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Big One Re-Tracking @Pleasure Beach

Matt N

Strata Poster
Excellent news; the ending was probably one of the Big One’s roughest sections before, so I’m glad to see that it should hopefully be smoother from here on out!

I think bit-by-bit, this retrack will have a profound impact on the Big One’s overall ride experience for the better, and really bring it back to where it was in its prime smoothness-wise!
 

CrashCoaster

Strata Poster
^Yeah that tunnel was imo the roughest part of the ride previously.

Also, I've heard the coaster is running a LOT faster through the second half now, and that the MCBR is barely slowing the train down. And of course, that the second half is smoother. I just really hope they sort out the main turnaround now because that thing is shaky af, even if this would be the third iteration of that turnaround.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
^Yeah that tunnel was imo the roughest part of the ride previously.

Also, I've heard the coaster is running a LOT faster through the second half now, and that the MCBR is barely slowing the train down. And of course, that the second half is smoother. I just really hope they sort out the main turnaround now because that thing is shaky af, even if this would be the third iteration of that turnaround.
I also think that some of the valleys between the hills are quite rough, as well as the turnaround that you mentioned, although admittedly this is based on my last ride in 2019, before they even retracked that first section of the ride.

Controversially, I’d also say that the first drop is a bit too rough for my liking in the back few rows, and could perhaps do with a minor reprofile if Blackpool were so inclined to call Taziker back after they’ve done the other areas.
 

CrashCoaster

Strata Poster
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Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Shame the coaster is still stuck with its triangular hills and wheels-on-the-inside track. I know the park would never be able to afford it, but what The Big One could really need would be a complete overhaul of the track profiling along its entire layout.
 

CrashCoaster

Strata Poster
^I don't think there is a difference in having the guide wheels on the outside or the inside of the track when it comes to smoothness, I can think of plenty of very smooth coasters with them on the inside. I think the reason we associate rougher rides with wheels-on-the-inside track is purely because of Arrow and Vekoma's bad track quality and profiling, especially since it's them who mostly produced that type of track (on steel coasters at least). If they made coasters with the wheels on the outside, I have absolutely no doubt they would still ride like ****.
 
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Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
It's probably more down to the more recent adoption of sprung loaded wheel assemblies, more than location of the wheels inside and out. Combine that with more accurate track manufacturing techniques and I suspect the "wheels-inside vs wheels-outside" debate is a little redundant now.
 

Dar

Hyper Poster
Also RMC coasters have there wheels on the inside!
I think in a perfect world with an unlimited budget, the best thing that could be done would be a big one RMC conversion, now that would be epic!!!
Why RMC and not Chance, who have a proven record of polishing Arrow turds?

Don't get me wrong, I'm still all in on RMC Dipper and Nash though /j /s

I think an easier improvement would be changing the trains so it's not trying to shift a fridge through each transition. Each car has two axles, with no articulation between them, instead of one axle per trailered section for some reason. Arrow got that right on the looping coasters, so god knows why they didn't carry it through to the hypers!

You'd probably lose a couple rows from the trains, but you'd hope new trains would come with a refurb of the control system so they wouldn't need to keep one train locked away on calm days!
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
Why RMC and not Chance, who have a proven record of polishing Arrow turds?

Don't get me wrong, I'm still all in on RMC Dipper and Nash though /j /s

I think an easier improvement would be changing the trains so it's not trying to shift a fridge through each transition. Each car has two axles, with no articulation between them, instead of one axle per trailered section for some reason. Arrow got that right on the looping coasters, so god knows why they didn't carry it through to the hypers!

You'd probably lose a couple rows from the trains, but you'd hope new trains would come with a refurb of the control system so they wouldn't need to keep one train locked away on calm days!
I think the reason why Arrow didn’t do the same axle design on the hyper coasters as they did on the looping coasters was because when they designed Magnum XL-200, their initial hyper coaster, they essentially upscaled the company’s mine train design and used that as a template to design the hyper coaster with.

For all intents and purposes, Arrow hyper coasters are essentially just massively upscaled Arrow mine trains, from a technical standpoint. That’s why the hypers have the 3-row cars as opposed to the 2-row cars that a lot of Arrow’s later (relatively speaking) coasters had.
 

toofpikk

Mega Poster
For all intents and purposes, Arrow hyper coasters are essentially just massively upscaled Arrow mine trains, from a technical standpoint. That’s why the hypers have the 3-row cars as opposed to the 2-row cars that a lot of Arrow’s later (relatively speaking) coasters had.

Matt, I just thought I’d pitch in and say this is the best damn comment I’ve ever seen you post on this forum. Never thought of Arrow hypers like this before and I feel like my brain has just imploded over this simple statement.

Good job.
 
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Steely Dan

Roller Poster
I think the reason why Arrow didn’t do the same axle design on the hyper coasters as they did on the looping coasters was because when they designed Magnum XL-200, their initial hyper coaster, they essentially upscaled the company’s mine train design and used that as a template to design the hyper coaster with.

For all intents and purposes, Arrow hyper coasters are essentially just massively upscaled Arrow mine trains, from a technical standpoint. That’s why the hypers have the 3-row cars as opposed to the 2-row cars that a lot of Arrow’s later (relatively speaking) coasters had.
Yeah, I think mine-train -> Magnum is essentially correct, with a couple of evolutionary steps along the way.

First in 1972, you had Astroworld's Excalibur, which literally was a mine-train, but scaled way up to nearly 90' tall and with 100% steel supports in lieu of the more typical wood support structures seen on most arrow mine-trains.

And then in 1978, along came CP's somewhat odd-ball Gemini, which is based on mine train systems, but with a layout and elements more in line with traditional wood coasters (just as with most of the hypers), and scaled all the way up to 125' (a near world record at the time).

There is also Valleyfair's Excalibur, which is another wood structure/larger-scaled/more traditional layout odd-ball that blurs the lines a bit, like Gemini, but it opened in '89, the same year as Magnum, so not really an evolutionary predecessor.

Anyway, on topic, I've never had the opportunity to ride Big One, but it's nice to see Blackpool continue to invest in their old Arrow hyper to help improve it and keep it around a while longer. (Full disclosure, I'm a huge Magnum and Phantom's Revenge fan, so big old arrow hypers will always have a soft spot in my heart, even if time and technology have passed them by).
 
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Ethan

Strata Poster
The mine train/hyper comparison is spot on. Both similar in design and, in The Big One's case, equally as dull! Nice observation though Matt, never even made the connection in my head until you said it!
 

CrashCoaster

Strata Poster
I'm quite surprised no-one seems to have made that connection before, I honestly thought it was somewhat obvious the Hyper was somewhat based on the Mine Train? Especially since Magnum opened with upstop pads instead of wheels, like most of the Mine Trains built at the time, on top of the fact the restraints, chassis and cars in general are virtually identical.
 

Dar

Hyper Poster
I'm pretty sure they mention it in the ACE Arrow documentary, I was being more rhetorical than anything. It's just another example of Arrow's cost-saving stopping their rides from going from OK to decent!
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
I should clarify that I didn’t think that up myself; I did hear from somewhere that the mine train design is actually what Arrow used as a template to design their hyper coaster model with!

Another fun, on-topic fact for you all, if you’re in the mood; did you know that Ron Toomer actually used a coat hanger to design the Big One’s hills?
 
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