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Daniel.S313

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Monday was the first time Slammers actually ran on the final day of the season.

That is my favourite stat ever!

There is no excuse for single train operation outside of breakdowns imo at any time there is a queue. Whether it is the case or not that hey are doing it deliberately, if they are generating a 30 min queue on dead days and selling fast track, people are going to question their motives.

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Wasn't that the point of Stealth having 3 trains after Rita was deemed awful?

So still running 1 train on empty days... Why do Towers run 2 on empty days then? I don't get why Thorpe seem to love making people queue so much when queueing means spending less money, especially problematic on empty days when a few things (retail/food outlets) aren't open anyways...

Le sigh, Thorpe need to go on some guest relations course over the winter, because it's their biggest flaw...

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simple question is why don't they have three train on these main rides, if one is out of action, which seems to happen all too often, then guests don't experience mega queues.

Whilst its a nice idea its quite an expensive way to do things, to be fair its only Colossus effected by a broken train but thats not somthing what happens very often.

Wasn't that the point of Stealth having 3 trains after Rita was deemed awful?

Stealth was running 2 trains the night before and running till 10:30 the so I'm sure the trains were fine :P

So still running 1 train on empty days... Why do Towers run 2 on empty days then? I don't get why Thorpe seem to love making people queue so much when queueing means spending less money, especially problematic on empty days when a few things (retail/food outlets) aren't open anyways...

My friends who went to towers on the sunday (fireworks) said by the end of the day (when I expect the queues would be more like thorpes were all day) Air was running one station with a train starting to be stripped, similar thing to what thorpe were doing but thorpe did it all day because it was so dead.

I'm sure you know from working at a park, if we take inferno for instance, it probably peaked at 30 mins or so at the busiest part of the day, for no longer than an hour, for the rest of the day it was walk on, if inferno had been on 2 trains all day it would of avoided that "peak" queue, but they would of been sending around pretty much empty trains alot of the day

Dont get me wrong, id love things on 2 trains every day even when there are no queues to get on more, but I can see why there not. I'm not sure it can save that much money even really?

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I don't see why they're not at all - they save next to no money (maybe a whole one extra member of staff), yet make a huge impact on a guests day.

A manager stated to me reason why they don't do it, or takes a while is because it takes 3hrs to check a train. Not an excuse in my opinion, if towers can manage with exactly same opening hours (ala last couple of weeks of season), then thorpe can definitely do it.

As for Air - they'dve got that wrong. It was open 2 stations, 3 crafts majority of the day. Only reason one station would be down and a train "stripped" is due to a locking pin error. It happens almost daily on that ride, where they have to remove the hiberglass off one of the rows to remove and change the pin. It was on full capacity by end of the day. They don't do any stripping of any crafts whatsoever in the stations for winter work.

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I think comparing Thorpe to Alton doesn't work for anything anymore. The operations time and time again are on par and mostly a lot better at Alton.

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I don't see why they're not at all - they save next to no money (maybe a whole one extra member of staff), yet make a huge impact on a guests day.

To be fair on Monday there was probably enough staff to run rides on 2 trains if needed.

A manager stated to me reason why they don't do it, or takes a while is because it takes 3hrs to check a train. Not an excuse in my opinion, if towers can manage with exactly same opening hours (ala last couple of weeks of season), then thorpe can definitely do it.

To be fair over Fright nights quite often they opened at 9:30 and closed at 10, stealth was still going round at 10:30 or somthing on sunday with staff! Although this is probably not so much of a reason as they did manage it before

As for Air - they'dve got that wrong. It was open 2 stations, 3 crafts majority of the day. Only reason one station would be down and a train "stripped" is due to a locking pin error. It happens almost daily on that ride, where they have to remove the hiberglass off one of the rows to remove and change the pin. It was on full capacity by end of the day. They don't do any stripping of any crafts whatsoever in the stations for winter work.

Fair enough :P

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Really, this is all be coming quite out of hand. On the quieter days throughout the season, the engineers decide to take trains into a maintenance season.. for example on Stealth it would be, Monday - Train 1 Tuesday - Train 2 Wednesday - Train 1 and so forth, this helps them ensure that the trains will be in tip top condition for the peak days I.E Friday, Saturday, Sunday so both trains have equal maintenance Monday to Thursday.

Colossus, unfortunately has suffered some severe issues in the train and (to my knowledge, regularly working on the ride) was not caused by a mobile phone. However the severity did mean the train could not be operable for the remainder of the season. The park did not have the ride on 1 train to annoy people, the last thing the park would want would be to make people queue 3 hours over Fright Nights for Colossus.

This goes for any day throughout the season, if the ride needs the second train then the relevant procedures will be commenced (unless of course the train is having work done). If the park feel it is not necessary for the ride to have a second train then they will not. Like previously said if the park has a high gate figure and the queue is excessive the engineering department will work on getting a second train onto the circuit.

On Monday, the last day of season second trains were really not that necessary in my opinion, by 3pm Colossus was going around half empty Stealth had nobody in the queue and it was probably the same for SAW - The Ride, Nemesis Inferno and The Swarm. The same go for X:/ No Way Out, it has been running 3 trains for quite some time now whilst the other trains have returned to Vekoma for special maintenance. The ride can cope on 3 trains in the quieter days but in the given season if necessary and with the possibility to do so, the fourth train would of been brought out.

Can I take this opportunity to say that rides being on lower capacity has nothing to do with Fastrack. Probably should take this over to Closed Rides or an appropriate topic.

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I've also been told that on the same day they were running things on reduced capacity (ie Inferno on one train) to try and generate queues for people to pay their way out of even though the park was dead. If that is the case (which with fast track sales points open would seem likely) then it really is disgusting behaviour.

'Disgusting' is a bit much, it's not like on the quieter days they use staff to badger you at every entrance to buy it like they might on busier days (or at least I've only ever seen that on busier days). Also if it really was that dead, the extra waiting time to the main queue caused by fastrack would be minimal at best, so it's hardly affecting anyone that badly.

Can't believe I find myself fighting Marc's corner so often these days. ;)

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I understand maintenance has to be done, but the whole point of going on a weekday is that the queues will be non-existent and you get lots of rides in. Several times this year we have been during the week and found the queues have been no better on a Monday/Tuesday than a Sunday, which for quests is very frustrating.

Anyway we have a few months to chill before the next season, who's off to the Winter Wonderland...

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Well without sounding rude or anything but one of the main objectives of the park is to increase guest numbers throughout the week rather than on a weekend! It would be ludicrous to go to 'the nations thrill capital' and not expect their to be any queues. As previously said, if the ride is busy enough the second train will be brought out. However 9 times out of 10 as soon as the second train comes out of the shed the queues becomes non-existent and then you have struggled to fill the seats when maintenance can be carried out.

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Maybe it wouldn't be a problem if the parks were quicker at getting trains on and off. If the queue for Inferno and The Swarm jumped to 30 minutes at a certain time then get the second train out for that period. Once the queue has been suitably killed, get the train off quickly. All the Merlin parks take their sweet time doing anything with the rides when really it should be a smooth and speedy operation. If Katun can get a second train on in 20 seconds with only two staff members then Inferno should be able to as well frankly.

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I'm sure you know from working at a park, if we take inferno for instance, it probably peaked at 30 mins or so at the busiest part of the day, for no longer than an hour, for the rest of the day it was walk on, if inferno had been on 2 trains all day it would of avoided that "peak" queue, but they would of been sending around pretty much empty trains alot of the day

Dont get me wrong, id love things on 2 trains every day even when there are no queues to get on more, but I can see why there not. I'm not sure it can save that much money even really?

I worked at a park where if it's main coaster was on one train, it was perhaps the most pointless thing I've ever seen in my life... It happened once I think, and I found it incredibly amusing and stupid, as everyone getting off wanted to re-ride, but they couldn't because of the one train operation...

So what if a queue only peaks at 30 minutes for about an hour if that? I don't really see it as an excuse for only running the one train when it's easily doable for two (I accept it when the train is borked, like with Colossus), but it's all about guest experience, and having queues on empty days (where people go NOT expecting queue) AND to sell Fastrack on these days is a real example of how out of touch Thorpe are with being able to give a GOOD guest experience at times...

As Mark says above though, the problem is how long it takes staff to get the second train in, it averages about 10-20 minutes at times for them to even get it in with a full staff number, imagine our shock when Katun's TWO members of staff (including op) suddenly out of nowhere brought out the second train even though they didn't really need it yet... Big difference there, especially when they cycled it once and then loaded it... Hell, when Thorpe put a second train on, it's announced as a breakdown, so that makes people actually leave the queue... What's the point in that?

Thorpe is also getting busier on weekdays because of the target market's tendancy to have a few days off due to college/uni timetables, so they're needing to put two trains on more regularly at least, but they don't seem to be doing it... And because of the guest mentality that off peak days are empty (it is there), having lower operations causing longer queues and of course the random day of selling Fastrack, it doesn't lend well to a good overall day... And annoyed guests don't spend money or come back... Especially if they've already spent their money on buying Fastrack...

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I hate the excuses for thorpe one train - it's not required, it's not needed. They seemingly never are doing any maintenance with the other train. It's just sitting there.

They're aiming at guests going during offpeak times, yes. So is towers. Do you see towers running one train Nemesis? Air runs one station until the queue is 20mins, to which point they'll open the other station making it full capacity with no queue - only time they don't do this is if one station is borked. Oblivion is the only one which can go slow when running "one station" but at least that's one ride, still capable of getting 960pph (16 riders every minute), rather than all of thorpes rides.

Guest satisfaction and enjoyment should be number one here. Thorpe rarely, if ever, seemingly grasps this concept. It's such an embarrassment for the merlin portfolio.

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Really, this is all be coming quite out of hand. On the quieter days throughout the season, the engineers decide to take trains into a maintenance season.. for example on Stealth it would be, Monday - Train 1 Tuesday - Train 2 Wednesday - Train 1 and so forth, this helps them ensure that the trains will be in tip top condition for the peak days I.E Friday, Saturday, Sunday so both trains have equal maintenance Monday to Thursday.

Colossus, unfortunately has suffered some severe issues in the train and (to my knowledge, regularly working on the ride) was not caused by a mobile phone.

A little knowledge can mean the message poster gets a very different viewpoint.........I understand that Stealth has three trains, not two.

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I'm just going to throw this one out here, fastrack or no fastrack running reduced capacity of rides is a bit pointless unless it's the start of a day(not ideal) or end of the day. That was it deals with the 'hour peak' queue and the 'barely there' queue.

As for the trains, in a nutshell, Colossus is broked others aren't. There is nothing that would make a train go in for maintenance early unless it broke.

Just basically summing up what everyone's saying, so fastrack?

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Maybe it wouldn't be a problem if the parks were quicker at getting trains on and off. If the queue for Inferno and The Swarm jumped to 30 minutes at a certain time then get the second train out for that period. Once the queue has been suitably killed, get the train off quickly. All the Merlin parks take their sweet time doing anything with the rides when really it should be a smooth and speedy operation. If Katun can get a second train on in 20 seconds with only two staff members then Inferno should be able to as well frankly.

100% agree with this, would solve most issues they have with things on 1 train.

Guest satisfaction and enjoyment should be number one here. Thorpe rarely, if ever, seemingly grasps this concept. It's such an embarrassment for the merlin portfolio.

I'm sure if other visitors to Thorpe agree this will show up on its KPI's and they will do somthing to tackle this.

Disagree they never grasp the concept though, the amount of times theyve extended park hours/ opened early this year even when its not really needed goes down a treat with guests.

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I'm gonna try and put my two-cents in here, as I am siding with Tinie.

On Inferno for example; seeing as its such a hot topic; the ride team will be informed the train availability at the start of the day. This could be anything from, opening on one with train two available on request; train one with train two in booked maintenance; or two trains. On many occasions I recall adding the second train on to Inferno at request, which engineering would only realistically consider if the queue on one train was beyond the fast-track merge point. However, if the train is in booked maintenance - then there is nothing the ride team can do to add the second train on, even if no maintenance is being carried out. Equally as stated; there is rough restrictions that teams have to follow if a ride opens on one and would like the second.

I would also like to state that on a two-train service which is very common on Inferno (which, anyone would be a fool to argue with me about) it requires a minimum of three platforming staff, and where possible a fourth member to open the Fastrack merge point should the queue be in the cattle grid. However, Inferno often runs with three platforming regardless.

I respect everyone on these forums, and I respect everyone's views, but I want to highlight to the likes of Benin that the control over trains is rarely controlled by staff; and equally the staff do not add the trains on and off the circuit - engineering do. All the ride team do is run the ride clear of guests, inform people a train is being added or removed, and Engineering carry out the rest.

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Bringing this topic back to Fastrack related things a bit more...

After a bit more Mathsy working out which can be found on my blog (waits for a 'You have too much free time on your hands' comment ;)), the way Thorpe operate their Fastrack system means that the time spent waiting in the main queue increases by 50% when Fastrack is in use. So, a 90 minute queue ends up being a 2 hour 15 minute queue (in the case of Swarm in particular).

Personally, I think the system they've got could do with improving. Then again, Fastrack in general can probably do with improving, so that's no surprise really. It does indeed go to show that no matter what, Fastrack negatively effects the guests in the main queue by quite a bit. Say the queue for four rides which have Fastrack on is 60 minutes, then the total increase in queueing time is 2 hours. It all adds up, and this shows just HOW BAD it really can be for someone not willing - or able - to pay.

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I am shocked at all of the comments regarding scheduled maintenance, if towers can run Nemmy on 2 trains most of the time then there is no reason why Thorpe cannot do the same for their coasters.

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Not that I'm saying it's a regular occurrence, as frankly I wouldn't know but the last thing TP want is to run rides on lower capacity on their peak times to the limited maintenance. They probably take the non-peak days to do that extra maintenance to ensure they don't run the risk of having issues on busier days. To be honest I think it's smart.

Yes they could have 3 trains so if one breaks they can put the other on or use parts from that train but they don't have the space to accommodate the storage! Even throughout closed season when they could strip both or multiple trains they can't due to limited space, they have to do one at a time which takes double the time. With the exception of Colossus and stealth they can't do both trains simultaneously. Saw can do what, 3 or 4 cars at a time? If they had the space they could do all 8... The more maintenance they do spread over time the more easier it becomes. From an operational point of view engineering and ride availability is probably one of the if not THE highest aspects of the park.

Ask yourself if your queueing for a ride on a non peak day on two trains and the ride shuts down due to an issue with a train and you have to wait around whilst they work out what's wrong with it would you rather it was on one train that had countless hours of maintenance or a couple of hours in the evening or morning?

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That's not a valid argument. All maintenance should be done outside of park opening hours regardless. It happens at other parks with similar opening hours, so there is purely no excuse not to at this park.

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That's not a valid argument. All maintenance should be done outside of park opening hours regardless. It happens at other parks with similar opening hours, so there is purely no excuse not to at this park.

It happens at parks with even longer operational hours (PortAventura, Europa Park, the Florida parks) so it becomes even less of a valid argument.

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It all comes down to money at the end of the day, they could have three trains if they invested and added the space to the stations, they could also employ additional maintenance engineers too. It just seems that Thorpe don't mind if they run one train or not as once your through the door they have your money.

This is down to senior management and budgets.

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