Posts tagged: Fun Spot

By , September 16, 2012
Colin Coon

It’s blog time again!

This week involved a lot of preparation for the Fun Spot and California’s Great America trains.  There are literally thousands of parts and pieces that make up each individual train, and hundreds per car.  Anything that is directly bolted to the chassis of each train is usually made up of an assembly.  For example, each guide wheel weldment has to be constructed from several different parts and once it’s a completed assembly it can be bolted to the chassis.  My week consisted mostly of putting these assemblies together so that when the chassis show up we can attach everything on quickly.

Another thing that we started working on durning the evenings this week was a Coaster Dynamix.  I’ve always wanted one of these things, but I’ve never really gotten a chance to play around with one.  So far I can see why these models are not for everyone, they are difficult to get just right!  However when it’s done it should be a really cool model.  I’ve never really been interested in coming up with layouts, but after messing around with this for a few nights I’m slowly seeing why laying out a coaster is fun.  Plus, it’s nice having it right in front of you to tweak and perfect to your liking (Chris is also a perfectionist so that helps).

Thanks for reading,


By , September 3, 2012
Kevin Young

Hey everyone!

My name is Kevin Young, and I’m very privileged to be working at GCII this semester. I’m from Nashville, TN, and am currently studying mechanical engineering at the University of Kentucky. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you for the next few months and giving some insight into what goes on at a global company like GCII from a new employee’s point of view.

While Colin’s primary focus will be trains here at the shop, I have been brought in to work in the steel structure department. I will hopefully have the opportunity to learn how to use many pieces of equipment in the machine shop that I have never gotten to use before and master them by the end of the term. Who knows, maybe I’ll even learn to weld?

I arrived on Saturday and Colin showed me around the booming metropolis of Sunbury, PA. Boasting a soon-to-be Super Wal-Mart and a Red Robin, this city has all that any person could ever want or need. We checked out Knoebels after I arrived, which for anyone who has never been is an awesome park and probably one of the better kept secrets of the amusement industry. The food is tremendous, and the bumper cars are out of this world.

I was busy from nearly the first minutes I walked in the door at GCII on Monday, counting incoming parts and making sure we received the correct quantities of each one. That didn’t last long though, as I was quickly taken by Jerry to begin work in the structure shop.

The Great America and Fun Spot projects are both well underway, and currently we are trying to get all of the general steel work for each of those projects completed. When I began work on Monday, I started out drilling holes in the new trough liner for our chain trough. We pre-drill and countersink all of these holes before going on-site so that there is minimal downtime once it arrives. Once that was completed, Josh and I began measuring and drilling the trough channel that the liner will sit in (Josh works under Jerry and will be showing me the ropes on most things in the shop). Once every piece was drilled, we stacked and banded the channel and liner in exact quantities to go to Great America and Fun Spot.

More steel arrived on Friday, and the process of measuring and drilling bridge steel is well underway. I will have more on that next week, as well as exciting tales from the shop. It’s about to get REALLY busy here in the next few weeks, so the action is going to be fast and furious I’m sure. I hope you’re as excited as I am!


By , August 17, 2012
Colin Coon

Hello again everyone!

We had a pretty fun week in Sunbury at GCII.  On Monday I spent most of the day with Dan going over a shipment of guide wheel assemblies called “weldments.”  This involves cleaning up the weldment, test fitting the guide wheel and upstop axles, then inspect each weld for proper penetration and completion.  Once they have been cleaned and inspected the guide wheel can be added to the weldment, then placed on the train.  In all, it takes about 15 minutes to clean the weldment, 10 minutes to install the guide wheel, and maybe another 10 minutes to install the completed weldment to the chassis.

It took about a half a day to install all of the weldments and make sure the proper hardware was installed.  We should be ready to flip the chassis within the next few days, as work will be completed on the lower chassis.  If you don’t know what flipping is, our chassis arrive upside down upon delivery.  This allows us to install everything on the bottom of the chassis first, since that is where almost all of the mechanical components of the train are located.  Later in the week we torqued down all of the bolts to their specified value, and double-checked again with another torque wrench just to make sure that everything was done properly.

I’ve also been tagging along with Dan to various places around town that supply parts and services for the trains.  While most of the incoming parts for the trains and structure are shipped to us there are still a bunch of local businesses that service our needs.  Anyway, I should be making runs to these places solo in the next few weeks to pick up parts and pieces for our trains.  Hopefully I don’t get lost!

Another thing that I have found completely amazing this week is the turnaround time for parts orders.  Sometimes it’s easy to go in the back, pick up 20 wheels, throw them on a pallet to be shipped, and be done with it.  Other times we have to take a few extra steps, which rely on our suppliers as well.  For example, this week we had an order for about 15 seat side panels for one of our rides.  All of our seat sides arrive as bare metal and need to be powder coated prior to sending them out to the park, and this obviously takes some time right?  Wrong.  We got the order Wednesday around lunch time, took the seat sides down to the powder coater that afternoon, picked them up Friday morning at around 9am, and loaded them on a truck this afternoon.  So in roughly 48 hours we got 15 seat sides prepared, painted, and shipped.  Pretty impressive, and it’s something most people tend to overlook.

Lastly our new intern, Kevin, will be arriving next week in Sunbury.  I’ll let him do his intro and stuff, but make sure to check out his blog as well!  We will be doing some different stuff from one another too, so that should be interesting.

Thanks for reading!


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