When Do Good Rides Go Bad?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 10:05 AM
Rode the Timber Wolf at WOF in 2000, thought it was one of the best coasters in the country. Rode it in 2002, it felt rough. Rode it last month and it was painful. I like a coaster that bucks, but it shouldn't feel like it is going over a series of speed bumps at 40 mph. Someone had mentioned it was going to get retracked in the off season.

My question is a technical one if anyone knows. Can anything be done to save a good coaster after its gone bad? In some instances I know nothing can be done, otherwise Hercules would have been saved and the Grizzly at PGA, well, it would be less horrific.

The same question is for steel coasters. Most of us know Vakoma loopers don't age well, they probably can't be saved. The Desperado used to be great, is it just poor maintenance that it isn't running well? When we hear someone had a painful experience on our favorite coaster, did they ride it on a bad day or is this an indication of worse days to come?

When good coasters roll bad, what can be done to save them? *** Edited 7/20/2005 2:34:28 PM UTC by rc-madness***

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005 11:01 AM
Wood coaster unless they are poorly engineered like Mean Streak and Hurcules seem to last a long time and run well when they are properly maintained. It seems like the Dinn coasters generally are nightmares years after being built.

I am real interested to see how these large CCI & GG coasters hold up over the years. I can't imagine Raven lasting as long as something like Jackrabbit due to its wacky speed and laterals.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005 11:39 AM
"When Good Rides Go Bad"

Sounds like a new TV show. ;-)

Some woodies *go bad* after their first year of operation while others seem to get better with age (like Raven, who is now 10 years old).

I think 90% of it has to do with the parks and how much time, money, and energy they are willing to put into maintaining their wooden coasters to where they don't beat the crap out of you.

-Tina

*** Edited 7/20/2005 3:41:17 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005 11:51 AM
One reason why I'm getting as many rides in at SFGAdv when they have their new woodie next year...so that way I can say I was on it while the ride was still good...knowing their maintenance ;)
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Wednesday, July 20, 2005 12:06 PM
I know The Beast is still a good wooden coaster you just have a different sitting area now days. Now if PKI still had a bar like on the Jackrabbit at Kennywood if would be a different ride.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2005 12:55 PM
When is it a maintenance issue? In some instances I can't believe retracking would solve the problem. I doubt PGA is the proud owner of the worst ride in the country. Why wouldn't they fix the Grizzly and spare everyone all that unneccessary pain and headaches giving the park a bad rep. I'm sure Knotts couldn't wait to get rid of Windjammer and all the headaches that ride was causing.

In what instances can rough rides be fixed, and why can't others? I'm sure tearing down the coaster isn't the first option, but sometimes that is what ends up happening. When good coaster roll bad are they doomed? *** Edited 7/20/2005 5:02:40 PM UTC by rc-madness***

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005 1:51 PM

coasterqueenTRN said:
"When Good Rides Go Bad"

Sounds like a new TV show. ;-)


Airing right before "Coaster Enthusiasts Gone Wild." :)

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005 2:39 PM

rc-madness said:
Why wouldn't they fix the Grizzly and spare everyone all that unneccessary pain and headaches giving the park a bad rep.

All I need is one character to answer that question: $

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005 2:40 PM
^I have seen THAT show way too many times, Bear. :-)

-Tina

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005 2:46 PM
^ And it ain't pretty. :)
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Wednesday, July 20, 2005 2:50 PM

coasterqueenTRN said:I think 90% of it has to do with the parks and how much time, money, and energy they are willing to put into maintaining their wooden coasters to where they don't beat the crap out of you.

Meh, all that is GREAT, and parks willing to spend the effort and money to keep woodies, (and perhaps more importantly, the TRAINS) in good condition....they get heaps o' praise from me. :)

...but there's one thing that's absolutely CRUCIAL, and in my mind the MOST important thing you need: Wooden-coaster mechanics who LOVE and CARE for their machines like they were their own children.

Those guys could NOT get more respect and admiration, and my hat is off to them! :)


Steel coasters...they're way more about the TRAINS than anything else IMO. If the trackwork is bad, it MUST be replaced/repaired...and that's a WAY different situation than on a wooden coaster... ;)

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005 3:31 PM
Cedar Point has one of the largest wood coasters in the world running in their back yard. The only reason they have not fixed the roughnest of their ride is because of money? That's hard to believe. I'm sure if all they had to do was a little retracking they would have improved the Mean Streak a while ago.

It seems that at some point retracking cannot save the roll of a coaster; wondering why that is? Are there coasters that have significantly improved from retracking? *** Edited 7/20/2005 7:32:25 PM UTC by rc-madness***

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005 4:08 PM
^I know Psyclones first drop improved 100% after SFMM retracked / steel I beamed, what ever they did too it a few years back worked wonders.

Now if only we can get them to finish the rest of the ride:O(

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005 4:23 PM
coasterqueen and tambo,

as long as they have enough of those squiggly mosaic things to go around, I think I can handle it.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005 6:25 PM
Coaster Enthusiasts Gone Wild? Are there Tiki Torches involved, Tina? ;)

It really does depend on Design and Maintainance, and that goes for both the track and rolling stock. For an example, see: Swamp Fox & Hurricane. One, a steel hybrid a couple blocks down form a complete woody. One runs better, and is way older.

But I'll let you be the judge of which one I'm talking about ;).

DISCLAIMER: I actually like Hurricane, even if it is rough, so no comments, please ;).

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005 6:42 PM
Insert Vekoma joke here: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

...Seriously though, once the coaster is constructed it up to the park's maintenance crew and the park itself to see if they will keep up work on it, and how willing & able the park is financially to keep up with the coaster.

Sometimes a coaster needs to be re-tracked after a few seasons, but the park either doesn't see the need, (to me that would mean people don't speak up about the problem, or the park management is uninformed).

Or they may have to wait a few more seasons to afford parts, or even the overtime for their crew to make the changes/repairs.

When writing this I can't help but think about all the coasters that have been neglected all their existence...for me, a good example is Screechin' Eagle @ Lesourdsville Lake. It was always fun, but man that coaster needed help. And now after being ignored while it ran all those years, it's now been left to rot away.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005 6:45 PM
Screechin' Eagle got extensively retracked and even reprofiled [by CCI, I think] more than once. It was hardly neglected.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2005 7:44 PM

RatherGoodBear said:
coasterqueen and tambo,

as long as they have enough of those squiggly mosaic things to go around, I think I can handle it.


I was mostly referring to enthusiasts and buffets, but now that you mention it.........lol.

Clint,

None of those Tiki's were hurt, even IF there was a recall by the company. ;-)

-Tina

*** Edited 7/20/2005 11:45:08 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005 7:50 PM
The quality of the engineering has to play a factor too. Just look at Drachen Fire. How many modifications and how much maintenance did that thing have done to it before it was finally taken down ? *** Edited 7/20/2005 11:50:19 PM UTC by Kris Wempa***
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Wednesday, July 20, 2005 8:40 PM
One of the most crucial components in a wooden coaster is the wood itself. For years the prefered wood was clear Douglas Fir. It has become exceedingly difficult to obtain in sufficient quantities to build your basic woodie. When you do find it it's very, expensive. Southern Yellow pine has supplanted Doug Fir in coaster building. From what I've heard it's aging qualities are nothing like Doug fir's and the results are obvious.
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