Words cannot describe what it feels like to witness a coaster testing for the very first time, in the presence of all the very enthusiastic construction workers, S&S people, et al., especially since i've been following it since day one, back in January.
Around 8:15pm Tuesday, August 20th, 2004, Tsunami ran for the very first time. It was breathtaking. Did i say it ran? I meant to say it flew, at breakneck speed throughout the entire course, not one slow spot on the ride. Workers were scattered around the track, in case they should need to push it if it were too slow. They were not needed, not in the slightest.
As it crested the lift hill and left the chain, cheers/screams/applause rang out from around the park (park was closed at the time, btw). We'd all gathered around to watch this occurence that we'd all been waiting for for several months. As the train plunged down the first drop, the sandbags floated out of the train, (mmmm... airtime... ::drools::).
The train tore through the rest of the course, ripped through the helix/turnaround, and nearly left the track on the bunny hops.
A lot more pictures will go up tomorrow when it's light out, and when they are testing it more consistently.
Even the lift hill is fast, probably no longer than 15 seconds.
It tested two more times, running just as fast, if not faster than before; each time accompanied by cheers/screams from all the spectators. Then they called it quits for the night. Testing will take place all day tomorrow, and I will have several photos to show for it. Hopeful opening date is Sunday August 15th.
Andy, I don't think c-punk had a week on Thunderhead...
But what really intrigues me is that a tsunami hits South Jersey, and it doesn't even make national news? ;)
I do believe that there's *accepted standards* for a specific number of LAPS before the inspectors come and give a thumbs-up to the ride, but doubt there's anything more than that....anyone know better?
I only went to Dollywood to ride Thunderhead for part of the test period. I was basicly there for fun and not work. Basicly GCII's way of saying thanks for the help.
If I remember Thunderhead needed 40 hours on a single train and ride ops running the ride for it to open. I'm not sure if that was a GCII or Dollywood requirement. That was 40 hours of runtime like a normal operating day. The only way Thunderhead would be open for the preview day was to run from around 3 in the afternoon until around 5 am for Wendsday, Thursday, and most of Friday. Thats how I got so many rides.
Were talking S&S and Clementon here so they can have a completely different testing cycle.
Alot of the work after a ride runs is for the saftey system (ever see those little green boxes in the station, on the lift and on the brake run?), making sure the ride will shut down when it needs to and everything in the computer saftey system is running perfectly. Thats probably the most extensive testing on a ride after it's built.
I called Clementon Park today and they said that Tsunami will not be opening this Friday, as scheduled. They are still in the testing phase and the government inspection will not be until next week. They are hoping to get the ride open next week but promised an opening within the next two weeks if everything goes well.
jack rabbit is sbno...... i drove by a back road to see tsunami last friday and i said to my friend "omg look at how little jack rabbit looks beside tsunami". Jack rabbit is not safe to run... it is in dire need of an overhaul.
btw I would love to stand in for the sandbags as long as i don't end up floating out of the train like they did. *wonders* how much air is this coaster gonna give? I am praying it will be nitroesque air.
I know it's bad to plan a trip around the opening of a coaster, but it looks like Clementon has lost two customers for Sunday (we're still going to Morey's Piers so not all is lost). I think it was bad for them to have the countdown on the webpage if they couldn't stick to it. As of this morning it still said 2 days until open. Of course it says Testing now.