both axles, the Gerstlauer trains did not have the mechanical characteristics that caused the shuffle on the PTC trailers. It's all because of the wear on the track.
As for Timberliners running on steel coasters...given that the Timberliner chassis is remarkably similar to the design used on the B&M coasters, it could probably work. The challenge is that steel coasters are generally considered a single engineered system, and getting past any liability issues could be a problem...
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
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