UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
mark_h
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:30 pm

Kraken wrote:
....Someone with enough keys was over-riding the control system to clear a block fault. The latter being something that should never be done without visual verification of train locations & certainly not with guests onboard.


In many cases it would be better to reset the system with guest onboard than to evacuate the ride. Although there are ways to get riders off the ride at all the emergency stop points (lift hills and block brakes) doing so will be very time consuming and have a substantial element of risk of injury as customers climb onto narrow, high up, walkways.

With correct procedures a controlled restart of the ride should not be dangerous.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:42 pm

God forbid those two fall from the track, especially if they are HSE!

I feel as though the most reassuring thing AT could do at this time is to start 'testing' the ride again towards the very very end of the season (should they have permission). As someone previously mentioned, this season really is a write-off, and there is no point trying to salvage it with less than a week of an operational Smiler…
To show the GP that they are committed to the ride, to test it in the last weeks of the season shows there is hope for it and that next season is looking likely.
Whether or not Nick Varney decides to make a publicity stunt out of being the first to ride it after it opens is up to them, I don't know which way this would influence the media's perception of the whole thing. But it does (even if it's not true) give the illusion that they have been testing all winter, out of the spying eye of the media, ready for the new season, and possibly even continuing to test it into March & April.
 
Aidan Lowe
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:25 pm

Yet some more pictures, this time on the V-Lift:
Source: Facebook
User: Ride on Review

Posted today, 3 days in a row? who knows.

Image
Image
Image
Last edited by Aidan Lowe on Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Formerly known under username Andy Mc
 
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Kraken
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:40 pm

mark_h wrote:
In many cases it would be better to reset the system with guest onboard than to evacuate the ride. Although there are ways to get riders off the ride at all the emergency stop points (lift hills and block brakes) doing so will be very time consuming and have a substantial element of risk of injury as customers climb onto narrow, high up, walkways.

With correct procedures a controlled restart of the ride should not be dangerous.

I could not agree more. But only once a visual inspection has been made of the track / ride area to verify the position of the trains. Never rely on the ride control system if it detects a block fault. Only a human eyes can see where the trains actually are.

If it was Air, a top of lift evacuation is going to take a long time. If you can visually confirm the entire ride circuit + service & safety brakes are clear, then over-ride the system and force the train over the lift to do the evacuation at ground level.

Visual inspection are the key words here. No relying on CCTV. Get out there and look - even if the weather is not being kind at the time.
 
mark_h
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:50 am

I was including a visual inspection to identify the location of every train as part of the "correct procedure" for the ride restart.

There are some videos of Space Mountain being restarted after an e-stop (which have the added advantage of giving a lights on view). A staff member visits each train, speaks to the riders and phones the control desk (phones are in panels next to the track) before that train is released.
 
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Themeparksandy1981
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:07 am

I think they just checking the ride over as it's been sitting still for 3 months.
Do u think they may need to build platforms before the batwing so if it does stall again they can get guests off safety.

Was thinking if HSE do say it was human error and all 16 guests sue Alton Towers will the ride be closed for even longer as lawyers will want to view the site to get a good case for there client. They may also visit HSE to see the trains and take pictures. I can see this costing Merlin millions so they wouldn't want to get the Smiler open before the 2016 season.
How has the Smiler affected the other Merlin theme parks this season?
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:43 am

I think too much is made of the quote from Nick Varney saying he'll be the first to ride. It was probably a leading question from the interviewer, eg 'Would you ride it if it was opened tomorrow?' which won't be included in the article, just the reply.

We'll just have to wait and see, I think an opening with no fanfare from the park next season, just a few articles saying 'Deadly theme park ride reopened!' or something.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:46 am

Andy Mc wrote:
Yet some more pictures, this time on the V-Lift:
Source: Facebook
User: Ride on Review

Posted today, 3 days in a row? who knows.

http://oi60.tinypic.com/90sy6d.jpg
http://oi61.tinypic.com/255tnhg.jpg
http://oi59.tinypic.com/11ax4wj.jpg


i took those yesterday and put them on towers street forum, so someone has pilfered them and put them on fb.. pffft
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:45 am

My knowledge of law is shaky at best, with Merlin admitting responsibility and giving compensation in relation to the accident can they be sued further once the cause is known? I'd like to think that them admitting responsibility removes further litigation purely in relation to the incident....however as I say I know very little law so maybe they can be taken to task when more information is available.
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:32 pm

xylyx wrote:
My knowledge of law is shaky at best, with Merlin admitting responsibility and giving compensation in relation to the accident can they be sued further once the cause is known? I'd like to think that them admitting responsibility removes further litigation purely in relation to the incident....however as I say I know very little law so maybe they can be taken to task when more information is available.


Almost certainly the case when a settlement is negotiated that they have a clause in it saying they cannot sue.

These can only be overturned if there are found to be issues under general contract law (grossly unfair or deceptive conditions, not being given a chance for a lawyer to see it etc.) if there was something exceptional regarding the case that Merlin lied about or kept hidden that adversely affected them (this kind of thing is very rare) or if Merlin broke the terms of the settlement.

tldr: If they've received payments they had to sign an agreement for, the chances of them being able to successfully sue in the future are very tiny.
 
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Everton-99
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:15 pm

It appears they are beginning to work on the smiler and adding extra control panels, i have seen a couple of photos on a couple of facebook sites today :) future looks good for #thesmiler
 
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:30 pm

Kraken wrote:
sum1mad wrote:
What if the HSE don't want the system to be overrided in the first place? Then some other thing would be needed (some key to access it or something).

That is already how the system is - on just about all rides. There are a number of key-switches on a rides control panel(s) that enable various functions. The maintenance team do their morning checks on the ride & leave all the switches in the Auto / Run position.

The ride operator for the day is given one key for the ride. This allows them to turn the power on or off & do nothing else....*snipped*


Very much the case, I've said this from a early stage that in mind a human mistake has happened, where policy and procedure has not been followed by those with the ability to take the system out of auto, the ride did exactly what it was supposed to do. I struggle to imagine any other catastrophic failure of multiple redundant systems that would allow this otherwise.

Merlin isn't exactly the best company to work for, it wouldn't surprise me if some of the more experienced staff/engineers had not long recently walked and these were not (as) experienced engineers.

But I'm still of the opinion of wait for HSE report.

Themeparksandy1981 wrote:
Dan.N wrote:
Themeparksandy1981 wrote:
Yeah it stopped but how could not 1 member of staff not notice a stalled train train for 15 to 20 mins. Like they should have checked why it had stopped at the top.


That would be a human error.

On that day the ride system did everything it was supposed to.

What happened afterwards? We can only speculate.


But the system needs upgrading then that allows the ops to know where all trains are at all times. Couldn't they have sensors on the trains that picks up sensors on the track so if it does stall again and it E stops on the lift hill they know straight away that a train still on the circuit and where.


It's called human error, but it's also called policy and procedure, something that tells you what has to happen, start to finish when something happens, whether that defines now the track is checked is anyone guess.

If you place sensors out of reach on high loops, this increases maintenance challenges when they fail, they typically are on accessible, maintained areas. The system very much appeared to do what it was supposed to do, what has to be reviewed here is policy and procedure and review what extra steps can be put in place to stop them being avoided.
 
Aidan Lowe
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:45 pm

Here are said images, source Towers Street. Looks to me like for future there will be a ride host stationed here with an emergency e-stop control panel around the outside of the shop / the batwing.

Do we now think the investigation is coming to an end? This now looks like these workers are part of maintenance and in fact not HSE? Which surely would mean that the investigation is pretty much wrapped up as they wouldn't be allowed near the ride would they?

Image

http://oi60.tinypic.com/i35km1.jpg
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jackcullen
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:30 pm

I would suspect it's a block reset box or something. Place 3 or 4 around at 'blindspots' and when resetting force the buttons to be pressed as a failsafe.
 
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NemesisRider
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:43 pm

I'll be visiting tommorrow and I'll try and get some photos.
 
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Stan.H
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:07 pm

Just been browsing on twitter and came across this...
Alton Towers Resort
@altontowers
@sandyhickson The Smiler is closed for the foreseeable future James
2:27 AM - 4 Sep 2015
https://mobile.twitter.com/altontowers/status/639731472090427392?p=v
 
Sawboss
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:10 pm

That's the response they always give when anyone says anything about the Smiler.

I like that it was James Brown who asked though.
 
xylyx
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:37 pm

It may be off topic but I've heard he feels good....

Then again I knew that he would. Seeing as he's never been on The Ultimate.

Anyway, those pics are intriguing, that would be an interesting solution to the erroneous override question: make it a collection of buttons that need pressing simultaneously.
 
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Themeparksandy1981
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:02 pm

They maybe able to do anything to the ride but run it. That picture looks like a telephone and they could be putting more around the track area so they can report all breakdowns.
 
Sawboss
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Re: The Smiler Incident 02/06/15

Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:38 pm

Possibly the ride will be unable to be restarted after a stop without someone physically going to this box, visually checking the batwing is clear and resetting it.

Problem with that is it doesn't solve the stalling problem itself, so I expect the ride to have more downtime than before as it will only be allowed to run in perfect weather conditions.

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