What are the advantages of 1-train operation

Sunday, January 4, 2004 9:31 AM
Hi - I was just wondering what the advantages of 1-train operation are that is found so often especially in 6-flags parks.
Besides the fact that only 1 train needs to be maintained and that the wear and tear on the coaster might be less, this creates nothing but bad blood on the customer side and makes people stay home.

Waiting times kill coaster fun!

Why do they do that?
Lack of spare parts for the coaster trains? *** Edited 1/4/2004 2:33:48 PM UTC by superman***

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Sunday, January 4, 2004 9:37 AM
Well it puts a lot less strees on the ride operators. And certain coasters can only operate with one for safety purposes such as ThunderBolt @ SFNE. It has old brakes and its much safer to run one train. And in the case of Yankee Cannonball the park still fears that running two trains could decrease safety as there still scared about what happened in june of 2001 when the trains collided, even though lately the ride got a new brake system the park still fears the worst.
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Sunday, January 4, 2004 11:35 AM
No stacking trains...
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Sunday, January 4, 2004 11:56 AM
Why not just add new brakes to SFNE's T-Bolt?

SFA's Wild one had a similar problem (pre-SF)in which they could only run 1 train due to the bad skid brakes...that changed in 99 when they upgraded to pnuematic brakes & added new trains to the ride.

Even with all that work capacity still stinks...so imagine how bad it would be with only 1 train running all the time.

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Sunday, January 4, 2004 12:18 PM
Besides the obvious saftey and matience reasons, I cant think of any reasons why it would be good to the customer. Kennywood is notorious for doing this, even after they got the trims installed on PR, they still run 1 train almost all the time.
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Sunday, January 4, 2004 2:09 PM
Every time I've been to K-Wood Phantom has had its second train added by noon.

It's not like it really matters if Phantom only has one train unelss it's an uberbusy day, though. That thing's a people-eater even with one train and your average park guest is happy with riding it once or maybe twice... they're not into the power riding thing.

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Sunday, January 4, 2004 2:42 PM
Most of the time it is because the park does not have the staff to run more than one train.
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Sunday, January 4, 2004 3:37 PM
The biggest *advantage* of consistent single-training is that it makes patrons have a less-than-stellar day at your park, so they don't return, don't bring their friends/family, and don't crowd your midways....then you don't need to staff the restaurants as heavily, and it keeps the bathrooms cleaner...requiring even less staff....everybody wins! ;)


Warning: this post contains satire...

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Sunday, January 4, 2004 3:44 PM
One train ops cut down on Operating costs. I can't tell all of the ways, but there are a few.

Sometimes the Rides are too short to Run two trains. Raven, Thunder Run, Tennessee Tornado, and Cannonball at Lake Winnie all run one train because if there were two , the Stacking would become a problem. Tennessee Tornado runs two sometimes, but that' rare because it's only done when the park is really busy.

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And if a shuttle coaster ran two trains , it would then be very unsafe.:)`

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Sunday, January 4, 2004 4:22 PM
I'll second the comment about Kennywood. Last summer, they had one train running on Phantom's Revenge. Then, while we were riding other rides, they added the second train. So, when we came back at the end of the night, they were back down to one train, and they also only had one train on Thunderbolt. It might have had something to do with the steady rain, even though the park was still fairly crowded. I don't know how reliable the brakes are on either ride in the a steady downpour.

On both of my visits to Knoebels, they only had one train running on both of the woodies, but at least they warned you on Phoenix before you got in line. Dorney Park also only had one train running on Thunderhawk, Laser, and the dearly departed Hercules in 2001. Quite possibly the worst offense I've seen was PKD on opening day last year. They only ran one train on Hypersonic XLC for a whopping total of eight people at a time. The other trains weren't even visible on the transfer table.

I can't say there are any advantages except what's already been mentioned. *** Edited 1/4/2004 9:26:54 PM UTC by Intamin Fan***

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Sunday, January 4, 2004 5:50 PM
I wonder if when parks do this that they are thinking that people won't notice? Maybe parks think that everyone is oblivious to the reason why the line isn't moving.
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Sunday, January 4, 2004 6:33 PM
In the case of Station Brake Failure, there's not a big explosion and a bunch of people fade..

Oh wait..

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Monday, January 5, 2004 12:17 AM
Well for a workers point of view, they have less to worry about. One Train operation happens because of many reasons such as: not enough people in the park that day, not enough staff, maintenance reasons, too short of course. One train operation sucks so much either way though.
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Monday, January 5, 2004 8:37 AM
On woodies, putting that second train on there makes for a huge increase in the amount that those guys walking the tracks in the morning have to do. In the long run, if you can run one train for as much as possible, and the only put the second one on for just the weekends, for example, you're going to be much better off, and the ride is going to track better, as well.

On another note, the added stress to the operators and attendents when a second train is added is really a non-issue. Your average ride crew at your average park really won't behave much differently, no matter how much people here fuss about stacking the trains. In fact, your average ride crew doesn't even know what stacking is, or that its even undesirable. Its not like the mantinence guys are sitting around thinking "Gee, we really should put a second train on Coaster X but little Attendant Timmy seems pretty stressed already."

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Monday, January 5, 2004 10:41 AM

matt. said:


Its not like the mantinence guys are sitting around thinking "Gee, we really should put a second train on Coaster X but little Attendant Timmy seems pretty stressed already."


Baaahahahahahahaa! Good form. Thanks for the early morning belly laugh! :) Little Timmy. LOL

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Monday, January 5, 2004 11:29 AM

thepinkdoomofmonkeys said:
Sometimes the Rides are too short to Run two trains. Raven, Thunder Run, Tennessee Tornado, and Cannonball at Lake Winnie all run one train because if there were two , the Stacking would become a problem.
I'm not too sure that stacking would be that much of an issue. With three trains (assuming, hypothetically, that the rides you mentioned had enough blocks to handle that many), it would absolutely be an issue considering the length of these coasters. However, one-train coasters like Raven and Thunder Run (I can't speak for Cannonball) have a ride time of at least a minute and a half. So, if ride crews are efficient enough, this should be plenty of time to roll Train 1 out of the station so that Train 2 wouldn't sit on the brake run for too long.

matt. said:
In fact, your average ride crew doesn't even know what stacking is, or that its even undesirable.
Indeed. And I don't really see why it's so undesirable among enthusiasts, anyway. It's not like I'm ever in a mad hurry to get off a coaster when it stops.
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Monday, January 5, 2004 12:09 PM
The stacking is annoying because it just means that the crews aren't utilizing their 2 trains to their full capacity. I'm sure Raven, Thunder Run etc... would have no problem entertaining another train, but most of the time, the trains would stack no matter how good the crews, and even if they didn't, its not like the lines those rides generate would justify a second train, Stark Raven Mad not withstanding. Still, taking any coaster that is notorious for only running one train at your average Six Flags and sticking a second train on there just isn't going to change much too often.

Just hypothetically....Raven runs so perfectly, and I'm sure it would run great with 2 trains, too, but if it ain't broke, I sure as hell wouldn't vote to fix it.

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Monday, January 5, 2004 1:35 PM
Ok.....big difference between 1-train to 2-train, and 2-train to 3-train operation.

If a crew isn't fast enough with two train operation to prevent stacking, there's no point adding a third (see Goliath at SFMM). However, going from one-train to two-train is a huge difference. Let's assume it's a shorter ride at a 1:30 ride time. While that train is on the track, the other can spend 1:30 unloading and reloading. This means that you already have another load ready to go (or nearly) by the time the other train gets back. With one train ops, you just wasted that 1:30 doing nothing.

Why would a busy park let a two train coaster run with only one train? Easy....money. It becomes a choice of whether happier customers are worth spending more money.

As far as the stacking. I would rather stack for 15-30 seconds on a coaster running two trains than wait nearly twice as long in line for a coaster running one train. I can't think of anyone that would feel differently.

Stressful?? Let me just say this....minus Cedar Point, I don't think many parks really put that much stress on their employees to not stack. Oh, and also, I'd rather keep busy with two trains than stand around most of the day waiting on the other train to get back. The busier you are, the quicker the time passes.

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Monday, January 5, 2004 3:12 PM
Another possiblity for one train operation on a busy day is to keep your crowds in the queues and off the walks. It keeps your patrons around longer, spreads your patrons more evenly around the park, and makes your money-making areas more accessible.

Stacking is not a big deal. All coasters running more than one train will stack occassionaly even with the best crews (ie clean up, transfer, station delay, duty shifts, etc..). I believe most patrons believe a small wait is just part of normal operation. I've only complained about stacking once, but it was a 3 minute wait each and every cycle due entirely to the ineptitude of the crew.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2004 2:05 PM
Employees do well know what stacking is, but as has been said, outside of Cedar Point it's not really considered undesirable (it's not desirable, either, but just not as big a deal).

Some coasters also likely run a single train due to weight concerns for the ride itself -- if the trains aren't nearly full, then rollbacks are more likely. Gemini (Cedar Point) will run fewer trains because of this likelihood; running only one means that everyone fills it up first.

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