Update April 6, 2005
It’s been quite some time since our last update – so where have we been? Is the project scrapped? Heck no! Please remember that most amusement parks spend millions of dollars and have a hundred people working on ride projects. We are working with volunteers and spare change… so our project will take a little longer to get the same results.
As we previously reported – we have to use the original 12lb railroad track for the ride. If we didn’t, then the ride would no longer be “grand fathered” as a 1955 ride and would have to meet all 2005 ride standards – a difficult thing to do, so we elected to stick with the original track. The big problem there is 1) The original track is only made in Japan and shipped over here once a year (Very costly!) and 2) All the track is straight… and we have to have it bent into 3 a three foot radius for the turns.
|Words can’t begin to describe how happy I am to report that as I am writing this update – we are now capable of bending the 3000 pounds of track we purchased. This was completely due to the efforts and intelligence of Mark Koppenhaver. (See Picture) Since railroad tools are not almost non-existent, Mark had to design and construct this entire device from scratch.
Anyone that knows engineering will be impressed to know that this can bend a piece of railroad track into a TWO FOOT radius WITHOUT twisting the track. Yes, it still sits flat on the floor when you are done!
This month, we will get all the track bent and start working on the hot-rail. When we are done, we hope to have the track bent in such a way as we can move the ride easily and lay the track in thousands of different ways without ever having to bend another piece again.
Should any of you reading this have an old Pretzel ride that you need more track for, drop us a line and we would be glad to tell you how to make it! (And if you would like to rent our bending tool, we can work something out there too!
On a related note: During our pervious update, we mentioned that we had visited William’s Grove Amusement Park since they have a Pretzel ride (Called Dante’s Inferno). We were hoping to see how they have their ride set up. We were not surprised to see that the ride had seen better days. In these parks – with the limited staff they have, it is VERY difficult just to keep the rides running. We wrote a letter to the owner, and volunteered to help restore their ride to its previous (or better!) condition.
Last week our offer was accepted. With the help of my family and friends – and guidance from DAFE and Laff-In-The-Dark, we hope to have the ride totally remodeled by opening day in May! We will post more pictures and info here as it becomes available. Stay tuned till then…