Conversion of TTD to LSM?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 3:13 PM

At first glance this may seem crazy, but if you read the linked article and think about it, I'd say it's not too far outside the realm of possibility...

Intamin has just opened Red Force, a rocket coaster in Spain with height and speed specs quite close to those of TTD.

And, it uses LSMs for launch instead of the hydraulic system.

The hydraulic launch systems, especially on the giant rockets, have proven to be costly to maintain and troublesome.

And, I would opine, unsafe. It has been demonstrated over the years that a) partial or total cable failures will occur, despite mitigation efforts such as water cooling and heightened inspection/replacement intervals; and b) that the ride system is incapable of safely containing cable failures when they do occur.

In the past, LSMs required too much peak power from the grid. But now Intamin is using a capacitor-based electrical storage system that reduces the peak power required from the power grid by 75%.

I wonder if we might see a retrofit on TTD. Simply take the cost of the LSM launch system and divide it by the average annual maintenance expense of the hydraulic system and you have your break-even point in years.

I have no idea what the numbers would be, but if the break-even point is within a reasonable number of years, I think it would make all the sense in the world to make the change.

Plus, there would be a safety benefit and well as the PR benefit of reduced downtime.

As it stands now, TTD is the only ride in the park where I have a legitimate concern that there is a remote yet very plausible possibility that I might be injured while riding due to a mechanical failure.

Interesting article about the new ride, including technical aspects of the launch system:

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 3:23 PM

Maybe that was subject of discussion during the Intamin visit? ;)

I'd love to see them cut the park a nice deal to get back in their good graces after the fiascos of Wicked Twister, Dragster, Maverick, and Shoot the Rapids.

Seems likely to get expensive though as I doubt the existing trains would be compatible without being heavily modified or replaced.

Last edited by MDOmnis, Tuesday, June 20, 2017 3:40 PM


Tuesday, June 20, 2017 3:27 PM

^Did Intamin recently visit CP?!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 3:39 PM



Tuesday, June 20, 2017 3:44 PM

Interesting. Too bad they didn't arrive a few months earlier. They could've had a nice photo-op on the then-empty former STR site.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 4:29 PM

LSM might be a good idea, but TTD has a longer train with more riders and is that 50 ft or so higher. I agree there might be some severe modifications to the train if it were to happen.

I noticed dispatch is a little faster on Red Force with no set up time before the launch. It's also interesting to note that even with 12 riders per train it has a listed capacity (RCDB) of 1200 riders per hour. TTD only lists 1000 with 18 riders per train. Which tells me one of two things. Either something is woefully inaccurate with those figures, or that TTD is so encumbered by the the mechanics that Red Force, even with only twelve passengers performs better. I don't recall what TTD's projected hourly capacity was before opening, but I bet it was higher than what was finally realized.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 5:18 PM

I think the best estimate for Dragster is one train every 45 seconds. That's at best 1440pph. Dropping to one train per minute reduces that to ~1000pph.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 5:59 PM
GL2CP's avatar

Take dragster out and solve the problems altogether. It's kinda ugly anyway.

First ride; Magnum 1994

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 9:46 PM

MDOmnis said:
Maybe that was subject of discussion during the Intamin visit? ;)

I'd love to see them cut the park a nice deal to get back in their good graces after the fiascos of Wicked Twister, Dragster, Maverick, and Shoot the Rapids.

Seems likely to get expensive though as I doubt the existing trains would be compatible without being heavily modified or replaced.

How was Maverick a fiasco?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 11:08 PM
Top_Thrill_Tyler's avatar

I thought I read (maybe from a RideMan article) that a big difference between the cable launch and LSMs/LIMs was the rate of acceleration. On Wicked Twister and Maverick, the rate of acceleration is greatest at the beginning of the launch and slowly tapers off, while the cable launch on TTD provides constant acceleration. If that's true, then if the cable launch were removed, wouldn't the launch track need to be extended to compensate for diminishing launch speed?

-Tyler A-

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 11:20 PM

Good question, but it seems LSM tech has come a long way. And the article states that Red Force goes from 0 -100 km/h in 2 secs and gets up to 180 km/h in under 5.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 11:26 PM

I've long thought it would be cool for them to extend dragster with several additional elements and much greater course length. The giant hill and propulsion mechanism being presumably the most expensive part of such a coaster, I would think they could have a helluva ride with a proportionally smaller investment.

Perhaps a more reliable, less costly, and safer launch system would make such an endeavor a much less risky proposition.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 11:58 PM

Maverick was to include an inversion. It was poorly designed and had to be removed. The public never got to ride and that, we understand, was nothing but a good thing.

One thing that Maverick has going against a speedy launch is gravity. If it's pulling at a constant speed up a steep hill, then gravity will have a gradual effect on its speed. But no worries, it's speed, from the "ground" to near the top is set so that it crests the hill nicely and makes it to the next block completely and safely. In my opinion, the launch design on Maverick is one of the things Intamin got right with the ride.
TTD has the advantages of length, angle, and speed of initial launch going for it. It has to propel the train 300 ft in the air, though, so even for it's length, it has to pull a lot more power and the final speed isn't attained until near the end of the run. It's stored energy which comes in a huge burst and doesn't seem to run out while it's still needed.
The two launches are completely different systems and the only thing they really have in common is the word "launch". More like apples and oranges to me.

So it would be especially intriguing if they were to switch from one to another at Cedar Point. Unlikely, maybe, but interesting to think about.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 8:14 AM

Maverick has proven to be an enjoyable, popular and successful ride in the long run, but as RCMAC said, it opened more than a month late and had to be modified at the last minute because one of the inversions proved to be too intense for the trains and/or the riders. It's reliability and capacity still aren't the best to this day, but overall, I'd call that one a success. I honestly would not call Dragster a success because of all the ill will it's caused over the years. It's a cool 17 second experience when it works, but it's been a constant battle to and probably a money pit as well to keep it running. And of course, no one is going to argue that STR was a success. :)

Someone was wondering on Coasterbuzz last night in the Lightning Rod thread (and I wonder the same), that in the age when everything is calculated so precisely ahead of time by computers and manufacturing is so presice, how are there so many rides that need to be modified, trimmed, etc from the get go? It makes sense it would have been this way 30 years ago when Ron Toomer was bending pipe cleaners to develop new elements, but not so much now.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017 9:35 AM
GL2CP's avatar

Id also call maverick a success. Also, I too have wondered why they have so many trims in today's world of coaster design. I would guess it's so they have just another safety feature in place to manage train speeds with all the forces in play. Plus people are all really big now so a heavier train could get moving pretty fast.

First ride; Magnum 1994

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 12:25 PM

1) Capacitors have a very low energy density, i.e. It takes a LOT of space to store the energy to launch a train using caps. That's why they use flywheels (Hulk et. al.)

2). Some rides include trims in the initial design. This can be to control the speed on different days, as the speed of the ride can vary from day to day.

Last edited by 0g, Wednesday, June 21, 2017 12:52 PM
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 12:30 PM
djDaemon's avatar

1) That's why, as explained in the article, Intamin uses supercapacitors.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017 12:50 PM

Now that it's clear I didn't read the article before my previous post: I'm surprised that Intamin was able to find capacitors capable of storing enough energy to launch the train, supercapacitor or not.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 1:01 PM
Jeff's avatar

Didn't we just have a discussion where someone quoted someone in a Q&A that using LIM/LSM technology would have required a much longer launch space to hit 120 mph?

I'm kind of surprised that they publicized the bits about Intamin visiting. It seems very self-serving, because I know a lot of companies are in no hurry to ever work with Intamin. I wonder if there wasn't some kind of deal brokered to discount on something new since Rapids failed.

Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 1:42 PM
Pete's avatar

That is what I am thinking also, and if a deal was brokered for a discount on something new, I hope it is something like THIS

Last edited by Pete, Wednesday, June 21, 2017 1:42 PM

I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks,
than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.


You must be logged in to post

POP Forums app ©2020, POP World Media, LLC - Terms of Service