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Thread: The Smiler @ Alton Towers

  1. #31
    Speed Seeker Deuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMR View Post
    I was also very pleased to hear the it wasn't Gerstlauer's fault. When it came on the news, I just felt a relief for Alton Towers.

    Now Alton Towers security is probably better than the majority of parks out there with their new training improvements and new override authentication system.
    Very true. The last park to suffer an accident is arguably one of the safest to visit afterwards.

    Although that's not true of some parks. I'm looking at Disney and the original Action Park...

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by CreamyBeef View Post
    It's not. Alton maintenence is very good. Gerstlauer usually build smaller, Eurofighter and family coasters. A huge behemoth of twisted steel and 14 inversions is not something that should have been given to them. It would have worked with an Intamin I think, B&M most likely not. But I don't think they were the right manufacturer. Also, there are remote brakes on a few coasters, I think Corkscrew had them when it was still operating, that the Ride op can stop it even if it is not on a block or lift hill. The Smiler could use them I think. But, as I said, it will most likely turn out to be a fault on Gerstlauer's and Alton's part, a Ride Op can't put two cars onto the same block, and lift hills don't randomly restart if the coaster is being held at a block.

    But it is hugely lucky that no one was killed. Leah Washington almost died 3 times due to blood loss, and if it were a colder day she wouldn't have survived. Scary stuff.
    Gerstlauer have build some pretty massive coasters in the past, what separates them out from Intamin though is their ability to create very compact coasters with inversions. The entire coaster's length (length from one side to the other, not tack length) is smaller than Oblivion; that's a very small amount of space to fit a lot of track. Despite the fact that Intamin have built the tallest rides in the world, they are not in a position to make a huge leap in a unfamiliar direction. Gerstlauer however not only had the experience, they also had the new type of multi-car train designed for tight inversions. The second reason why Merlin picked Gerstlauer was the simple fact that they had already worked with them on Saw.

    I'm not sure about remote breaks though, especially for the corkscrew since it was built 1980. A remote breaking system would require on board power, which would be a nightmare technically, and probably impossible. The trains aren't light, so stopping something with that much energy without damaging the track, train or passengers is most likely impossible with anything built onto the train. You could be thinking of trim breaks that are not only used on The Smiler, but also incapable of stopping the train.

  3. #33
    Does anyone remember the original plans for The Smiler's themeing? They were going down more of the military facility route, I liked that theme a lot more. It was a much better fit to the X-Sector.

    (Credit to TowersTimes)

  4. #34
    Stall Supporter shirty's Avatar
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    I will still get on The Smiler if it reopens. It may have had a few incidents but then I could name a few rides in other parks that have both had more incidents and taken lives even on a number of times yet are still open.
    It certainly isn't a reason to dismantle the ride, just ensure that the ride is operated safely. A simple cctv system and someone who bothers to use it when the system locks might have stopped the incident which led to its closing.
    I mean who releases a track full of people without seeing with their own 2 eyes where the previous train is, If you see it isn't at or past the next holding brake its somewhere on the track and you don't override the lock.
    The operator just messed up and that's a massive shame for all involved but I have my fingers crossed it gets another chance with tighter protocols which eliminate the chances of human error again.

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by shirty View Post
    I will still get on The Smiler if it reopens. It may have had a few incidents but then I could name a few rides in other parks that have both had more incidents and taken lives even on a number of times yet are still open.
    It certainly isn't a reason to dismantle the ride, just ensure that the ride is operated safely. A simple cctv system and someone who bothers to use it when the system locks might have stopped the incident which led to its closing.
    I mean who releases a track full of people without seeing with their own 2 eyes where the previous train is, If you see it isn't at or past the next holding brake its somewhere on the track and you don't override the lock.
    The operator just messed up and that's a massive shame for all involved but I have my fingers crossed it gets another chance with tighter protocols which eliminate the chances of human error again.
    Also the fact that it was human error and that the ride itself wasn't at fault means that there really isn't any reason that people should be any more scared to ride it than they originally would have been, especially if they're preventing the same human error from happening again by making it so that only a senior member of staff can manually override the computer's decision to stall the ride.

    It was obviously an accident, I doubt they would have deliberately overridden the system to make the ride crash, just a lack of following safety protocols and getting a little lazy with it probably due to the technical issues that they'd been having earlier in the day which hadn't turned out to be anything.

    I am not afraid to ride The Smiler again because I fear that it will crash again but I do not want to show any disrespect to those involved by desperately wanting to ride it (like the idiots tweeting them saying that they hoped it would open for Scarefest - I certainly wouldn't want to receive messages like that had it been me) . But at the same time, if it is reopened then it won't make any difference if I ride it or not and I might as well make the most of my day when I visit. Rides have reopened when people have died due to faults but I do think that leaving it to the end of the season without reopening was the right decision (I know that they didn't have a say due to the HSE ban but if that hadn't been in place then I do agree with keeping it closed for a period out of respect)

  6. #36
    Stall Supporter shirty's Avatar
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    yea I wasn't saying it was deliberate just that no care was taken when they released the loaded car, they obviously didn't check (I don't know if they can see cctv at control station but I would say they should be able to) or else they would have known the empty car had not completed its section.
    Purely down to complacency or laziness neither of which are traits you want operating a potentially lethal machine.
    Merlin have already cracked down on the staff safety protocols so as far as I'm concerned The Smiler is as safe as any other ride at any other park, they all have potential to go wrong but the odds are far safer than crossing the road and I do that every single day

    JMR I'm not sure what I think of those images, I agree it would fit in better with the surrounding area but at same time its all a bit grey. I guess it would have depended on what was inside the building but anyway we got the yellow and black with the weird mind tricks theme which I'm really not sure about either and while I have yet to ride it I dread the queue with that tune playing constantly, every video I see of the ride I get wound up by it. Terrible music imo.
    Last edited by shirty; 12-06-2015 at 07:03 PM.

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by shirty View Post
    yea I wasn't saying it was deliberate just that no care was taken when they released the loaded car, they obviously didn't check (I don't know if they can see cctv at control station but I would say they should be able to) or else they would have known the empty car had not completed its section.
    Purely down to complacency or laziness neither of which are traits you want operating a potentially lethal machine.
    Merlin have already cracked down on the staff safety protocols so as far as I'm concerned The Smiler is as safe as any other ride at any other park, they all have potential to go wrong but the odds are far safer than crossing the road and I do that every single day
    Yeah I know you weren't saying that (I got a bit rambly hehe). I think that the area that the car valleyed is covered by CCTV because of that reason - it wasn't the first time that an empty car has stopped at that point. But if you've been having technical issues all day then you might get a bit lax on checking every time something flags up. Still not really an excuse though. If I'd sent out an empty carriage as a safety test then I would wait until it returns before sending out people on the ride and I definitely wouldn't ignore the ride stopping.

    The Smiler is going to be as safe as it possibly could be now, I agree

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