I began to work at the station of Kanonen in 2008. Wow, it was probably the best working place in Liseberg. We had so much fun!
You launched the train from the station and because of that you were always entertained by the guests. First you had reactions from the guests in the train, and then you had the reactions from the guests that were waiting on the station. So you know exactly who you could scare to make them scream like there was no tomorrow. And because of all the "dead time" when you had to be in the saftey zones, you had a lot of time when you could chat with your coworkers. Or joke with the guests
Even if Kanonen was the slowest of the Intamin launch coasters, it had a really powerful kick A$$ launch (0-75km/h in 1.8 seconds). Because of the short lenght of the launch, it felt much faster. If I compare with Furius Bacco at Port Aventura, I think that the launch at Kanonen was much better. Even if the top speed at Furius Bacco is 130km/h.
In 2011 I got the job as Head operator, which means that I sat in the control booth over the track and had the responsibility for what happens on the station. You could see everything from there. I had 5 screens for cameras over the area and 2 touch-screens. The touch screens were connected to the computer and I could actually solve a lot of things with that without calling for a mechanic or a electrician.
I have been told that the speed is controlled automatically on most launch coasters from Intamnin, but not Kanonen. It was I that controlled the speed for every train I sent away. I had two buttons on the screen that said "faster" and "slower". I also had a boost for empty train. (If I activated the boost, the screen was filled with a red blinking text saying "no passengers allowed")
So how did I know how to choose the right speed? Well, experince tought me. I looked at the train and tried to see if it was filled with bigger people (less speed) or with smaller people (more speed). But the weather was also important in my calculations. If it was a warm sunny day, the trains was running fast and I could use the same speed. If it was raining, cold or windy, well then I had to pay more attention on how the people looked like and maybe change the speed more often. And if the train wasn't filled, then I know for certain that I needed higher speed.
So did I ever got a rollback? Yes of course, it happens a few times every year. But the reason was almost always the wind or the oil pressure. And for every person that has experienced a rollback, you know that it is just an awesome feeling and not dangerous at all.
So why didn't we always use the maximum speed? Because of the compact layout. If the train passed the Tophat too fast, the experience in the rest of the track whould be very rough. So I had a speed target that was 2.2m/sec over the tophat. Most of my trains got over with a speed of 2.0-3.5 m/sec, but sometimes it was slower or faster. The fastest was for example when TPR visited us and I made a special train that had the speed of around 5m/sec over the TopHat
So even if Kanonen was a really popular ride to work at, the guests has not find it so interesting the last years. You have a great launch, but thats it. They think Helix is much funnier (even if Robb disagree with that opinion
) So I think it was the right time to replace it with something different, and I really looking forward to 2018 when Valkyria opens.
So what happens with Kanonen now? Well, it is sold and the new location will be outside Europe. I will not say where, it will be revealed when the time is right...
I left the Ride department last year and is now working with guestservice and are also guiding groups of enthusiasts and companys that are visiting the park. But I still had the opportunity to jump in a couple of times during the year and "shoot" some trains and that was allways fun. I have spent more than 8 seasons at that station and I have a lot of memories from those years. Like all of the dropped items I have found and collected under the track. Phones, keys, money, wallets, a fake breast(yes you heard me, a fake breast. And no one said that they had dropped one) knives, hearing aid, fruits, cameras, bottles, toys, etc. Yes, people are stupid...
Hope that that gives some fun info about Kanonen. If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask.