|Gallery||Updated: November 10, 2009|
Coaster Thrill Ride
As of April, 2009, the Puyallup wooden roller coaster (Coaster Thrill Ride) began undergoing a $1 million-plus renovation. The old Douglas fir is being replaced with Southern yellow pine. All of the track and structure will be replaced with new laminated wood. The project will take place in three phases which is the most cost efficient approach rather than rebuilding the coaster all at once.
John P. Hinde, president and ride consultant of J.P. Hinde Enterprises, Inc., was hired by Funtastic Traveling Shows to lead the project. According to Hinde, the first stage of construction started around 2005 with reconstruction of the transfer station as well as parts of the structure underneath the south and north turn. Throughout the years prior to 2009, the coaster underwent annual maintenance which became too expensive to keep up with. Hinde couldn't keep up with the rot so rebuilding the coaster seemed like the optimal choice.
After the 2009 Spring Fair, Hinde and his crew removed the middle section - part of the first drop to the south turn, the south turn to the third hill as well as the structure and track underneath the first drop. This left the south turn completely orphaned from the rest of the coaster. By early June, the dismantled track and structure had been numbered and neatly piled on a site nearby the coaster. New footers were also poured into place.
Between June and early September, Hinde and his team worked diligently to rebuild the dismantled sections - (45 legs of the structure, new track, and railing) in order to get the coaster operating in time for the September fair.
The second phase began after the September fair in 2009 and continued on until the Spring Fair in April, 2010. Hinde states that 32 legs near the coaster's north curve structure will be removed and replaced which will also include the track and railing. According to Hinde, this will be the easiest part of the rebuild.
The "biggest chunk redo" will be done in the final third phase which is expected to start after the September fair in 2010 through the spring fair in April 2011. Amongst the parts to be rebuilt will be the lift hill down to the station. Hinde says 72 legs of structure and all four sets of track will be replaced. A new chain and sprockets will also be installed.
During the rebuild, Hinde also hopes to get a proximity switch for each train. This means a new chain lift will be installed as well. Whatever the speed that each train is traveling at, after leaving the station, is the same speed as the chain lift. Once the train enters the lift, the transition will be smooth. This will keep track of the amount of revolutions of each train. So each train will be running at the same speed.
Within the last five or six years, all three vintage Prior and Church trains have also been refurbished. Part of the work was done on site underneath the coaster and the other in a factory in Portland, Oregon. Hinde stated that the trains oilers (oil cans) located on the left and right side on the front of each train are not used anymore because they ruin the wood. The grease would soak through the lumber. So, they use a grease gun instead. After the renovation is completed, though, the trains will need to be updated. Hinde hopes to rebuild them in a manner in which they will not lose their classic appearance.
Throughout the reconstruction, the ride will remain operational for both the April and September fair. Hinde hopes the coaster will be completed by the September fair in 2012.
The coaster will still have its original design and layout in order to maintain its historical appearance.
This is Puyallup's most popular ride at the fair. So, it's important, in a historical sense, to keep it running for future generations to enjoy.
|Home | Parks and Coasters | Defunct Coasters | Gallery | Resources | Links | Contact|
|© Copyright 2003-2011, Lisa Zigweid. All Rights Reserved.|