Little Amerricka

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Re: Little Amerricka

Postby ButteredToast » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:43 pm

DirkFunk wrote:Great thread. Question for you: I recall the guys from House of David in Benton Harbor, MI having a PTC train (or at least part of one) and talking about how they got blueprints from Little Amerricka yeeaaaaaaars ago when they were early into the process of rebuilding the park. Did you ever have any conversations with them?


My bad, how did I never respond to this? :?r I haven't been in contact with anyone from the House of David. I'm wondering if the train in question was the one we just traded for from Chicago. As you can see from the recent Little Amerricka trip report and from the photos below, the cars are a bit on the rough side. Still, they're better than nothing, and there are some parts we can salvage off them. One plan is to also fabricate two more cars while rebuilding them so both coasters could run 5 car trains.

The way my boss figured, PTC junior trains are lighter than full-sized trains, which would require less materials for supports, in addition to making maintenance a bit easier with parts being interchangeable. One of my concerns, being around 6'2", is rider comfort for those of us with longer legs. Meteor is already a bit of a knee knocker for me, and I'm not sure if shattered kneecaps is covered by the insurance policy with the more intense ride. Another concern is if junior trains can stand up to the rigors of higher speeds and stronger forces on a larger ride. The matter is still up for discussion.

I've been talking with several different people about NAD trains and coasters and am waiting to talk to a couple of more notable coaster industry names. Currently the focus is a custom designed layout combining the Stricker's Grove Tornado and the larger Ghoster Coaster models to fit space requirements. Things are coming more into focus and hopefully we can start nailing down some design details in the near future. I'll keep TPR posted, especially if we hit the lottery and RMC Meteor becomes a thing.
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The very well-aged original train from the Waldameer Comet
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Not exaaactly ready to run, but this crew is more than capable
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Re: Little Amerricka

Postby ButteredToast » Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:45 am

This was started nearly a year ago? Man how time flies.

Hello TPR, long time no talk. Well, no vertical construction pics to share or front car unveilings yet, unfortunately (part of me thought we'd get the ride built around the same time as West Coast Racers at that rate), but I've been busy contacting folks and ironing out a proposed layout. Still waiting on some emails, but I do have a 1.0 layout to share. I think it looks really promising so far.

After studying the blueprints for the Meteor, I set out to design a sort of hybrid ride combining the building methods for the Meteor (as we still have the track templates for the curves) and the Stricker's Grove Tornado (close to the Phoenix, fan of the layout). The result is this ride: the Screamliner (cuz Streamliner as in trains but scream as in roller coaster. Clever ain't it?). The ride has around 7 moments of airtime but keeps the forces well within reasonable limits (calculated to be around 2.8 g's max and -0.3 g's very briefly), making it an exciting ride while being great for families.

As for the trains, I'm still working things out, but I have a new direction that I'm hoping will work. Most likely, the NAD trains won't be used on the ride - on top of being very heavy, finding blueprints for them might be a fruitless endeavor. Plus, the owner would like to use the same building techniques they used on the Meteor, which includes flanged wheels on the cars instead of inner guide wheels (this means no steel track on the inner part of the track; instead, the flanged wheel uses the steel strip on the top of the track to turn. Less material = less cost).

Unfortunately, coaster cars with flanged wheels have pretty much been phased out as far as I know. The only ones I knew of were Morgan cars, which are even heavier than NAD cars and don't have the best reputation, and older PTC junior cars, like the ones on the Meteor and the original cars from the Waldameer Comet. Even as talented as the shop crews are at renovating some seriously far-gone equipment, the Comet cars are probably too far gone. There might be some parts that can be salvaged, but even this crew has its limits.

Then, one day while looking through random roller coaster pictures (it was for research - totally a business expense), something caught my eye - the wooden coaster at the Puyallup Fair has flanged wheels. Being curious, I checked the Coaster at the PNE. Yup, flanged wheels too. So now, the far-flung dream is to build a train of Prior and Church cars similar to the ones used on the west coast.

They seem to tick all the boxes I want:

*being articulated, they'll be less abusive on the track
*the rail structure appears to be thinner than ones using other trains (the Meteor uses 5 ply track, the least I've seen on other rides is 6 ply)
*they use flanged wheels, single position lap bars, and skid brakes, which is the same setup as the Meteor
*since the trains used now are replicas themselves and recently built, hopefully there are plans and blueprints that we could use


If that didn't pan out, another idea I had was to use GCI Mini-llenium flyer trains. It would require some modified blueprints and a few more modern bells and whistles, but I still like this option.

Anyhoo, let's get onto the stuff you're really interested in - stats and pictures. And I wanted to make a more professional video, but for some reason the video recorder with NoLimits didn't want to cooperate. I'll try to have one up in the near future.

Screamliner Ride Stats

Height: 51 ft
Drop: 46 ft
Top Speed: 37 mph
Length: 1730 ft
Ride Time: 100 seconds

I'll keep everyone posted if anything happens. Feel free to ask questions, give feedback, or comment about how Steel Vengeance has some competition. :p
screenshot-2020-01-14-18-37-31.png
First drop at 51*
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Train on the double down
screenshot-2020-01-14-18-38-40.png
One of several moments of airtime
screenshot-2020-01-14-18-39-11.png
Ride overview
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Re: Little Amerricka

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:32 am

That looks fantastic. My kids will love it. Please build this!

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Re: Little Amerricka

Postby jedimaster1227 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:32 pm

This looks like it could be promising! Here's hoping the park has what it needs to make this concept a reality!
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Re: Little Amerricka

Postby Pedrinho » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:36 am

Just saw this thread. This is all I miss in Germany (or Europe in total).
Little Parks that have visions and create Knoebel's like things.
Please go on with your dreams and keep us informed. We'll put you on our US bucket list!
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Re: Little Amerricka

Postby jlp94 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:59 pm

This looks fantastic! I'd love to ride a coaster with this layout that has Church / Prior style trains :lover:
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Re: Little Amerricka

Postby OmnipotentSeal » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:00 am

This looks simply amazing. I would definitely drive out to experience that thing.
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Re: Little Amerricka

Postby mnreggie » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:24 pm

That layout looks like a great mid sized ride.
Relatively simple enough to construct without too much twisty madness to navigate but plenty of fun packed into each leg.
Are you having a firm do the actual design/signoff of the ride or is that being done in-house as well?

Also I totally volunteer as tribute to drive from Duluth to come swing a hammer for a week.

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Re: Little Amerricka

Postby ButteredToast » Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:05 pm

As you can imagine, some other things have been going on since the last update, but I've been picking away at the design when I get a chance. Been tweaking the ride path and I pretty much have it how I want it. Maybe a little fine tuning here and there, but I'm pretty sure I've gotten it where it won't be taking off arms and hands. Currently working on designing the support structure at every bent down to the half inch - doing my best to make this sucker ride like an RMC. Even for a small mind-sized ride, it comes out to about 120ish bents, so it's pretty slow pickings.

When the park was building the Meteor, they were lucky enough to have the owner's dad around to check the calculations and sign off on the ride - he was a senior engineer at GE. I work around several PE's at my full-time job, and the city structural engineering department is a couple floors up from me, so I'm hoping the most I have to do is hoof it up a couple stairs and have them check my math and give me the thumb's up. I was expecting it to be a lot more intensive, but apparently it doesn't take much to have the state sign off on a ride - the Meteor was 2 whole equations.

If anyone is willing to lend a hand building the ride, we'd be more than welcome to have them aboard. A majority of the workforce is volunteers who help when they can, and the park doesn't have the budget to bring in professional workforces. Makes every project feel a little more personal and rewarding. And on some days results in higher-than-normal consumption of alcohol.

I did my best to make a stunning, professional-quality video for the ride, but of course with my luck the way it is, nothing would cooperate. So, in the spirit of Little Amerricka quality, here's a phone recording of my computer screen. Only the finest here. :p Feel free to offer any feedback or ask any questions. It's not going to be an easy year, but the gears are turning slowly, and we're still expecting some big things in the near future.

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Re: Little Amerricka

Postby Nrthwnd » Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:37 pm

Can I just ask? Why is "Little Amerricka" called that? With two 'r's and all?

Just curious of me, thanks in advance. :)
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