UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
xylyx
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:34 pm

No they can only be taken to task if they they throw spurious allegations about or seek to maliciously damage reputation or living or some such. They tend to get around it by implying but never flat out saying. The daily mail are kings of sensationalism and paranoia, from the ridiculously overwrought gory headline to the cherry picking in the piece they were on typical form. Everything they printed was said and the images used were undoctorred it was just the way they reported them:

The interview was carried off with grace and respect and was genuinely refreshing and insightful to witness.

The daily mail saw a heartrending nightmare narrated almost on the edge of tears that this bravest of men just about managed to get through without breaking down.....
 
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Everton-99
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Thu Jul 09, 2015 5:42 pm

Saw has re-opened at Thorpe today which would suggest that either;

A.) Alton Towers are confident that there is not an issue with the ride system

Or B.) there was a problem and they have now rectified this on saw during its closed period

Either way it suggests that Alton are now confident they know the cause of the crash and must be 100% sure it cannot happen on Saw
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Thu Jul 09, 2015 5:49 pm

Excellent news, hopefully this is good for The Smilers future. Either that or they've found out it's a problem specific to it...
 
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Jack
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Thu Jul 09, 2015 5:50 pm

In my opinion, Saw reopening actually doesn't signify anything about the Smiler. Saw was closed longer than other multi-train rides inside of merlin due to it being a ride system that is very similar to the Smilers, but it wasn't because of this that it was closed. It was closed for longer so the ride could be used to recreate the issues the Smiler had on the day of the crash and therefore couldn't be open. Having used it for however long it was needed for Saw was reopened. Although it was used for the Smiler incident and the investigation.

I very much doubt the closure has anything to do with the ride system itself and as we don't know what any of the issues were on the day of the Smiler incident we cannot simply assume that the issues have been rectified or if there were any problems relating to the ride. :)
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Danny
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:35 pm

Without going in to too much detail, all workers for Saw have gone under intense training over the past few weeks, it seems they have re written pretty much the whole training program. It's open and staying open now after getting the all clear and signed off.
The Swarm had a planned closure today at 4pm so they aimed to open Saw to keep the GP happy, and it sure did! :)
 
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TheBeast
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:58 pm

Why was there a planned closure? Was it simply to emphasize that Saw was open and safe, or what?
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Credit to NemesisRider for an amazing signature!
 
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Danny
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:07 pm

The Swarm has had severe problems with train 2, hence why it was on one train operation all day today, leaving queues to build to over 2 hours. If you want to know more PM me as this isn't the topic :)
 
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Themeparksandy1981
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:07 am

The Saw been working fine with no real problems since day 1. The Smiler on the other hand has had lots even from day 1 of construction. From not opening on time,drainage problems,queue line rushed so couldn't be passed off,Track not lining up,media day breakdown,bolts falling out,foundations cracking,Trains not making it all the way round the circuit and the crash. It's a lot when you think it only 2 years old.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:46 pm

maybe that area is cursed lol, as stated on the towers DVD The Black Hole during construction had so many issues and it was believed to be along the track of a headless horse woman, and they even had an exorcism done on the sight. Maybe its wearing off lol
 
homer22422
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:37 pm

Look who is back in the news.........

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/07 ... 75272.html
 
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JaykeAT
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:57 pm

My main issue with that is the she says she was speaking "as a mum". "As a mum" she should know scaremongering isn't the best way forward. However, I think it is very important to remember that even if we know how unlikely a crash like this is, from the public's point of view it is terrifying. Which is why when people say "you are more likely to be in a car crash than on a roller-coaster". When in a car, you are in control. But when riding a roller-coaster, you are completely putting your faith into mechanics. So I think it is important for these types of questions to be asked, just not in the way she did.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:05 am

I've been busy working these past few weeks, although I have been dipping in and out of this thread, among many others on Towers Times. The following is based on a Facebook status I put up when I heard about Leah Washington's amputation, and it still represents my views on this awful tragedy, even though it has been subsequently edited to reflect the news of Vicky Balch's amputation.

I am gutted to learn that two of the people involved in the terrible rollercoaster crash has had to have one of their legs amputated, along with all four suffering other terrible injuries :(. I have been on many of Alton Towers' rollercoasters and flat rides (although not Smiler as yet) and I have seen for myself how the safety and enjoyment of riders is an absolute priority. This includes ensuring they are properly secured in their seats, before releasing the train or gondola. Although the full facts won't be known for a while, I know that what happened last month was a very tragic accident and should not and would not have occurred under normal circumstances. This is because coaster trains will not usually leave the station until the other train(s) has cleared the block brakes. Obviously, something has gone catastrophically wrong here, particularly given the stalling of the first train, the release of the second train from the lift hill and the failure of the train safety brakes. While it is an absolute shame this has occurred, it would have been far worse had it not been for the increasing safety of global rollercoasters.
As I have said, the full facts before, during and after the crash won't be known for a while, which is why I have been avoiding reading anything about it and commenting on it a lot, and have just stuck to the BBC, who I trust more than other media. However, I do acknowledge that even the BBC has its own faults and agree with the main TT admin staff who posted the 'Mythbuster' page the other week, that they also have been reporting some inaccuracies, although not to the same extent as other media outlets.

My thoughts are with those affected and their families and I wish for their speedy recovery, or as best as possible in the circumstances. I myself look forward to returning to the park and riding on the improved Smiler one day, hopefully next year, as I still have a lot of respect for Alton Towers and Merlin Entertainments :).
Martin
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:46 pm

Will be on park on Friday for an hour or two as GP. Will be interesting to gauge the atmosphere of AT and X-sector in particular considering it will be, for many school kids, the first day of summer holidays.
 
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lewis97
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:56 pm

I'd have to draw issue with a couple of things you stated;
MRWTHO-AT wrote:
This is because coaster trains will not usually leave the station until the other train(s) has cleared the block brakes. Obviously, something has gone catastrophically wrong here, particularly given the stalling of the first train, the release of the second train from the lift hill and the failure of the train safety brakes.

The loaded train did not leave the station until the empty train in front had left the block, that being the brake the run at the bottom of lift 1, so nothing untoward went on there. The issue with the blocks comes with the loaded train leaving lift 1 and therefore entering the same block where an empty train was stalled.

I'm not entirely sure what you're referring to with 'train safety brakes' but if it's some sort of braking system on the train itself, nothing of the sort exists and so wasn't there to fail. Although there are trim brakes on the hill before the batwing which can be used to slow the train down, it is not possible to use these to stop a train altogether.
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MRWTHO-AT
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:43 am

Gladly Lewis. Firstly, I realise I should've put the word "apparent" before the break system, because after the initial Facebook post, I realised that most rollercoaster trains do not have this system which was reported in the media (inc. BBC), and this of course was of course mentioned on the Mythbuster page, which I completely forgot about until after I posted on here. So thank you for providing me with the opportunity of correcting myself.

Secondly, I have never been on Smiler (although I hope to go on next year all being well) and so I don't know the full details of the ride operations, so I had to go on what I had seen with other rollercoasters I have been on, as a way of reassuring my friends (most of whom aren't rollercoaster enthusiasts), that safety is of paramount importance in modern theme parks, especially Alton Towers. In terms of the various coasters I have been on (Big Dipper, Big One, Air, Corkscrew, Rita, Thirteen, Nemesis etc.), the train in the station won't be released onto the main part of the track (post lift hill) until the train in front has cleared the block brakes, just before entering the station, which was what I was referring to.
With The Smiler, I am aware it was a little more complicated, given the two lift hills and extra brake runs, but I didn't realise there was a block before the first lift hill, I just thought that lift hill 1 itself was the first block. Therefore, in normal circumstances the train behind would not have been released from the first lift hill, until the train in front had reached the second. Obviously, something has gone significantly wrong in this case, but we won't know the full details for another couple of months.
Martin
 
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lukaNW
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:55 pm

hi all,

i haven't posted for around a year or so, I've still been reading, just i haven't contributed much.

having read a post from this site,

https://towersstreet.com/talk/threads/i ... 97/page-39

specifically where a fellow ex-employee who has worked on the smiler has explained his view. i had the thoughts of what had happened and i think i have cracked it. this is just a theory so please don't send hate for what i have written.


this is what i wrote down earlier today to try and get my head around it.

What looks like has happened from an operators point of view

the smiler is quite similar in operation to TH13TEEN. although built by different operators, they are operationally and conditionally similar to each other.

i have today seen an account of a fellow ride operator on the towers times website. he explains about how the incident came about and what has happened.

i have therefore concluded that it is a chain of events that has led to the incident we have heard about.
i shall now list a hypothesis of what would have happened.

earlier during the day there was a technical issue which has been disclosed, but has not been explained. (technical issues happen all the time and can be from the trivial proximity error to something more serious)

this had led to the operator performing a reset where they had sent empty trains around the circuit. (to send empty trains on a ride like the smiler you would need to turn the trim brakes off as leaving them on would lead to a train to valley on the track. this has previously happened on the smiler in the same section as the incident)

i dont know if the trains involved returned to the station with no issue but i do know that after a reset you would realise your trains (check the locations of the trains on the panel/computer/cctv)

you would then reload your trains and continue operations, with the trim brakes on as leaving them off would be harmful to the guests who would go through inversions and banked turns too quickly.

the empty train(train 1) in question on the day of operation had left the station, the train(train 2) behind was loaded with guests.

train 2 had stopped on the first lift due to the system performing a ride stop. this looks to have been caused by train 1 not arriving at a block brake. you cannot see the area of track where the incident occurred/where train 1 had stopped
it seems that the engineer present had over ridden the ride stop. train 2 then continued off the lift into the block where train 1 had stopped. resulting in the incident that occurred on the 2nd june.

i hypothesise that train 1 had stopped in the block section due to the trim brakes being switched on in preparation of guest use. this had caused train 1 to valley. this would be one of the causes of the incident. (but i stress that this would still be prevented by the ride stop that the system had actioned)

the second cause and what seems to be the primary cause of the incident is that two members of staff (engineer and operator) had over ridden the ride stop causing the trains to collide in the block section.

the operator is therefore at fault for three things. firstly switching trim brakes on whilst empty trains were on the circuit. not realising their trains when the ride stop had occurred and finally cancelling the ride stop without first finding the cause of the stop




i hope this is directed sensitively as i can.

thankyou, if you feel I've missed anything or have any concerns that i have misunderstood anything please tell me
 
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sw7nutter
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:27 am

I thought the trim brakes were automatic and cannot be simply turned on and off by the operator. Also where the train valleyed is visable on the cctv which the operator can see. What ever the reason it is unlikely we will ever find out.
My issue is why it took so long to get the people off. I understand it took a long time to build a platform but rougarou stalled on Thursday and the guests were evacuated pretty quickly in comparison. On top of that rougarou is above water, had a steeper banking, almost the same height and has double the amount of people.
 
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Jack
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:49 am

It has to be remembered that on Rougarou nobody had any injuries, while on the Smiler nobody knew the extent of the injuries so extreme precaution would have been taken.

I also just watched a POV to see that the place it stalled was not above water, very close to the ground but only had steeper banking, so it may have been easier than the evacuation of the Smiler by quite a long way :)

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Last edited by Jack on Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Alex
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:51 am

There is a big difference though Rougarou didn't crash into another train. Most of the time was spent getting the front row out and due to their serious injuries this will have taken time as they wouldn't have wanted to cause further injuries.
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stealthsmiler
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:39 pm

Given that it can take over an hour to get one person out of a road accident, I think that the Smiler evacuation was quite quick. Although wasn't it out of Alton Towers control once the evacuation began.

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