Monday, March 10, 2014

63 Years Young?

Keeping with our recent theme of maintenance and improvements, let us explore the ongoing preservation of perhaps Waldameer's most venerable family thrill ride.  Most of us "Erieites" can say our first roller coaster ride was the Walda-Legendary Comet.  Since 1951, Comet has provided happiness and thrills for millions of riders.  It may not be the tallest, fastest, or most scary roller coaster in the world, but Comet can't help but put a big smile on everyone's face as every ride brings back memories of our first coaster ride. For many, Comet also becomes the first roller coaster we share with our children or younger friends and relatives.
While we may not celebrate the arrival of new lumber like we did in 1951, you can still bet that new lumber is always arriving for Comet each off-season.
Closing in on 63 years as a member of the Waldameer Family, you may be wondering why we titled this post "63 Years Young."  A common misconception of wooden roller coasters is that they are all old and rickety which can sometimes make a potential rider feel uncomfortable about riding.  Actually, it's quite the contrary!  Each year Comet, Ravine Flyer II, and almost every wooden coaster in the world receives new lumber in various sections of the track and superstructure.  Going further into detail, the lumber used on wooden roller coasters is all pressure treated which extends the life of wood dramatically before needing replacement.  Follow us on our next exploration as we scale some of Comet and see for yourself how were are constantly maintaining this classic ride for 2014.
Lots of new wood in the station roof which also supports a large turnaround.  Something just doesn't feel right this time of year not hearing and feeling the coaster train rumble overhead.
Comet's lift hill had many of it's diagonal supports replaced for 2014.
Look closely on the right rail of the track and you will find some re-tracking!  To the left you can see some new wood on Comet's superstructure.
Several track ledgers were replaced to maintain a smooth ride. 
Several hand railings were replaced so we can provide our dedicated maintenance team much needed security when inspecting and working on the track each morning.  Once the weather breaks we can get started on painting.
Just for fun, here is a rare view of Comet's layout.  The blue tarp on the bottom right is an ongoing project on Comet's final brake run.
A closer look at the main brake run where an abundance of structural improvements continue to be made.  Don't worry, everything will be ready for May 10th!
Welcome Back! At least that walk wasn't as treacherous as our Ravine Flyer II re-tracking exploration!  As you can see, Comet is far from a "Set It and Forget It" kind of ride as new lumber is always being integrated into the structure every year which actually makes the vast majority of the Comet much less than 63 years old.  Now go out and impress the world with all of your new wooden coaster knowledge! Be sure to debunk all of those outrageous rumors that wooden coasters are old and rickety!

PS: The Countdown is on! Exactly TWO months until Opening Day!
Post a Comment