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Skyride Discussion

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:44 pm
by LordOfDarkness
Most petrifying experience of my life! Just boarded in forbidden valley station and suddenly we started rolling backwards and a loud clicking/banging noise started coming from the drive shaft/rope and the operators hit the e-stop. They started it again and looked where the noise was coming from and sprinted back to the e-stop after they saw what was happenning. Luckily we hadn't gone past the door lock so we prized open the doors and left. The skyride was still stationary when we left at 5:30.  Anyone know what might of happened? Sure would reasure me to ride it again!
It was coming from this area:
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Re: Skyride Today

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:11 pm
by b2311e
Might have been a broken wheel or something? Doubt it could have been anything serious, hasn't it had work done recently anyway?

Re: Skyride Today

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:06 pm
by LordOfDarkness
I don't know what happened, But it was weird as it started rolling backwards in the station then the noise started and the car shuddered then stopped. It was very weird, It couldn't of been the main cable I imagine as you go of that in when you enter the station. Hmmm... I am intrigued.

Re: Skyride Today

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:08 pm
by NastyPasty
It was obviously the Nemesis monster. ;)

Re: Skyride Today

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:21 pm
by Vik
Ahh, so that would explain why we were told to leave the queue.  It seem to of been able to continue running at some point to evacuate everyone via the stations as all the Gondolas were empty at 5.30, or at least looked like they were.

  Don't think it is related, but earlier in the day, when our Gondola was entering the run off when leaving the cable in to the Forbidden Valley station, coming from Dark Forest, it swayed quite violently to one side followed by a jolt.  Certainly made the heart skip a beat.

Re: Skyride Today

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:23 pm
by b2311e
I actually noticed it was taking a bit of a bump coming into the stations when I went last week, I nearly ended up falling through the doors rather than walking through them, wasn't expecting it to bang so much, but put that down to the fact I haven't been on it for quite a while

Re: Skyride Today

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:26 pm
by Bote
Could be a fault with the station tow chain. When the Skyride gondolas enter a station they leave the main cable and are pulled around slowly on a chain. If you look up when boarding it you can see it. It has lots of teeth on it which catch the gondolas.

Could it be possible for the chain to slip or part of the mechanism on it to break, which would cause it to stop reaching the kickers that push it onto the main cable?

Image
You can see the tow chain in the image here. It's the black bit with the spikes coming off of it :)

As far as I know one travels in a loop around each side of a station, pulling the gondolas through slowly. They then leave this and roll along some kicker wheels which drive them towards the main cable, where they connect and travel on to the next station.

Re: Skyride Today

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:32 pm
by LordOfDarkness
As far as im aware the Main Cable wasn't effected. It was as Bote said only the cable/teeth in FV. The cars weren't moving when they restarted the system the first time but the main cable was. I don't know wether something gave way as we rolled backwards in the station for a little bit before the noise occured and we were eventually evacuated.

Skyride is plagued...

Re: Skyride Today

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:10 pm
by b2311e
Funny really, it looks bulletproof from the outside, then you realise it's had so many 'incidents and issues'; with fires & e-stops every two minutes.

I think they need to seriously consider the future of that ride. Popular it may be, but guest satisfaction levels when it stops 200ft above the gardens?

Re: Skyride Today

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:24 pm
by Bote
To be fair, aside from the fires it has had Skyride doesn't do too bad considering it's age. Unfortunately some of the stopping is unavoidable. It's the only way to let disabled guests into the gondolas, so is necessary. While it does stop and start a bit it's rare for it to stop for very long under normal operation :)

Re: Skyride Today

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:26 pm
by LordOfDarkness
I do believe there is no suitable replacement for the Skyride. In terms of throughput... its very good. Just Alton have been hit hard with all these incidents in a short period of time. Main Street & Forbiden Valley are due for a retrofitting very soon I imagine. I think Mr Merlin will have to continue dipping into his pocket for the Skyride in the longterm though.

Re: Skyride Today

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:38 pm
by Dormiens-Dave
LordOfDarkness wrote:
As far as im aware the Main Cable wasn't effected. It was as Bote said only the cable/teeth in FV. The cars weren't moving when they restarted the system the first time but the main cable was.



Fairly sure that's impossible as the chain conveyor is actually powered by the main cable, if you look a crank shaft runs from the cable pulley to the conveyor mechanism, this ensures the conveyor and cable always run in sync to allow smooth movement of the gondolas.

If anyone knows better let me know though.

Re: Skyride Today

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:42 pm
by LordOfDarkness
I don't know, They restarted it and we moved a little just so they could tell what was going on when someone looked at the drive shaft. Then we got evaced. Like I said the first time though, We deffinatly moved backwards a bit then the noise happened. Wether it was the two forces colliding or something I don't know.

Re: Skyride Today

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:41 pm
by iNemesis
I was on the Skyride at 5PM, and this occurred during that time. We stopped and started several times, finally resulting in a 15 minute or so hover over the valley between FV - CCL.

Not fun! The staff were apologetic though, and when asked, they said they believe an ongoing issue at FV is to blame...

Re: Skyride Today

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:59 pm
by Delta79
Dormiens-Dave wrote:
LordOfDarkness wrote:
As far as im aware the Main Cable wasn't effected. It was as Bote said only the cable/teeth in FV. The cars weren't moving when they restarted the system the first time but the main cable was.



Fairly sure that's impossible as the chain conveyor is actually powered by the main cable, if you look a crank shaft runs from the cable pulley to the conveyor mechanism, this ensures the conveyor and cable always run in sync to allow smooth movement of the gondolas.

If anyone knows better let me know though.


The cable and chain don't have to be linked together at all. As you come into the station you feel a gentle slowing, and exiting the station you feel a gentle speeding up. This is usually done by progressively swifter (or slower) rotating tires driving the gondola cabins along until they reach line or terminal speed.

I believe these are housed in the gray pods extending from the station buildings. but i am not 100% on this as this is not my area of expertise. 

Re: Skyride Today

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:02 pm
by Big Dave
The system is fairl;y complex, so could be anything.

Re: Skyride Today

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:26 pm
by Bote
Delta79 wrote:
Dormiens-Dave wrote:
LordOfDarkness wrote:
As far as im aware the Main Cable wasn't effected. It was as Bote said only the cable/teeth in FV. The cars weren't moving when they restarted the system the first time but the main cable was.



Fairly sure that's impossible as the chain conveyor is actually powered by the main cable, if you look a crank shaft runs from the cable pulley to the conveyor mechanism, this ensures the conveyor and cable always run in sync to allow smooth movement of the gondolas.

If anyone knows better let me know though.


The cable and chain don't have to be linked together at all. As you come into the station you feel a gentle slowing, and exiting the station you feel a gentle speeding up. This is usually done by progressively swifter (or slower) rotating tires driving the gondola cabins along until they reach line or terminal speed.

I believe these are housed in the gray pods extending from the station buildings. but i am not 100% on this as this is not my area of expertise. 




I think what Dave is trying to say is that they are both connected to the same drive system. It wouldn't be too hard to do really with a simple gearbox style setup to slow down the speed of the station tow chain.

As you rightly said, kicker wheels are used to vary the speed of the gondolas between the chain and cable, but it would be possible for the two to share a motor :)

Re: Skyride Today

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:27 pm
by hex4ever
The skyride has always intrigued me because of its complexity, but on my last visit after a large wait for it I had some time to observe. as far as I can see the gondolas arrive in the station with assistance of kicker wheels, these rise the arm (that grips the cable) over the system of teeth which support it during its station time, a switch is activated that extends the length of the arm as it sits on the teeth clearing arm from the cable while it runs below the grip. The cable runs faster than the conveyor which is why kicker wheels are needed to send the gondola of at speed so it attaches to the cable smoothly, this means the conveyor is not in sync with the cable but the same system drives it (gears reduce the speed on one and increase on another). The only reason I can think of it moving from the teeth is if the arm didn't extend properly during landing so was still in contact with the cable which could make it shoot forwards. But I am unsure about the reversing as the teeth act as a kind of anti rollback meaning the entire conveyor would have to move in the reverse direction to achieve this, but in theory if the conveyor worked in reverse then the main cable would also because of their shared drive systems. Unless in the station on the turn out to the launch it is at a slight upwards graidiant before it reaches its main climb, so if the gondola sat on something other than the conveyor or the cable (maybe a miscellaneous steel roof support or conveyor support) then there might be a chance of the reverse motion happening. But it wouldn't have been stopped by the E-stop, dam, gentlemen, we have a conundrum.

Re: Skyride Today

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:39 pm
by Bote
I suppose if something was to happen to the gearing or connecting mechanisms on the chain drive were to break the two chain could possibly move back freely. Imagine that the gondola is about to leave the station. Then you hear said bang as the gear fail, or something comes undone, etc. The gondola is just leaving the station, but the failure has happened at such a point that the gondola doesn't have enough momentum to hit the first set of kickers. This causes it to roll backwards against the tow chain which is now free to move, having lost connection to the drive mechanism. This is seen by the operator (Or I guess could be detected by the computers if the chain started to shift the wrong way, and an E-Stop occurs.

A bit longwinded I know, but to me it sounds like it could be a possibility...

Re: Skyride Today

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:14 am
by The Psychoaster
I've always wondered, how do you evac the Skyride? If it completely breaks down, how do you get people off it?