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theparklifekid
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:00 pm

This is making me feel extremely sad, I just wanted to forget that this event happened and then this video had to be released to remind me you can never get over something like this.
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:10 pm

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JonDoesTT
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:34 pm

Stan.H wrote:


That CCTV footage almost doesn't look real, can't imagine what seeing it in person would have been like.
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thebrynexpress
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:11 pm

JonDoesTT wrote:
Stan.H wrote:


That CCTV footage almost doesn't look real, can't imagine what seeing it in person would have been like.

I completely agree. The memory of seeing the incident must be hard to live with every time the incident is brought up.

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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:21 pm

This is the CCTV that is on display in the operators booth, correct?

I thought they said that they couldn't see the stalled train on the track, but the CCTV shows the stalled train... Which implies that the operator could/should have seen the stalled train.
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lewis97
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:25 pm

Liam.W wrote:
This is the CCTV that is on display in the operators booth, correct?

I thought they said that they couldn't see the stalled train on the track, but the CCTV shows the stalled train... Which implies that the operator could/should have seen the stalled train.

Yes, however as The Smiler has a lot of cameras each image only displays on a fairly small portion of the screen so it would be quite easy to miss if those in the operating booth were not aware a train had stalled or had appropriate protocol to follow faced with the error which would have been produced when the train failed to make it to the brake run before the vertical lift.
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:28 pm

lewis97 wrote:
Liam.W wrote:
This is the CCTV that is on display in the operators booth, correct?

I thought they said that they couldn't see the stalled train on the track, but the CCTV shows the stalled train... Which implies that the operator could/should have seen the stalled train.

Yes, however as The Smiler has a lot of cameras each image only displays on a fairly small portion of the screen so it would be quite easy to miss if those in the operating booth were not aware a train had stalled or had appropriate protocol to follow faced with the error which would have been produced when the train failed to make it to the brake run before the vertical lift.


Yea I didn't think of that. The CCTV quality is shocking (nothing new there then). Was CCTV upgraded while it was shut? I'm sure I remember hearing something about upgraded CCTV a while back on this forum.
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:09 pm

Interesting facts / claims coming out in the court hearing - including Merlins' QC claiming it was not human error, despite both the HSE & Nick Varney (Merlins' CEO) going on record to say it was just that.

Also quite bizarre that Merlin are admitting to running the ride with wind speeds of 10mph over the manufacturers safety guidelines. They have had an anemometer on Skyride since it opened... so why save a few quid by not putting one on the Smiler a good 15yrs later?

The people I have the most respect for in the entire legal process are the victims - particularly Vicky & Leah who suffered amputations. If this was the USA, they would have aggressive lawyers all over Merlin publicly suing for all they could get. By contrast, Vicky & Leah have very much got on with their lives - sure, they will be rightly compensated very generously. Yes, both young ladies have done media interviews / TV appearances, but they have both always come across with a positive attitude & not an "I can't do anything now, make Merlin pay" attitude. I take my hat off to both of them.

Tomorrow will be an expensive day for Merlin Entertainments in Court.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:10 pm

I have to say, it seems bizarre to me that 2 cars coming together can cause such damage to the occupants of the ride. Shouldn't there be an overghang or crumple zone or something? Like in a car, you have the passenger cage within which everything is designed to protect the occupants, and outside that everything is designed to dissipate energy as much as possible. Large sprung buffers on the front and back of the cars would have turned this from a tragedy into a mistake and few people shaken up.
 
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Kraken
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:41 pm

Guitar wrote:
I have to say, it seems bizarre to me that 2 cars coming together can cause such damage to the occupants of the ride. Shouldn't there be an overghang or crumple zone or something? Like in a car, you have the passenger cage within which everything is designed to protect the occupants, and outside that everything is designed to dissipate energy as much as possible. Large sprung buffers on the front and back of the cars would have turned this from a tragedy into a mistake and few people shaken up.

There is no need for crumple zones on rollercoaster trains - as unlike motorways / any other road - the track is controlled by a complex computer system. In fact, normally 3 computer systems - 2 separate ones each running different codes & switches and then a third one checking that the two systems are in alignment with each other. Any discrepancy between the two main systems - such as a "lost" train = a ride shutdown, which is exactly what happened on June 2nd last year.

What you cannot rule out is human error & Alton Towers have clearly taken steps to prevent this happening again on The Smiler. Anemometers have been installed & manual block reset switches placed around the ride so no block reset can be done without staff being present around the track to visually confirm the position of the trains.

I am not saying computers are faultless, but better procedures should have been in place since day 1 on The Smiler for resetting block faults. Never reset a fault without visually (not by CCTV) verifying the position of every train, even if it is pouring with rain - which I hasten to add it was not on June 2nd last year.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:45 pm

The CCTV footage seems unreal. It looks as if the test train had stalled for many seconds at the batwing before the wind stopped, enabling it to valley. If the train just made it over then none of this would have happened although I think safety would be lacking now and a possibly more serious accident would have happened in another 10 years time. Merlin NEED to have learnt every lesson now and need to stay on top of the resorts number one priority - health and safety.
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theparklifekid
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:19 am

BREAKING NEWS: Alton Towers has been fined £5m for the Smiler crash of June 2015.
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Dom
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:24 am

They also have to pay costs of £69,955.40. There will be an article with the full details later this evening.
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:57 pm

Kraken wrote:
There is no need for crumple zones on rollercoaster trains - as unlike motorways / any other road - the track is controlled by a complex computer system. In fact, normally 3 computer systems - 2 separate ones each running different codes & switches and then a third one checking that the two systems are in alignment with each other. Any discrepancy between the two main systems - such as a "lost" train = a ride shutdown, which is exactly what happened on June 2nd last year.


I respectfully disagree. Railways are controlled with arguably even better safety systems than roller coasters, yet they still design their carriages to withstand an impact and preserve the passengers where possible. It doesn't matter how small the chance is that 2 cars, carriages, or trains can come together, if there is any chance at all, eventually it will happen.


I just find it odd that at the stage the trains were designed, at least some thought wasn't given to what happens if two trains come together. If the train had been 18 inches longer and the seats located 18 inches back, would anyone have been injured at all?

Accidents happen, whatever the reason, you can add all the safety systems you want to. Eventually two trains will end up coming together at speed. If the trains had been designed to protect the occupants in the event of a collision, you could have an incident every week and the serious injuries would still be close to 0.

I'm not laying blame, nor am I aiming this at just the smiler, from an engineering point of view it surprises me that almost all coasters are not designed with an incident in mind. This was a relatively low speed incident which resulted in pretty horrific injuries.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:48 pm

Guitar wrote:
Kraken wrote:
There is no need for crumple zones on rollercoaster trains - as unlike motorways / any other road - the track is controlled by a complex computer system. In fact, normally 3 computer systems - 2 separate ones each running different codes & switches and then a third one checking that the two systems are in alignment with each other. Any discrepancy between the two main systems - such as a "lost" train = a ride shutdown, which is exactly what happened on June 2nd last year.


I respectfully disagree. Railways are controlled with arguably even better safety systems than roller coasters, yet they still design their carriages to withstand an impact and preserve the passengers where possible. It doesn't matter how small the chance is that 2 cars, carriages, or trains can come together, if there is any chance at all, eventually it will happen.


I just find it odd that at the stage the trains were designed, at least some thought wasn't given to what happens if two trains come together. If the train had been 18 inches longer and the seats located 18 inches back, would anyone have been injured at all?

Accidents happen, whatever the reason, you can add all the safety systems you want to. Eventually two trains will end up coming together at speed. If the trains had been designed to protect the occupants in the event of a collision, you could have an incident every week and the serious injuries would still be close to 0.

I'm not laying blame, nor am I aiming this at just the smiler, from an engineering point of view it surprises me that almost all coasters are not designed with an incident in mind. This was a relatively low speed incident which resulted in pretty horrific injuries.


I believe there are 'buffers' of some sort on the coaster trains, but they obviously didn't do anything.

The G Forces alone stopping in such a short distance is enough to cause organ damage, however if the front car had an overhang to stop it interlocking with the stalled car then the trauma injuries wouldn't have been so severe, this is not to say serious injuries wouldn't have happened, they would have.

I have spent hours thinking how the computer system can control all those cars on one track, it is very complicated stuff and Alton Towers put all those lives in the hands of a computer and ride operatives.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:35 pm

Just to make the point about so many selfish comments on social media, lamenting how it might affect attraction & events quality. Here's a truth that many don't accept, the quality of Alton Towers and the entire parks were hugely reduced years ago.

Nick Varney is a clever businessman who knows exactly how to get the PR on his side and maintain Merlin's millions of self-asserted brand-loyal guests, keep people paying higher prices for ever-poorer quality tourist traps, with once-great parks acquired purely through emotionless capital ventures.

The comments I've seen are depressing, needlessly sympathising for a very successful billion pound company that wants to be the next Apple at the cost of any integrity. People shouldn't take Merlin 'The Brand' so far into their hearts when this is about a billion pound company with so many fundamental failures.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:11 pm

I'm not laying blame, nor am I aiming this at just the smiler, from an engineering point of view it surprises me that almost all coasters are not designed with an incident in mind. This was a relatively low speed incident which resulted in pretty horrific injuries.


im not sure how a 90 mph crash is "a relatively low speed incident" a car involved in that level of impact would be crushed and life expectancy very low to zero and low speed crash as far as cars is 10 mph

as the judge said this should never have happend full stop, the reason it did was lack of training and a clear culture of get the rides running

with merlin saying here's a bonus if you get the ride going quick that alone means they put profit over safety as human nature says you will short cut something

it means that this will easy cost more than the ride cost to make and could mean that the smilers days are numbered as they can never hope to make the ride pay now and the with the on going bad PR its much easier to remove the ride

I hope that nick varney rejects his 1 million bonus
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:56 pm

90 mp/h? Smiler has a top speed of ~85 km/h, or ~52mp/h. according to wikipedia the Smiler crash occured at ~20 mp/h.

There's no way this was a 90mp/h crash, just watch the video.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:06 am

aircanman wrote:
I have spent hours thinking how the computer system can control all those cars on one track, it is very complicated stuff and Alton Towers put all those lives in the hands of a computer and ride operatives.


Block section working for a single track is actually about as simple as it gets. You split the track in to sections, and under no circumstances do you let a train into any block while another train is in there. The most complicated bit and it's not really all that complicated would be the protection of the traverser (switch track).
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:18 am

Guitar wrote:
90 mp/h? Smiler has a top speed of ~85 km/h, or ~52mp/h. according to wikipedia the Smiler crash occured at ~20 mp/h.

There's no way this was a 90mp/h crash, just watch the video.


It wasn't said that the crash occurred at 90mph.

It was said however that the forces involved in the crash were equivalent to a 1.5 tonne family car crashing at 90mph.

I don't have the scientific knowledge to say how accurate this is but given it was put to the judge in court I'd say it was likely.
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