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Why are coaster cars taken off the track during off-season?

ava1enzue1a

Member
Take Millennium Force, for example:


(Source: http://themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=992715)

I've wondered about this off and on for a while now so I finally ask, why are they taken off the track during winter/off-season? Are there particular reasons for this? Why don't they just leave them on the track to avoid all the hassle (and potential safety risks) of disassembling and reassembling? Or at least put them in a train storage shed (does Millie even have one of those)? Are train storage sheds even used to store trains during off-season?

I'm really confused why they would completely disassemble these trains and lay them out on the pavement like that, so if anyone could answer any of these questions for me, thanks in advance.
 

tomahawk

Well-Known Member
Re: RE: Why are coaster cars taken off the track during off-

Maintenance. They have to make sure everything is still in working order. Simple answer.
 

ava1enzue1a

Member
Re: Why are coaster cars taken off the track during off-seas

Couldn't that be done with the trains left on the track? Wouldn't maintenance even be easier that way?
 

Intricks

Well-Known Member
Re: Why are coaster cars taken off the track during off-seas

Arent all trains from coasters shipped back to their manufacturer at intervals for full on maintenance that they cant do in house?

I know Hershey sends their trains back to Intamin (for Fahrenheit, Runner and I think Rush) yearly to get worked on.
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
Re: Why are coaster cars taken off the track during off-seas

Odd that they'd leave them resting the full weight of the train on just those upstop wheels, and balanced with a cinder block. Expected something a bit more secure.
 

MouseAT

Active Member
Re: Why are coaster cars taken off the track during off-seas

ava1enzue1a said:
Couldn't that be done with the trains left on the track? Wouldn't maintenance even be easier that way?
They have to inspect everything down to the component level. They can't do that with the train assembled. Even the individual bolts all have to be checked every year.
 
Re: Why are coaster cars taken off the track during off-seas

I asked this question to a rides maintenance sup at work today, he was surprised by this practice (pictured above). All trains come off for annual, but the rides guy said they had custom racks built to hold the trains up to work on during annual.
 

ava1enzue1a

Member
Re: Why are coaster cars taken off the track during off-seas

Intricks and MouseAT, thanks for the clarifications.


Smithy said:
Odd that they'd leave them resting the full weight of the train on just those upstop wheels, and balanced with a cinder block. Expected something a bit more secure.
rtotheizzo17 said:
I asked this question to a rides maintenance sup at work today, he was surprised by this practice (pictured above).
My thoughts exactly. Glad others are on the same page.


rtotheizzo17 said:
All trains come off for annual, but the rides guy said they had custom racks built to hold the trains up to work on during annual.
Again, what I was thinking. Seems the Millie cars would have been put on a rack.

Thanks for everyone's feedback.
 

Hyde

I Lied About My Age!
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
Re: Why are coaster cars taken off the track during off-seas

All Cedar Point roller coasters are torn down to the last bolt and screw during the off-season. To make the matter easier, all ride trains/gondolas/etc. are removed from their rides, and left in "storage" for easy access when the time comes to teardown rides in the workshop.

Simply put, it is easier to remove the trains off the track in the warmer fall weather, leave trains sitting ready for teardown and inspection, and remount everything in the warmer spring months. And yes, cinder blocks are a lot cheaper than custom racks, when you consider all of the trains for all of the rides in the park.
 

Infernus

Member
Re: Why are coaster cars taken off the track during off-seas

Hyde is correct, all trains, rides, carriages etc.. are stripped down to bare metal so an external testing company (LTC in Thorpe's case) can inspect each weld for any cracks, fractures etc.. before it is then reassembled and thoroughly tested.. Most cases, the only part returned to the manufacturer would be restraints to be, mainly, recovered/repaired. As for trains being taken off track, this could be down to the station and brake areas having the same testing done or brakes being replaced, motors being changed.. There is a lot of different jobs and checks that need doing over the short period. Each section of a coaster will be inspected, for visual wear and tear, and each bolt is checked to ensure they are still fastened.
 

Hyde

I Lied About My Age!
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Re: Why are coaster cars taken off the track during off-seas

I also do believe there is an aspect of inspection required by state law before a ride can be OKed for operation - at least in Ohio. I know there is a required hours tested at the beginning of each year, but I also feel there is an inspection element as well. This is in part why we always find Cedar Point testing rides for a week or two in the spring, training ride staff and meeting their operational hour quota.
 

Joey

Well-Known Member
Re: Why are coaster cars taken off the track during off-seas

Surely wheels sat on tracks unused mishapes them?
 

ava1enzue1a

Member
Re: Why are coaster cars taken off the track during off-seas

Hyde244 said:
All Cedar Point roller coasters are torn down to the last bolt and screw during the off-season. To make the matter easier, all ride trains/gondolas/etc. are removed from their rides, and left in "storage" for easy access when the time comes to teardown rides in the workshop.
Surely you mean just all Cedar Point roller coaster trains are disassembled down to the last bolt and screw during off-season and not the actual coasters themselves, right?
 

Hyde

I Lied About My Age!
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
Re: Why are coaster cars taken off the track during off-seas

^ Correct. Trains, gondolas, anything that carries passengers is stripped down to the basic components. Depending on the off-season, extra TLC is given to some rides, which can involved a further tear down of the ride itself.
 

jj23w

Member
Re: Why are coaster cars taken off the track during off-seas

Mainly rollercoaster cars are taken off for NDT. I know they do this with adventure island as all rollercoasters have to do manual safety check. Also they do it with some flat rides like dragons claw.
 

BBH

Active Member
Re: Why are coaster cars taken off the track during off-seas

I know that with wooden coasters, the entirety of the track and structure goes through a much more thorough offseason inspection as well as the standard train maintenance, and any parts of the track that are in grave disrepair are fixed, so there's some more standard trackwork that's done. Steel coasters are rarely ever retracked to my knowledge.
 

jj23w

Member
Re: Why are coaster cars taken off the track during off-seas

I did not know that wooden rollercoasters were taken down. The nearest woodie is most probably oakwood or bpb.
 

Hixee

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Re: Why are coaster cars taken off the track during off-seas

They're not taken down as such, they're fully inspected.

I don't think they see any more extensive inspections than a steel coaster really, it's just the way they have to do the inspections (cracks in steel and wood are very different) and the sheer number of members and fasteners involved, make the job a lot bigger.
 

jj23w

Member
Re: Why are coaster cars taken off the track during off-seas

I know that steel coasters take up to a week to be fixed and checked.
 
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