Where are the buckets you ride in kept in the winter? How do they get them up and on the cable? Where is the cable kept and how is that put on?
The Sky Ride is a detachable chairlift, which is to say the chairs/buckets come off the main travel cables when they come into the station to facilitate boarding, as opposed to a fixed chairlift where there's no separate loading cable/rail and you best move your butt when the chair comes around or you're getting knocked over.
Newer detachable lifts have either pusher wheels or a separate cable to move the cars slowly around the turn, while the Sky Ride is of the older generation where the cars have to be manually pushed around before latching back on the travel cable in the other direction. IIRC most of the lifts of this sort have a sort of transfer track/railroad switch type mechanism where the cars come off the travel cable in the stations that lets them be removed completely.
I think the cables stay on the line all year but I could be wrong, that being said I've yet to see an actual ski lift take down the cables outside of major refurbishment or maintenance.
The cable stays there year-round. I would imagine that it's replaced on some frequency, but I don't know what that is. It's a pretty involved process to splice it together. Here's an example I found, though there's no narration to explain what they're doing.
There was a thread here on PointBuzz on cable replacement back in 2005, I believe. I don't know how often the cable is replaced.
I saw a photo from Winter Chill Out that showed Skyride cars resting on the pavement under the awning of the games building.
I know they used to be stored in the picnic shelters. Granted, this was like 40 years ago.
1974: Catering Slave for Interstate United
1975-77: Catering Manager for Cedar Point
Over the years I worked at the park I feel like they would get moved around year to year in regards to where they were stored. I have seen them stored in both locations mentioned above as well as surrounding each SkyRide Station, around the midway planters, in the SkyRide Station, the parking lot, and near the old Dodgem location. Just depends on where they have space for that particular off-season.
This is probably the best picture that shows the spur track where the cabins are stored each night. It is to the right of that blue ladder. This is also a point in which they can remove cabins for maintenance in the off season.
Gotta wonder if that was an orange ladder before they started working on the Sky Ride building. 8-)
The storage track for the other station actually extends out beyond the end of the building and in fact I think the work platform is normally stored there, out in the open. The cabins merely rest on the track, so once outside the building, anything that can lift the cabin could lift it a few inches to get the wheels clear of the track, then move laterally far enough to get clear of the rail, then drop straight down. Assuming a unit that lifts high enough, a forklift with a standard wooden pallet would probably work very nicely...and once down the cabin could easily be secured to the pallet for ease of further transportation.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
/X\ *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
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