Scott's Coaster Closet

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Postby ebl » Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:12 pm

"Doesn't it use Pyclone's old trains when it runs backwards? Don't they use them becasue the brakes are different if it runs backwards and Pyclones trains are set up like that?" (astroworld1)

We're talking about the old PTC trains that Colossus had from 1980 till 1986. They could run those backwards with a slight modification (the usual---turning chain dogs and anti-rollback devices around).

I wish I could have ridden the Racer (Montana Rusa) in Mexico City. That sounded like it was quite a ride.

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Postby RIP Psyclone » Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:39 pm

And I believe they never ran the Morgan trains backwards because they don't have headrests. Psyclone's B&M trains do, so they use those.

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Postby Musical Pete » Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:31 am

SeaWhippet wrote:The Mexico City Racer (aka La Montana Rusa) is a ride that had intrigued me from the moment I first read about it in Robert Cartmell's New York Times article, "The Ultimate Roller Coaster."

I immediately wrote to the builder - National Amusement Device – asking for information. To my surprise (I was a just a wee lad at the time ), NAD founder Aurel Vaszin responded with a letter (see below) and a number of brochures and photos. He also gave me contact info for NAD’s successor – IADI. That letter is included as well.

The photos that follow are from Vaszin and my own camera. I was fortunate enough to ride the Racer in 1989, before CCI tamed the ride’s excessive negative-Gs. Sadly, during the same period, they also butchered several of the six (!) beautiful NAD Century Flyer trains. Someone should pay dearly for that crime against history…

Enjoy this look back at one of the most impressive racing coasters every built.

Cheers!

-S

That post is pure bliss - your own photos especially. I didn't realize the trains had been altered so much (though opening in 1964, I should've known it had Flyers). I actually prefer the garish colours too, it's almost magical... yes I'm odd.

I'm yet to get to Mexico myself and while I know that CCI did some work on the coaster, it doesn't seem too altered from the photos and video I've seen (including one of those "World's Greatest Rollercoaster Thrills in 3D" DVDs). I can see the check brake before the second turnaround, but the profile seems to remain original - the same straight lines and circles as before (oh how I wish coaster profile hadn't become as fluid as it has today - modern profile often gives a dull ride when running slow, but the old geometry always delivers, whatever the weather, literally!). I expect that aside from that brake, the ride would feel pretty much as it would've done on opening. Gotta get there one day!

As for it originally having six trains - so did Grand National, infact, I have it on good authority from a PB manager that at one time, Grand National ran EIGHT trains! Ofcourse, there didn't used to be safety blocks - and I'm told that even with six trains, you'd be on your toes as a brakeman to ensure there were no bumps in the station (the huge sprung buffers on old cars were there for that very reason). There did used to be a check brake leading into Canal Turn, similar to Montana Rusa's modern brake, but it was just a slower, set with a winch so wouldn't act as a stop block (same as the brakes before the final dip before they were replaced with magnetic units).

Wood coasters are my thing. Vintage wood coasters are even more my thing. RACING vintage wood coasters are TOTALLY my thing and you my friend, have completely made my day! lol

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Postby DenDen » Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:54 am

robbalvey wrote:^ It ran a backwards train for a while until the Morgan trains were introduced.

--Robb


OK, I'm an idiot. I own a video that shows one train going backwards. Once you mentioned "Morgan", I remembered.

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Postby montezooma » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:23 am

Here is my video of the ride back when I rode it years ago.

[youtube]http://youtube.com/watch?v=qiMNCLfRORQ[/youtube]
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Postby ebl » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:33 am

"And I believe they never ran the Morgan trains backwards because they don't have headrests." (RIP Psyclone)

Also, I believe, because the Morgans are trailer cars. Someone correct me, please, if I'm mistaken.

And very nice video, Shane. I really wish I'd ridden that. I wonder if anyone rode it before and after the "rehab?"

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Postby SeaWhippet » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:49 am

EBL wrote:[i]

And very nice video, Shane. I really wish I'd ridden that. I wonder if anyone rode it before and after the "rehab?"

Eric


I rode the Racer repeatedly, both before and after the rehab. Besides the loss of the classic trains, the tamed version is far cry from its former self. I'll comment on that when I answer the post above.

-S

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Postby SeaWhippet » Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:14 pm

Musical Pete wrote:That post is pure bliss - your own photos especially. I didn't realize the trains had been altered so much (though opening in 1964, I should've known it had Flyers). I actually prefer the garish colours too, it's almost magical... yes I'm odd.

I'm yet to get to Mexico myself and while I know that CCI did some work on the coaster, it doesn't seem too altered from the photos and video I've seen (including one of those "World's Greatest Rollercoaster Thrills in 3D" DVDs). I can see the check brake before the second turnaround, but the profile seems to remain original - the same straight lines and circles as before (oh how I wish coaster profile hadn't become as fluid as it has today - modern profile often gives a dull ride when running slow, but the old geometry always delivers, whatever the weather, literally!). I expect that aside from that brake, the ride would feel pretty much as it would've done on opening. Gotta get there one day!

As for it originally having six trains - so did Grand National, infact, I have it on good authority from a PB manager that at one time, Grand National ran EIGHT trains! Ofcourse, there didn't used to be safety blocks - and I'm told that even with six trains, you'd be on your toes as a brakeman to ensure there were no bumps in the station (the huge sprung buffers on old cars were there for that very reason). There did used to be a check brake leading into Canal Turn, similar to Montana Rusa's modern brake, but it was just a slower, set with a winch so wouldn't act as a stop block (same as the brakes before the final dip before they were replaced with magnetic units).

Wood coasters are my thing. Vintage wood coasters are even more my thing. RACING vintage wood coasters are TOTALLY my thing and you my friend, have completely made my day! lol



MP-

Glad you could appreciate what I wrote about the Racer. Now a few comments about what you said:

I, too, like the crazy color scheme. It just screamed MEXICO!

That block brake leading into the second (station) turn has always been there. Well, it was there and in use when I first rode the Racer in 1988. This is prior to CCI's overhaul. On my first circuit, I was disappointed that it was on. But after we dropped off that turn and tore through the next run of three lower hills (that pass through the lift hill), I was SOOOO glad that brake was in use. The trains, structure, nor the riders could not have endured this section at top speed. It was THAT violent.

I believe CCI redid the braking system, including replacing/updating that block/check brake on the station turn that was originally there.

I recall back when the CCI rehab went down, there was discussion about what was changed. The work DID include altering the profile of certain hills to some degree, but I'm not sure how much. After reading your post, I contacted two of the engineers who worked on the CCI project as to how much of the profile was changed. I'll post here when I get a response. Whatever the case, the ride as it stands today is NOT the same as it was before CCI was involved.

I agree that the 'old geometry' is reliable, whatever the weather. The Racer really took advantage of that fact. It always gave a good (intense/sustained violence) kind of ride.

And the Grand National is one of my favorite all-time woodies. Though quite different from the Mexico ride and the Kennywood Racer, it's still wonderfully unique. I would love to have ridden its original trains.

BTW, I suppose you're aware that these three rides are the only continuous-track racers in existence, right?

-S

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Postby Musical Pete » Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:50 pm

Fantastic video - this is what coasters are all about to me. Good old shake, rattle & roll. What you tend to get on modern equivalents are relatively dull hills, too many turns and lots of spine hammering from ledger over-saturation... lol. I suppose the world having to be super safe these days is the culprit there. Track doesn't flex quite enough as it needs to, to dampen vibration these days (except at Blackpool where my favourite woodies are made from rubber :lmao: ). I've devised a simple way to give the track all the support it needs while allowing it to flex right, but having no engineering qualifications and little math skills, I doubt I'll get to try it out. Oh the good old trial and error, eyeball days... :P

Yep, the three surviving mobius racers. I've ridden Grand National far too many times, and have ridden Kennywood's Racer a few times too. Gotta get to Mexico one day, even if the coaster has been somewhat tamed. The modern pneumatic check brake clearly shaves away more speed than the original but looking at the way the train cracks like a whip over a couple of those drops in your video, it is indeed probably a good thing. It probably rides like a bigger Grand National whose speed has increased very slightly with the new cars - very powerful negative force over warped circular hills, with mere 2.25" safety wheels. I have an old one on my shelf. :lmao:

You know, the Blackpool oldies have no footings as such - the legs sit on a wooden foot (the same section laid flat) which sits directly in the ground, and the whole structure basically stays put under its own load - no concrete, no cleats. The motor room floor of the Maxim Flying Machine is bare sand, last seen the light of day in Victorian times when the whole place was literally a beach. The central column rotates above a reasonable concrete plinth and that's it. I love these old quirks - safe, reliable, simple. Flying Machine has never shifted and neither have the coasters, even by the Irish Sea. Southport's Cyclone did lose its lift in a 1960s gale however, hence the twist it later had - the base had probably pitched over a bit but they simply built straight back onto it, lol. The track in its small dips didn't even really have feet, the laminate sat straight on the ground. No wonder it flexed so much - an example of too little support.

I enjoy modern spline-based profile, but circles do it for me most. It's a tricky balancing act getting them right as they can be too forceful as your Montana Rusa video shows (particularly at 2:29!), but they often got it right before computers were around to 'interfere' (said flippantly) and before anybody bothered with dynamic equations (which I'd like to learn if my brain wouldn't melt). Afterall, John Miller did a great job with circles and a ~1:40 grade (apart from Puritas Springs Cyclone's first drop, radius a bight tight at the bottom!)... :br

Fantastic topic - the best I've seen on a forum in a while. So much history! :)

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Postby ebl » Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:11 pm

"This is prior to CCI's overkill." (SeaWhippet)

Fixed for truth.

Eric
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