Members, Sign In. Not a member? Sign Up

Ultimate Rollercoaster

Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers

Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers

drachen drachen Profile

Posted:
7/16/12 at
11:37:39 PM

As some of you may know, I'm a big fan of Arrow coasters, particularly the loopers. It sounds crazy, I know.

I love the way they look, and I find them the most aesthetically pleasing of all steel coasters, and I don't know what it is.

They represent an age that has since past - an age where coasters weren't all about the latest train gimmick. The Arrow period was about finding new ways to turn us upside down, and doing it from greater heights and at greater speeds.

I still feel a bit of intimidation from these monsters, and I can trace that to my childhood. It was that fear of these huge rides that morphed into my fandom.

Most importantly, now I can see the impact these machines have had on this industry. Even with Schwarzkopf around, it was Arrow that made the steel coaster what it is today in the United States.

Sadly, they are becoming a dying breed. I suppose the day had to come at some point, that there were no more Arrow loopers around. But I don't think it has to come as soon as it seems.

Seeing a childhood favorite in sooperdooperLooper get new trains this year, and seeing the sad state of Viper's trains at Darien Lake last week, got the wheels turning in my mind.

Why can't someone design a new coaster train for these rides?

S&S? Premier? Gerstlauer? Where are you?

I've seen it before, but I really took notice on Viper. There is a flaw in these trains designs, and that flaw is due to limited trial and limited technology of the 1980's.

First of all, those horse collar restraints have got to go. They are more than dated. They are hard. They are unforgiving. They are painful in many cases. Over the shoulder restraints seem to be a thing of the past for a lot of designers, and the ones that do still exist on new rides have evolved quite a bit since Arrow's 1970's design.

Second, those fiberglass seats need to be improved. That was all fine and good back when the rides were new. But new trains are contoured to our bodies and have become more and more comfortable to sit in.

Third, the chassis and wheel assemble need to be improved. As Viper rolled into the station, only the top wheels were spinning. The guide wheels and up-stop wheels were perfectly still.

That's a far cry from the way B&M's and Intamins roll today. All the wheels hug the track. All turn together. The result is minimal vibration, and obviously a much smoother ride than these Arrows dish out.

Can you imagine riding Anaconda in a contoured seat, with only a lap restraint, and with no rattle in the wheels underneath you? It would be a great ride, I think. I think the same can be said for Viper(s) and Vortex.

I think a new train design, if it existed, possibly could have saved Drachen Fire. And perhaps Scream Machine and Shockwave would still be around if this were an option years ago.

Structurally and mechanically, these rides seem to be rock solid. They eat through lines day in and day out, with little down time. I think the reason people don't re-ride them is simply due to those dated, uncomfortable trains.

I think such a train would sell. Between the mega-loopers, corkscrews, and shuttles out there, there are still a good number of "Arrow" customers.

Tearing down a giant steel coaster and building a new one is an expensive proposition. Buying two or three new trains to extend the life of a major attraction seems would seem to me to be a much more prudent investment.

sooperdooperLooper got new life breathed into it this year with new trains and magnetic brakes. It's running better than ever. I would love to see the same thing happen to these classic, historic Arrow loopers.

* This post was modified at 7/15/13 2:08:20 PM *

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
Find me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 7/17/12 12:03:12 AM
I can appreciate the ties to history and I still felt it was such a shame GASM was scrapped as well as BBW because they were old and a maintenance headaches. I am with you on the need for an outside company to come in and redesign the trains. I don't think I've ever been on a vehkoma train, but aren't they the closest to a match for Arrow?

Worse comes worse, maybe get B&M to install their seats and restraints in those trains? Honestly, I don't have a real problem with the Arrow coasters as I normally brace for them anyway. I just hate how heavy the horseshoe otsrs are and how they jut into my torso.

* This post was modified at 7/17/12 12:10:27 AM *

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 7/17/12 12:09:43 AM
Vekoma makes a train that would work and I would assume others (Gerstlauer) would happily step up to the plate to put new rolling stock on an Arrow looper.

The issue isn't the trains, but a decline in interest in these older coasters and the costs required to refurbish and or maintain them. For parks it is all about the return on investment (ROI). Is it smart to invest in old equipment that can't be marketed as new or should the money be spent on something that is new? The answer is pretty obvious.

New trains, might get a few enthusiasts excited, but they are not going to renew the general public's interest in an old forgotten ride. You've got to do more and if you want to effectively market it as new you really need to do the upgrade before the ride has lost its appeal. It worked on X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain and Bizarro at Six Flags New England.

Parks also have an easier time justifying the investment in old equipment when it remains popular. Rarely does a park close the ride that still packs them in?

I think the only hope for Arrow loopers are parks that love their coaster and those that might be sold and moved to other parks where they can be new again at least for that park.

It's interesting, but Six Flags is recycling equipment again. It seems they feel they can extend the life of some of their older equipment by moving it to a park where it is new to that park's customers. It also helps justify the renovation and upgrade expenses like the new train for Deja Vu (oh, Goliath) at Six Flags New England.

* This post was modified at 7/17/12 12:12:33 AM *

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by alpengeistno3 at 7/17/12 2:49:10 AM
While Vekoma has made strives with their new style trains on their own coasters, their track record does not give me any confidence in them making a better train for a currently operating Arrow coaster.

I agree with Eric that the issue is not the trains, it's the engineering that was used 40 years ago is no longer "good enough". People with no knowledge of coaster designers can tell the difference in ride between a coaster built in the last 20 years and the ones built before CAD and are choosing not to ride them.

However, I don't believe that new trains can't help. The new train on Sidewinder has definitely helped with the head banging on that ride. As a result, it is not unusual to see it have a queue, even a sizable one on a busy day. We all saw how the FOF's were near unrideable until Premier replaced the OTSRs. They are now hits again.

Could Anaconda ever see opening year turnstile numbers with a new train with bucket seats and lapbars? Most definitely not, but a more comfortable train could keep the ops from cycling near empty trains at the end of most nights.

Relocation seems like a great option, but considering most Arrows are welded together rather than bolted, is it really as viable as moving a B&M stand-up or a small shuttle? I'm no metal worker, but I have to assume removing as many welds as are in a large Arrow looper and having to redo them is just not cost effective for even an in-company move.

Paul

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by NotSo NotSo Profile at 7/17/12 7:13:38 AM
hey drachen, arrow loopers are some of my favorites too. just enjoy them while they last, and enjoy them as the way they were built. i would honestly hate to see new trains on a ride like KI's Vortex. yeah, the trains beat the heck out of you, but thats the way it was made back then, cherrish it. Arrow Loopers are the stuff of legend, dont change a thing about them!!!
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by drachen drachen Profile at 7/17/12 8:08:47 AM
NotSo said:

hey drachen, arrow loopers are some of my favorites too. just enjoy them while they last, and enjoy them as the way they were built. i would honestly hate to see new trains on a ride like KI's Vortex. yeah, the trains beat the heck out of you, but thats the way it was made back then, cherrish it. Arrow Loopers are the stuff of legend, dont change a thing about them!!!

I totally agree. But if I have a choice between riding them as is and losing the ride in a few years, or seeing a ride get new trains and enjoying it for 20 more years, I'll take the latter any day. Wouldn't you?

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
Find me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by NotSo NotSo Profile at 7/17/12 8:16:03 AM
well, to be honest - no. i am a fan of history, and i would rather see a ride retired than drastically altered. unless, and maybe you are right, they can come up with something like when FOF went to the new restraints w/o the shoulder harness.... now that really improved the ride. hmmmm.. maybe i shouldnt be so stubborn about change.. :)

ps. dont you just love it after a park trip how your mind gets obsessed with all things park related!

* This post was modified at 7/17/12 8:18:59 AM *

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by drachen drachen Profile at 7/17/12 8:22:30 AM
Eric_Gieszl said:

The issue isn't the trains, but a decline in interest in these older coasters and the costs required to refurbish and or maintain them. For parks it is all about the return on investment (ROI).

Parks also have an easier time justifying the investment in old equipment when it remains popular. Rarely does a park close the ride that still packs them in?

I think the only hope for Arrow loopers are parks that love their coaster and those that might be sold and moved to other parks where they can be new again at least for that park.

This is certainly the other side of the argument. I can see how it may not make financial sense in the park's eyes.

But I would argue that there is an ROI on something like this. I've been to Hersheypark a few times this year. Looper actually has a line. It's the strangest thing... Granted some of that has to do with Skyrush's location, but I was never accustomed to having to wait for SDL.

And as Paul said, even their boomerang is seeing increased ridership, simply due to a new train.

I do disagree with you guys about the train not being the issue with the GP not re-riding. I think Arrow loopers still give thrilling rides. People just feel they too rough, and that has almost everything to do with the trains.

Arrow loopers have some great first drops and some great inversions. The only thing they lack compared to some modern B&M's and Intamins is the transitions between them - but I think those are things that only we care about.

All told, if a park get new trains with magnetic brakes, re-painted the ride, and re-marketed it properly, people will line up. All of it would cost less than a million dollars, which in the grand scheme of things, isn't a lot for a major park to put into a major ride.

And if the ride's alterations are a smooth success, I feel people will get back in line - which is something they don't do right now.

And I think these parks want to keep them around. Despite not having long lines, the rides do perform well mechanically, and eat up queues.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
Find me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by mugen828 mugen828 Profile at 7/17/12 9:56:29 AM
IMO Scream Machine going was a huge mistake, as it just had too much history. I hate anaconda (Sorry!) but I would love to see some revamped Arrow's out there. I absolutely love Loch Ness Monster, if only there were more of those around!
- mugen828
157 Coasters -- Favorite Coaster -- Nitro (SFGAdv)
117 Steel -- 40 Wood -- Home Park: SFGADv
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by Schrecken Schrecken Profile at 7/17/12 2:24:56 PM
I think a lot of it would depend on the attributes of the ride itself as to whether the park might want to invest in re-vamping it, scrapping it or just leaving it as-is with low ridership. Many Arrow coasters are historically important (like Corkscrew at CP, Viper at SFMM) and on that basis the park is unlikely to want to get rid of it unless the absolutely have to (like the ride costing more to maintain than it's worth, like some of the Arrow suspendeds).

I doubt that all old Arrows could be saved, but those that were ground-breaking in their day would benefit from such treatment as the park could also market the rehabbed ride as the "first coaster to ever have _____" or sell it as an anniversary re-do.

Apparently for Kennywood the Steel Phantom was seen as a cherished and ground-breaking ride so they put the effort and money into remodeling it. But yet other Arrows, like the Python at SFA, were removed without much fanfare. That is one Arrow that would have benefited not from new trains or restraints but simply an elevator installed in the station (not just for handicapped people, but I don't even remember there being any handicapped access for that ride either) as all those stairs seemed to be the main complaint from riders when they finally got to the top. KD doesn't make people climb all those stairs to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower so I'm sure an elevator would have worked wonders for the Python. This also killed a huge amount of re-rides anyone might like to have taken. Yes, physical fitness is good but a lot of average park patrons may not be into heavy exercising, and climbing all those stairs was certainly a turn-off for many.

But the funny thing is that for some parks low ridership doesn't seem to determine whether or not a ride will stay or go. Last fall when I went to KD for their ACE event I asked one of the managers who was there for the Q & A session about Shockwave and why it hasn't (well, I didn't quite put it that way) been turned into scrap iron. The answer I got was that it had nothing to do with low ridership, un-popularity or rider misery but rather with maintenance costs. That coaster is easy and cheap to keep running so it matters not that it is a walk-on 99% of the time and little more than a gigantic kinetic sculpture that's mostly being used as a lawn ornament (and a number, the park can brag that they have X number of coasters).

So the ease of upkeep on most old Arrows is probably what is keeping them alive today, which is a good thing especially for those with historical importance.

But as for my own personal opinion, I would be far more likely to ride Arrow coasters if such previously discussed modifications could be made. I can avoid most of the head-bashing (sadly ride makers in those days never considered that people in a certain height range fall right in the prime head-bashing zone while others sit above or below that part of the horse collar and don't have those problems) on most Arrow loopers, but it requires a lot of defensive riding and that just takes most of the fun out of it for me, and so I don't ride unless I'm with someone who wants to ride for the credit.

The only Arrow looper I like to ride is LochNess Monster, which has no corkscrewing and thus lacks the severe head-banging on those coasters that do have these elements.

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 7/17/12 2:44:02 PM
I don't think Hersheypark proves much. Has the park marketed the new trains on either Sidewinder or Sooperdooperlooper? I don't think so and I really doubt that many would notice the change. However, I will agree that opinions about a ride and the likely hood of a re-ride might improve if new trains improve a bad situation.

But you can argue that SkyRush has changed traffic patterns in the park and I suspect that attendance is up as a result, so guests are looking for rides with shorter lines. It is understandable that there would be an increase in ridership on Sooperdooperlooper with SkyRush nearby.

As for Boomerangs, every time I've been to Hersheypark there has been a line for Sidewinder. Despite the opinion of enthusiasts, the general public still likes them. The ones near me at Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags Fiesta Texas still get respectable lines on busy days. In fact, I waited 35 minutes to ride the one at Fiesta Texas on opening day this year.

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by squirrels at 7/17/12 2:44:47 PM
I dunno what it is about the old Arrow coasters...something about the corkscrews and such just makes it seem more "harsh" than a modern coaster. I've never had neck problems on any roller coaster, but Anaconda had me spraining my neck trying to withstand the corkscrews.

I always figured it was "loose tolerances"...the cars tend to rattle and jerk more for some reason. I don't think it was the restraints, though. It wasn't like I was beat up, just "yanked".

If I had to guess, I'd say what other people were saying was true. The designs of coasters in the 80s just did not take human tolerances into account the way they did in the 90s, and sometimes the inversions on an old Arrow looper are particularly brutal for people with certain body-types.

As for "saving" them, I'm sure theme parks would be glad to keep their Arrow loopers around and re-invest in them, as long as you paid them what they'd be losing in revenue. (or bought the coaster from them outright) These companies are about making money first and foremost. It's almost like asking a taxi company to continue to maintaining a fleet of 1950s cars instead of buying newer, more efficient modern ones...it's just not practical.

What you're talking about is interesting, though. Coasters are works of art in their own right. Paintings and sculptures can be donated to museums for display, why not a "roller coaster museum"? A place for old coasters to go when parks get rid of them?

Well, the ideal situation would be to have them operating, but that would require enormous amounts of money in maintenance and staffing, something a museum probably can't afford.

Even if you just had them SBNO, the amount of real-estate they take up is incredible. And even then there's a certain amount of minimum maintenance that must be done to keep them from just rusting/rotting out from under themselves.

I'm really surprised that smaller parks looking to make a big splash don't try to buy some of the older rides for cheap when the larger parks get rid of them. You'd think it'd be a bargain. But maybe the cost to keep up and operate an old ride is a lot more than a newer ride just BECAUSE of the age. It's easier to call up Vekoma and order up a new Boomerang than to try to keep GASM or Anaconda running.

Eventually, the sheer scope of these relics is their downfall...when 1) they become too expensive to operate and maintain, 2) they start to wear and the ride becomes painful, and 3) newer coasters start to make them look tame by comparison, there really is no other logical destination besides the scrap-heap.

Coasters like SDL still stand because 1) Hershey cares about heritage...they will keep a ride open for historical value so long as they can afford to maintain it, and 2) it still has aesthetic value, with its ride over the creek.

There's also the added advantage of SDL being a good "starter coaster", for kids who might feel bold enough to tackle a single loop but not the stengel-dives of SkyRush or the twists of Fahrenheit.

I can tell what the OP is talking about...the architecture and shape of an Arrow coaster reminds me of the late 80s/early 90s, when those Arrow loopers WERE the definition of "extreme". When we thought of roller coasters back then, THAT'S what we imagined. It was cutting-edge.

But now with Intamin giga-coasters and B&M floorless/inverted/etc monstrosities everywhere, Arrow just gives me more of a "relic" feeling. It no longer feels quite so "cutting-edge" or "extreme".

I don't know if any of you know the feeling I'm talking about, but it's the same one I get when I walk through an old factory with a lot of old machines or tools, especially with like those "art-deco" looks. It's completely anachronistic...like you recognize what it WAS at the time, but you just get that feeling like it doesn't belong there...or that YOU don't belong there. It's especially eerie when there's no line for the coaster...you start feeling like the world has left you back in 1995 or something, and that you're riding it more for "nostalgia" than "thrill".

That's just me, though...I'm weird. :p

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by frontrow frontrow Profile at 7/17/12 3:36:53 PM
Being that I also like Arrow loopers, I had to chime in. My problem is that I like most coasters. I love to see new ones built, but hate to see coasters torn down. In a perfect situation, parks would continue to build new coasters without removing the older ones. Due to maintenance, space, and marketing this isn't usually possible. The problem is how fast so many of these type of coasters are disappearing. It's like all the parks joined in in a game of follow the leader. The few parks that keep these Arrow loopers will be glad they did. They will have some rare, unique, and is a significant landmark in the history of rollercoasters. Think of the parks that kept their classic wooden coasters. They could have traded those in for a new state of the art steel coaster. That probably would have helped with marketing and maintenance cost. But they choose to keep those old wooden coasters. Now, as enthusiasts, we call these parks gems. They are the parks we try to visit. In 30 years our children may look at the remaining Arrow loopers in a simular regard. The only question is, how many will survive this current trend?
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by Great_Ump Great_Ump Profile at 7/18/12 1:09:01 AM
drachen said:

This is certainly the other side of the argument. I can see how it may not make financial sense in the park's eyes.

But I would argue that there is an ROI on something like this. I've been to Hersheypark a few times this year. Looper actually has a line. It's the strangest thing... Granted some of that has to do with Skyrush's location, but I was never accustomed to having to wait for SDL.

And as Paul said, even their boomerang is seeing increased ridership, simply due to a new train.

You see the lines at Sidewinder and SDL at Hershey because the park pulls in attendance numbers just shy of what Cedar Point does. In 2011 according to Themed Entertainment Association, CP did 3.1 million guests and HP did 2.94 million guests.

Hershey surely isn't the size of Cedar Point, doesn't have nearly the same number of rides and coasters as CP, and yet they still run a heck of a lot of people through those gates.

When I was at Hershey in early June, SDL and Sidewinder both had one hour waits all day until the rain hit.

I don't think it's a matter of popularity per se but if every queue is full of waiting guests, then instinct says to go where the queues aren't full.

I didn't see a big improvement in the train design for Sidewinder. Yes, the OTSRs were more comfortable but you're still seated at that God awful angle and the appearence of the train itself does not differentiate itself from the old Vekoma trains.

I think Hershey is an anamoly given the number of attractions the park has versus the attendance numbers they pull every year.

It'll be interesting to see if Hershey can gain ground on Cedar Point and maybe eclipse them on attendance in 2012.

Joe
Great_Ump

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by squirrels at 7/18/12 10:14:31 AM
frontrow said:

Being that I also like Arrow loopers, I had to chime in. My problem is that I like most coasters. I love to see new ones built, but hate to see coasters torn down. In a perfect situation, parks would continue to build new coasters without removing the older ones. Due to maintenance, space, and marketing this isn't usually possible. The problem is how fast so many of these type of coasters are disappearing. It's like all the parks joined in in a game of follow the leader. The few parks that keep these Arrow loopers will be glad they did. They will have some rare, unique, and is a significant landmark in the history of rollercoasters. Think of the parks that kept their classic wooden coasters. They could have traded those in for a new state of the art steel coaster. That probably would have helped with marketing and maintenance cost. But they choose to keep those old wooden coasters. Now, as enthusiasts, we call these parks gems. They are the parks we try to visit. In 30 years our children may look at the remaining Arrow loopers in a simular regard. The only question is, how many will survive this current trend?

WARNING: Pontification Follows :p

Wood is different than steel. Wooden coasters are designed to give you a classical, "out of control" feeling. If they wear and start becoming rickety, so much the better. It increases the experience. Wood gives, too.

Steel is designed to be fast and precise. When steel tolerances start to loosen, it's not fun, it's painful.

Wood is a lot simpler to maintain than steel in a lot of cases as well...and lumber is relatively cheap. Restoring a wooden coaster is simpler than restoring a steelie.

Wood also has more historical value than old steel. It's the same kind of difference between a 68 Camaro and an 86 Camaro. Both were powerhouses of their time. One is a "classic" and belongs in a museum. The other is a "relic" and belongs at Crazy Ray's junkyard.

The old Arrow loopers were the most extreme coasters out there in their time. The operative word being "were". The state of steel coasting design and technology has rendered many of these machines "moderate" in terms of thrill rating, and in thrillseeking, there isn't a whole lot of room for moderation.

Not to mention that Arrow is now out of business. That for a lot of companies is "writing on the wall" that the technology is going to be harder and harder to maintain, and that maybe it's more profitable and prudent to tear it down and resell it/scrap it/replace it than to put money into restoring it.

As I said above, the sheer scope of these coasters are their downfall. Smaller Arrow coasters are like Vekomas...they can be shuffled from park to park endlessly. They'll be around forever as a result. The big ones like GASM and Anaconda are often custom-built, hard to move, and hard to maintain.

You'd think small parks looking to freshen up/step up their game would jump at the chance to purchase a coaster like GASM, but the increased maintenance costs are probably prohibitive. They'd be better off spending 5 million on a new Vekoma Boomerang. That's 6 inversions with a small footprint and low maintenance. If they want to spend more than that, it's time to think about calling the Swiss giants or GCI and designing a custom rig.

Going back to the car analogy, a shadetree mechanic can buy any car he happens to like and restore it in his garage, so there are plenty of examples of ALL kinds and eras of cars on the road for our enjoyment. A roller coaster isn't something that an individual can generally afford to purchase and restore, let alone operate, and a company is only going to expend that much cash if it's going to turn more profit than buying a new one. For that reason, there isn't a whole lot of market for "restoring" roller coasters.

A lot of Arrow rides HAVE stood the test of time...a lot of their "kiddie" (non-looping) coasters still run today, as well as some of their suspended designs. (i.e Iron Dragon) And like I said, someone will always find a place for the smaller loopers/corkscrew coasters. But Arrow's inverting mega-coasters...I just don't see them surviving.

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by alpengeistno3 at 7/18/12 12:55:41 PM
Being a former season passholder at Hershey, I don't think a lot of you realize how bad Sidewinder was regarded, even when Storm Runner was drawing everyone to that side of the park. Sure, the ride would have a line during the morning rush, but when the sun would go down and Storm Runner still had a 30 minute wait, you could easily walk on Sidewinder and pick your seat. And once you did, you heard the endless moans and groans from people as the ride parked at the end. That is no longer the case. I don't think Hershey replaced the train because they felt like it would be a "neat" idea or would make enthusiasts happy. They saw that a majority of their customers were not pleased with the current ride experience and saw a relatively cheap opportunity to upgrade it.

Such small things like painting fading rides, placing waterless urinals in bathrooms, switching food distributors aren't about marketing or ROI. It is about seeing things that bother a majority of your guests and working to address them. It is the same reason they bought those MF's for Wildcat without any marketing fanfare as well.

To get back to the original topic, GP is not as stupid as we think they are. They may not notice the new train on SDL or any Arrow looper and certainly will not travel to a park to try it out. But if it improves the experience, they can say "this ride used to hurt my neck when I was younger, but now it is so much fun." And that does way more for a park's bottom line than how many people are coming through the turnstiles.

Paul

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by drachen drachen Profile at 7/18/12 2:55:35 PM
alpengeistno3 said:

Such small things like painting fading rides, placing waterless urinals in bathrooms, switching food distributors aren't about marketing or ROI. It is about seeing things that bother a majority of your guests and working to address them.

To get back to the original topic, GP is not as stupid as we think they are. They may not notice the new train on SDL or any Arrow looper and certainly will not travel to a park to try it out. But if it improves the experience, they can say "this ride used to hurt my neck when I was younger, but now it is so much fun." And that does way more for a park's bottom line than how many people are coming through the turnstiles.

Paul

I really like what you said Paul. Sometimes it's about creating a better experience for the guest on a ride that you're not willing to remove, or don't want to remove.

Then again, sometimes it's about a particular ride, like Sidewinder, SDL, and Wildcat at Hersheypark, that simply need new trains. Hersheypark has shown that they are willing to replace ride's trains to extend the life of a ride and to keep it operating at their standards.

At the same time, they have a chance to improve the guest experience. I agree that I think guests do notice it. (Perhaps they need to do the same for Skyrush...)

Morey's did the same thing on Nor' Easter just a few years ago. They decided to replace the trains, and opted for a much improved version.

My point is that only in recent years has there even been an option for a better train on the Vekoma/Arrow track. S&S still supplies parts for the existing trains, but they have put no R&D into a whole new/improved option.

Premier has the ability to develop something, and I'm sure Gerstlauer and others can too. These manufacturers can create this train as a business proposal and solicit interest, or the parks that own these rides can drive the demand. I'm just a little surprised that after all these years, neither has really happened.

I just think that if an improved, rider-friendly train option existed for these old, but classic rides, parks would be interested, and it would extend the guest interest in these rides, and as a result, the ride's life span.

I'm also glad to see that there are many here that like these old rides. I like that everyone seems to have an opinion either way.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
Find me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by squirrels at 7/19/12 7:48:14 AM
alpengeistno3 said:

Being a former season passholder at Hershey, I don't think a lot of you realize how bad Sidewinder was regarded, even when Storm Runner was drawing everyone to that side of the park. Sure, the ride would have a line during the morning rush, but when the sun would go down and Storm Runner still had a 30 minute wait, you could easily walk on Sidewinder and pick your seat. And once you did, you heard the endless moans and groans from people as the ride parked at the end. That is no longer the case. I don't think Hershey replaced the train because they felt like it would be a "neat" idea or would make enthusiasts happy. They saw that a majority of their customers were not pleased with the current ride experience and saw a relatively cheap opportunity to upgrade it.


Such small things like painting fading rides, placing waterless urinals in bathrooms, switching food distributors aren't about marketing or ROI. It is about seeing things that bother a majority of your guests and working to address them. It is the same reason they bought those MF's for Wildcat without any marketing fanfare as well.

To get back to the original topic, GP is not as stupid as we think they are. They may not notice the new train on SDL or any Arrow looper and certainly will not travel to a park to try it out. But if it improves the experience, they can say "this ride used to hurt my neck when I was younger, but now it is so much fun." And that does way more for a park's bottom line than how many people are coming through the turnstiles.

Paul

Was it people of particular body-types who were beat up on SideWinder? I'm pretty tall and it never hurt me. I used to love riding that thing before Hershey started getting modern coasters...still do if I don't have to wait too long. (great way to kill time waiting for them to fix Stormrunner...LOL) Maybe my head was far enough above the OTSRs that I didn't get my ears boxed. I DO like the new restraints on it, though.

I question S&S's commitment to supplying parts for Arrow coasters. S&S's bread-and-butter is pneumatic flats, not coasters. They'll provide parts so long as they can do so cheaply and turn a profit. I would be very surprised, though, if they took the time to engineer new trains. And that would not be something they did just to do it...it would have to be something that was requested by the theme parks still operating these coasters, and those parks would have to foot the R&D costs for it.

Vekoma, on the other hand, still builds the Boomerang coaster...you can go order one for $5mil if you're so-inclined, and they're a quick "bang for the buck" deal (like the Shuttle Loop on RC Tycoon ;) ) so people are still buying them. It makes sense for them to improve their car design because it makes their coasters more marketable.

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by drachen drachen Profile at 7/19/12 10:10:23 AM
squirrels said:

I question S&S's commitment to supplying parts for Arrow coasters. S&S's bread-and-butter is pneumatic flats, not coasters. They'll provide parts so long as they can do so cheaply and turn a profit. I would be very surprised, though, if they took the time to engineer new trains. And that would not be something they did just to do it...it would have to be something that was requested by the theme parks still operating these coasters, and those parks would have to foot the R&D costs for it.

I imagine it is a bit of both. A manufacturing company doesn't just rest on its laurels. They should be constantly developing new ideas, at least on paper, to present to parks a trade shows or other means.

Let's say S&S designs a modified Arrow looper train on paper and like what they come up with enough to present it at IAAPA. And let's say Kings Dominion bites and wants one for Anaconda. To this point there has been minimal manufacturing.

Kings Dominion would likely have an opportunity to suggest alterations and tweak the design to something that they feel fits their needs. S&S and KD would likely work in tandem on the finished design, and S&S would manufacture it.

KD would pay, and on S&S's end, the money would likely go more so to R&D costs then in actual manufacturing costs. Other parks that followed suit would likely pay more in manufacturing costs, as the design would be done.

Growing demand for such a train is on the manufacturer. I think most, if not all of the parks with Arrow loopers would be interested in a new train if the price is right. The demand is there, it the supply just needs to be developed and marketed.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
Find me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by skc2000 at 7/19/12 11:54:58 AM
The only Arrow looper I like to ride is LochNess Monster, which has no corkscrewing and thus lacks the severe head-banging on those coasters that do have these elements.

Loch Ness Monster is still a good ride but i liked it better in the mid 1990,s when they had the trains doing the interlocking loops at the same time.The fact that the trains don,t do the loops at the same time anymore that does take away a little bit from the enjoyment of the ride but it,s still a great coaster even with the trains not interlocking anymore.

skc2000

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by Geauga_Dog Geauga_Dog Profile at 7/19/12 12:50:56 PM
It's always baffled me that S&S hasn't gone back to the extensive Arrow catalog they have at their disposal and tried to re-create some those rides for a new generation. It would defintely make the company more versatile in the industry. They kept the Arrow 4D concept in their offerings but those don't seem to be flying off the shelf either and several of their recent air-launched coasters have been duds.

Designing new and improved trains based on the old Arrow chassis, similar to what Gerstlauer did for SDL, could be a wise move for S&S. Not only could they market them as replacements for older Arrow coasters but they could also develop a new coaster system around these new trains as well.

Vekoma used to use Arrow trains on their boomerangs until they were able to design their own so I don't see why parks couldn't use Vekoma trains on their old Arrows. The newer Vekoma trains like on Carolina Cobra are such a vast improvement however is the track gauge different from Arrow?

G-Dog

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by alpengeistno3 at 7/19/12 1:07:50 PM
squirrels said:

Was it people of particular body-types who were beat up on SideWinder? I'm pretty tall and it never hurt me. I used to love riding that thing before Hershey started getting modern coasters...still do if I don't have to wait too long. (great way to kill time waiting for them to fix Stormrunner...LOL) Maybe my head was far enough above the OTSRs that I didn't get my ears boxed. I DO like the new restraints on it, though.

Sidewinder has never bothered me either, but it was the usual people who take abuse from Arrow OTSR's (small women and kids).


squirrels said:

I question S&S's commitment to supplying parts for Arrow coasters. S&S's bread-and-butter is pneumatic flats, not coasters. They'll provide parts so long as they can do so cheaply and turn a profit. I would be very surprised, though, if they took the time to engineer new trains. And that would not be something they did just to do it...it would have to be something that was requested by the theme parks still operating these coasters, and those parks would have to foot the R&D costs for it.

The reason S&S won't develop the train on their own is how many "large" Arrow's are left? And of those, how many could be considered "in need" of new trains? I am sure the answer is less than 5 and if no park has approached them about a new train, it would be a huge waste of resources to develop such a train without a contracted sale.

So that puts the ball back in the parks' courts. The only parks with large Arrow coasters that have replaced trains that I can think of are the Cedar Fair parks (the FoF's). But if I remember correctly that was part of lawsuit that Paramount was putting together against Premier, so Premier had some "incentive" to get the job done. I don't know if Six Flags just piled on for their Premier launch coasters or brokered their own separate deal. Cedar Fair hasn't changed trains on any of their coasters, so they probably are not even interested in approaching S&S or any manufacturer about replacing their Arrow trains.

If Hershey or Holiday World had an Arrow coaster, this probably would have been done. Those are companies that are willing to spend the money to improve their rides. Cedar Fair or Six Flags are the two companies that are probably the least willing to do it and Busch has no real reason to.

Paul

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by drachen drachen Profile at 7/19/12 2:02:19 PM
Geauga_Dog said:

Designing new and improved trains based on the old Arrow chassis, similar to what Gerstlauer did for SDL, could be a wise move for S&S. Not only could they market them as replacements for older Arrow coasters but they could also develop a new coaster system around these new trains as well.

Vekoma used to use Arrow trains on their boomerangs until they were able to design their own so I don't see why parks couldn't use Vekoma trains on their old Arrows. The newer Vekoma trains like on Carolina Cobra are such a vast improvement however is the track gauge different from Arrow?

G-Dog

I hadn't even thought of a new line of sit-down looping coasters. That's an idea as well. Gerstlauer seems to be the "in" manufacturer in this regard right now. Premier has built few recently too. But it's not like the market is saturated.

You are correct about the Arrow and Vekoma track. I forget what the original deal was, but they used the same track fabricator back in the day.

I'd still like to see an improvement over even the new Vekoma train. The restraints are much nicer, but the wheel assemblies still seem loose to me, and the seats aren't as comfortable as B&M's or Intamins.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
Find me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by GSutton at 7/20/12 5:43:50 PM
I haven't seen this issue addressed personally so if my question is asked often, please excuse me...Why is it that coaster seats and (especially) seat belts haven't been fitted to fit "Big Boy" riders? I'm 6'4" 340 lbs. 52" chest & 48" waist. Being that I'm rather tall the weight is distributed rather well. I also have a seat belt upgrader that is essentially a seatbelt with approximately 12" of belt that you buckle on each side of a normal seatbelt (car, plane, etc.)that gives you that extra space. Also, I would suspect coasters would have a much higher rider count due to ( let's be honest now...)the fact that our waist lines are getting larger.I think 2 seats per train would suffice. What do you think??? Please, PLEASE get back to me on this as it is a very important issue to me. THANK YOU :-)

* This post was modified at 7/20/12 5:50:29 PM *

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by Schrecken Schrecken Profile at 7/20/12 8:48:52 PM
GSutton said:

I haven't seen this issue addressed personally so if my question is asked often, please excuse me...Why is it that coaster seats and (especially) seat belts haven't been fitted to fit "Big Boy" riders? I'm 6'4" 340 lbs. 52" chest & 48" waist. Being that I'm rather tall the weight is distributed rather well. I also have a seat belt upgrader that is essentially a seatbelt with approximately 12" of belt that you buckle on each side of a normal seatbelt (car, plane, etc.)that gives you that extra space. Also, I would suspect coasters would have a much higher rider count due to ( let's be honest now...)the fact that our waist lines are getting larger.I think 2 seats per train would suffice. What do you think??? Please, PLEASE get back to me on this as it is a very important issue to me. THANK YOU :-)

My guess on that is that it probably all boils down to cost; that and the idea that it's far easier and simpler to just build every seat on a coaster to fit "average" people. In other words, the coaster manufacturer's "one size fits most". It might seem like a good idea to have a couple of seats (or a row) on each train (or even only a couple of the trains if the ride runs several) for very large and tall people, but those seats would also have to accommodate the small and average ones as well. A seat that's ideal for someone your size might be dangerous to a child or small woman, who might fall out of it!

So they have to try to make the seats accommodate the broadest range of typical human sizes while assuring the safety of every rider, large and small. Actually, when you think about it that's a pretty big challenge, as far more is involved than something simple like an airplane or car seat. In those previous examples, while the restraints are designed to keep a passenger from flying out of said seat, the idea is that on a day to day basis such restraints won't be needed under normal circumstances. Whereas on a rollercoaster, such high forces are the norm and riders get pushed, pulled or thrown (especially on rough rides) against the restraints all the time.

It is unfortunate when someone falls outside of what the ride manufacturer's parameters of a "normal" rider are.

I do share your point of view in some cases, even though I'm only a 5'3" woman, as there are a few rides out there (namely MF and TTD are prime examples)where for some odd reason the seats and belts must surely have been made with fashion models in mind! I almost had to take the walk of shame on TTD last summer simply because I have a lot of "junk in my trunk", so to speak. While my belly is flat, I have big hips and thighs and just that alone almost excluded me from a ride on TTD. I have no trouble with car seats or airplane seats or any other kind of seat you might find in a public place but those two coasters are probably two of the worst when it comes to accommodating larger people.


I really don't have any ideas; I guess if more people complain perhaps parks and manufacturers might do more to insure that larger people could ride. But at least B&M does have some seats for larger people on many of their coasters.

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by squirrels at 7/23/12 8:46:21 AM
GSutton said:

Also, I would suspect coasters would have a much higher rider count due to ( let's be honest now...)the fact that our waist lines are getting larger.I think 2 seats per train would suffice.

Do you see these coasters struggling to fill seats? Especially only 2 seats per train?

The reason they don't typically make seats for "larger" people is because they would have to carry a whole other line of parts for the restraint systems, and then those "larger" seats may not be safe for smaller guests. That means those 2 seats per train may end up having to go empty if there were no larger people to fill them. Your "big seats" therefore can backfire in the OTHER direction as far as increasing/decreasing ridership.

Companies want to mass-produce these trains in the most expedient way possible to save money. The economy is hard enough without having to specially engineer multi-million dollar machines for riders who have decided to not watch their weight.

Plus, you have to consider the sensitive position it puts ride operators in. Not only do they now need to specially administer seating according to rider size, they also run the risk of gravely offending someone by suggesting to them that they sit in the "big boy" seat. You personally may not care, but there are people who do.

I feel for you in a way, man...I'm a tall guy and I have trouble fitting in a lot of the cars I'd like to drive. I wanted to get a 350Z when I traded in my Firebird, but I could not fit comfortably in the thing. Sometimes I lament that they can't build a scaled-up version for larger riders. At the same time, though, I realize why they can't.

But then, what you're saying is very telling. "Let's face it, our waistlines are getting larger". As if it wasn't your choice to act in a way that led to that kind of weight and you feel like amusement parks "owe you something".

All decisions have consequences, and it's not the responsibility of the theme park or the coaster designer to keep you from experiencing them. If I were in your position, I would be grateful for those coasters that DO accommodate larger riders.

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by squirrels at 7/23/12 8:52:57 AM
Geauga_Dog said:

Vekoma used to use Arrow trains on their boomerangs until they were able to design their own so I don't see why parks couldn't use Vekoma trains on their old Arrows. The newer Vekoma trains like on Carolina Cobra are such a vast improvement however is the track gauge different from Arrow?

G-Dog

It's probably one of those "A will fit B, but B won't fit A" cases.

You also have to consider the launch/lift mechanisms, restraint systems and how they integrate with the ride station, etc. It's probably not something you can simply "swap" without extensive adaptation.

That being said, you're probably more likely to see Vekoma release a new Arrow train than S&S. I don't particularly consider that to be likely, either, though.

There's a lot of liability at stake when you start designing parts for someone else's ride. While S&S is quite happy to produce parts according to Arrow's old specs, my guess is that they're reluctant to try any new development for that line. Especially when the "writing is on the wall", as far as they are concerned.

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by alpengeistno3 at 7/23/12 1:54:24 PM
squirrels said:

The reason they don't typically make seats for "larger" people is because they would have to carry a whole other line of parts for the restraint systems, and then those "larger" seats may not be safe for smaller guests. That means those 2 seats per train may end up having to go empty if there were no larger people to fill them. Your "big seats" therefore can backfire in the OTHER direction as far as increasing/decreasing ridership.

As a former ride op on Alpengeist, I can tell you there is no actual spec difference between the big boy seat and the other seats. It is the same seat, harness, frame, etc. The difference is the double seatbelt and I think the ratchet pawls are spaced further apart (so it will lock slightly higher.) No smaller riders were in any more danger of sitting there than any of the other seats and since it was in the middle, they ofter were put there by their parents.

The double seatbelts took longer to check than the standard single ones. I always questioned why they needed the double other than to identify it as "the big boy" seat to waiting guests. The difference is very slight (which can make a huge difference in the number of guests you can accommodate). I assume there is some reason B&M feels they need 2 belts instead of 1, but that was never told to us when I was there.

Paul

* This post was modified at 7/23/12 3:27:40 PM *

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by royman777 royman777 Profile at 7/23/12 2:09:09 PM
Hi All:

If anyone out there is truly interested in saving the old Arrow Roller Coasters I want in!

My name is Roy Jones I worked at Arrow Development, Arrow Rio-Grand, Arrow Huss and Arrow Dynamics. I still provide replacement parts to S&S Arrow for the old rides. On occasion I still build the entire bodies but mostly I supply replacement wheel fenders.

While at Arrow I worked as a roller coaster track pipe fitter and field services guy for six years.
I was then teamed up with Ron Dreager to Run Arrows Research and Development Department for the next eight years.

I am as familiar with these rides as anyone and believe me if I design it part A will retro fit part B.

I have kept up with all the new current seat configurations, restraint systems, chassis, wheel carriers etc... I still currently build a lot of tooling for the S&S / Engineering Excitement Group.

I can’t think of a more worthy or a much needed project. I say keep them rolling by any means necessary!

Enjoy Your Day...
Roy Jones, Wellsville, Utah

* This post was modified at 7/23/12 2:21:14 PM *

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by drachen drachen Profile at 7/23/12 3:17:54 PM
royman777 said:

Hi All:


If anyone out there is truly interested in saving the old Arrow Roller Coasters I want in!

My name is Roy Jones I worked at Arrow Development, Arrow Rio-Grand, Arrow Huss and Arrow Dynamics. I still provide replacement parts to S&S Arrow for the old rides. On occasion I still build the entire bodies but mostly I supply replacement wheel fenders.

While at Arrow I worked as a roller coaster track pipe fitter and field services guy for six years.
I was then teamed up with Ron Dreager to Run Arrows Research and Development Department for the next eight years.

I am as familiar with these rides as anyone and believe me if I design it part A will retro fit part B.

I have kept up with all the new current seat configurations, restraint systems, chassis, wheel carriers etc... I still currently build a lot of tooling for the S&S / Engineering Excitement Group.

I can’t think of a more worthy or a much needed project. I say keep them rolling by any means necessary!

Enjoy Your Day...
Roy Jones, Wellsville, Utah

Thanks for the insight! Very interesting stuff. I'm with you... keep them rolling!

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
Find me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by Geauga_Dog Geauga_Dog Profile at 7/23/12 9:31:44 PM
What is the average service life for an Arrow coaster? You've got rides over 30 years old still running rather decent (CP Corkscrew, SFGAm Demon).

Geauga Lake's Double Loop had turned 30 on the last season the park was open yet I heard that it had reached the end of its service life. Ironic that it was sold for scrap at auction one year later.

G-Dog

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 7/24/12 12:12:48 AM
I'm certainly intrigued by the amount of interest this thread has generated. Go Arrow Loopers.

Personally, I still have fond memories of Viper at Six Flags Magic Mountain and of course, my first roller coaster with inversions ever – Corkscrew at Knott's Berry Farm.. I was there on opening day.

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by drachen drachen Profile at 7/24/12 12:24:40 AM
Eric_Gieszl said:

I'm certainly intrigued by the amount of interest this thread has generated. Go Arrow Loopers.


Personally, I still have fond memories of Viper at Six Flags Magic Mountain and of course, my first roller coaster with inversions ever – Corkscrew at Knott's Berry Farm.. I was there on opening day.

I'm surprised too. I thought there would be a handful of responses. But I never imagined there would be this much discussion. We even got a former Arrow employee to respond.

I saw you tweeted the link to the post - which probably resulted in his response here. Good move.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
Find me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 7/24/12 12:35:09 AM
I'm going to be doing that more... tweeting that is. I'm quietly making upgrades throughout, but one day I will announce it all.
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by drachen drachen Profile at 7/24/12 1:08:56 AM
Eric_Gieszl said:

I'm going to be doing that more... tweeting that is. I'm quietly making upgrades throughout, but one day I will announce it all.

Awesome! There is nothing wrong with digging up more members. Can't wait to see what's in store.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
Find me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by Schrecken Schrecken Profile at 7/24/12 1:58:13 AM
Geauga_Dog said:

What is the average service life for an Arrow coaster? You've got rides over 30 years old still running rather decent (CP Corkscrew, SFGAm Demon).


Geauga Lake's Double Loop had turned 30 on the last season the park was open yet I heard that it had reached the end of its service life. Ironic that it was sold for scrap at auction one year later.

G-Dog

That is an interesting question...what is the average lifespan of a steel coaster, Arrow or otherwise? It seems that many of them don't make it past 30 or so odd years, or at least that's about when parks tend to get rid of such rides.

Wood coasters can last for a century or close to it, but of course the first and oldest steel coaster out there is the Matterhorn at DL, so even the oldest steelies are much younger than the oldest woodies. But it seems that most steel coasters are either scrapped or totally rebuilt once they get to be over 30, like Space Mountain at DL. I guess on steel coasters if the track wears out it's a much bigger deal to replace parts of it (though obviously it can be done, like with Phantom's Revenge at Kennywood) than would be the case with a wood coaster.

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 7/24/12 10:53:25 AM
Hem, Nessie at BGW is over 30 yrs now. I wonder who would be brought in if it needed to be replaced and would the park basically want the exact layout or try out something different...
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 7/24/12 11:28:34 AM
Cyclone_Phil said:

Hem, Nessie at BGW is over 30 yrs now. I wonder who would be brought in if it needed to be replaced and would the park basically want the exact layout or try out something different...

I rode Nessie the year it opened (1978,) and it's still a favorite of mine. They've just taken such good care of that ride.

Mike

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by ericthewanderer at 7/24/12 1:16:44 PM
squirrels said:

GSutton said:

Also, I would suspect coasters would have a much higher rider count due to ( let's be honest now...)the fact that our waist lines are getting larger.I think 2 seats per train would suffice.


The reason they don't typically make seats for "larger" people is because they would have to carry a whole other line of parts for the restraint systems, and then those "larger" seats may not be safe for smaller guests. That means those 2 seats per train may end up having to go empty if there were no larger people to fill them. Your "big seats" therefore can backfire in the OTHER direction as far as increasing/decreasing ridership.


I feel for you in a way, man...I'm a tall guy and I have trouble fitting in a lot of the cars I'd like to drive. I wanted to get a 350Z when I traded in my Firebird, but I could not fit comfortably in the thing. Sometimes I lament that they can't build a scaled-up version for larger riders. At the same time, though, I realize why they can't.

For years now I've been trying to find out if there's a different way for coaster companies to make the "Big Boy Seat".Basically my idea is based on how a driver's seat operates:the seat can go up,down,forward,back and the steering wheel tilts-and yet the car is still safe to drive.I figured there should be some way the "special seat" could be altered EITHER WAY-for small people or large,or even certain handicapped people.
And as for saving Arrow loopers,I'm all for it!I don't see why S&S or Vekoma haven't taken more proactive steps in maintaining those rides.

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by Geauga_Dog Geauga_Dog Profile at 7/24/12 5:27:43 PM
Cyclone_Phil said:

Hem, Nessie at BGW is over 30 yrs now. I wonder who would be brought in if it needed to be replaced and would the park basically want the exact layout or try out something different...

I feel stupid for forgetting Nessie. That ride still looks and runs like new.

The thing with Nessie and a lot of the early Arrows is that everything was welded together. I can't imagine how expensive that may be to replace a section of track as you would have to be careful in how the track is cut to be removed. I wonder if that's one of the reasons Libertyland's former Revolution ended up not being reinstalled at DelGrosso's.

G-Dog

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by drachen drachen Profile at 7/25/12 10:19:09 PM
Geauga_Dog said:

What is the average service life for an Arrow coaster? You've got rides over 30 years old still running rather decent (CP Corkscrew, SFGAm Demon).


Geauga Lake's Double Loop had turned 30 on the last season the park was open yet I heard that it had reached the end of its service life. Ironic that it was sold for scrap at auction one year later.

G-Dog

To try and answer your original question...

It really depends on the ride and how many people are riding it. Sometimes people mistake short lines on an Arrow coaster for unpopularity. That can be the case, but it is also a function of the ride's ability to move people through the lines.

The term "people eater" is commonly used with Arrow coasters, and B&M's for that matter. The guy from King's Island actually used the term on the "Insane Coaster Wars" show when talking about Vortex's popularity.

From what I gather, the steel is rock solid on the majority of these coasters. The wear and tear is on the trains, resulting in the greater need for maintenance. From a track standpoint, many of them, with proper inspection and maintenance, could stand forever.

Serviceable life is that point where the ride's popularity drops below its maintenance costs - if such a graph were to exist. That line is different for every park, but it exists. It's all about the ride's perceived value in relation to its cost to maintain and its popularity.

The same can't be said for some of the suspended coasters that have met their end. Word is that Big Bad Wolf became a real bear to maintain. Even though the ride was still extremely popular, maintenance cost ultimately drove the park to replace it.

There isn't a single Arrow coaster that's still bringing people through the gates. Parks that still have one, keep it because it's an attraction, it's reliable, and it's popular enough to keep around.

Double Loop is one of the rides that got away for me. In my one visit back in 2002, it was down all day. As an Arrow fan, that is still one of my coaster regrets.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
Find me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by ericthewanderer at 7/26/12 12:31:27 PM
I got an idea-how about we all chip in to save The Afterburner coaster in Indiana?It was the world's first modern shuttle loop and originally built for Circus World.We could re-build it at Coney Island and get a new Vekoma train with sound!The music could be classic stuff from different decades-50's surf music,Motown,etc...it would sure beat seeing another Arrow "rusting in pieces".
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by d_n_s_u at 7/26/12 3:19:43 PM
We can't and mustn't forget Arrow's 1979 200 yard of track coaster "Revolution" at Blackpool.

It was the first ride at the park to cost over £1M back then.


It used to be orange: The colours of Irn Bru the soft drink sponsor (Below)

This year it's had a makeover and been painted an extremely industrial looking grey colour.

It still packs a punch after all these years. :-)

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 7/26/12 5:22:14 PM
ericthewanderer said:

I got an idea-how about we all chip in to save The Afterburner coaster in Indiana?It was the world's first modern shuttle loop and originally built for Circus World.We could re-build it at Coney Island and get a new Vekoma train with sound!The music could be classic stuff from different decades-50's surf music,Motown,etc...it would sure beat seeing another Arrow "rusting in pieces".

Would it be costly to maintain? I mean if it's small enough, I think it'd be a good fit, but not sure about the maintenance deal being worth keeping up over a more modern coaster with minimal upkeep.

* This post was modified at 7/26/12 6:13:47 PM *

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by drachen drachen Profile at 7/27/12 10:39:54 PM
How about a version of a train like this?

This train is on a boomerang coaster over at Weiner Prater in Austria. I don't know who made it, but that is a definite improvement on the old Arrow design.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
Find me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 7/27/12 11:22:01 PM
Wow! I love it! new and modern. Way cheaper than to have to tear down the whole coaster due to the terrible restraints of the current arrow trains. Though can they handle a multi inversion coaster like even anaconda without an otsr? That would be my main concern. For something simple like Nessie, that would be a dream.
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by alpengeistno3 at 7/27/12 11:39:36 PM
Do my eyes deceive me or are those 100% uncovered METAL bars?!?! After my initial experience with Skyrush, I don't think those are going to be that much more comfortable, especially on an "active" ride like Anaconda.

Nice idea, but no thanks.

Paul

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by drachen drachen Profile at 7/27/12 11:52:23 PM
alpengeistno3 said:

Do my eyes deceive me or are those 100% uncovered METAL bars?!?! After my initial experience with Skyrush, I don't think those are going to be that much more comfortable, especially on an "active" ride like Anaconda.


Nice idea, but no thanks.

Paul

I noticed that too. That's why I said a version of that train. reconfigure those restraints with a nice shape and some padding, and you have a winner.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
Find me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by drachen drachen Profile at 7/30/12 11:25:21 AM
I just thought of something else, and I don't know why I didn't think of it before.

Phantom's Revenge, which still has a lot of Arrow track, got new trains when they made the switch.

I'm not saying that those same trains can be used on a looping coaster. But Morgan makes a nice coaster train too. Their track gauge is the same as Arrow's. Add them to the list of companies that could create a new and improved train for the the aging, endangered Arrow loopers:

S&S/Arrow
Chance/Morgan
Premier
Vekoma
Gerstlauer
Intamin

* This post was modified at 7/30/12 11:26:15 AM *

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
Find me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by frontrow frontrow Profile at 7/30/12 1:29:12 PM
The trains on Phantoms Revenge are very comfortable. I like them better than the Arrow trains, and better than other Morgan trains that are used on other Morgan hyper coasters. The Phantoms Revenge trains should last a long time, being that the park usually runs just one train. I just don't see these trains being able to handle inversions. Even a big guy like me, has a lot of room and freedom in those trains.
Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by CarolH at 8/2/12 8:00:04 PM
Sooperdooperlooper isn't an Arrow coaster, it's a Schwarzkopf. Maybe....you have ridden to many of those Arrow loopers. :)

I have ridden a lot of Arrows and can now pass up rides on most of them, but they are very photographically pleasing.

* This post was modified at 8/2/12 8:13:25 PM *

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 8/3/12 1:54:07 AM
Are you serious about Kennywood running a single train on Phantom's Revenge? Really?

I'm glad I have not returned to this park since 2001. I really liked the park, but there is no excuse to not run two trains on a ride of that length, unless the park is empty and I doubt that is the case at Kennywood.

Does Palace own Kennywood now? I think so and that would explain that. Cheapskates.

I don't think the Phantom's Revenge trains were new. I think they got a new body fitted over the existing Arrow chassis. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by frontrow frontrow Profile at 8/3/12 1:28:55 PM
Eric_Gieszl said:

Are you serious about Kennywood running a single train on Phantom's Revenge? Really?


I'm glad I have not returned to this park since 2001. I really liked the park, but there is no excuse to not run two trains on a ride of that length, unless the park is empty and I doubt that is the case at Kennywood.

Does Palace own Kennywood now? I think so and that would explain that. Cheapskates.

I don't think the Phantom's Revenge trains were new. I think they got a new body fitted over the existing Arrow chassis. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

Kennywood may run 2 trains on weekends. I wouldn't know because I only visit on weekdays. I haven't seen a 2 train operation on Phantoms Revenge in 10 years. We usually visit the park once or twice a year. My kids are there more often with their friends. I wasn't aware that those trains are from the original Steel Phantom. I guess that's why they are one of a kind. Kennywood, Idelwild, Sand Castle, and Lake Compounce claim to be operated by Kennywood Entertainment Company. Maybe Palace operates that, I'll have to do some research. Just looked on Palace site and you are correct. Palace owns all 4 of those parks. I learned something new about my home park.

* This post was modified at 8/3/12 1:34:34 PM *

Re: Thoughts on Saving Arrow Loopers by BigShotRoz BigShotRoz Profile at 8/3/12 2:57:40 PM
Yes, the Phantom's Revenge trains are modified Steel Phantom trains.

A system error occurred. We apologize for the inconvenience.

A system error occurred. We apologize for the inconvenience.