What's the point of single train operation?

Thursday, October 5, 2006 8:36 AM
ON a lot of the coasters for saftey reasons you have to open the air gates then close them each time a trian enters the station. I know at least on B&M coasters the Air gates are directly tied to the ride.

I know this because i was at sUperman at gadv and the air gates got busted and the ride would not leave the station because of the airgates.

It turned out the air pump had busted so the airgates could not open or clsoe and the ride would not let the train leave.

If there is a long line and say an hour wait then yes there should be two train op but if the wait is say 10 min with one train why should there be two trains on the track ?

Thursday, October 5, 2006 8:55 AM
The reason they run one train is because if they didn't run one, the ride would be closed! :)


Thursday, October 5, 2006 10:02 AM

Impulse-ive said:

Plus, the lines are part of the "atmosphere" of a park. We all enjoy no lines because we can jump from ride to ride and get in as much as possible. We aren't most folks.


Think of it this way, if a person can ride everything in the park in under two hours because there are no lines, the average guest doesn't just keep re-riding the same attractions over and over again - they leave.

You need guests to be occupied long enough that they will need to eat a meal in the park, which means keeping them out of very long lines, but not letting them 'do everything' to quickly. It's a balancing act.

Of course, maintenance issues are also a major part of the equation.

Thursday, October 5, 2006 10:14 AM
I just wanted to throw in my two cents as this is something that aggrivates me to no end.

At Wonderland, in the past 8 years that I've had a season pass, I have only ever seen single train operation one day, and even then it was only on two rides. Otherwise, the park is dead, they still have two trains going on everything. They love to let you re-reide if the queue is empty.

Someone made a comment about saving money on labor costs... are you kidding? The staff stand around doing nothing waiting for the train to return, when they could be loading and checking another train. Staff hate it when there's one train ops, it makes thier shifts longer and more boring.

Save money 'cause the air gates don't open as much... please.

The only argument I see is that it is for wear and tear on the trains. But even then, I doubt that really makes much sense. For most seasonal parks, the same amount of maintenance is done each season (wheel replacement, etc) regardless of how many days that season the train was running. If they are going to change out the wheels on one train, odds would be good that they'd do them both.

So I guess it will remain a mystery to me. Thankfully PCW is my home park, and it almost never happens here.

Thursday, October 5, 2006 10:20 AM

SFDL_Dude said:
on the silver comet there were many times when I was asked to "slow down" on the dispatches, and "take my time" because boss didn't want the ride to run so much -- I was sending out trains "too fast"...

Yeah, but that's MFI. Don't make any assumptions about operations at any other park based on what goes on at that $#!+#@!{. :(

There are rides out there where the ride can't run two trains (or three or whatever) unless there is a minimum number of operators on the platform. Often it is related to being able to get the trains out on time in order to keep them separated. On a not-very-busy day when full staffing is simply not available, what is better? One coaster with all trains, or two coasters with one train each?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Thursday, October 5, 2006 10:31 AM
If wait times aren't over 10-15 minutes with one train running, adding another train means sending out lots of empty seats...and they paid NOTHING to get in the park... ;)

*** Edited 10/5/2006 2:31:30 PM UTC by rollergator***

Thursday, October 5, 2006 11:00 AM
Who cares about the damn gates? They have nothing to do with the decision to run one train.

I disagree with Agent about Cedar Point. Magnum, Raptor, Millennium Force, and even Mean Streak, open will all trains on most of the time. None of those rides operate with more or less ops based on train count, except maybe Magnum, but even that one could theoretically run with two people checking restraints now that it doesn't set up on the safeties. They send out lots of empty seats, and seem to be OK with it.

The only reason I can think of to limit one train is that you save wear on the ride, but as someone pointed out, you're going to overhaul the trains on a regular schedule, and the track is maintained on a rolling basis. And regardless of maintenance, why build a ride at all if you don't want people to ride it?

I never understood the whole money-saving thing either, because people standing around doing nothing can't spend money elsewhere in the park.

Thursday, October 5, 2006 11:04 AM
Waiting in line isn't fun.

You're either going to parks alone or with the wrong friends. With the people I hang with I'm never bored waiting ;)

Thursday, October 5, 2006 11:28 AM
But the thing with one train ops is that a majority of parks seem to do it at some time or another. There must be something to it that makes it advantageous - and so far the best rundown of possibilities/reasons I've ever seen is Agent Johnson's post in this thread.
Thursday, October 5, 2006 11:40 AM
The air gates would have to do with one train operation because the air pumps only last so long.

They would be figured into the maintanance along with things like the wheels on the trains and so forth.

The only times I notice 1 train operation at GADV is at the begining of the year. A lot of the other times its two train operation with the third train on the storage track.

Also rides like the scream machine wich barely has a wait at all , why should there be one train op when most of the time that second train would maybe leave half full to begin with.

What would that save on your wait maybe a min or two? Does the reduced wait time outweigh the disadvantages of putting another train on the tracks?

Also does the reduced wait out weigh the wait if you are sitting in the brake rune because they had trouble dispatching the train ahead of you?

There are many things that go into deciding if they should run just one train or two.

Thursday, October 5, 2006 11:52 AM

SFoGswim said:
And your argument rests on the assumption that people will want to ride more times with more trains, which also may not be true.

You're obviously just not getting it.

I can't think of a single instance where your argument actually makes any logical sense. If you've got 300 people in line all day, and you're filling the entire train all day, then you're still dispatching *half* as many trains by just operating one.

If you've got only a small number of people riding throughout the day, then you're sending out empty seats, in which case the park would be better off running one train, sending off less empty seats, and making fewer dispatches throughout the day.

The *only* time your scenario would work is if nobody rode the coaster all day, except for one busy period where 300 people simultaneously got in line, rode, and nobody else rode throughout the day. What are the chances of that happening? About zero.


Thursday, October 5, 2006 11:53 AM
Compressed air is a costly source of energy, so less trains means less use of the airgates and less use of the air-controlled braking system over the course of the day. So that IS something to consider. Just to give you an idea of how costly compressed air systems can be, a single small leak in a hose somewhere in the system can result in thousands of dollars a year in wasted energy.

EDIT: And when I say a leak, I'm talking about something so small, a human can't detect it. You need an ultrasound device to find it. *** Edited 10/5/2006 3:59:30 PM UTC by Acoustic Viscosity***

Thursday, October 5, 2006 11:58 AM
Waiting in line can be fun sometimes...but waiting in a needlessly slow line almost never is. A half hour station wait with a one train operation and lethargic ride ops is much more annoying than an hour long wait for Raptor in a very long but very fast line. I don't think that I am the only one that notices that the parks that are quicker to go to the one train operation are often the ones with slow ride ops.

As far as staff goes, I do think it take more for the 3 train operation to be efficient, but it just takes the same number of people to work harder to get 2 to work. That is unless they don't care about fast dispatch times with the one train operation in which case I guess they can save some money there.

One train operations often do upset me, especially when the park is not saving money in other areas first. I hate to speak ill of HW since I love that park so much, but waiting over a half hour for a ride there with a one train operation always makes me think about their small parking lot tram and free pop.

Whatever. If a park needs to save money on wheel replacements etc, then I guess I can save money by eating before I get to that park.

Thursday, October 5, 2006 12:17 PM
^ I would go even one step further (and have gone that extra step MANY times)...to say that single-training MAKES for lethargic ripe ops, dulls their senses, and maybe even leads to INCREASED chances of *unfortunate incidents*.

What's MY perfect break-point for making the decision about single-training vs. double-training? In other words, WWgD? ;)

Typically about 15-20 minutes is my *decision point*...if you're over 20 minutes, you can keep the second train running, and full, on most every coaster out there...less than 15 minutes, a second train will run too many empty seats, and then cost DOES become a *decisive* factor.

Besides, empty seats almost NEVER applaud when they return to the station... ;)

Thursday, October 5, 2006 12:27 PM

Jeff said:
...and even Mean Streak, open will all trains on most of the time. None of those rides operate with more or less ops based on train count...

I can only speak from my experience on Mean Streak last summer. We would cut people once we took a train off at the end of the night. When we were down to one train we would only have one op on unload. I can only think of a few nights when we closed with a couple trains.

Taking off a train first started with closing the rows to the sixth cars. If we could keep the lines short with the closed rows for 15 mintues, we would close another car. Once we had cars 4-6 closed, then we would call for approval to take off a train. That was how it was supposed to happen, at least on Mean Streak. Usually the line dropped off so drastically that wasting 45 mintues would have been a waste.

Thursday, October 5, 2006 1:15 PM

majortom1981 said:
The air gates would have to do with one train operation because the air pumps only last so long.
Oh please. Every part on every ride has a finite life span. Everything needs repaired eventually. Why is that a guest's problem?
Thursday, October 5, 2006 2:04 PM
There's definitely a balance issue that some parks get and some don't.

Kings Island was running three trains on Vortex all day each of the two times I visited the park, on relatively uncrowded days. There was never more than a one-train wait, and it always sent out at least half-full trains. The line was non-existent, yet people kept riding all day.

Conversely, the two times I've been to SFOT, Shockwave was running one train, leading to a brutal 20-30 minute wait (baking in the sun). Each time I was there, I rode it once and only once because I just couldn't justify waiting that long each time.

Kings Island was doing more than it had to, but SFOT was doing less than it should have. I've been riding for almost 20 years, and my tolerance for lines has plummeted. I'll wait an excessive amount of time to ride something new or highly regarded, but if it's a ride I've been on before, 20 minutes is about my limit.

Thursday, October 5, 2006 2:51 PM

Agent Johnson said:
They [cedar point]never open or close with full capacity, with the exception of MF on a weekend. If you come back in the am, maintenence has pulled and rotated the trains.

Not True. Cedar Point opens every ride at full capacity with the exception of Dragsters now spare train and disaster transport (normal is now 5 shuttles). All rides open with all trains except during weekends. I know on Fridays raptor only opens with 2 trains and so do some of the other rides. Normally, the only rides that transfer trains off before the end of the night are in the back of the park like Mean Streak and they are only allowed to transfer off if they are sending empty trains.

Thursday, October 5, 2006 2:59 PM
Not to revive an old debate that will never be resolved ;) but the parks that sell jump in line passes and don't run at full capacity really piss me off.
Thursday, October 5, 2006 3:02 PM
Multiple trains means the public will have fewer opportunities to experience the fantastic advantages of Flash Pass. Just ten minutes in line and guests miss the point, neglecting to purchase that advantage.

It’s the one or two hour lines that cause people to look for faster ways to board the train. You don't really feel that confimation of money well spent unless you can pass at least three or four hundred people. Can't get that with pitifully short lines. It all ends up being a persuasive, experiential form of advertising.

Some may say getting more trains on the tracks to be the faster route, but heck with that. Why should parks have to spend money on ride capacity when guests already come with cash in their pockets?

As long as parks offer shorter lines through Q-Bots, they don't need to build no silly second train. You want a shorter lines, all you have to do is pay for them. *** Edited 10/5/2006 7:49:37 PM UTC by rc-madness***


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