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MisterSG1

Vortex 2 or 3 train operation, better experience?

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Here's something I've pondered about regarding Kings Island's Vortex. Since I've had a strong interest in transportation/traffic engineering as well as being a huge subway nut, (although I haven't really been on that many systems) in a sense, a roller coaster is kind of a circular subway system with one station, (as strange as that sounds lol) as well as having block sections with brake trippers. The question I'm asking, is if the guest is more satisfied with the ride running in 2 train or 3 train operation?

The first obvious question, does any capacity increase with the three train operation? Upon dispatch, it takes roughly 2 minutes even to reach the second block. (at the end of the ride when the train stops) This first asks the question as to how long is a standard "dwell" time at the station. Understandably, the dwell time can vary, but it obviously will consist of disembarking riders exiting the ride, once they fully exit, only then can the next group of riders be allowed to board. Of course any younger kids who aren't tall enough will cause a longer dwell than usual, as well as potential issues involving guests.

I think it's safe to make a conservative estimate that a common dwell is 2 minutes. If that's the case, capacity should be roughly the same between 2 or 3 train operation.

While more riders may be on the ride in 3 train operation, in essence you have a question that has a debatable answer. Is the guest more satisfied waiting in line, or is the guest more satisfied restrained heavily in the over the shoulder restraints waiting to disembark? In my personal opinion, the latter is more of a frustration because for one, those restraints are quite uncomfortable. Two, you could be sitting outside exposed strongly to the elements, the station on the other hand has a roof over it and doesn't directly expose guests to the elements. In essence, for those who use a subway systems regularly, it could be debatable as to if you would prefer to wait longer for the subway to come, or be on the subway train itself but be moving at a snail's pace because your train is facing red signals due to trains being close together (a subway train being in the next block will cause a red signal, in essence it works much like a roller coaster) I know this is not 100% the same scenario, as the capacity of subway train isn't entirely discrete, unlike Vortex where only two riders can board a train per row.

Or is dwell time less than 2 minutes? Personally, seeing one ride cycle of Vortex to me doesn't justify the use of 3 trains, but that's my opinion. What are your opinions regarding this matter?

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Never been a ride op and there are many here vastly more versed in the subject but a two minute “dwell” time is a lot higher than the goal in most cases.  I think they are generally about 60 seconds as a goal.  Not that it is always reached due to various factors.   

Adding a third train does not increase capacity linearly due to the inevitable stacking.  It doesn’t go 400, 400, 400.  More like 400, 400, 200 for that third train. That is still a 20% increase in capacity, which makes a difference if you are standing in line.  

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Generally, Vortex often takes 60-90 seconds between dispatches. Sometimes it is longer for one or more various reasons, hence the occasional stacking.

As long as the trains keep moving, three-train operation generally yields more capacity than two. During two-train operation, I have often noticed that if the two trains are each sent out within the usual time it takes, there is usually a 40-60 second gap between the second train's departure and the first train's return.

I personally prefer three-train operation (which thankfully is the norm) mostly because I am most used to it and I know that if there is a line (which there is at least on moderate-to-heavy crowd days) it moves very quickly! :D Two train operation is fun in its own way though, especially since that is basically Vortex's "rain mode" for days where prevalent rain is forecast.

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1 hour ago, VortexBFForever said:

Generally, Vortex often takes 60-90 seconds between dispatches. Sometimes it is longer for one or more various reasons, hence the occasional stacking.

As long as the trains keep moving, three-train operation generally yields more capacity than two. During two-train operation, I have often noticed that if the two trains are each sent out within the usual time it takes, there is usually a 40-60 second gap between the second train's departure and the first train's return.

I personally prefer three-train operation (which thankfully is the norm) mostly because I am most used to it and I know that if there is a line (which there is at least on moderate-to-heavy crowd days) it moves very quickly! :D Two train operation is fun in its own way though, especially since that is basically Vortex's "rain mode" for days where prevalent rain is forecast.

Your ride crew must be fast then, or perhaps ride crews at Wonderland are slow. For instance, here's a ride video of the Minebuster at Canada's Wonderland, even after the full ride, the train currently in the station has not been dispatched yet.

 

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In theory, you can dispatch a train on Vortex after the train in front of it has cleared the lift hill.  This is very difficult to do.  

If you are in 2 train operation, you might be waiting for a train to come back to the station to load/unload, whereas in 3 train operation there is always a train in the station.

If people didn't bring everything from their house to the park, the load/unload cycle would be shorter.

Either way, I don't think people really care about sitting in the brakes waiting to go into the station.

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We have a luxury here, we can watch the Diamondback webcam and watch for a train on Vortex to pass the same point.  Watching the webcam for about 10 minutes it looks like the current crew is getting a train out about every 110 seconds.  According to RCDB the ride time is 150 seconds, I checked on a Youtube video and it was about 145 seconds when that video was filmed.  Using a 145 seconds without a third train either the second train would be held for about 35 seconds or the station would be empty for close to half a minute on average right now.  The third train increases capacity, it is diminishing returns but it is increasing capacity.  With faster dispatches the need for the third train would increase.  Right now trains are sitting in the block outside the station for about 75 seconds.  

I would prefer to sit in the brakes then stand in line.  Using the above numbers, capacity with 2 trains is about 700 people an hour and increases to 900 with the third train.  That's close to a 30% increase.

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Obviously, if the crew can have a train dispatched before a train currently running a cycle reaches the end of ride brakes, then of course there would be a slight increase.

Based on my experiences at Wonderland, I thought getting a train out in 2 minutes is almost a pipe dream. The first YouTube video I watched showing Vortex showed one inactive train and the current train reaches the second end of ride block while a train is awaiting to be dispatched. I remember being held up in the brakes when I took it. I heard a young kid bawling in the row behind me all the way back to the station.

I think I remember VortexBFForever mentioning that sometimes the trains get brake tripped in the mid course block before the corkscrew. When that happens, that’s a very embarrassing situation in my opinion.

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17 hours ago, MisterSG1 said:

Obviously, if the crew can have a train dispatched before a train currently running a cycle reaches the end of ride brakes, then of course there would be a slight increase.

Based on my experiences at Wonderland, I thought getting a train out in 2 minutes is almost a pipe dream. The first YouTube video I watched showing Vortex showed one inactive train and the current train reaches the second end of ride block while a train is awaiting to be dispatched. I remember being held up in the brakes when I took it. I heard a young kid bawling in the row behind me all the way back to the station.

I think I remember VortexBFForever mentioning that sometimes the trains get brake tripped in the mid course block before the corkscrew. When that happens, that’s a very embarrassing situation in my opinion.

More often than not, if a train gets stuck in the MCBR before the corkscrew, the employee forgot to release the train from the ready brake or there was an issue in the station preventing the train in the block brake prior to the station to advance.  

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You all had to manually release each section on Vortex?  Granted, the only 2 train coaster I’ve operated was lightning run and all you had to do was hold down the dispatch button to both release train 1, hold until train 2 comes to a stop.

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1 hour ago, FoF96" said:

You all had to manually release each section on Vortex?  Granted, the only 2 train coaster I’ve operated was lightning run and all you had to do was hold down the dispatch button to both release train 1, hold until train 2 comes to a stop.

If I remember correctly (this is going back about 10 years), yes, you manually release both sections.  The block brakes (furthest from the station) were left open unless you had the button pressed down or if their was a train in the ready brakes (closest to the station).

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It is still done the same way as you described @teenageninja. In terms of capacity, hitting 1000 riders is quite the feet and happens rarely. You would have to have a good separator and dispatch almost every train in under about 60 seconds. We would have to also get around 40 cycles that hour to obtain that. 40/41 cycles are also basically the limit with frequent guests. Also, sidenote, if you dispatch right after the train ahead leaves the MCBR you're going to stack. A really good dispatch can be seen if the train on the lift and the train at the MCBR pass each other. Our average for cycles is probably around 32-36 (we try to shoot for 36 or above) cycles an hour and probably approaching 950 guests on a busier day. Correct me if I'm wrong @VortexBFForever.

One more side note, it is possible to be running three trains and not have a train in the station for just a moment. You just have to have basically two perfect dispatches in a row (dispatching about 5 or so seconds after the bell rings, which indicates the train ahead has cleared the lift)

On days when we go two trains, and the crowd picks up later in the day, there is almost always a line. After they add the third train though, you can definitely see a difference in the line in terms of it getting shorter.

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