I have a feeling Vampire will close end of this season for a retrack
I don’t know what makes you think it will, especially as we went through an entire season last year knowing that the Nemesis retrack was coming up.
Would be great to see them give Vampire a new lease of life.
It's easy to take for granted sometimes but I think it's one of the very best family coasters in Europe.
Also if it does happen we would likely see a tidy up of the queue and general appearance.
It would be great to see it receive some TLC and smartened up. The queueline has gone through phases where theming has been good and then lacked, and good again. Personally, if they were to close it as normal at the end of October and smarten the area up and not reopen until the following July, then it would be worth it. Chessington wouldn’t want it out of action for a year if the ride is technically functioning.
If they retrack Vampire, I would like to see them give the track a new colour as let's be honest, brown is pretty nasty for a track colour IMO when you look at Knightmare we had at Camelot. Maybe have the track painted purple with the supports still in black which together would actually look nice I must say but that's just me. Just not more Merlin black/grey please.
The dark brown supports have never been the most attractive, given their massive size too. On some of them near the bottom, it’s a different shade of brown where numbering was put on them during the work when it was closed in 2001. I’m not sure what colours I’d rather see but it couldn’t be too bright to fit in with the area, given that some of the track is almost as high as some of the trees.
.I'd like to see some new trains, though not from vekoma because, to be frank, when I rode Vampire for the first time last year, the speed was great, but it felt like the swinging wasn't that snappy or as extreme as it could've been, and I don't really like the restraints.
The current trains are the ones Vekoma supplied in 2001 for the refurb. I believe the original ones from the 90’s were made by Arrow. I know what you mean about the swing though, as it’s got older it’s as if the swing has started to lack. The best one you get is off the second lift hill and you go round the corner to the left.
Has a re-track or re-train been rumored or announced? I thought this speculation was purley based on seeing a car with Vekoma's branding at the Park.
This could be for many reasons. For example Just a general inspection of Vampir's condition to determine if work needs to be done. Or tendering for a new ride that's very early in development.
Did I miss something else that suggests a Vampire rebuild or is this just based on the ride being old?
I think it’s just speculation, nothing has certainly been mentioned officially about any work. Vekoma are on site probably to assist with the trains.
Age isn't the only factor in if a ride needs a retrack. Actually it's not even the most important.
Hulk is the first B&M I know of that needed a retrack and it was over 10 years younger than Nemesis (Hulk ran for 16 years, Nemesis 28).
In that case it was the number of ride cycles that was more important as Hulk ran almost day and night with no closed seasons.
Plus I'm sure Universal saw the benefit of retracking one of their headline ride rather than letting it age with every increasing maintenance costs.
Then there's the stress on the track caused by the train. Eagles Fortress (a great companion as it was the same ride type as Vampire but shares many similarities to Nemesis) didn't even last 10 years. The forces on the track were just too much to handle. This is part of the stated reason why Nemesis needs a retrack. After near 30 years of running along the side of a pit some of the supports needed to come out to strengthen the foundations. For this reason I'd be shocked if Oblivion/Galactica don't outlive Nemesis.
Likewise Vampire is a far tamer ride and on more stable terrain than Eagles Fortress.
Not that I'm saying it doesn't need a retrack. It is 30+ years old and it's not a B&M. But there are old Arrow rides still running today (many examples actually) that are still going strong.
Vampire certainly doesn’t take nowhere near as much stress as Nemesis does. For a start it’s a slower ride and then its throughput is most likely lower than Nemesis. Vampire is older but it also has massive supports for a suspended coaster that you don’t see on todays modern builds.
Here’s an interesting thought; given that the council have said that they would block a Vampire replacement of equivalent size, would they even permit a Vampire retrack?
If the council once said they’d block a development of that size ever happening again, I’d doubt they’d allow a retrack to take place or a coaster of that size on that site.