2021: General Discussion

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Skyscraper, 2nd Nov 2020.

  1. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    They are definitely Zodiac "Enterprise" cars in the back-storage area. They were doubtless cannibalised for parts. Now Towers just need to find a park / attraction selling Von Roll monorail trains!
     
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  2. jmc

    jmc TowersStreet Member

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    Yes they definitely took Zodiac parts to cannibalise! The Enterprise now at Thorpe is ex-Drayton Manor (and still has Draytons colour scheme)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
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  3. Steve74

    Steve74 TowersStreet Member

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    Trigger's Broom!
     
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  4. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    I remember this. If I remember correctly the old one at Thorpe lost a gondola with riders inside.
     
    Last edited: 2nd Jul 2021
  5. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    The very nature of amusement rides !
     
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  6. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    It's true to an extent, but to say a 40 year old ride is as good as a new one because everything has been replaced is still a simplification. For example, an old ride might have a control system that uses relays whereas a new one might use a PLC. Over time, the relays can fail and be replaced but you might find certain components become obsolete or hard to source. This can make rides more unreliable and difficult to maintain because it's hard to get the parts you need.
     
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  7. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    Yes it did. I don’t think it was linked to them replacing it with the one from Drayton as the incident was in 2001, a while before it was switched.

    The gondola basically came loose from one of the two supports that attach it to the main wheel, essentially dangling from the one it remain attached to. The ride op hit the e-stop but due to the nature of the ride in the process of the wheel returning to the ground and the spinning slowing/stopping it meant the gondola was slamming into the ground a few times.

    Tussauds were fined, details here:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/southern_counties/3579359.stm
     
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  8. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    That's true, but in the case of a Huss Enterprise there is a healthy supply of a new and used parts from vendors and decommissioned machines.

    It's often far easier, quicker and cheaper to resurrect something that uses relays over a dead PLC, but I know what you mean.
     
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  9. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    You can tell Towers' Enterprise is fairly old by looking at the ton of welding and all the stress testing they do on it (white marks)

    Another fun one is the truck base for Blade, you can see a nice big rusty hole in one of the wheel arches. Mmmmm.
     
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  10. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    You should have seen the Black Hole with the lights on if you wanted welding galore / NDT white marks on every track joint / cross-section. The fire evacuation rule changes [which is what actually led to the demise of the Black Hole] probably saved Technical Services a fortune in maintenance costs.
     
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  11. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    This video shows it well. It's amazing it still lives on.

    I wouldn't object to Towers either doing a like for like or putting something like a Top Scan in that corner (Samurai can have it's third home, not like it runs at Thorpe as it's always broken anyway, Merlin logic would relocate it :p) I just think it'd be a shame not to have something with a motion to take advantage of that corner area, and another flat on the Submission site.
     
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  12. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    My, that’s a lot of white marks! The ride must have been pretty ill by the time Towers closed it; even if the H&S issues that allegedly caused the ride’s downfall (what were they, out of interest?) hadn’t occurred, one does have to wonder how much longer the ride would have lasted anyway…

    It’s certainly a good thing that the ride was given a hefty refurbishment by Gerstlauer before heading to Furuvik!
     
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  13. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    I think that the fact that it was enclosed was as much, or more pertinent than the state of the ride. God forbid there was a fire, getting everyone out of that structure would have been quite the task.
     
  14. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    I think it required new evacuation platforms to comply with new for the time H&S legislation. Money they did not want to spend as it was probably on the cutting board at some point anyway.

    I've never thought about the potential fire hazards actually. It would not have been easy for sure.

    I wonder what the power situation is at Alton these days and if it has improved, as I am sure that could potentially limit what flat rides could be put in what areas.

    I am sure it will have improved these days, but back in the day, Ripsaw always could only run on tamer settings when the Skyride was running (which happened to be most of the time) so that the FV substation wasnt overloaded. On firework nights and other late openings where the Skyride was shut, they used to have Ripsaw firing on all cylinders, within the preset modes they were allowed to use of course.
     
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  15. John

    John TowersStreet Member

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    I've heard the rumour about Ripsaw being "turned up" when the skyride was closed a couple of times but I never really noticed any difference in all the times I rode it. For at least the last 10 years it operated they almost always ran the same 5 cycles, the op could choose between them but it seemed to depend on busy they were more than anything else. In my experience, programs 7 and 4 were used most often (on quiet and busy days respectively), sometimes 5 or 6 were used instead which weren't as good. That just leaves #8 of the "standard" cycles, which was arguably the best of the bunch possibly the least used. I always attributed that to it being the longest of the cycles rather than them not being able to run it when the skyride was open (though I can't say for certain that I ever saw them run #8 when the skyride was operating, it's been too long)

    The only deviation from the above cycles I ever witnessed was when staff occasionally stopped the ride part way through, then restarted with either the same or a different cycle. I had 8 -> 4 on a couple of occasions and 4 -> 4 once (dubbed the "spin cycle" by the op, as it involved 2 sets of 4 flips). The giveaway for this happening would be the host pressing dispatch a 2nd time in the middle of your ride, requested by the op.

    Our largely-abandoned wiki has links to youtube vids of the standard cycles, including one I never saw in person but was clearly completely dreadful and a total waste of everyone's time:
    https://towersstreet.com/wiki/Ripsaw
     
  16. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    Perhaps it was not limited to specific settings then. Just reduced power across the board.

    The cycles are programmed into the system by HUSS and are largely the same across similar models. For a good example, have a look at some of the travelling top spins, they have the same default cycles. But do some of them with much more force than what Ripsaw did.

    If I remember correctly, the beast had 4 x 65KW motors. Two for each direction that the ride rotates in. The constant switching back and forth between motor sets as the ride went about the cycle, meant the power draw surges up and down quit alot. These surges specifically are what could trip the substation. So to lower the surge strains on the system, power had to be reduced. Nothing inherently wrong with that design, if your power delivery can handle it. Which most can, but when you are running a massively power hungry and large cable car system off the same feed, it is inevitable to have issues.

    This is also one of many reasons why Intamin Gyro swings, which also happen to be the biggest ones on the market, have gearboxes the the size of a truck. Take Maelstrom at Drayton as an example, 3 monsterous 130KW motors to power the swing. From ride start to stop, the motors run at a constant speed, with the gear box doing all the work of shifting directions and upping gears to increase height. Gives a nice constant smooth draw from the electrical circuit. Different ride I know, but it highlights the issue that Ripsaw and top spins all have quite well.

    I don't think there is anything on park at the Towers to this day that assaults the electric circuit like Ripsaw did.

    Another case in point, have you ever seen a rapids ride start up, the same sort of principle is why all the pumps do not usually start at exactly the same time, they start one by one with interval between starts. Start all 3 at once and you'll more then likely trip the circuit.

    Those top spins are quite the beast to ride and quite the beast to tame from an engineering perspective.

    Got a bit technical there I know, but there we are.
     
    Last edited: 3rd Jul 2021
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  17. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    Ripsaw was run on 2/3 power with a full gondola. If the gondola was under half-full you could knock it down to 1/3 power. The only time it was run at full power was to go the overspeed pre-start check (with the gondola empty) in the morning. The overspeed test went at an insane speed and forced the ride to cutout.

    The normal program Ripsaw ras run on was program 4. Early on / late in the day when the queue was short we'd flick it onto the much better program 7. Back in the days when Ripsaw had ride photography, the management did not like it on anything but program 4 as this was the one that sequenced correctly with the camera. Any other program was potential lost photo revenue (& the profit margin on ride photos was / is sky-high).
     
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  18. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    Noticed Enterprise doing something odd on Wednesday, it kept going up and down but the wheel wasn't spinning. Watched it while is was in the queue for "Mixtape" - which i massively enjoyed. There were a couple of overall clad tech guys there and the wheel did start spinning eventually.

    Other musings from my visit :

    The Bladews great! Had a brilliant ride on it, swinging nice and high like it used to.

    And Thirteen and Rita were slow to open. Rita opened first, i jumped in the queue and was still there 45 minutes later, then i realised it was on one train......

    So i gave up on that, just as well the queueboard went from 5 mins to 90.
     
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  19. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Reasonable day on park today, but the glaring issues of 2021 remain. Observations from today:

    • Ride availability was generally OK, although very heavy rainfall seemed to affect a few rides in the afternoon and Nemesis opened an hour late this morning
    • Staffing is so, so patchy this seasons. A sign of the times, perhaps - but training is clearly not a patch on where it would usually. So many staff are like rabbits in headlights and service is generally nowhere near good enough at the moment
    • Several F&B outlets were closed (Valley Hot Dogs/Loaded Fries and Welcom-Inn) - presume isolation is causing a real headache
    • Woodcutters seem to have delivery issues. Half the menu was unavailable and there were no bottled beverages whatsoever available, plus some draught off
    • The rotting facades at ATR seemed to really stand out to me today - whether above the side entrance of Corner Coffee or the Oblivion queue line. So, so tatty
    • The coffee from the churros stand is dire - they are not baristas and haven't a clue how to make the drinks properly
     
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  20. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    It's still tough out there recruitment wise and it must be having a large impact on the park. I can't imagine this getting any better any time soon either once the economy is fully opened up. This is exactly when the park doesn't need this as well right in top of the summer holidays.

    With supply issues due to the HGV driver shortages, I've seen through work that this is really starting to hammer small and medium contracts. Short of drivers and some companies offering £1000 bonuses per week to agency drivers, suppliers seem to be protecting their bigger contracts over their smaller ones. I'd imagine a company like, let's say Brake Brothers for argument's sake (I have no idea who majoritly supplies Merlin's UK parks), a Merlin contract would be small change compared to one of their bigger contracts like national pub or restaurant chains. There's also an international aluminium shortage which has hammered loads of manufactures.

    Oblivion queue line is awful. It's rusty, colour faded, the buildings are filthy with the one with the telescope harbouring large puddles when it rains and the building at the top has green algae like stuff in between the glass blocks and loads of graffiti etched into the metal wall panels.
     
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