Dragon Khan wrote:I hear from several very travelled coaster enthusiasts this cyclone clone was once the best of them all (I personally like Viper in Guernee very much). Anyone here would confirm this ? If they restore it to its former glory, or even better, then I have one more reason to be envious on those people on New Hotness.
I'll absolutely confirm this. The Georgia Cyclone was easily a top 10 woodie. Especially in the back seats! It's the only time in my life I've tried to pull a lapbar further down during a ride! And Tremors was even better! Neither coaster was ever smooth or gentle. But that's just because they're crazy rides. SImilar to the way in which New Texas Giant isn't smooth, but it's not rough. None of these are rides for the timid!
But there seems to be a big misunderstanding in here that the Rocky Mountain treatment is necessary to make older coasters rideable. And that's 100% not true.
There are only two things needed to make virtually any wooden coaster rideable and keep it that way:
1) Regular maintenance, including replacing sections of wood regularly.
2) The money to pay for it.
It's really that simple.
The problem is that parks are tight for cash, and spending money for an old woodie is usually one of the first things they cut out of the budget. But it's definitely a case of penny wise pound foolish.
Think about it this way. Wood is a natural substance. It breathes and gives. And it's sitting outside in all sorts of weather conditions. Now take several TONS of train filled with several more TONS of people and send it over that wood several hundred times per day -- that's tens of thousands of times per operating season! Is it any wonder the wood gets warped? (As a side note, this is why parks often run only one train when it's not so busy, frustrating many of us who have to wait longer in line.)
I have a wooden plank under one side of my biggest fish tank because the floor isn't level. After only a few months, it started to warp from the weight on it. And that's not even half a ton of water. And it's just sitting there, not moving over it at 60 mph over it tens of thousands of times per season! In the rain and snow and heat and cold and sometimes flooding.
All it takes to fix most wooden coasters (assuming they're designed well) is to regularly maintain the wood all season, walking the tracks and fixing problems as they arise, and doing major refurbishments in the off-season. But that costs money.
And it certainly doesn't help when the coasters are built with cheaper wood and other materials. As much as I love CCI's coasters, they had a bad business strategy. They sold their coasters for far cheaper than the equivalent GCI coasters to undercut their price and get more business. They cut costs by using cheaper wood and materials. Parks soon discovered that their cheaper up-front investments came with much greater maintenance costs down the line.
But even the best built woodies still need regular investments and maintenance over time, for all of the reasons above. It remains to be seen how much this is true for the Intamin pre-fab woodies.
Park have been altering woodies for years now to try to keep maintenance costs down, reprofiling some of the best parts of rides to reduce stress on the coaster, adding trim brakes all over the place, and now adding the topper track. At least this method doesn't actually tame the ride, unlike the others. But it should be understood that in almost all cases, none of this would actually be necessary if the parks would invest in the maintenance that is necessary with a wood coaster.