Thanks so much for posting North Coaster. This "Concept Art" has been a true mystery for me for years. Its so cool to hear the back story and your passion for kicking the bee hive.
Im a big fan of hoax artists. One of my favorite podcasts is all about a hoax artists, sending people on a wild goose chase. Finding Drago. Worth a listen.
The Crystal Method is the only way to find The Winner!
I would think that the design of the track is owned by Intamin and thus cannot be replicated by another firm.
The following is an educated guess based upon my knowledge in another parallel area.
I would think there is no protected IP in the track design, assuming it isn't patented.
Courts have decided that electronic circuit designs aren't copyrightable.
See the following case:
Mackie Designs Inc v. Behringer Specialised studio equipment (UK) Ltd, Ulrich Bernhard Behringer & Behringer Spezielle Studiotechnik GmbH.
Behringer is a pro audio equipment manufacturer that built a career on reverse engineering and copying hit products from other manufacturers, and selling those products at a drastically reduced price, which they were able to do because they had virtually no R&D cost to recoup compared to the OEM.
Mackie sued them for offering near clones of their audio mixing consoles, with only minor differentiation.
I would guess that equivalent legal doctrine would apply to track design. If there isn't anything patentable and patented, It can probably be replicated by a third party.
Auto parts stores probably wouldn't exist (except maybe in China) if this weren't the case.
Now, RMC's i-box track did meet the criteria to be awarded a patent, and is in fact patented, so if, hypothetically, CP wanted to hire a third party to re-work SV track, this wouldn't fly at least until the patent expires.
US patents expire 20 years after original application I believe, so in the event that Intamin patented their track design (which I don't think is the case) it would ostensibly be expired by now, assuming the validity window isn't different due to any possible difference in patent law in Intamin's Swiss home turf.
A new manufacturer wouldn’t need to copy the entire Intamin track design, just match the track gauge and rail circumference. For years Phantom’s Revenge had two entirely different track styles merged together seamlessly.
I mentioned this many pages back, but I would guess that the biggest concern would be liability. I would guess that Intamin has some clause in the contract requiring Intamin trains to be run, and if Cedar Point doesn’t run Intamin trains Intamin is absolved of liability if something goes wrong.
So I decided to check into Trademarks to see if I could stumble upon a nugget of info...
The only recent trademark Cedar Point has is Cedar Point Boardwalk. I noticed historicay CP registers their trademarks the fall before attractions open.
To me, that says the new experience probably wont open next year.
In recent years, Cedar Point has waited until the day of the announcement to register the TM so the surprise doesn't get spoiled.
Edit: Pictures I saw on fb today show the sections of track that are off site being loaded into large shipping containers.
A recently posted YouTube video would lead me to believe that the station gates and railings have all been removed and that some removed track pieces are being loaded in overseas shipping containers.
I’d suspect that the likes of RMC, Premier, and S&S are not involved with the project. And that the trains will either be replaced or reconfigured (longer/shorter).
Overseas shipping containers is odd... what needs to be done with the track overseas that can't be done here?
@PyroKinesis09 - While those type of containers are also used for overseas shipments, they are also used on trains and semi trucks. I've seen that particular shipping company's containers on trains in the middle of the country... so it is clear that their use isn't a definitive sign the track is being shipped overseas.
Getting back to the different manufacturer question, doesn't Mack make track similar to Intamin?
I'm back! Still the biggest Rougarou fan you'll ever meet. ;)
So it appears they are done removing track, which isn't surprising if we assume a new launch is coming along with updated controls. The more surprising development is that track is apparently being shipped overseas. Perhaps Intamin has interest in seeing how the track has held up? Or it's going elsewhere to be fitted with new hardware?
The only picture I saw of the supposed loading onto shipping containers was very poor quality and honestly looked like it could have been old enough to be from the original install in 2002. Has there been other proof of this that I have missed?
There are several pictures on FB showing quite clearly old, weathered TTD track being loaded into Hapag-Lloyd shipping containers from CP's Amazement Shop, where the track has been staged since being removed from the park.
I heard someone mention somewhere (here, there, anywhere...I can't remember) that queue lines had also been removed. I can confirm this is not the case. The station itself is of course completely gutted, and all the aforementioned track is gone, the ride queue itself is untouched. Sitting on the left side of Iron Dragon gives you a great view while going up the second lift.
The still-standing supports look like some type of coaster memorial to what once was. From yesterday:
Promoter of fog.
The fact that the crane is gone, track being shipped out, station gutted but the supports still remain just reinforces the probability that major layout changes aren't in the works imo.
Agreed, all of this is subject to change but here is what the current evidence is pointing to:
1) New Launch and Braking system with the layout the same ( supports and tophat still in the same place).
2) New Queue Entrance -(markings on ground closer to ID)
3) Some of the queue will be rerouted and new queue sections will be where current transfer tracks were (both supports and transfer track were removed. I speculate the new transfer track will be moved further down closer to top hat. )
4) Same Station - just gates and track are removed as the rest of the station remain in place.
5) New Trains - Gates in Station removed. They would need to be changed for new trains.
6) Race Car theme remains - Starting lights and Finish line were left in place while track was surgically removed around them.