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GCI steel track on White Lightning

Dar

Member
Interesting that it has no welds, and that that's a selling point. I guess welds adds a different maintenance problem that doesn't usually come with a woodie.

I wonder how it's fabricated without welds? Bends, bolts, or both?
 

Hixee

Flojector
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I wonder how it's fabricated without welds? Bends, bolts, or both?
Yup, bolts and bends. Hundreds of them, in fact. I roughly counted them at IAAPA and there was somewhere in the order of 500 bolts/rivets (yes, FIVE HUNDRED) in their sample piece of track alone.

A picture I got last year at the reveal shows it reasonably well:


 

ECG

East Coast(er) General
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Interesting to see that it’s only quite a small section currently; I wonder whether more will be done in the future?
Not on White Lightning. GCI only need the current section to demonstrate the tech to park owners. It will be up to those owners as to whether we'll see more sections on a single coaster or even possibly the entire track layout, which I imagine will cost as much as a new cred.
That's what stumped us last November as we (@Hixee, @Ian, @Snoo, @Scottingtonville & myself) examined that section pictured above. We could imagine the work and cost it would take to convert a coaster using the track and couldn't see it being a real alternative to RMC's I-Box. However, we weren't thinking outside the box and didn't realize it would be installed only as a section of the layout by connecting to the existing wooden track seamlessly.
 

Rupert

New Member
So I guess a long-term aim to reduce maintenance? There are certainly woodies with parts of the track that get much more wear and tear than others and require frequent retracking - I can definitely imagine a park opting to replace the valley of a particularly rough patch with this new steel track with its seamless connection, as a one-off investment rather than regular retracking costs.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
To be honest, I could very much see Alton Towers doing this with the fast section directly following the s-bend drop on Wicker Man, as that section is reportedly both riding very rough at the moment and proving problematic from a maintenance standpoint.
 

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
To be honest, I could very much see Alton Towers doing this with the fast section directly following the s-bend drop on Wicker Man, as that section is reportedly both riding very rough at the moment and proving problematic from a maintenance standpoint.
I was just about to suggest the same.

Rough isn’t the word, visible shuffling of the carriages from off ride :/

WM is a shadow of itself last year... Not had a decent ride on it at all in the last 8 weeks :/

RMC it 🙈
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
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So I guess a long-term aim to reduce maintenance? There are certainly woodies with parts of the track that get much more wear and tear than others and require frequent retracking - I can definitely imagine a park opting to replace the valley of a particularly rough patch with this new steel track with its seamless connection, as a one-off investment rather than regular retracking costs.
Good catch! I hadn't thought of it like that before, but it makes sense. It's not a track system to be used on an entire coaster, but only the hardest-worn patches. I could definitely see it paying off in terms of maintenance.
 

UP87

Member
I'm pretty sure they want to make whole coasters this way, as well. Or do you think on coasters with "launches, inversions, anything" (from the ad) only these elements would be steel? (not a rhetorical question)
 

CoasterCrazy

Active Member
I'm pretty sure they want to make whole coasters this way, as well. Or do you think on coasters with "launches, inversions, anything" (from the ad) only these elements would be steel? (not a rhetorical question)
From their promotional model at IAAPA 2019, I'm not sure they've ever planned on making whole coasters with the new track:

1600691020276.png

And with inversions too (can't find a better shot):

1600691141985.png

Seems to be the more modular approach you mention, meaning the rest of the track will look and feel exactly like a traditional woodie. Interested to see if they're still planning to use tube supports for the steel sections. Reminds me a lot of the way RCCA approached Son of Beast back in the day (for everyone's sake, let's hope this works out better). Not quite sure why a park would opt for a ground-up version of this over a topper track RMC (cost?) but it has a lot of potential, even if it is limited to smoothing rough valleys and "spicing up" older GCIs! Could be a great way to prevent their ageing rides from being RMCd to keep that cash flowing!
 
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spicy

Active Member
I was just about to suggest the same.

Rough isn’t the word, visible shuffling of the carriages from off ride :/

WM is a shadow of itself last year... Not had a decent ride on it at all in the last 8 weeks :/

RMC it 🙈
Really? Had my first ride on it last week since 2018 and remember coming off pretty underwhelmed by it back then.

Come off it last week thinking, why did I think this coaster was so average before, I literally couldn't believe how good it was in comparison to what I remembered.

It was definately a little rougher but it was hauling around the track it was awesome.

So no steel track please 😆
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
I was just about to suggest the same.

Rough isn’t the word, visible shuffling of the carriages from off ride :/

WM is a shadow of itself last year... Not had a decent ride on it at all in the last 8 weeks :/

RMC it 🙈
I didn’t find the portion too bad when I rode in July, but I’ve heard a lot of people say that it oddly feels worse after the recent trackwork they did, which is mildly worrying...
 

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
I didn’t find the portion too bad when I rode in July, but I’ve heard a lot of people say that it oddly feels worse after the recent trackwork they did, which is mildly worrying...
You can literally see the trains shuffling heavily side to side... But only on that corner.. I’ll video it next time I’m there (Next week probably, just got back from there today :/ )

Really? Had my first ride on it last week since 2018 and remember coming off pretty underwhelmed by it back then.

Come off it last week thinking, why did I think this coaster was so average before, I literally couldn't believe how good it was in comparison to what I remembered.

It was definately a little rougher but it was hauling around the track it was awesome.

So no steel track please 😆
Did you ride it in October 2018? Didn’t really get to it’s best until the end of summer after it had bedded in a little.

I didn’t visit the park before lockdown... (No blue light card) So the last time I had ridden it, until July 2020, was Nov 2019... It was still fast, smooth and giving some decent pops of airtime then... So far since July, I’ve not had even a half decent ride 😢
 

Hyde

I Lied About My Age!
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I didn’t find the portion too bad when I rode in July, but I’ve heard a lot of people say that it oddly feels worse after the recent trackwork they did, which is mildly worrying...
I rode White Lightning in March. Heavy caveat, the trains were running ~half capacity, which could be a weight factor with such small trains. That being said: I haven't seen such bad train shuffle since Raging Wolf Bobs at Geauga Lake. Since the coaster doesn't go too fast, and has a lot of tight, quick transitions, it wasn't too bad. BUT, the train shuffle, especially on the double up/double down, was pretty horrendous. Ride was still enjoyable, but could be much better with a smoother ride.
 

CanobieFan

Active Member
Sooo.... uhh...first?
While eating my dinner, a friend texted me saying that it opened to the public today. So.... I headed over and took it for a single ride. The steel track is definitely, noticeably, different feeling than the rest of the ride. It's quiet, it's smooth. But also, this is my first time riding it since like February and theres now a N A S T Y pothole with some terribly violent side to side shuffle at the base of the double down before the turnaround. I was shocked at how bad it was, seemingly out of nowhere!

 
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