It’s Been A While

By , April 9, 2016
Kaan Toy

Whoa it’s been a while!  I apologize for not writing anything up in a while (a month is too long) but parks around here are starting to open up and well… you know.  A lot of things have happened since my last post.  GhostRider’s silver train is essentially complete and the gold train isn’t far behind.  By the time you read this post Plopsaland’s trains will be on their way overseas as well.

This past week I have been helping to put the finishing touches on the silver train such as the running boards, seat belts, and knee guards.  In addition, earlier in the week I helped Todd build a set of static skid brakes that are going to be installed on Yankee Cannonball’s brake run at Canobie Lake Park.

In the last update I promised that I would have more to tell you about GhostRider’s trains.  In hindsight, it seems like they came together incredibly fast and I wish I would have been able to give progress updates as they were being built up;  however, it was a bit of a catch 22 as I was never able find a good chunk of time (probably a sign that I go to bed too early) to sit down and write a post while we were working on them.  I can say that one of my favorite moments of the whole building process was seeing the first tub (the part of the car that surrounds the riders from the sides and back) completed.  There was a very real sense of accomplishment associated with seeing the car resemble the final product that sits of the track.

Working on GhostRider’s trains these past several weeks has made me realize how much the customer matters to Great Coasters.  Parks have the option of installing a maintenance rail that is separate from the transfer track.  The maintenance rail allows the train to be free of the track stack and be accessed more easily.  In order to roll on to the maintenance rail however, a set of load runners has to be installed on every car that sits just under the road wheel axles.  As you can imagine, tolerances have to be tight on roller coaster trains in order to fit all the parts they contain all in a relatively compact space and these maintenance rollers are no exception.  After we had set all the road wheel axles and tightened down the road wheels we received a change order requesting that these maintenance rollers be installed on the trains because Knott’s Berry Farm had decided to build a maintenance rail for GhostRider.  Normally, the installation of the load runners would be done before the axles are installed and would have required us to take all the axles and wheels back out this go around.  Unfortunately, doing so would have been an extremely lengthy process that would have set us back by a bit.  However, instead of telling the park that it wouldn’t be possible to install the load runners, Shawn and Dan took the time to develop a method that allowed the rollers to be installed without completely removing the axle.  I’m very glad to be working for a company that seeks out win-win solutions and values the customer as much as Great Coasters does.

That’s all for this week, hopefully another one of these posts will be live come this time next week.

P.S. – A bit of Great Coasters trivia.  After conducting a month long experiment I’ve concluded that the office’s least favorite Dum-Dum flavor is bubblegum.


Super Short Update

By , March 6, 2016
Kaan Toy

Just a quick update this week.  We’ve been hard at work gathering up and prepping items to be shipped out to Plopsaland.  In addition, the new greasing system that I touched on for a paragraph or so last week is now sitting pretty on all of the actuating brakes headed to the park. The trains for GhostRider are starting to take shape as well and are looking pretty wicked; the paint job is out of this world.  Hopefully I’ll have some more details regarding them to share with you in the future.

Until then, thanks for reading!


Hardware, Hardware Everywhere

By , February 28, 2016
Kaan Toy

Hi again all, a week has passed since I last typed up a post and I just wanted to check in and let you know what’s been happening the past seven days here in Sunbury.  I’ve still been very busy hunting down all the machinery hardware that’s needed for Plopsaland.  In addition to gathering all the hardware, I have begun to perform basic quality control on the machinery parts themselves.  Typically, this consists of using a pair of calipers to take measurements of the parts, cross referencing these measurements with callouts on the drawings and finally, making sure that all the parts we have received are within the provided tolerances.  So far in my (relatively short) college career, I haven’t had a class that places an emphasis on the engineering constraints that exist as a result of real world manufacturing methods.  I’ve come to realize that something’s appearance on a sheet of paper can vary from its appearance in real life.  If seemingly small part tolerances stack up in the right (or the wrong) way, they can cause an assembly of parts to be out of alignment.  Little ripples can cause big waves if you’re not careful about the calculation of allowable variance.  Anyways, enough of that, on to the exciting stuff! (for me at least)

Recently, I have been asked to research and come up with a system that allows for the linear bearings on the actuating magnetic brakes to be more easily greased.  Essentially, these linear bearings allow the brakes to move up and down smoothly and currently, the greasing points for the bearing blocks are in somewhat hard to reach locations within the brakes themselves.  After making a few phones calls and searching around to see what knowledge the internet could provide, I drew up a design that used tubing and a mounting block to reposition the greasing points just underneath the top of the brake where they could be accessed from above the track.  Finding a way to mount the block and route the tubes in such a manner that they did not interfere with any existing brake parts proved challenging, yet after several revisions the final product is now sitting on one of the brakes headed out to Plopsaland.  Hopefully by next week they will be on all of them, including the brakes headed to Knott’s Berry Farm.  I can’t quite put into words how it feels to be able to look at these brakes knowing that I had an impact on their design.  Although the addition was relatively minimal, I am very grateful for the opportunity to leave my mark on Great Coasters in some physical form.

Trains have been progressing steadily but (as you can probably guess by the wall of text above) I haven’t been too involved with them this week.  Seat sides and backs are sitting on Plopsaland’s trains to get an idea how they’ll look.  Currently we are waiting on a delivery of parts that will allow us to mount the seats into place.  Once that’s done we can adjust the lapbars to their final positions.

I suppose that’ll be all for this go around.  I hope you enjoyed reading, and I’ll catch you in the next update!


Hey There!

By , February 21, 2016
Kaan Toy

Hey there everyone, I’m Kaan, one of the three (yep, you read that right. Three.) interns working at the GCI Sunbury office this spring.  First off, I’d like to apologize for the lack of blog updates.  We’ve been here for about a month so far but have just been swamped with work.  That said, hopefully updates will be popping up on here more frequently and consistently in the future.  I wanted to keep this first post fairly light so I’ll try not to throw the whole wall of things we’ve been doing lately at you, maybe just a brick here and there.  Anyways, let me introduce myself a bit.

Currently, I’m a sophomore studying mechanical engineering at The University of Texas at Austin.  This past fall, Nathan (a previous intern that also attends UT) introduced me to Adam at IAAPA and a few days later I received an email asking if I would be interested in an internship.  Well, I suppose by now you can guess what my answer to that question was.  So far I’ve been enjoying my time here and am very thankful of Great Coasters for letting me be a part of their company for the semester.

As for what I’ve been doing these past weeks, it’s really been a bit of everything.  Recently, Todd has had me going through the drawings of the machinery (motor skid, transfer table, brakes, etc.) being sent out to Plopsaland De Panne in Belgium so that I can sort out all the hardware that needs to be sent along with the parts.  At times it can seem a little repetitive but now I’ve found myself to be much more familiar with the mechanical components that our rides employ.  Here and there I’ve also been helping out Dan with train assembly.  We usually work on trains at night or on weekends because Dan is busy with office matters at most times during the day.  Most recently, we have begun to install lapbars on Plopsaland’s trains.  When I started working in January the chassis hadn’t been bolted together yet so it’s been really cool to see them progress to where they are now.  Of course there have been plenty of odd jobs here and there such as filling sales orders, assembling guide wheel weldments, and pulling lumber out of storage but I figured that I can save all that fun stuff for another time.

Hopefully I’ll have another update written and posted by the beginning of next week, time permitting.

Until then, thanks for reading!


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