Ride Availability 2018

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Rob, 27th Mar 2018.

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  1. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    Whilst we can all complain on here about the ride downtime (which is pretty bad), letters speak louder volumes - email & social media complaints will be filtered out by minions (or AT's Social Media team - the less said the better there!) Physical letters sometimes actually get read by the head-honchos PA's so they start to get a handle on what is actually happening.

    Send your complaints to:
    Francis Jackson, Director of Operations, Alton Towers, Alton, ST10 4DB.
    Copy your letter to:
    Nick Varney, CEO, Merlin Entertainments, Link House, 25 West Street, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1LD.

    I appreciate this means printing two letters / two envelopes / two stamps - but they may start to wake up to how things really are. You can only hope they will either wake up to how bad things are, or sell up (on the Theme Parks business) - the latter would be the ideal option if the right buyer was found.
     
  2. Robert.W

    Robert.W TowersStreet Member

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    *gets out paper and pen, sits down*

    Now, where on earth do I begin...
     
  3. Burbs

    Burbs TowersStreet Team Team Member

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    Emailing head office seems to work better than emailing simply Towers. Although it can still be inconsistent as to how it is dealt. I emailed Merlin (CC’d Nick Varney) yet got a reply from Towers. Still at least it was dealt with properly. :)
     
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  4. Austin Towers

    Austin Towers TowersStreet Member

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    Love writing a good letter I do. Unfortunately our annual towers pilgrimage isn't until August so I may have to keep the biro under control until then.

    However with my son's school visit on Thursday this week I may get to write on his behalf. He's under strict instruction to log all bad experiences and I'll be keeping an eye on the ride times myself.

    Sad I know.
     
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  5. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Looks like Towers have not been able to get either The Smiler or Oblivion ready in time to open at 10am this morning. Although I suspect The Smiler's queue line is somewhat flooded this morning!

    EDIT:

    And of course they both open as soon as I post this! :tearsofjoy:

    :)
     
  6. Poopoohead

    Poopoohead TowersStreet Member

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    Nemesis hasn’t opened either?
     
  7. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    This seems to be another trend of 2018. I am hoping that it is related to the work on the second train but either way it is hardly ideal.

    :)
     
  8. Benjsh

    Benjsh TowersStreet Member

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    I don't think they've had one day in the park yet with every coaster opening when it was advertised to on ride times.

    The more it goes on the more I just don't think they've got the amount of tech staff to get everything fully operational by 11am.

    Sad times. :(
     
  9. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    They have probably employed the amount of techies that they thought they would have needed to get all rides open according to the initial staggered openings (i.e. Valley at 12). Then they went to what we have no and technical services are extremely stretched when it comes to getting rides ready each morning.

    I could of course be wrong , but something is not right.

    :)
     
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  10. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    They have clearly cut Technical Services staff right down as years ago they used to be able to get all the rides ready for 10am with little difficulty.

    Back in 2002 (Air's debut year) they even had one Technical Services techie doing permanent night shift working to maintain the Air trains (they had quite a few problems with the sensors on them in the first year). Night shift working normally attracts a premium payment of some kind... so this would never happen now Merlin are counting the pennies.

    Again, back in the early 2000's it took about 15mins for Nemesis to be signed-off by the techies. There would be two techies present who would do visual inspections of the trains & track / ride area. They would bring the trains onto the track and run them round twice each - visually observing them as they ran. If all was OK the ride was signed over to Ride Operations who then have to do their pre-start checks which take about 10mins.

    Ride Operations pre-start checks included: a visual walking inspection of the lift, brake area and all visible parts of the ride area for obstructions (by the operator / relief operator). Check the harness manual-release works on each row of both trains. Attempt to send a train with an open harness (it goes nowhere). Attempt to send a train with the airgates open (it goes nowhere). Send a train and both the operator & enabler assistant release their buttons separately (train should stop). Test the lift stop with a train engaged on the lift. Activate ride-stop when a train is in the free-roll (it stops abruptly in the service brake). Finally, send round a train with at least one member of staff on to check for obstructions.

    In addition there were "Presentation" checks, but these had in effect been done the previous day as the ride closed (queue line litter picked / bins emptied & bags replaced etc). The cleanliness of the trains had to be checked and dealt with too - this could be done after ride close if we needed access to the top of the train (can only be done in the garage) or before ride opening in the station.

    Back in 1999-2001 both trains on Nemesis would be signed off by the techies & the ride team would do all their checks, but we would then garage one train (alternated each day) for a thorough clean. Open with single train operation & reduced staff on platform to free up staff to clean the train. When the queue got to about under the lift hill (on a 9:30 opening this was normally about 10-10:15) we'd bring the second train on for the remainder of the day. It just had to be run round empty once after we brought it back from the garage.
     
  11. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    I think Alton Towers need to limp through to the end of the Easter holidays and then spend a week or so getting everything in order. It simply hasn't been good enough so far this year.

    HOWEVER.

    Alton Towers know things are not currently right, and I am confident will work to correct some of these problems. I doubt they need any more letters or emails about it just now, as there has been plenty of late - including from myself!

    :)
     
    Last edited: 10th Apr 2018
  12. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    I'm going next Tuesday with my best mate, and she's not been there in a couple of decades, I hope it's a good operations day, i really do.
     
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  13. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Well, next Tuesday - all schools are back. So in theory, you should be OK even if operations are dodgy.
     
  14. Funcone

    Funcone TowersStreet Member

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    Following on from the post by kraken27 I know that in the past the engineers have worked overnight to replace Rita's launch cable. It needs replacing after so many pulls (not sure of the number) so it can need replacing mid season. I guess now they might be able to do it on one of the days when the park's closed. In the past the park was open daily through the season, and rather than having the ride closed for the day, it'd be done overnight. I wonder whether they'd still do that, even if it was for a new ride like Wicker Man.
     
  15. b2311e

    b2311e TowersStreet Member

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    Just finished writing mine..

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Mikw

    Mikw TowersStreet Member

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    Yes, that was a major reason for picking that day. Now, to hope for good weather and ride reliability...
     
  17. WickerManiac

    WickerManiac TowersStreet Member

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    [​IMG]

    Not looking good again this morning. Only 1 major coaster open (with a 2 hour queue) and it's almost 11AM.

    :(
     
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  18. Towerslover

    Towerslover TowersStreet Member

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    Is this the second time in the past week smiler and oblivion haven’t been open on time? Last Friday it was like this and it felt like we had a really slow start to the day and missed out on a few rides.
     
  19. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I'm surprised at how short the WM queue is, considering nothing else is open in terms of thrill coasters... I would have expected it to be 180 minutes like it was on its opening weekend! Operations must be improving on the ride if they are able to reduce queues to 120 minutes! Besides, it's not their fault that the coasters are having a bad day with regards to reliability. It is a bummer, I admit, but these things happen...
     
  20. WickerManiac

    WickerManiac TowersStreet Member

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    More poor operations at the 11 opening. 4 major rides closed.

    :(
     
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