Wicker Man - General Discussion - Part Two

Jb85

TS Member
Wood coasters are living and breathing things, they ride very differently day by day for a vast multitude of reasons, neither opinion is right or wrong.

I miss the days where we didn't get week by week updates from the same people visiting the same parks, desperate to create content.

Even if you avoid the Vlogs and the Wikipedia recyclers on YouTube like the plague, they still loom large on these boards, despite not posting here, sad really.

I completely agree with you @Rick

For me the constant ‘today it was this’ ‘today it was that’ nature of the community that has developed over the last few years is actually ruining the community.

And it’s people like Shawn that are causing this

Rant over
 

Ethan

TS Member
Sorry to double post, but Shawn from TPW raised the possibility that Wicker Man might be getting more retracking work over this off-season in his latest Alton Towers vlog:

(Skip to 20:37)
He says that the ride is “riding pretty rough at the moment” in “the usual suspect places”. (I can only assume he means the s-bend drop?)

Interesting… I have a pretty low roughness tolerance (certainly lower than Shawn’s, from what I can gather), and I didn’t personally find Wicker Man overly rough at all last weekend. It must have deteriorated a fair bit in 5 days; I remember the train shaking a little bit on the s-bend drop, but I wouldn’t have called it a rough section per se (it certainly didn’t cause me any pain whatsoever), and I thought it always did that? In general, I’d probably have said the ride felt no rougher than on my June visit, perhaps even a touch smoother?

But what are your thoughts? Do you expect more significant retracking to take place over winter?

I personally think that it's running well and is fairly smooth. I guess with a woodie they change day by day and can run better some times than others
 

Ethan

TS Member
Can't blame Shawn, he doesn't post them up on here!
I think Shawn is highly regarded enough in the community to not give a damn about people's opinion on a forum. He will consider his opinion more valid given that he has a large platform to express it on. More people are likely to follow his opinion than they are ours. If Shawn says Wicker man is rough, then all of a sudden people think the same. If I say the smiler is the best coaster in the uk, then I will be known as an idiot haha
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Random Wicker Man question for anyone who knows more about block sections than me; out of interest, why is it that a train on Wicker Man has to hit a certain point in the layout before the train behind it can get dispatched, as opposed to being able to be dispatched as soon as the train in front clears the lift hill?

I assumed that it was able to dispatch as soon as the train in front cleared the lift hill, but I noticed the other day that the ride staff, although the train was ready, were waiting for the train in front to hit the brake run before dispatching the next train. Not because they didn’t want to dispatch it, but because the system wasn’t letting them (they were holding the button down for a good few seconds before the train dispatched). Admittedly, the ride was on 2 trains, which may have made a difference, but I thought it was interesting, to say the least, especially given that I was under the impression that the ride would be able to dispatch as soon as the lift hill was clear.

On 3, though, I’ve noticed that the ride tends to dispatch around when the train in front goes through the final wicker man pass through, at the very earliest.

Why is this? Is the train in front coming off of the lift hill too early to dispatch in real world conditions even if the train is ready (in Planet Coaster, trains seem to dispatch as soon as the block section ahead is clear and guests are loaded), or is it different?
 

Skyscraper

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
Random Wicker Man question for anyone who knows more about block sections than me; out of interest, why is it that a train on Wicker Man has to hit a certain point in the layout before the train behind it can get dispatched, as opposed to being able to be dispatched as soon as the train in front clears the lift hill?

I assumed that it was able to dispatch as soon as the train in front cleared the lift hill, but I noticed the other day that the ride staff, although the train was ready, were waiting for the train in front to hit the brake run before dispatching the next train. Not because they didn’t want to dispatch it, but because the system wasn’t letting them (they were holding the button down for a good few seconds before the train dispatched). Admittedly, the ride was on 2 trains, which may have made a difference, but I thought it was interesting, to say the least, especially given that I was under the impression that the ride would be able to dispatch as soon as the lift hill was clear.

On 3, though, I’ve noticed that the ride tends to dispatch around when the train in front goes through the final wicker man pass through, at the very earliest.

Why is this? Is the train in front coming off of the lift hill too early to dispatch in real world conditions even if the train is ready (in Planet Coaster, trains seem to dispatch as soon as the block section ahead is clear and guests are loaded), or is it different?
Nemesis is the same; the earliest a train can be dispatched is when the train in front is on the vertical loop.
 

Alsty

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Shambhala
It's called the dispatch interval. The intention is to stop trains getting block stopped at the top of the lift. The delay means by the time the train is dispatched and gets to the top of the lift, the previous train should have cleared the section.
 

Stevros

TS Member
They were dispatching trains so quickly last season that there was many occasions of the train stopping at the top of the lift as the block ahead wasn’t clear. Can’t imagine it’s very good for the lift motor though having to start up with a fully loaded train on it though.
 

Skyscraper

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
. Can’t imagine it’s very good for the lift motor though having to start up with a fully loaded train on it though.
That's probably the reason there are dispatch intervals. Makes sense as the motor would be under a lot of stress.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
Can’t imagine it’s very good for the lift motor though having to start up with a fully loaded train on it though.

I do not think it would matter to be honest, coaster gearbox's are geared massively towards torque rather than speed anyway, so starting with a train on would be no bother.

The motor would not be under a lot of stress, that is literally one of the purposes of a gearbox.
 

Mattgwise

TS Member
It could have also been that the operator in the operating cabin simply hadn't yet pressed their main dispatch. You can't see see what they are doing on the panel from the ride/airgates.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
I was under the impression the coasters could be dispatched once the block in front was clear, IE the lift hill. The system will then stop the train at the top of the block if needed. Certainly like this on the coasters I have seen up close.

Then the dispatch interval is not hard coded into the system, just a 'guide' for the operators to use to mitigate lift stacking.

I could be wrong though, there may be a timer on the Alton coasters.
 

Skyscraper

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
I was under the impression the coasters could be dispatched once the block in front was clear, IE the lift hill. The system will then stop the train at the top of the block if needed. Certainly like this on the coasters I have seen up close.

Then the dispatch interval is not hard coded into the system, just a 'guide' for the operators to use to mitigate lift stacking.

I could be wrong though, there may be a timer on the Alton coasters.
I'm pretty sure there's a sensor on Nemmy's vertical loop, or am I being crazy?
 

Alsty

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Shambhala
Don't know if there's a sensor or if it's a timer but it is enforced by the control system. It is not a guide.

I'm pretty sure this is the case on most coasters. You don't routinely want trains stopping on the top of the lift or in mid-course block sections simply because of dispatch timing issues.

Of course it depends on the lengths of each section. If a train can traverse the freeroll section(s) quicker than it takes to ascend the lift then the only limitation would be the block sections without any additional delay.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
More than likely a timer I would have thought.

Interesting for sure. I have seen Nemesis and Air for that matter stacking every single train on the lift hill, as they were hammering out the dispatches. This was back in the early 2000's though. So I assume they have updated the ride software to put this limitation in at some point.

Or maybe it was not Nemesis, maybe I am getting confused with another coaster.
 

Dave

TS Founding Member
I was under the impression the coasters could be dispatched once the block in front was clear, IE the lift hill. The system will then stop the train at the top of the block if needed. Certainly like this on the coasters I have seen up close.

Then the dispatch interval is not hard coded into the system, just a 'guide' for the operators to use to mitigate lift stacking.

I could be wrong though, there may be a timer on the Alton coasters.

There is often a run of blocks in the early part of coasters that are shorter in length than the blocks for the actual ride layout after the lift hill. To avoid lift hill stops (which panic guests and put strain on the lift mechanism) they will hard programme either a timer into the dispatch or they will have a sensor at the point they deem it reasonable to dispatch the next train.

Some manufacturers use a method of changing the speed of the lift hill to achieve the same effect.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
There is often a run of blocks in the early part of coasters that are shorter in length than the blocks for the actual ride layout after the lift hill. To avoid lift hill stops (which panic guests and put strain on the lift mechanism) they will hard programme either a timer into the dispatch or they will have a sensor at the point they deem it reasonable to dispatch the next train.

Some manufacturers use a method of changing the speed of the lift hill to achieve the same effect.

Makes sense, I know the lift on Galactica has a variable speed for this reason. Unless it has to stop.
 

s_g_k

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Oblivion
Doesn’t the Smiler have variable lift hill speeds ? Sometimes it seems to take forever for the train to engage with the lift hill, and then when it finally does it slowly speeds up to its standard climb speed.
 
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