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Vampire


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1 hour ago, SteveJ said:

Nostalgia but you didn't do it? I dont understand.

Old Vampire did look way better though!

The above video has somewhat managed to give me a screenshot of what the ride was like then and how it worked. The wording was an error on my part.

 

from what I have seen from the ‘original’ Vampire, it definitely appeared fo have a greater atmosphere amongst being more theatrical. 
 

I have done two suspended swingers with their original cars and whilst the swinging doesn’t seem significant it definitely has a more prominent appearance.

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I've always wondered why the other four Arrow swingers didn't convert to Vekoma trains. I imagine it's to do with the newer trains being slightly bigger as when Vampire was converted lots of ground work had to be completed to enable it to happen. 

 

Shout out to Vortex at Canadas Wonderland which is definitely the best swinger out there.

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There's some silly opinions here based on watching a video and not having ridden it.

 

The old trains were VASTLY superior, the new ones have nothing on them at all. They flicked out further, but more than that they swung when they were supposed to. The swinging is not an afterthought, the track was designed with a profile to match where the train would be swinging based on the way the cars swung. Hugely changing the design of the car, amending the weight, groupings, dampeners etc, means the cars aren't swinging where they should be by design, where flows best and makes the most of the track profile. The overall result is a ride which no longer flows properly at all.

 

If the choice really was new trains or close it then they did the right thing, but I struggle with that having been the case when others are still running the original trains so many years later. 

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52 minutes ago, pluk said:

There's some silly opinions here based on watching a video and not having ridden it.

 

The old trains were VASTLY superior, the new ones have nothing on them at all. They flicked out further, but more than that they swung when they were supposed to. The swinging is not an afterthought, the track was designed with a profile to match where the train would be swinging based on the way the cars swung. Hugely changing the design of the car, amending the weight, groupings, dampeners etc, means the cars aren't swinging where they should be by design, where flows best and makes the most of the track profile. The overall result is a ride which no longer flows properly at all.

 

If the choice really was new trains or close it then they did the right thing, but I struggle with that having been the case when others are still running the original trains so many years later. 

Presumably you're referring to me because the other poster stated they did ride both versions. I don't have an opinion, because I've not been on the original trains, I was just stating what I learnt from some people involved with the refurbishment or who knew Arrow, that the new trains were intended to reduce stress on the track. There might be others who have more insight into it.

I'm just interested to know from people who did it before and after if they noticed a difference. Most coaster fans Ive spoken to didnt, but if you did then that would be interesting to add to the picture.

Also Arrow never engineered their rides as meticulously as you're making out, they were famously bad at precision engineering or considering certain forces in the design. There was a lot of estimation and their rides often needed retracking. You can see these Arrow traits in how Vampire was engineered too if you look closely. So it's hard to believe there was that much thought put into the swinging 'flow' of the ride moment by moment, enough to make a big difference to the guest experience anyway. With more damped cars they're gonna swing smoother and more fluently, but maybe some dead spots (which Vampire does have)

Also if you look at other Arrow swingers around the world, Vampire is one of the few left (nearly 20 years after it almost shut own for good), suggesting changing to Vekoma trains did save it after all!

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42 minutes ago, BritishThemeParkArch said:

Also Arrow never engineered their rides as meticulously as you're making out, they were famously bad at precision engineering or considering certain forces in the design. There was a lot of estimation and their rides often needed retracking. 

Not to be pedantic, but surely most rides in these eras had a lot of estimation? The powers of computer and simulations have come a long way, and I imagine many designers and manufacturers were using simpler models than we have today.

 

Arrow might have been a more regular offender, but your comment here makes it out like they were significant worse than others, which perhaps isn't the fairest statement to make.

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I think each Arrow suspended coaster is its own case tbh. They are dying out, and I would not be surprised if Vampire was forced to run with the new Vekoma trains or close completely. Like Iron Dragon is still operating yes, but that ride is much more tame and I could imagine that ride doesn't put much stress on the track at all.

 

Vortex, Bat, and Ninja obviously still operate despite seemingly being as intense or if not more intense on the track, though obviously this could be due to a variety of reasons and each coaster I bet has its own set of circumstances which means one size does not fit all

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15 hours ago, JoshC. said:

Arrow might have been a more regular offender, but your comment here makes it out like they were significant worse than others, which perhaps isn't the fairest statement to make.

Exactly, a more regular offender, I don't think my comment was suggesting anything more than that, they were well known to have issues.

Yes of course there was a lot more estimation in those days all round, that's not my point though in regards to the engineering of the swing

Does anyone here remember the old trains and how they compare? It would be interesting to hear

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3 hours ago, BritishThemeParkArch said:

Exactly, a more regular offender, I don't think my comment was suggesting anything more than that, they were well known to have issues.

Yes of course there was a lot more estimation in those days all round, that's not my point though in regards to the engineering of the swing

Does anyone here remember the old trains and how they compare? It would be interesting to hear

 

I don't think there's going to be any reliable eye-witnesses here, we're talking about trains that left two decades ago now. I remember riding it but I couldn't tell you with any pin-point accuracy what it was truly like, all I have to go on is riding similar like Vortex, Ninja and Iron Dragon and how those trains ride. I much prefer the Arrow trains to the Vekoma ones.

 

Vampire is a somewhat unique case as its pacing is all over the place anyway whereas Vortex and Ninja in particular don't have that issue. The older trains have a more erratic feel to them. 

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I guess ultimately it would always be down to opinion anyway as I find the opposite to Mark 9.

 

I rode it many times in its previous format always remembered them seeming great at the time, but having ridden The Bat and Iron Dragon, I found them to be both fairly dull (although The Bat was by far the better of the two)

 

Having come back and ridden Vampire just 6 days later I felt the floorless trains were better all round bar the look/theme. Again just my opinion.

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On 4/19/2020 at 7:53 PM, BritishThemeParkArch said:

Presumably you're referring to me because the other poster stated they did ride both versions. I don't have an opinion, because I've not been on the original trains, I was just stating what I learnt from some people involved with the refurbishment or who knew Arrow, that the new trains were intended to reduce stress on the track. There might be others who have more insight into it.

I'm just interested to know from people who did it before and after if they noticed a difference. Most coaster fans Ive spoken to didnt, but if you did then that would be interesting to add to the picture.

Also Arrow never engineered their rides as meticulously as you're making out, they were famously bad at precision engineering or considering certain forces in the design. There was a lot of estimation and their rides often needed retracking. You can see these Arrow traits in how Vampire was engineered too if you look closely. So it's hard to believe there was that much thought put into the swinging 'flow' of the ride moment by moment, enough to make a big difference to the guest experience anyway. With more damped cars they're gonna swing smoother and more fluently, but maybe some dead spots (which Vampire does have)

Also if you look at other Arrow swingers around the world, Vampire is one of the few left (nearly 20 years after it almost shut own for good), suggesting changing to Vekoma trains did save it after all!

Sorry, I didn't mean it to be so directly at you, I've probably mixed up a bit of what you were saying and Matt said about the video even though he wasn't really refering to the trains, and it's something I hear relatively frequently from people who never got to ride the original. I'm surprised to hear you say people who did actually ride it give you the same opinion.

 

While they didn't have any of the modern CAD at their disposal I think it's selling arrow a bit short to think they wouldn't have a damn good idea of how the train would behave on the track they designed for it. They certainly would have been able to anticipate the speed of the trains and the swing a section of track would produce and then how the train would react to that fairly precisely, and that was borne out in how the original ride flowed.

 

POV videos do not give any sense of how a ride actually feels, how the forces apply to your body; some of the highest rated coasters on the world look as dull as anything on YouTube. Even so, I think the differences of footage from the original compared to the current are very telling.

 

The weight and behaviour of the old trains meant they held their trajectory coming out of corners for longer, and as the train came back towards the central position it was starting it's move out the other way in a natural flow. Now the train swings out and returns to the center, there's a little meandering, then the track catches up and sends it out the other way. It's all disjointed and doesn't flow properly giving a vastly inferior ride.

 

While don't doubt that the point of the change of the trains was to save the ride and it'd have been gone without it, I'm just not sure that decision was based on good adding up. Some of the ones that do survive are substantially bigger and more forceful than Vampire ever was, which does indicate proper maintenance of the track was/is a viable and cost effective alternative.

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On 4/21/2020 at 1:42 PM, pluk said:

The weight and behaviour of the old trains meant they held their trajectory coming out of corners for longer, and as the train came back towards the central position it was starting it's move out the other way in a natural flow. Now the train swings out and returns to the center, there's a little meandering, then the track catches up and sends it out the other way. It's all disjointed and doesn't flow properly giving a vastly inferior ride.

Yeah this is what I was trying to say in my original post that the magnitude of the swing might not be more or less but that the swings were less dampened and therefore probably felt more thrilling and noticeable. I'm sure there was a difference but there doesn't seem to be much consensus with coaster fans over what the difference is (including a couple uber coaster fans who've done all the swingers in the world)

I do feel like Vampire has dead spots and the swing isn't all that noticeable today but as you say,  can't really tell if this was always the case from a few old VHS clips. 

Overall it seems whatever the swinging lost was made up for by having the floorless trains. The much bigger limitation with Vampire has always the layout with not much height for drops and fast turns. Still a great family coaster though and unique for its location

Also apparently Arrow were worse than their Swiss counterparts back in the day, their technique for bending steel wasn't as advanced resulting in some nasty transitions, but this isn't really relevant to swinging coasters I guess. I'm not trying to portray Arrow badly, but their engineering was rough round the edges (literally!)

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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...

We went last week which allowed me to take my son on the ride, some 31 years after I first went on it.

 

Last time I was at CWoA they were still doing a half-way decent job of running 3 trains (as good as the absolutely daft slow "park" procedure in the station would allow) so to see how absolutely appalling the operations are these days was quite shocking. I actually thought initially they were only running one train as the dispatch times were that slow. 

 

The queue that was there would have taken a max of 25min in the ride's heyday, instead of which it was posted at 120-150min all day... Even on 2 trains the original ride wouldn't have likely breached 45min with that many people in the queue. 

 

The station was ok - good to see the organist moving again, and the lighting package was a bit better... It just looks so bare though. 

 

The ride was running a bit better than I remember, though still "shuffling" a lot. 

 

It's just a bit sad to see the ride in what is effectively quite a neglected state when it is very obviously still all these years later one of the park's main attractions. I know they won't ever bring back the old trains but surely a bit of engineering work to improve the efficiency and making sure that the ride is staffed properly with a crew that are motivated would be worth doing? 

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28 minutes ago, Dr S said:

We went last week which allowed me to take my son on the ride, some 31 years after I first went on it.

 

Last time I was at CWoA they were still doing a half-way decent job of running 3 trains (as good as the absolutely daft slow "park" procedure in the station would allow) so to see how absolutely appalling the operations are these days was quite shocking. I actually thought initially they were only running one train as the dispatch times were that slow. 

 

The queue that was there would have taken a max of 25min in the ride's heyday, instead of which it was posted at 120-150min all day... Even on 2 trains the original ride wouldn't have likely breached 45min with that many people in the queue. 

 

The station was ok - good to see the organist moving again, and the lighting package was a bit better... It just looks so bare though. 

 

The ride was running a bit better than I remember, though still "shuffling" a lot. 

 

It's just a bit sad to see the ride in what is effectively quite a neglected state when it is very obviously still all these years later one of the park's main attractions. I know they won't ever bring back the old trains but surely a bit of engineering work to improve the efficiency and making sure that the ride is staffed properly with a crew that are motivated would be worth doing? 

Following on from incidents, I cant remember pre or post smiler, they wont run 3 trains anymore, I believe its block related and possible for a minor bump between trains if all 3 end up in station/waiting/ brake run due to a delay.

 

there was talk of up grading the brake system a while back to prevent the 3rd train meeting the waiting block. However it didnt materialise due to cost/ other reasons.

 

as such merlin wont risk an incident like that however minor again, resulting in 2 train ops.

 

there is no longer any rush/effort to load quickly, more slowly and safely 

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Erm. The third train wouldn't get to the brakes if there was a train there as it'd stop on the second lift. Used to be that the system might panic or due to having to do a standing start the train might not have made it to the right point in the brakes and would stop dead.

 

Given the speed it enters that brake run I don't think any collision would be considered minor.

 

They stopped running 3 trains long before Smiler happened (before it even opened in fact). The 20 second time frame to load the trains didn't really suit the park's then direction of guest interaction at the deficit of throughput (I am once again raging about your staff asking me to "flap my wings like a dragon" rather than dispatching the actual car).

 

Vampire could probably do with another upgrade tbh. Especially with Vekoma being in a better place.

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