UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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bensaund
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:58 pm

Will TT be flying over the resort this closed season to get any photo updates as I would be interested to see if Alton completely dismantle the ride to resolve many of the issues then put it back together again...?
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Alex
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:31 pm

Part of the problem could be that it is the first ride Gerst actually made themselves and unfortunately AT seem to have got a duff deal!
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Themeparksandy1981
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:31 pm

Right all coasters at Alton Towers have had major problems over the years but will the Smiler it looks like there just done a quick fit and get it reopened ASAP.

Just look at theses other problems to coasters over the years.

1) Rita In it's first years it had lots of shutdowns&major work needed to be done in the cable room after the cable snapped.

2) Air The bar which lifts the trains into the flying position bent or snapped and that side of the station was closed for ages.

3) Spinball The fountations and supports needed work doing to them
After a problem with there coaster at Chessington.

4) Oblivion The trains would get shuck at the top before the drop.

5) Runaway Mine Train the train broke into 2 after the tunnel
Section.

6) 13 many breakdowns during it's first year

So with Smiler it been worst as like others have said with camera photos and social network sites Pics can be up in secs. I hope it not open again to next season as I hate to read that the ride closed again following someone In the crowd or on the ride losing a body part or worst death. 
Last edited by Themeparksandy1981 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
Burniel
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:52 am

^it's a little unfair to link the problems with the smiler. RMT, Spinball, Oblivion, air and rita were not merlin's problem. In fact, thanks to merlin, they are all (relatively) reliable rides. With 13, yes there were problems, but they were teething problems, whereas the smiler is beyond teething problems now. For all of the above, you have names one thing, but for the smiler, we could name many.
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:31 am

BBC 5Live Breakfast has just aired a live interview with one of the riders who were on the ride when the incident occurred.
 
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Superman
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:03 am

I think there's a difference between teething problems and design.

There have been many accidents and problems with other rides in the past and yes 13 rita etc all had problems to begin with but they were not injury causing. Reliability in my opinion is different from what we have with the Smiler. The problems on the Smiler are mainly design and implementation issues. Its had to have quick fix after quick fix, the issues with others in recent years have been catastrophic but mainly in testing (when new, not old rides like RAT).

Whatever burst off if it; i am surprised that stress testing did not highlight any faults. It seems to me both AT and Gerst are at fault. We have seen bodge job after bodge job. Its not just the ride that's failed but so too has the area, (projectors over heating, flooding etc), planning, pr-handling, and construction.

I really hope Gerst come back over the closed season, strip the ride back to find the problems (remove and replace parts). But at the same time Alton look into the other issues, which again make up the customer experience.

When building a coaster like this does alton have a warranty from Gerst? How is it done to protect Alton from a bodged job?
 
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:27 am

bensaund wrote:
Will TT be flying over the resort this closed season to get any photo updates as I would be interested to see if Alton completely dismantle the ride to resolve many of the issues then put it back together again...?


MI7 is an avid fan of CBeebies, so we believe his intentions are to fly over for that. However if there are any noticeable changes occurring to The Smiler [such as track being swapped out for replacement], it'd be great to bag two updates for the time of one.
 
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:03 pm

Not visited the forum for a while so hello everyone.

I've just been reading through some of these pages and this news is not going to help the ride or park. I have to admit I cannot remember a ride that has frustrated me as much as the Smiler (Luckily I am a MAPP holder). I rode the Smiler 2 weeks ago at night after some rainfall at the back and it was incredibly harsh! My girlfriend and I have rode it at least 6 times this year and both agreed it felt like the train was going to unhinge from the track. For intensity it was great but it really did not fill me with confidence. I have ridden pretty much all rows in different conditions but it felt different, a lot quicker and you could feel the stress transferring to the wheels. I really am not surprised bearings have been loosening with that kind of force transferring through the wheels and track. I'll be honest here and I love my coasters but it just didn't feel safe.

Since the ride opened it has been dogged by incidents, I remember actually seeing the train stall for the first time in public view at around 9:45 during the first 2 weeks of opening, then a few weeks later that awful screeching sound and scratching to track, And now we hear of these incidents around bits flying off. I sort of hope they dismantle parts and generally give the ride a thorough going over before next season. I really don't want to gamble every time I visit on whether the ride is operating or not.
Last edited by Osaka12 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:41 pm

The Smiler has a bright and beautiful future ahead, of course it's a bit of a shocker for an £18m roller coaster to have these components fail, but there is an insane amount of work and detail that had to go into this and still be affordable. If time and money was no problem the ride would have been bomb proof, just wait until next season folks as components will be replaced/reinforced/smoothed and we will leave all these problems in the past. SMILE!
Last edited by wolfy on Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:38 pm

I can't quite believe some people on here (although I respect your opinions). Personally, I think the ride is actually OK. It's not made with shoddy construction, yet it's not made with perfect construction either. The Smiler is pretty epic, and as far as coasters go, it's unique and would have presented a difficult challenge for the designers. It demonstrates some features which are seen in few places around the world, such as the fins on the vertical lift hill. In fact, this alone demonstrates how safety has been taken into consideration seriously from the beginning. And lets just think for a moment about how it is the world's first 14 looping roller coaster. That number of inversions in a very, very small place is a huge feat for any theme park, and a lot of care would have been taken to ensure each inversion flowed seamlessly.

Some people mentioned the projectors overheating/failing. That is honestly not a major incident, and considering this summer was one of the hottest on record, we could all predict that was going to happen.

Now, lets all get this straight, all new machines will suffer problems. We all know that from Air, Rita, Th13teen etc. However, I think we can also agree that The Smiler has suffered worse than others. Despite this, I seriously doubt there will be any major accidents within this ride's life-span. Roller Coasters such as The Smiler are not temporary funfair rides, they are there to stay and they have been designed that way. Extremely harsh H&S checks have been run through several times, and we know this as the netting above the queueline had to be altered. However, during these H&S checks, did any safety features on the track/trains have to be altered? No. The ride was safe, and the ride will be safe. Alton Towers is not allowed in any circumstances to open a ride which is unsafe. I do think Gerstlauer needs to get their buts here pronto and make sure they know what is up with this ride which hasn't gone wrong with their others.

And also, they are absolutely not going to demolish this ride now. £18 Million pounds cannot be thrown down the drain at this stage of the ride's life. They won't give up, and they will make sure the ride is fixed. I have faith in Alton Towers where, it appears that others do not.

The closed season presents a good opportunity to make arrangements with Gerstlauer, and to sort out Roller Coaster stuff. It would be nice if they re-profiled the exit to the cobra roll, but I doubt this will happen either.


I know people will disagree with me, but this is how I am thinking of the situation at the moment. 
Last edited by JammyBand on Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
Vladimir Bobinski
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:54 pm

Kirsty25 wrote:
Jammydodger wrote:
I'm not defending the integrity of this ride, because lets face it, its a mess but...

Alton Towers Shuts Smiler After Wheels Fall Off


Really? There's a fine line between sensationalism and full blown lying.
Average Joe public is going to give that headline one glance and assume the ride has lost its wheels mid-run and derailed and killed thousands of people. Is it even legal to do that?

flufmyhamster224 wrote:


Looking at that it isn't lying - Wheels did fall off the ride, arguably it is sensationalist, but guide wheels fell off and no doubt about it hit guests of the park - pretty serious to be honest. Anyone who reads the articles flying around will see that thousands weren't killed.


I think part of the problem is that people read wheels, the only thing that comes to mind in those on the ride car.  It's made clear they are talking about those that position the chain in place up the lift hill.  We're talking about these things....

http://www.towersstreet.com/wp/wp-conte ... 36bb4f.jpg

My personal opinion, enough is enough, the season is almost over.  Peak visits are done with, shut the ride take the time to get it right and start doing the changes that may or may not have been planned for close season.
 
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:06 pm

Vladimir Bobinski wrote:

My personal opinion, enough is enough, the season is almost over.  Peak visits are done with, shut the ride take the time to get it right and start doing the changes that may or may not have been planned for close season.


It seems like a very sensible idea, but Alton Towers have suffered so many bad comments from the general public due to The Smiler opening late etc. They would not want to get even worse PR with the general public. They have several options they could do at this moment, but they all have their good and bad points. (If they try to fix it within a few days = less complaints but potentially another incident. Close it until next season = no incidents + fixed ride but loads of complaints.)
 
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:19 pm

JammyBand wrote:
I can't quite believe some people on here (although I respect your opinions). Personally, I think the ride is actually OK. It's not made with shoddy construction, yet it's not made with perfect construction either. The Smiler is pretty epic, and as far as coasters go, it's unique and would have presented a difficult challenge for the designers. It demonstrates some features which are seen in few places around the world, such as the fins on the vertical lift hill. In fact, this alone demonstrates how safety has been taken into consideration seriously from the beginning. And lets just think for a moment about how it is the world's first 14 looping roller coaster. That number of inversions in a very, very small place is a huge feat for any theme park, and a lot of care would have been taken to ensure each inversion flowed seamlessly.
Some people mentioned the projectors overheating/failing. That is honestly not a major incident, and considering this summer was one of the hottest on record, we could all predict that was going to happen.
Now, lets all get this straight, all new machines will suffer problems. We all know that from Air, Rita, Th13teen etc. However, I think we can also agree that The Smiler has suffered worse than others. Despite this, I seriously doubt there will be any major accidents within this ride's life-span. Roller Coasters such as The Smiler are not temporary funfair rides, they are there to stay and they have been designed that way. Extremely harsh H&S checks have been run through several times, and we know this as the netting above the queueline had to be altered. However, during these H&S checks, did any safety features on the track/trains have to be altered? No. The ride was safe, the ride is safe, and the ride will be safe. Alton Towers is not allowed in any circumstances to open a ride which is unsafe. I do think Gerstlauer needs to get their buts here pronto and make sure they know what is up with this ride which hasn't gone wrong with their others.
And also, they are absolutely not going to demolish this ride now. £18 Million pounds cannot be thrown down the drain at this stage of the ride's life. They won't give up, and they will make sure the ride is fixed. I have faith in Alton Towers where, it appears that others do not.

The closed season presents a good opportunity to make arrangements with Gerstlauer, and to sort out Roller Coaster stuff. It would be nice if they re-profiled the exit to the cobra roll, but I doubt this will happen either.


I know people will disagree with me, but this is how I am thinking of the situation at the moment.


How can a ride be safe when bits fall off it and hit visitors on the head?
Last edited by sully1311 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Alex
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:25 pm

A crane is on site

Credit to Alton Towers Guide for the picture

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The Smiler - General Discussion

Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:32 pm

Is it just me or does it look like they're taking the chain out of the v.lift?
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Alex
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:48 pm

That would be the assumption I would make
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:05 pm

nicksy111 wrote:
Is it just me or does it look like they're taking the chain out of the v.lift?


Looking at the pictures of the latest parts to fall off I think they are directly from the chain itself therefore I believe they will have to remove the chain in order to replace/repair the offending parts.

The following pictures show the lift chain and you can see the bearings/wheels which I believe are the parts to have come away.

Image

Image

Image
 
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:06 pm

sully1311 wrote:
JammyBand wrote:
I can't quite believe some people on here (although I respect your opinions). Personally, I think the ride is actually OK. It's not made with shoddy construction, yet it's not made with perfect construction either. The Smiler is pretty epic, and as far as coasters go, it's unique and would have presented a difficult challenge for the designers. It demonstrates some features which are seen in few places around the world, such as the fins on the vertical lift hill. In fact, this alone demonstrates how safety has been taken into consideration seriously from the beginning. And lets just think for a moment about how it is the world's first 14 looping roller coaster. That number of inversions in a very, very small place is a huge feat for any theme park, and a lot of care would have been taken to ensure each inversion flowed seamlessly.
Some people mentioned the projectors overheating/failing. That is honestly not a major incident, and considering this summer was one of the hottest on record, we could all predict that was going to happen.
Now, lets all get this straight, all new machines will suffer problems. We all know that from Air, Rita, Th13teen etc. However, I think we can also agree that The Smiler has suffered worse than others. Despite this, I seriously doubt there will be any major accidents within this ride's life-span. Roller Coasters such as The Smiler are not temporary funfair rides, they are there to stay and they have been designed that way. Extremely harsh H&S checks have been run through several times, and we know this as the netting above the queueline had to be altered. However, during these H&S checks, did any safety features on the track/trains have to be altered? No. The ride was safe, the ride is safe, and the ride will be safe. Alton Towers is not allowed in any circumstances to open a ride which is unsafe. I do think Gerstlauer needs to get their buts here pronto and make sure they know what is up with this ride which hasn't gone wrong with their others.
And also, they are absolutely not going to demolish this ride now. £18 Million pounds cannot be thrown down the drain at this stage of the ride's life. They won't give up, and they will make sure the ride is fixed. I have faith in Alton Towers where, it appears that others do not.

The closed season presents a good opportunity to make arrangements with Gerstlauer, and to sort out Roller Coaster stuff. It would be nice if they re-profiled the exit to the cobra roll, but I doubt this will happen either.


I know people will disagree with me, but this is how I am thinking of the situation at the moment.


How can a ride be safe when bits fall off it and hit visitors on the head?

It was safe enough to ride otherwise it wouldn't have been open.
Last edited by JammyBand on Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:10 pm

It is safe enough to ride otherwise it wouldn't have been open.


How safe would you say it was if that bolt had of hit you on the head?
 
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Re: The Smiler - General Discussion

Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:13 pm

JammyBand wrote:
sully1311 wrote:
JammyBand wrote:
I can't quite believe some people on here (although I respect your opinions). Personally, I think the ride is actually OK. It's not made with shoddy construction, yet it's not made with perfect construction either. The Smiler is pretty epic, and as far as coasters go, it's unique and would have presented a difficult challenge for the designers. It demonstrates some features which are seen in few places around the world, such as the fins on the vertical lift hill. In fact, this alone demonstrates how safety has been taken into consideration seriously from the beginning. And lets just think for a moment about how it is the world's first 14 looping roller coaster. That number of inversions in a very, very small place is a huge feat for any theme park, and a lot of care would have been taken to ensure each inversion flowed seamlessly.
Some people mentioned the projectors overheating/failing. That is honestly not a major incident, and considering this summer was one of the hottest on record, we could all predict that was going to happen.
Now, lets all get this straight, all new machines will suffer problems. We all know that from Air, Rita, Th13teen etc. However, I think we can also agree that The Smiler has suffered worse than others. Despite this, I seriously doubt there will be any major accidents within this ride's life-span. Roller Coasters such as The Smiler are not temporary funfair rides, they are there to stay and they have been designed that way. Extremely harsh H&S checks have been run through several times, and we know this as the netting above the queueline had to be altered. However, during these H&S checks, did any safety features on the track/trains have to be altered? No. The ride was safe, the ride is safe, and the ride will be safe. Alton Towers is not allowed in any circumstances to open a ride which is unsafe. I do think Gerstlauer needs to get their buts here pronto and make sure they know what is up with this ride which hasn't gone wrong with their others.
And also, they are absolutely not going to demolish this ride now. £18 Million pounds cannot be thrown down the drain at this stage of the ride's life. They won't give up, and they will make sure the ride is fixed. I have faith in Alton Towers where, it appears that others do not.

The closed season presents a good opportunity to make arrangements with Gerstlauer, and to sort out Roller Coaster stuff. It would be nice if they re-profiled the exit to the cobra roll, but I doubt this will happen either.


I know people will disagree with me, but this is how I am thinking of the situation at the moment.


How can a ride be safe when bits fall off it and hit visitors on the head?

It was safe enough to ride otherwise it wouldn't have been open.


Really? Really?

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