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The RMC Thunderdome™: Categorizing Topper Track coasters

The RMC Thunderdome™  

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Before the Giga Speculation Thread gets out of control with this argument, I decided to start this thread so we can vote on it and see which is in the majority. Pretty much everyone can agree (I think?) that RMC's I-Box track is steel track. But there is an endless debate over whether a coaster with Topper Track is steel or wooden. Topper Track replaces the top few layers of traditional wood between the wheels with a steel box, so many say such coasters are therefore steel. Many others say that the stacks of wood that remain under the Topper Track layer are the important part, and therefore the coaster is still wooden. People cannot agree on this, and probably will never agree. But we can vote!

So cast your vote. Are RMC Topper Track coasters wooden or steel? Or are they hybrid?

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The rail on the topper track is basically just has a larger width than on traditional wooden coasters. Besides, what's the point of making topper track at all if people are just gonna classify it as steel? 

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^ to give an extended life to existing wooden coasters, with the benefit of perhaps a little less upkeep?

Parks care about their bottom line a lot more than they care how enthusiasts classify their coasters. In this situation, it's not as though even enthusiasts agree. 

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Just to clarify for those that don't know, topper track can be found on Wildfire, Lightning Rod, Outlaw Run, and Goliath. No other current coaster has topper track.

Edited by SonofBaconator
Too many lightnings
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I believe Lightning Run is all steel I think maybe you are thinking of Lightning Rod which is Topper Track.

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If the track the ride runs on is all steel, then the coaster is steel. Think about how much of the feel of a wooden coaster that all steel track eliminates and how smooth it would be.

For me, no such thing as a hybrid, unless someone figures out how to transition from steel to wood and back again in the same circuit.

I like steel and wooden coasters, but this is a no-brainer for me.

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^Several coasters have done just that. With only portions of the track being replaced by topper track. Tremors continues doing this and Georgia Cyclone did before being converted to Ibox. To me though the topper track still ride like a wooden coaster. Granted a new and well maintained wooden coaster.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G530AZ using Tapatalk

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2 minutes ago, AintNutinElse2Do said:

^Several coasters have done just that. With only portions of the track being replaced by topper track. Tremors continues doing this and Georgia Cyclone did before being converted to Ibox. To me though the topper track still ride like a wooden coaster. Granted a new and well maintained wooden coaster.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G530AZ using Tapatalk
 

That's fine and all, but it still becomes more of a hybrid coaster. I am sure there is a huge difference in the feel of topper track vs the original wooden structure. 

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^ Yes. Dollywood and RMC both consider Lightning Rod to be wooden. Some people disagree. It ultimately doesn't matter since we're all probably going to want to ride RMCs regardless, but we're all enthusiasts here, and what are we if we don't split hairs to pointlessly categorize roller coasters, gosh dangit?! ;)

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1 hour ago, KingsMills79 said:

OK now i'm really confused...isn't Lightning Rod considered a wood coaster but riding on Topper track?

That's the entire point of this poll. Some, notably most parks and RMC themselves, but also many enthusiasts, count Topper Track coasters as wooden coasters, but a significant number of enthusiasts reject that classification and consider them to be steel coasters. It's a gray area that the community cannot and probably never will agree on.

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That's the entire point of this poll. Some, notably most parks and RMC themselves, but also many enthusiasts, count Topper Track coasters as wooden coasters, but a significant number of enthusiasts reject that classification and consider them to be steel coasters. It's a gray area that the community cannot and probably never will agree on.


Which also makes for a great discussion as long as everyone keeps things civil.

We can have opposing viewpoints. As long as the respect is there or agree to disagree and attacks don’t ensue, I’m always ready for a lively discussion.
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7 minutes ago, fyrfyter said:

Which also makes for a great discussion as long as everyone keeps things civil.

We can have opposing viewpoints. As long as the respect is there or agree to disagree and attacks don’t ensue, I’m always ready for a lively discussion.

Well said. :) That was my goal in starting this thread.

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So it is the stack that determines if a coaster is classified as wood?  If coaster used steel bents but used topper track would you still consider it a woodie?  

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Just throwing this out there...Jeff Gramke said at Coasterstock:  Traditional wood coasters should be classified as steel because the wheels sit on a steel course.  Not his exact quote, but the gist of it.

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1 hour ago, jtro223 said:

Just throwing this out there...Jeff Gramke said at Coasterstock:  Traditional wood coasters should be classified as steel because the wheels sit on a steel course.  Not his exact quote, but the gist of it.

I think he also said that steel coasters are plastic coasters in that statement as well. Not sure what he meant by that, though.

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I think his point was about steel wheels on wooden coasters and plastic wheels on steel coasters. That the wheels are what you're actually riding on, and I guess in his mind, are more important to the feel. 

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In my opinion its all about percentages. If its about 50% wood, 50% steel, its a hybrid. Steel Vengance and Adventure Express, for example, are hybrid because while their structures are wood, their track is pure steel. While topper track has a top layer of steel, a huge chunk of the rail's makeup is mostly comprised of wood (there's six layers of wood and only one layer of steel.) If a coaster has topper track, which is composed of layered wood and steel, and sits on a wood structure its more of a wooden coaster than a steel or hybrid one in my opinion. I think its hard to find a newer wooden coaster that doesn't have some type of steel in either its track or structure.

RMC_Track_Types_(26669969379)_(cropped).jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/96/RMC_Track_Types_(26669969379)_(cropped).jpg

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I don't think I personally can pick.  I think if most of the track is wooden then it should be wooden.  Technically, The Racer uses some steel on its track.  I guess it really all depends on where YOU want to draw the line.

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I guess the difference for me is, all wooden coasters have to have steel, otherwise they wouldn’t function at all. The difference to me is metal wheels on metal plates on wooden track, vs polyurethane wheels on much bigger topper track, where wood is just a support structure?

Someone correct me if I am wrong here, as to wheel types vs track surface.

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I guess the difference for me is, all wooden coasters have to have steel, otherwise they wouldn’t function at all. The difference to me is metal wheels on metal plates on wooden track, vs polyurethane wheels on much bigger topper track, where wood is just a support structure?

Someone correct me if I am wrong here, as to wheel types vs track surface.
The wheels definitely make a difference in how the ride feels. That said Outlaw Run at least began with steel wheels on topper track. I think that may have changed though. I say just view classifications differently and have "traditional" wooden and "non traditional" wooden coasters. I agree that topper track and for that matter plug and play aren't traditional wooden construction. But they have a lot of argument to be under wooden coaster classification.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G530AZ using Tapatalk

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On 3/20/2018 at 10:28 AM, SonofBaconator said:

In my opinion its all about percentages. If its about 50% wood, 50% steel, its a hybrid. Steel Vengance and Adventure Express, for example, are hybrid because while their structures are wood, their track is pure steel. 

I’m curious to your thoughts on The Voyage at Holiday World. By this logic, wouldn’t you consider that a hybrid as well?

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34 minutes ago, coasterfanatic2012 said:

I’m curious to your thoughts on The Voyage at Holiday World. By this logic, wouldn’t you consider that a hybrid as well?

I wood-(pun intended). The track is wood and the structure is steel. If you were to look up Voyage on RCDB, you'll see that they classified it as a hybrid as well.

Even though the title is inaccurate, I honestly think they call it a "wooden" coaster just to keep it simple. I personally call it a wooden hybrid; same goes for Invadr. At the end of the day, it relies on steel to keep it standing- not wood- therefore its a hybrid.

Someone should get in contact with ACE so they can clarify. 

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