Post Reply 
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Official Avalanche Topic
02-12-2013, 10:32 AM
Post: #31
Re: Official Avalanche Topic
The ride originally had 5 six-car trains in 1988. The park found out that they were having issues with that many trains running at one time on the ride circuit; it was causing frequent stacking which, in turn, caused the ride to shut down. Because of that issue, KD decided to run a maximum for 4 trains at one time. They decided to add an extra car (7th) to each of the remaining 4 trains to help maintain the ride's original capacity. These 4 cars were taken from the 5th train, leaving 2 spare cars. (I do remember this because, when the ride opened the first day of the 1988 season, the last queue row, (7th car), was blocked off with a chain. KD had built the station to accommodate a 7 car train; but, initially ran six car trains. By Memorial Day Weekend of 1988, Avalanche was running four 7-car trains.

Some time in the mid to late 90's, the park maintenance people were testing the Avalanche and, for whatever reason, 2 of the trains collided on the track. Based on what I heard, a couple of cars, from the back of one train and the front of the other train, were so badly damaged they could not be salvaged. The park ended up re-constructing a 3rd train from the spare cars from the 5th train and the remaining undamaged cars from the 2 trains involved in the collision. From then on, KD had no more than 3 trains to use on the ride. Also, KD lengthened the blocking on the ride. I am not sure if that was due to the collision of the 2 trains or not. For example, when a train was dispatched from the station, the train, in the transfer track section of the building, would start to advance into the load/unload area before the last 2 cars, of the train in front, had cleared the station. Now, the train in the station, has to completely clear the building before the next train can advance to the load/unload area.

What I don't understand is why Kings Dominion has not ordered an extra train or two for the ride. Mack rides still exists as a amusement ride manufacturer and they still offer this ride for sale. So, they have the ride schematics to fabricate from new individual parts to whole trains for this ride.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-12-2013, 12:07 PM
Post: #32
Re: Official Avalanche Topic
Thanks for all that info. You have a really good memory! That's interesting!

I Have No Homeboy.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-12-2013, 03:59 PM
Post: #33
Re: Official Avalanche Topic
interesting stuff! 5 trains, wow!
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-14-2013, 12:48 AM
Post: #34
Re: Official Avalanche Topic
I am surprised this ride had up to 30 cars. So how many are left? 18 +6 (from the unseen 4th train)? I couldn't get a good look in the 'shed' so I'm basing my number on that night in August when I saw 3 trains running. (my train sitting outside the 'shed', the other in the shed and the train before it in the station).
Given how KD rarely runs more than 2 trains on their rides, I guess 4 trains should be plenty without them needing to order more parts or cars.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-14-2013, 11:18 AM
Post: #35
Re: Official Avalanche Topic
nyc_phil Wrote:I am surprised this ride had up to 30 cars. So how many are left? 18 +6 (from the unseen 4th train)? I couldn't get a good look in the 'shed' so I'm basing my number on that night in August when I saw 3 trains running. (my train sitting outside the 'shed', the other in the shed and the train before it in the station).
Given how KD rarely runs more than 2 trains on their rides, I guess 4 trains should be plenty without them needing to order more parts or cars.

Phil, I am really not sure. I have occasionally seen the 3rd train in the transfer table section of the building underneath the running track. Since there were originally 5 six-car trains back then, the total available ride vehicles would have been 30. Later that same season, the park decided to go with 4 seven car trains with a total of 28 vehicles. They dismantled the 5th train and added 4 of its 6 cars to the other four trains and there were two spare cars.

About 10 years later, 2 of the 4 trains collided while maintenance was testing the ride. I believe this happened before the park even opened to the public. The back half of one train and the front half of the other were damaged. The damage must have been serious enough that the park was not able to salvage enough of the remaining cars to re-create both trains of the 2 that collided. My understanding was that the park took the 2 spare cars from the former 5th train and combined them with the remaining undamaged cars from the 2 trains that collided to re-create the 3rd train. There were not enough good cars remaining to re-build the 4th train. From then on there were just 3 trains available for use on the ride. The park could have very well had 2-3 extra cars that were viable to use on the ride; but, they were 4-5 cars short of having a 4th train again. They could have used the remaining good cars and parts of the damaged cars to use as spare parts for the remaining 3 trains.

This ride is unusual in the way they store the trains because they are stacked vertically under the running track. For those who are familiar with Avalanche, the first part of the station building, when heading back to the load/unload section, is the transfer track. When removing or adding a train, the cars slide over to the 'elevator' portion of the transfer table. Then, motor raises or lowers the whole track section to the vertical storage bay and the train then slides underneath the running track for storage. The reverse happens when adding a train.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-14-2013, 06:47 PM
Post: #36
Re: Official Avalanche Topic
Thanks for the info! Yeah I noticed how neat the shed looked with the elevator like system. Heh, now that would be something to ride on the lift in the train. But I guess with the way the blocks are set up, that should hopefully prevent another collision and I guess we will just have to deal with 3 trains only. Which isn't too bad since most of the time (when I am there) they run just 2.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
03-12-2013, 09:19 PM
Post: #37
RE: Official Avalanche Topic
Avalanche really dosn't need any more then 3 trains at all the track just isn't long enough. besides whats the point of having people on lots of trains waiting to return to the station its not too much fun. Two or 3 trains is just enough I think

2011 Intimidator 305 Ride Operator
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
03-15-2013, 03:15 PM
Post: #38
RE: Official Avalanche Topic
I agree. The only reason to have more than 3 trains is for spares if there's a problem with the other ones. I think 2 trains is enough given the short length and loading times. 3 trains being the absolute max.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
03-16-2013, 07:04 AM
Post: #39
RE: Official Avalanche Topic
Given the limited capacity of this ride, Kings Dominion did run all 4 trains on the weekends and 2 or 3 trains on the weekdays. Running 4 trains on Avalanche is equivalent to running 2 trains on other coasters (i.e. Anaconda). There were enough safety blocks on the ride to accommodate that many trains without serious stacking. There were 8 safety blocks on the ride where a single train could occupy.

1. Load/Unload Station
2. Pre-Lift (Train could immediately be dispatched from the station with a another train, in front of it, on the lift. The just dispatched train would be held at the base of the lift until the front train cleared the lift hill. The brake would release and the advancing wheels would push the train onto the chain lift).
3. Lift Hill
4. Mid-course brake.
5. 1st set of brakes on the final brake run. (first set of brakes after finishing the running portion of track)
6. 2nd set of brakes on the final brake run. (after the 1st brake set and before the turn back to the station).
7. 3rd set of brakes on the final brake run. (after the final turn back to the station and before entering the station building).
8. Transfer table area within the station building. (after 3rd set of brakes on the final brake run and before the load/unload area)

Back when 4 trains were running, picture in your head that it is the morning, the maintenance testing is finished, and all 4 trains are stacked waiting to take on the peeps. One train would be in the load/unload area; one would be behind it in the transfer table section of the building; the 3rd train would be just behind that one waiting to go into the station building; the 4th train would be setting on the other side of the turn back to the station (3rd set of brakes on the final brake run).

You can check it out when watching the ride in action and when riding. Especially the pre-lift block at the base of the lift hill; at the front viewing area. Watch when a train passes the pre-lift block. When the last car of the train heads up the lift hill, the pre-lift block brake will close and the advancing wheel motors will turn off. When the last portion of the train clears the straight piece of track at the top of the lift. The pre-lift block brake will release (open) and the advancing wheel motors will power back up.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)