UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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Justin
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:52 pm

Just seen Sky News with Nick Varney interviewed. As they said, he looked shocked too and he was honest. Well handled I thought!

My thoughts are with injured. Hopefully they will recover quickly.
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hursty
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:52 pm

Some of tomorrow's papers

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Mattybernard
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:03 pm

That front row looks completely squashed and close to the next train, those poor people in the front row must have had their legs mashed, were all the 4 seriously injured all in the front row ? This is so horrible, all young people with their lives ahead of them - this obviously shouldn't happen by rule, but if it were too by a rare accident surely trains should be built more robust than that - hope all involved a speedy recovery
 
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lf2001
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:19 pm

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/06/02 ... land-park/

It's made news internationally too. So shocked about the crash and hope the best for those involved and their families.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:24 pm

I'm not sure if the train in front IS that close to the one behind.. if you look at the front of the stalled one, there isn't a lot of room for movement there... That would also mean that it must have hit with some massive force..

However, we also have to remember that in the background of the design (and as morbid as it may seem) rollercoasters are designed to crash as "safely" as possible - much like cars are. So, we are lucky that the engineering of this ride has prevented this from being so much worse.

What strikes me though is that engineers have KNOWN about the stalling issues at that point and yet no real effort has been made to re-profile the track or alter the trim speeds to make it less likely to stall.

I fear it's entirely possible that this is the nail in the coffin for Smiler - given it's awful history. It wouldn't surprise me if this ride is removed - Look at the likes of Son of Beast - Removed shortly after opening. I think we should expect it to remain closed for this season. I wonder if we will see other Eurofighters closed as a result?
 
RIDECRAZY
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:26 pm

Although there was no way they wouldn't run the story and their are no limitations in place, I still find it bizarre that The Sun are running the story as their main headline, considering their close relationship with Alton Towers and Merlin as a whole, with them being a major selling point for buying The Sun paper!
 
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cubwolf
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:29 pm

The Daily Mail are reporting someone has lost a leg. I know its the Mail but thats awful if its true.
 
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Dan
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:30 pm

daboywunda wrote:
What strikes me though is that engineers have KNOWN about the stalling issues at that point and yet no real effort has been made to re-profile the track or alter the trim speeds to make it less likely to stall.

I fear it's entirely possible that this is the nail in the coffin for Smiler - given it's awful history. It wouldn't surprise me if this ride is removed - Look at the likes of Son of Beast - Removed shortly after opening. I think we should expect it to remain closed for this season. I wonder if we will see other Eurofighters closed as a result?


During the Q&A at Smilefest we were told that a lot of work has been done with the trains on The Smiler to virtually eliminate the possibility of it stalling mid-ride. I believe that the reason for the stall today was the incredibly high wind speeds at the resort, which has resulted in the train losing momentum and failing to complete the batwing.

As for it being the nail in the coffin, we still don't know the reason for today's incident and are unlikely to for some time. I highly doubt The Smiler will be removed as a result of what happened today, but I suspect it will be SBNO for a long time while the investigation is carried out.
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Rider321
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:34 pm

Been reading this forum quite a bit, but never posted, think this would be a good time to start!

Firstly, I pray that all those injured and involved recover!

So, I was in the queue at the time.

First problem we noticed was an empty car at the bottom of the 'vertical' hill. Engineers finally appeared by that area of track and got it going. They then announced it would be working again shortly and an extra car would be added, this 'would make it a slightly longer delay, but speed the queue up in the long run'. Shortly afterwards another empty car was sent round and had a roll back in the area previously mentioned. As this roll back was happening it was announced the ride was going back into operation and a car full of people went up the first hill. It then stayed there for about 10-15 minutes, no staff 'clipped on' and went up to it or anything. Then all of a sudden the car with people in it was released. Some of us were really surprised as we didn't think the roll back car could of cleared that quick and we hadn't seen it. And you know the rest.

So I'm not knowledgable enough to know the finer detail of how it works and I'm not interested in guessing exactly what happened. But they either didn't know the roll back was there, or the car on the hill was released in error........ How or why...... Who knows.
 
Mattybernard
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:38 pm

Winds ! look at Silver Dollar City website, they have strict rules for EVERY ride on temperature, wind etc. if a ride will be open or not - does AT have a similar policy ?
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:39 pm

The Daily Mail article states that the loaded train stopped at the top of the loop - upside down...

Is that even possible or could that be a SECOND stalling?
 
dazza4783
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:51 pm

daboywunda wrote:
The Daily Mail article states that the loaded train stopped at the top of the loop - upside down...

Is that even possible or could that be a SECOND stalling?


Maybe the trims kicked in to try and stop the train making it into the batwing, but didn't quite slow it down enough.

Although in the youtube vid of the aftermath people are saying that it hit at full speed, so who knows?

I think they have got crossed wires and think that when people have said it stopped at the top they meant the top of the loop, but actually they meant top of the lift hill.

I'm sure with all the cameras round the ride for security and for ride ops to see the track Towers should be able to see exactly what happened and hopefully find out why it happened and fix the problems.

But as has been said the main concern right now is the welfare of the passengers involved in the accident.
Last edited by dazza4783 on Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Dan
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:58 pm

daboywunda wrote:
The Daily Mail article states that the loaded train stopped at the top of the loop - upside down...

Is that even possible or could that be a SECOND stalling?


The train didnt stop at the top of inversion 5. It travelled the first half of the ride as normal before the impact.

The question is why/how did the train be allowed to crest the first lift hill after being stopped for a period of time.
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Jammydodger
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:17 am

It'll be interesting to see how HSE react.
It doesn't take the sharpest tack to work out that something isn't quite right with this ride. Argue about statistics and safety all you want, but a brand new piece of ride hardware, conceived in this day and age should not be having these issues. With all this talk of the ride closing, I don't think its up to Merlin at this point. I really think if one more incident occurs, that'll be it. HSE will condemn the ride and they'll have no choice.



As an aside, this is an interesting case for today's media digestion. And it seems almost scary how well Merlin have mobilised their damage mitigating PR machine so fast. It's obviously been well rehearsed, almost as though the statements had been written a long time ago, just there to be used in case, everything from their perfect wording, to the fact the other parks have cut themselves off completely from the incident to avoid the fact they're related. It is also a rare occasion where we have to be thankful for Merlin. If Alton Towers were operating independently, something like this could well bankrupt them.
 
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TheBeast
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:21 am

I think it was a machine error, or maybe even an accidental push of a button. I cant see an attendant letting a carriage go when another carriage is a) not moving and b) completely unaccounted for

Can I see Alton reopening in the next week? No. Their whole marketing campaign has gone up in smoke with #bigsixchallenge as onne of the 6 is down, Blivvy will have to temporarily close, its gonna be a big blow for the park, supported by Merlin or not

What classifies as a serious injury?
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Mattybernard
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:31 am

TheBeast - want to know too, good on you for caring. bothering me too . news please,
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:52 am

I feel for those who were in the front row, Especially considering how much the floor has buckled :(
 
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RCandrew
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:07 am

So, the empty car stalled at the bottom of the loop which is on the first half of the ride? as the full car was stopped first lift hill? Then the full car re started and went over the top even though there was a stalled car on the track?!
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:40 am

wakey1512 wrote:
It's a prototype ride - the only one of its kind - one that is usually a preset layout and lost definition of itself becoming something it isn't. It's not up to the job is it?

In other words the harsh elements and brutal aspects of this ride are unusual to a gerstrauler - I fear the ride materials and parts are that of the less demanding layout and not reinforced or upgraded to suit. I certainly didn't notice any difference in running gear on the trains compared to that of SAW for example. (Another example of a ride that is overworked and has suffered for it but not quite as extreme.

Do you think had Alton towers suck with B&M they'd be having this trouble? I think not. Air suffered reliability issues but nothing serious like this. Gerstrauler aren't up to the job.


I'm inclined to agree, and said something similar when the ride manufacturer was announced. I've never had a huge amount of faith in Gertslauer, but despite their flaws, Saw was such a hit that it seemed inevitable that Merlin would look to them again. It's hard not to imagine what B&M or Intamin could've done with a £18m budget though. Anyway, I digress.

I'm surprised by some of the newspaper coverage. I actually thought Sepp Blatter's resignation might have taken the heat off AT a little, but evidently not.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:06 am

I think when it does open again it won't be able to Duel again and with the testing they will have to fill them with test bodies every time. I think for respect as well it should be renamed as the Smiler isn't what people are doing at the moment. Even the theme music will need to go. Now if the Runaway mine train was closed from July to the start of the new season and another few months later to it was back to it's full length again then I can't see the Smiler opening again this year and I think to H&S have finished there report and the 2 trains removed from the track you won't see Oblivion and Enterprise in use neither.

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