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Lightning Rod Status

Hutch

Well-Known Member
I've never ridden it when it was supposedly in its prime so I can't compare my rides to that but it's definitely top tier material for sure. Riding the front row with no zero car sounds absurd, but I am glad I got to see the original design in action.

Has it been cooperating since they removed the zero car completely? I haven't heard much of it being down much recently.
 
I rode it back in April 2017 when the launch was "full speed", and several different times after it's been modified (July 2017, November 2018, March 2019). The difference was only really noticeable in the first couple elements. Everything from the 45 degree hill to the brakes pretty much feels the same now as it did back then. If SV didn't exist, both versions would be my #1.

As for the removed zero car, it's quite the experience. Very windy. Very open. I don't think the removal of the zero car "solved" the problems, but I haven't heard/seen it go down for more than a day since then..
 

CrashCoaster

Well-Known Member
Had the park got Lightning Rod running reliably yet? From what I was aware of the ride is a lot more reliable than it used to be.

Honestly, they probably need to replace the launch and possibly the ride system. **** Velocity Magnetics, Get InTraSys or Indrivetec on the job.
 

Hutch

Well-Known Member
I thought they confirmed a while back that their issues had nothing to do with the launch system?
 

Antinos

Slut for Spinners
I thought they confirmed a while back that their issues had nothing to do with the launch system?
Correct. And to further clarify, there was nothing wrong with the hardware provided by Velocity - it was a controls system software issue which as since been resolved.

Honestly, who knows why Lightning Rod is down these days. They resolved the launch and the pothole, as well as the train causing block faults by overshooting the brakes by inches. No idea at this point...
 

CrashCoaster

Well-Known Member
Any industry know-it-alls with inside sources know what's happening to LR now? Must be something major if it's down until next year. New ride control system?
 

oriolat2

Active Member
If the launch is the source of the hours upon hours of downtime, could they just get rid of it?

I know it's far from ideal but is Lightning Rod designed to run with a traditional lift hill? I guess any park would take a more reliable coaster without a gimmick than maintaining such gimmick and trying to get it to run as intended for 3 years... After all, the ride has plenty of good elements after the launch, right?

Hopefully I am wrong and this is just a controls/launch upgrade.

Btw, I have always found kind of funny that when a ride is down for an extended period of time, Dollywood explicitly mentions who is the manufacturer (as if regular park goes had a clue anyway lol). They did that with their topple tower from Huss as well.
 

Luca B

New Member
If the launch is the source of the hours upon hours of downtime, could they just get rid of it?

I know it's far from ideal but is Lightning Rod designed to run with a traditional lift hill? I guess any park would take a more reliable coaster without a gimmick than maintaining such gimmick and trying to get it to run as intended for 3 years... After all, the ride has plenty of good elements after the launch, right?

Hopefully I am wrong and this is just a controls/launch upgrade.

Btw, I have always found kind of funny that when a ride is down for an extended period of time, Dollywood explicitly mentions who is the manufacturer (as if regular park goes had a clue anyway lol). They did that with their topple tower from Huss as well.
The launch isn’t the only problem, and it is necessary for the ride so it doesn’t valley.
 

CrashCoaster

Well-Known Member
The launch isn’t the only problem, and it is necessary for the ride so it doesn’t valley.
No it isn't, as long as the train makes it over the crest of the launch hill, it should be able to make it through the whole ride under normal conditions.

Also, if the launch was to be replaced, I think it would be more likely they replace the launch with another launch by another company, such as InTraSys, who make the launches for many different ride manufacturers without fault.

I hope this upgrade means returning the trains to their former glory.
 

Luca B

New Member
No it isn't, as long as the train makes it over the crest of the launch hill, it should be able to make it through the whole ride under normal conditions.

Also, if the launch was to be replaced, I think it would be more likely they replace the launch with another launch by another company, such as InTraSys, who make the launches for many different ride manufacturers without fault.

I hope this upgrade means returning the trains to their former glory.
It’d be great if they replaced the launch with an InTraSys or an Indrivetec launch instead of using some random American company that has never worked with LSM propulsion or coasters before.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
The fact that it’s wooden likely added to the issues with the launch; I’m assuming that the launch on the wooden track did offer complications of its own to a degree, regardless of who made the ride.
 
What if they are retracking some of it with the iBox track? A bit like GCI have just done with White Lightning. People have been talking about a "pothole" at the bottom of LRs first drop for a while, so replacing that track seems like it would make sense. But maybe if they had iBox track on the lifthill as well it might make it easier to put in a new and more reliable launch mechanism?
 

Trax

Member
The fact that it’s wooden likely added to the issues with the launch; I’m assuming that the launch on the wooden track did offer complications of its own to a degree, regardless of who made the ride.
It's a hybrid track, not a wooden track. Topper track uses the steel as a support, but also requires the wood below it. A wooden track has the steel plates only to reduce friction and wear. Anyway, on a straight piece of track, the type of track should not influence the stability, especially not with some pressure from the wheels. The only issue that could be caused by a faulty track, is that the train hits the LSM modules, but you'd definetiely notice this.

It is still plausible to me, that they might retrack a few parts of the track, as I heard that the ride has a decent rattle, especially in the back seat. But if I compare the videos of LR shortly after opening and now, I really wish they would fix the launch issues to be a) more reliable and b) get it back to it's former performance.
 

emoo

Member
Rumours I could not quote say the launch wasn't the issue, and it goes over the top faster than most chain lifts I can think of (hush Tornado) so perhaps it does need that extra boost?

How has it been so long on such a sought after ride that we don't know the actual trouble details??

This was at least a good park before they added Lightning Rod, but now if you visit when it's down its really sad and you never get over it.
 

Hutch

Well-Known Member
Full IBox retrack, bring it on. Don't give a faff what it's made of, whatever it takes to get this sucker running reliably (and hopefully back to original speed) I'm in favor of.
So does that mean I get to add a +1 when I ride it again?
 
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