UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
missingaa
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:12 pm

Lotty wrote:
Just out of curiousity, what benefit is it to remove all smiler pictures ect?

If they remove all things related to the ride they are only giving the impression it's a dirty little secret when it's not.

I feel terrible about what's happened and it really is tragic, I hope the injured make a speedy recovery but as a roller coaster enthusiast, I still put my 100% Faith in them. The media is frightening the public more than necessary. Next thing you'd think everyone was going join in with a old fashioned book burning but instead with smiler merchandise.

I'm sorry but everyone needs to stop getting on their high horses and either wait for the report or start being the enthusiasts you all claim to be.


Probably just showing respect to anyone affected by the incident... Plus if they'd left Smiler marketing on their site and park, the press would have been all over it. Finally the smiler will likely be out of action for a while, no use advertising a product you cannot offer, especially given the reason. I don't think there's any more to it than that, IMO.
 
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Themeparksandy1981
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:19 pm

I think it could reopen with a new name the MARMALISER with new signage and theme music for 2016.
Do u think all the trains could be replaced with 2 rows of 4 but with 2 loading bays in the station.

HSE will be asking maybe why the first train stalled and not for the first time maybe they may have to add a permanent platform at the bottom of the batwing if it happens again.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:22 pm

I think it just goes to serve that eye-witness testimonies regarding times are simply just wrong and always unreliable.. When working for a pub "I've been waiting for 35 minutes for food" - "No, love, you've been waiting 12 according to that clock counting up on the monitor". People mis-judge length of time all the time. None more so than when in a queue.

That Mirror article is horrible.. It's pure sensationalist drivel and I'm amazed that they didn't blame David Cameron for the whole thing.

I'm still at a loss to piece together just what could have happened. At some point I'm thinking that an op would have been told that there was a train valleyed on the console in the booth. My only thought is that an engineer might have seen the sensor saying it was stuck and thought "No it's bloody not, I've just cleared that error" and completed some kind of manual over-ride without actually checking. The people in the station would have been none the wiser to the valleying before getting on to the train as they can't see outside, so the only people it would have been noticeable to would be those in the queue and ride area. Who can they possibly tell quickly enough to raise an alarm?

I can't wait to read the HSE report on it, just so I can picture in my head just what happened. I just hope for Merlin's sake that it's not human error...

And it goes without saying that we all wish those affected well...
 
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Lotty
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:23 pm

I can understand about the actual theme, but if you visit those pages you will be faced with images off the ride. In my opinion it just feels like a angry mob is already on its way to Alton with pitch forks.

Don't get me wrong I love the internet, but makes me wonder how much calmer the public would be if everyone didn't have mobile phones and taking pictures of awful things and sharing it.

Everyone starts jumping to conclusions and rumours are spread. If a general member of the public googled the crash with no knowledge of rollercoasters, just imagine what false information and shock horror stuff they're getting.
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annon321
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:24 pm

I’m an ex Alton Towers Resort / Merlin Entertainments employee, not to jump on the bandwagon, who's worked on The Smiler since pretty much day one. With that I’ve experienced my fair share with that ride and I want to lay out my opinion of what happened on Tuesday June 2nd;

Firstly, the trains hold no brakes, all braking is done on the track as it is with every modern rollercoaster, this prevents them from “being stuck upside down” as many a guest would ask on a regular bases. The trains hold a few force registering sensors that talk to the rides computer when it comes back into the station. The only real contact the computer has with the trains is in the station where harnesses are locked and checked however throughout the track there are proximity sensors that communicate with the rides computer, these sensors are dotted around the ride and and give the Operator a rough position of where each train is. (As far as I'm aware, there are no proximity sensors on the Batwing part of the ride however don't quote me on that).

Secondly, a block section is a section of track where a train should be able to successfully start and successfully stop, failing this the rides computer, with data from the proximity sensors, should flag up an error on the Operators panel. This error should, under no circumstances be able to be overridden.

Thirdly, when ANY ride at Alton Towers Resort brakes down or suffers from technical difficulties a member of the technical services team will be present alongside the Operator because the Operators aren't taught how fix these massive machines. Whether its just turn a key and press reset a member of the Technical Services team will be there, and depending how big the fault a member of the Park Operations management team as well. That’s usually why it takes so long during technical hiccups.

Going off assumption, and I stress that massively, the position of the trains before the incident may have been as follows;
-Train 1 stalled in the batwing section of the ride
-Train 2 held at the top of Lift 1 because the computer has realised Train 1 has stalled and called an E-Stop on the ride
-Train 3 would have guests on it in the station
-Train 4 would have been postponed just behind Train 3, in waiting position 2
-Train 5 would have been behind Train 4 on the transfer track.

In the Operators cabin there are two massive 37” TV screens holding around 12 cameras each, including parts of the rides building like baggage but also certain sections of the ride itself, for example Lift 1 has two cameras pointing at it and there are also cameras pointing at other key braking sections. However the Batwing loop doesn't have its own independent camera, but you can see it out of the corner of a few other cameras on the screens.

So down to what might have actually happened; The Smiler goes down with a technical difficulty with Train 1, Tech Services are called to the ride, register and clear the fault on the panel and tell the Operator to send Train 1 empty in “Code Zero”. Code Zero basically means that the Operator has full control over every brake section on the ride, sometimes the ride requires it to be in Code Zero to send a faulty train from the station or from any brake or Lift section of the ride. The Operator does so under instruction from Tech Services. Now because it was so late in the day Train 1 should have successfully, but slowly made it round the block section between Lift 1 and Brake 3 as the trains wheels would be warm enough and cause less friction than when they're cold.
The only way Train 1 would have stalled where it did is either a gust of wind was blowing and caused to stall, or the ride was Emergency Stopped. When the ride is emergency stopped every brake flies up and stops every train when they reach these brake sections, however The Smiler has two air time hills on it, both occupied by Trim Brakes which control the speed of the trains as they go around each block sections. When an E-Stop is pressed on The Smiler every brake flies up and locks, including these Trim Brakes, if every trim brake flies up then Train 1, whether it was full of guests or not would have stalled in the Batwing section.

Whether it was the wind or a ride fault that caused the trim brakes to react that way the rides computer would have flagged up another error which would have then again be cleared and registered by Tech Services, at this point Management should have been called to the ride to organise an area and ride evacuation. Keep in mind that there are reports that this stalled train stayed halted in that section of track for more than five minuets, a member of staff should have noticed and altered the Operator.

This means that in the Operators cabin there would be at least 2 people, depending if management were called, 3 people. At this point the Operator is doing things that Tech Services and potentially management have approved, because the ride was in Code Zero, it means the computer thinks that someone who knows what they're doing is now operating the ride, which in this case would have been the rides Operator under Tech Services instruction, in this mode all the brake and lift sections can be controlled individually, meaning Lift 1, where Train 2 halted could have and was jogged to clear and in result crashed into Train 1.

Failing that, because every brake and lift section of the ride can be controlled individually this may also mean that the Operator or Tech Services selected the wrong area to clear. The Operator has realised Train 1 has stalled and called for an evacuation, hence why Train 2 was at the top of Lift 1 for 5-10 mins. The Operator has been told to evacuate the area by management and has been told to get the 4 other trains as close to the station as possible, this means Lift 1 should have had its reverse mode initiated and instead of going forwards, rolled backwards (which it can do) to the bottom of the lift hill where an easy evacuation could have taken place instead of on the precipice of the lift hill.

From all that I’ve discussed in this, you can draw two conclusions with two faults;
Conclusion one:
-Human Error: The Operator was told to send Train 2 over Lift 1
-Ride Error: The computer should have stepped in, even in Code Zero and alerted the Operator and Tech Services about Train 1
Conclusion two:
-Human Error: The Operator has intended to reverse Train 2 down Lift 1 and made a mistake in that process
-Ride Error: The computer should have stepped in and refused the request to send Train 2 forwards.

In summary, if we had to point blame, I’d blame the rides manufacture, Gerstlauer, for implementing a manual mode (Code Zero) system that can seemingly bypass the safety system, it may just be a bug in the code but its something that should've been prevented and the ride should've stopped it from happening. It was probably a simple mistake, like the direction go Lift 1, its just a shame the ride didn't step in and stop it.

Either way we wont know what really happened until the investigation is complete, and even then we won’t know the real deal, the only people who will know what happened that way will be the Operator and whoever else was in that cabin with them.

Just one more thing to add, Alton Towers Resort and Merlin Entertainments do some of the best ride training in the industry, we know every procedure off by hand, the rides team would have done all they could to initiate and evacuation and alert Park Control of the incident but when you've only got a minimum of 13 staff and probably nearing 3,000 guests in that area it can be a challenge and I'm sure the team did well.

Sorry for such a long post by the way, however I hope its shed some light onto what could've happened. Also this will be the only post I complete on this forum because of my relationship with Alton Towers Resort.
 
Jammydodger
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:27 pm

Renaming/Rebranding the ride will just make things worse.
I can imagine the Mirror's headline now "ALTON TOWERS TRIES TO HIDE RIDES GRUESOME PAST BY RENAMING IT", which in turn will only remind everyone of what happened, right around the time where people will have forgotten about it all.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:43 pm

daboywunda wrote:
I think it just goes to serve that eye-witness testimonies regarding times are simply just wrong and always unreliable.. When working for a pub "I've been waiting for 35 minutes for food" - "No, love, you've been waiting 12 according to that clock counting up on the monitor". People mis-judge length of time all the time. None more so than when in a queue.

That Mirror article is horrible.. It's pure sensationalist drivel and I'm amazed that they didn't blame David Cameron for the whole thing.

I'm still at a loss to piece together just what could have happened. At some point I'm thinking that an op would have been told that there was a train valleyed on the console in the booth. My only thought is that an engineer might have seen the sensor saying it was stuck and thought "No it's bloody not, I've just cleared that error" and completed some kind of manual over-ride without actually checking. The people in the station would have been none the wiser to the valleying before getting on to the train as they can't see outside, so the only people it would have been noticeable to would be those in the queue and ride area. Who can they possibly tell quickly enough to raise an alarm?

I can't wait to read the HSE report on it, just so I can picture in my head just what happened. I just hope for Merlin's sake that it's not human error...

And it goes without saying that we all wish those affected well...


You may have a point about mis judging time, but being one of those in the queue...... I know the full car was up there a while. Long enough for me to be thinking 'why hasn't a member of staff clipped on and gone up there yet?'. Saying that, the amount of time the full car was at the top of the first hill doesn't really matter as soon as you get past the 1 minute mark (and it was WAY past that). As that point it means something has gone seriously wrong in the system somewhere for it to be held for a substantial amount of time (for a normal run on a coaster). My original estimate was 10-15 minutes it was there, so lets say I was wrong and half that.......7 minutes........ Still very strange!

The extra car thing..... I should stress that I only HEARD them announce they were adding an extra car through the PA system that they would extra car....... I cannot confirm either way if they did or did not get the extra car onto the main track system at any point.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:50 pm

I cannot believe how the Mirror and the Guardian have represented the park in their reports on the incident. I have heard of disgraceful reporting, but this is something else

True, I do not expect them to keep a neutral tone, not in the slightest. However, they are practically preaching hate toward the park and all the workers there. Yes, it was a tragic event and one that seems quite irregular, but the media should not be capitalising on this to hurl anger towards Merlin and Varney. The incident was bad but it was not as bad as they are making out. This is just unnecessarily attacking an already depleted park for a reason that could literally be as simple as a minor problem with a computer.

I do feel sorry for the victims, I honestly do, but this is ridiculous. Ive seen report after report of how terrible the Smiler and Alton Towers are, when is somebody going to stand up and represent the Towers how they deserve to be? Every newspaper in Britain seems to be swiping at Alton left right and centre, its unbelievable and its simply disgusting.

I think these reporters should go and report on something where they cant do damage to anything liked by people and maybe even get some standards. Im sorry if there are reporters seeing this and are offended by this tirade, although I am naturally an angry person anyways if im honest, im just sick of them being misrepresented
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:01 am

I don't know what to think about the rebrand. It would cost money which could be better spent as as mentioned it would bring up stores about why they have changed its name, however its not unusual for name changes after incidents. They could stop the hahahahahaha music and leave the other one playing however people would then start asking why its gone and would prolong the reminder of whats happened. I honestly think that once its reopened, as long as it doenst have any more incidents, it will become yesterdays news and forgotten about. There has been much much worse things happen in the news and they were dropped relativity quickly. It will obviously stay with those on board and their families for a while and be in the back of peoples mind, however people will move on. people got over the Smilers track coming apart (something which could have been so much more catastrophic). Really if the front was stronger and hadn't crushed their legs, the media hype would have been no where near as big as it is.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:08 am

Lotty wrote:

Don't get me wrong I love the internet, but makes me wonder how much calmer the public would be if everyone didn't have mobile phones and taking pictures of awful things and sharing it.


Picking up on what you've mentioned here, I have two separate incidents from 2000 which one is very sever and the other less so (one a death and one with broken leg and rib and back injuries) these two incidents happened back when social hadn't really picked up and the Internet wasn't hugely popular or as accessible as it is today and for this reason don't appear to have had the coverage/impact that I think if happened today would have.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/1628375.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/905362.stm

The second one although the cars were traveling at a lower speed, they still crashed and injured 14 people 2 serious and 12 walking wounded quite similar to that of the smiler. I'm not trying to tone the seriousness of the current issue down as I fully feel that it is serious and horrific, I'm just simply trying to find out/show people how badly the coverage and effect social media has effected and blown the issue up.

Thoughts ?
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:14 am

Sorry if this has been posted!

This wont be doing any good.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/582 ... k-accident

Dreadful layout with fake photos and mentions a thorpe park accident in the link but not in the article. The worst part is that they admitted this was done becuase of the Smiler accident.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:06 am

I just wanted to ask a few random questions about the ramifications of this accident.

1. Out of interest lets just assume that those injured will have treatment paid for and probably a hefty payout to compensate for injuries (settled out of court) who actually covers this? Alton Towers/Merlin or the insurance that the park pays for to cover for injuries and everything else? I'm just curious how these things work?

2. If Alton Towers is closed for say a week or two, can they stay open an extra week or two at the end of the season? I know safety comes first but from a business point of view could they keep the park open later in the year or is there restrictions in place? I understand rides and the park need maintenance not to mention potential weather issues but to help recoup the loses in sales and to honour its pass holders?

3. I was actually the first person(s) on The Smiler a few weeks ago when the park opened and all the test cars/runs were all happening before we even entered the station so not sure why a test car would be on track unless it was missed/not seen.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:53 am

It will presumably be covered by the victims health insurance, but I think that they will need to go to court over it to get the money tbh. Yet another time the media has misrepresented what will happen in the future... :no: The Towers will onlt be insured if it was a machine error, although dont quote me on that because its just a guess!

I dont think the park can open in weeks not originally intended to, it is all prescheduled, although again dont take my word for that. Also, the people who work at the Towers will only have contracts for so long...if that doesnt cover these extra weeks then it wouldmt be doable
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 6:08 am

Isn't some Alton Towers staff on Zero contracts so with the park closed they wouldnt get paid only staff on a set yearly wage. I guess all ride ops are in getting extra training to prove to H&S that all the other rides are safe to reopen so they can reopen the rest of the park. Every day it's not open Merlin losing half a million a day.
As with the Smiler other accident reports with the other stalling,Wheel falling off and the track coming apart they were all not big news so non theme park fans wouldn't have picked up on it. It's the first time at work that anyone has talked more about a roller coaster than Football or a murder.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:16 am

TheBeast: People in the UK don't have private health insurance (generally, some do), we have the NHS. The park should have public health insurance which I guess would payout in the case of an incident (depends on h&s report). People on the ride who were injured might have some personal life insurance cover which might cover loss of limbs.

The papers will say anything that sells papers; also Express, Mirror, etc. will sensationalise the incident because it's their competitor (The Sun) who offers cheap days out at Alton Towers (it's terrible but true).

As for scrapping/permanently closing the ride, that will be up to the resort management assuming H&S doesn't step in and force the issue. We hope they don't; but every day the park is shut, it's costing the Merlin group an estimated 1/2 million. At some point an accountant is going to work out the true cost of the ride / incident and a risk assessment will be made. Loss of sales, loss of business, loss of public confidence; the knock on effects (Hotel bookings cancelled; etc) will all be worked out.

Before this event, the one thing I really though was unsafe about the ride was the queue line underneath it. Not for stuff falling out of people's pockets onto the queue line but in the event of an evacuation where it's a maze of panels.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:21 am

It's now apparently been reported that a guest if the park and eye witness to the stalled carriage tried to inform members of staff about the aforementioned stalled carriage in the section of track but apparently was told to 'mind their own business' as the park was already aware of it, I do find it very difficult to believe some member of staff would have vbedn that rude, here is the article in question once again, I believe the article itself does not have a lot of truth in it, but what do you guys think?

http://www.itv.com/news/2015-06-04/alto ... -business/
The woman asked 'spare a farthing for a beggar', the earl cruelly dismissed her, and instructed his driver to head back to the towers, scorned the old woman screamed the curse 'FOR EVERY BRANCH OF THE OLD OAK THAT FALLS, A MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY WILL DIE!'
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:33 am

I think if that actually happened the staff member was 'rude' as they were anxious because either they couldn't get in contact with people behind the ride, or they had told them but it didn't look like they were doing anything/could do anything. Maybe. That's what it sounds like to me anyway.

Sorry if I posted this twice my phone is acting up. :/
 
missingaa
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:35 am

annon321 wrote:
I’m an ex Alton Towers Resort / Merlin Entertainments employee, not to jump on the bandwagon, who's worked on The Smiler since pretty much day one. With that I’ve experienced my fair share with that ride and I want to lay out my opinion of what happened on Tuesday June 2nd;

Firstly, the trains hold no brakes, all braking is done on the track as it is with every modern rollercoaster, this prevents them from “being stuck upside down” as many a guest would ask on a regular bases. The trains hold a few force registering sensors that talk to the rides computer when it comes back into the station. The only real contact the computer has with the trains is in the station where harnesses are locked and checked however throughout the track there are proximity sensors that communicate with the rides computer, these sensors are dotted around the ride and and give the Operator a rough position of where each train is. (As far as I'm aware, there are no proximity sensors on the Batwing part of the ride however don't quote me on that).

Secondly, a block section is a section of track where a train should be able to successfully start and successfully stop, failing this the rides computer, with data from the proximity sensors, should flag up an error on the Operators panel. This error should, under no circumstances be able to be overridden.

Thirdly, when ANY ride at Alton Towers Resort brakes down or suffers from technical difficulties a member of the technical services team will be present alongside the Operator because the Operators aren't taught how fix these massive machines. Whether its just turn a key and press reset a member of the Technical Services team will be there, and depending how big the fault a member of the Park Operations management team as well. That’s usually why it takes so long during technical hiccups.

Going off assumption, and I stress that massively, the position of the trains before the incident may have been as follows;
-Train 1 stalled in the batwing section of the ride
-Train 2 held at the top of Lift 1 because the computer has realised Train 1 has stalled and called an E-Stop on the ride
-Train 3 would have guests on it in the station
-Train 4 would have been postponed just behind Train 3, in waiting position 2
-Train 5 would have been behind Train 4 on the transfer track.

In the Operators cabin there are two massive 37” TV screens holding around 12 cameras each, including parts of the rides building like baggage but also certain sections of the ride itself, for example Lift 1 has two cameras pointing at it and there are also cameras pointing at other key braking sections. However the Batwing loop doesn't have its own independent camera, but you can see it out of the corner of a few other cameras on the screens.

So down to what might have actually happened; The Smiler goes down with a technical difficulty with Train 1, Tech Services are called to the ride, register and clear the fault on the panel and tell the Operator to send Train 1 empty in “Code Zero”. Code Zero basically means that the Operator has full control over every brake section on the ride, sometimes the ride requires it to be in Code Zero to send a faulty train from the station or from any brake or Lift section of the ride. The Operator does so under instruction from Tech Services. Now because it was so late in the day Train 1 should have successfully, but slowly made it round the block section between Lift 1 and Brake 3 as the trains wheels would be warm enough and cause less friction than when they're cold.
The only way Train 1 would have stalled where it did is either a gust of wind was blowing and caused to stall, or the ride was Emergency Stopped. When the ride is emergency stopped every brake flies up and stops every train when they reach these brake sections, however The Smiler has two air time hills on it, both occupied by Trim Brakes which control the speed of the trains as they go around each block sections. When an E-Stop is pressed on The Smiler every brake flies up and locks, including these Trim Brakes, if every trim brake flies up then Train 1, whether it was full of guests or not would have stalled in the Batwing section.

Whether it was the wind or a ride fault that caused the trim brakes to react that way the rides computer would have flagged up another error which would have then again be cleared and registered by Tech Services, at this point Management should have been called to the ride to organise an area and ride evacuation. Keep in mind that there are reports that this stalled train stayed halted in that section of track for more than five minuets, a member of staff should have noticed and altered the Operator.

This means that in the Operators cabin there would be at least 2 people, depending if management were called, 3 people. At this point the Operator is doing things that Tech Services and potentially management have approved, because the ride was in Code Zero, it means the computer thinks that someone who knows what they're doing is now operating the ride, which in this case would have been the rides Operator under Tech Services instruction, in this mode all the brake and lift sections can be controlled individually, meaning Lift 1, where Train 2 halted could have and was jogged to clear and in result crashed into Train 1.

Failing that, because every brake and lift section of the ride can be controlled individually this may also mean that the Operator or Tech Services selected the wrong area to clear. The Operator has realised Train 1 has stalled and called for an evacuation, hence why Train 2 was at the top of Lift 1 for 5-10 mins. The Operator has been told to evacuate the area by management and has been told to get the 4 other trains as close to the station as possible, this means Lift 1 should have had its reverse mode initiated and instead of going forwards, rolled backwards (which it can do) to the bottom of the lift hill where an easy evacuation could have taken place instead of on the precipice of the lift hill.

From all that I’ve discussed in this, you can draw two conclusions with two faults;
Conclusion one:
-Human Error: The Operator was told to send Train 2 over Lift 1
-Ride Error: The computer should have stepped in, even in Code Zero and alerted the Operator and Tech Services about Train 1
Conclusion two:
-Human Error: The Operator has intended to reverse Train 2 down Lift 1 and made a mistake in that process
-Ride Error: The computer should have stepped in and refused the request to send Train 2 forwards.

In summary, if we had to point blame, I’d blame the rides manufacture, Gerstlauer, for implementing a manual mode (Code Zero) system that can seemingly bypass the safety system, it may just be a bug in the code but its something that should've been prevented and the ride should've stopped it from happening. It was probably a simple mistake, like the direction go Lift 1, its just a shame the ride didn't step in and stop it.

Either way we wont know what really happened until the investigation is complete, and even then we won’t know the real deal, the only people who will know what happened that way will be the Operator and whoever else was in that cabin with them.

Just one more thing to add, Alton Towers Resort and Merlin Entertainments do some of the best ride training in the industry, we know every procedure off by hand, the rides team would have done all they could to initiate and evacuation and alert Park Control of the incident but when you've only got a minimum of 13 staff and probably nearing 3,000 guests in that area it can be a challenge and I'm sure the team did well.

Sorry for such a long post by the way, however I hope its shed some light onto what could've happened. Also this will be the only post I complete on this forum because of my relationship with Alton Towers Resort.


Very informative post... Thanks

Pretty much as we all thought then... This "Code Zero" mode is basically the "maintenance mode" we've been talking about, that allows the ops /techs to override the safety systems and control the ride manually.

The picture posted earlier also shows all of the elements you listed, and their positions, including the blocks, and the trim brakes before the batwing and cobra.

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My early thoughts regarding the initial stall were the wind and weather conditions. But I'm now wondering, after your post, if it's more likely the trim brakes were applied at the same time as the full train 2 was stopped at the top of the hill... this would essentially mean that the train on the hill actually stopped a few seconds before the stalled train 1, and would at least explain why the focus was mainly on the full train.

Also, can you answer me this? If the trim brakes were applied at the same time as the train stopped on the hill, due to a problem detected, would the system not assume that the stalled train had stopped at the trim brakes? Because you've already said there are no sensors in the batwing to tell the op it had continued over that element. Would it still show a warning on that particular train if the system had assumed it had stopped at the trim brakes??? I would hope so, as that section would still be classed as occupied, right?

Can trim brakes even apply enough pressure to stop a train? If not, what is the sense in them kicking in on an e-brake? Would it not be safer to let the train continue to the next block brake?

Is it possible that with the above theory / questions, plus your astonishing information that there are no cameras that give a direct view of the batwing, and the full train stopping at the top of the hill first, the op was focused on the train on the hill only, and had very little warning as to this error in judgement?

So many questions that simply will not be answered until the report comes out. However, I don't think it is wrong to theorise, as long as everyone understands that they are just that, theories.

Regarding the member of public trying to warn the staff, reading the article it seems like it wasn't even a member of the actual ride staff they informed. So I highly doubt it's true in the first place. I forgot to mention in my initial posts that, like many of you, I also used to work at the park, hence my interest in this. We all know their attitude towards guest services and customer experience is (or at least was) fantastic, and it's impossible to imagine a member of staff talking to a guest like this. And even if it is true, I don't think that they informed anyone who could of done anything in time.
 
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Evostance
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:20 am

Looks like the media are now reporting that Alton Towers bosses are reportedly discussion pulling down The Smiller. Bloody media ](*,)

It's never mentioned once in the article, apart from the select few comments the public make on social media:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... miler.html

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/al ... er-5826203

http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/UPDATE-C ... story.html

And a "trustworthy" source that mentions nothing about it:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-33018584
 
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Hazard
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:24 am

Thanks to everyone who answered my questions.

I just thought that if the business lost quite a bit of money then they could maybe recoup it by opening a week or two later in the year to please pass holders, to help business and even the staff at the park with those on zero contracts losing out for each day its closed. I know the park will go down the line of safety comes first and I strongly believe that but wondered if they could play catch up and change the closing times/dates this season.

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