Published: December 14, 2006 at 10:37 PM
I do think that there was a flaw in the design of the track itself. The ride was just too rough in some places. If anyone recalls, wind actually knocked a portion of track down during construction, and Kings Island has yet to collect on a lawsuit they filed with companies involved in the building of this ride. The fact that the trains were poorly designed and heavy only made the forces on the track and the riders worse. As a matter of fact, the trains go right to the heart of the matter. That's why KI is removing the loop...to make way for lighter trains. The lighter trains will put far less pressure on the structure and prevent cracking/breaking.
I remember a walkback tour I took of SOB. It was simply astounding just how much the track and structure swayed back and forth when the train passed through the helixes. Quite honestly it looked like the whole curve would break off every time a train passed. No wonder they have already tracked it twice and sunk cash into the structure every year since open.
I for one am fine with the loop being removed if it means a smoother ride. Was it a fun element..yes, but I don't think it's a make or break element. It was novel having a wooden looping coaster, but really not worth the pain to ride. I also hear that GCI, the best wood coaster company around IMHO, may be tapped to fix design flaws and reprofile some track. That could mean that SOB gets the Millennium Flyer train, the most comfortable coaster train in the world. If that's the case, than there won't be anything to worry about. Ridership will come back and the ride will live on.
On the subject of Kings Island, anyone get a look at the large clearing by Flight of Fear? It's just about the right size for a new coaster....or perhaps an old one...