By , April 30, 2008
Evan Souliere

With Six Flags St. Louis open, there have been some great photos popping up on fansites. It should be no surprise, then, that I report that all of the structure is standing and our crew is working hard on tracking and the mechanical systems.

We have bugged our guys on site for some up-close photos of what is going on, so I’ll post those as soon as we get them.

On another end of the project, trains are progressing nicely in our PA office, with many of the coaches nearing completion.

Meanwhile, I’m feeling better now that “coaster season” has begun. I’ve already visited King’s Island twice (I had never been before) to check out their collection. I couldn’t believe how massive Son of Beast is; photos don’t do it justice. I think there is more wood in that lift hill than any of our entire rides. I’m looking forward to visiting the other parks in the area.

Speaking of which, if you’re in the Bowling Green area Memorial Day weekend, be sure to join us for RumbleFest. It’s going to be a great time.

By , April 2, 2008
Evan Souliere

Good news! All of Evel Knievel is standing, except for about 20 bents purposely left out for access to the rest of the structure. Those bents are built and waiting for standing. In the meantime, we have crews working hard on tracking and the mechanical systems of the ride. As we begin to finish our repair jobs during this off-season, you’ll see a lot happen very quickly on Evel Knievel.

There are some updated photos of how great the coaster is coming along on the Photos page.

Meanwhile, I’ve been working hard on our 3D Coaster Rendering program to make it easier for us to make 3D views and to make the rides significantly more realistic for promotions. Perhaps I’ll be able to post some samples soon.

That’s it for now. I’ll post additional progress as it comes.

By , March 18, 2008
Evan Souliere

Since I last posted, the days have become a little easier at the Great Coasters office. All of the work (on our end) for the repair jobs we’ve been doing is done, and the majority of Evel Knievel’s drawings and details are done, as well.

I’ve been keeping busy lately with improving our program that draws the 3D coasters you often see released with announcements. Hopefully, you may notice some of the changes, though a lot of them are simply to help us on this end.

So, really, there isn’t too much for me to report (other than the photos I’ve been posting). As we get closer to Evel Knievel’s opening and as we get started with California’s Great America’s new ride, perhaps my posts will have a little more to them.

By , February 13, 2008
Evan Souliere

Quick note:

We’ve finally added another wallpaper to our collection. The newest wallpaper available for download is of Troy at night taken by Chris this past week.

Check it out here.

By , February 6, 2008
Evan Souliere

I figured it was time for another update.

As you’ve probably noticed through the posted photos, Six Flags St. Louis got a bit of snow last week, but it hasn’t slowed our crew down. Work is progressing nicely and construction of the most difficult bents is going on now. These bents have to incorporate lift hill track high off the ground, the transfer building (making it impossible to bring two posts directly to the ground), and another track running alongside. Add the batters for lateral support and these bents are pretty complicated; it will be cool to see these stood up.

As far as my work goes, I’ve been working on some of our repair jobs – primarily Lake Compounce and Wild Adventures. It is really interesting to work on determining the as-built conditions and fitting our repairs in with them. The goal is to make the work for our guys in the field as straightforward as possible.

I suppose that’s about it. If anyone knows of anything fun to do on weekends in the Cincinnati area, let me know.

By , January 15, 2008
Evan Souliere

Things are busier in the Great Coasters office than most people probably think. Sure we’re building just one new ride this year and are still preparing for one next year, but we’ve also taken on a lot of rehab work at various parks.

A notable project we’re working on is Boulder Dash (for the second year in a row). We’re retracking some key points, as well as improving the structure in some places. I think the changes will be appreciated.

With all the new rides to get excited about during every offseason, I’ve never considered the amount of rehab work that goes on at various parks. It certainly didn’t take me long to figure it out, though, as we are working hard to properly balance the work going on at all of our sites.

Other things that have been keeping me busy include working on both structural and mechanical drawings for Evel Knievel and helping to determine sound levels around Great America’s new coaster.

I’ll post photos of Evel Knievel to the site as soon as we get them from the field. The highest point of the ride is constructed, so everything’s downhill from here (lame pun intended).

By , January 7, 2008
Evan Souliere

And so it begins.

I started in the Cincinnati office today, more-or-less picking up where Adam left off (his last day was this past Friday). My first task was to study the Renegade manual to familiarize myself with all aspects of our rides. (Needless to say, I was able to skip the sections on the trains.) Jeff quizzed me afterward just to make sure I read enough. I passed.

I then got right into working on some more useful things. Around the office (and, by that, I mean the three of us in there), work is revolving around Evel Knievel and Great America’s 2009 project, so it was interesting to see what stage each is in.

Already I am starting to see how different this job will be compared to last year when Adam and I began. On my first day last year, I was constructing gear hub assemblies for the lapbar release mechanisms on the trains and today I was at a desk with AutoCAD and Excel open on my computer. I’ve also yet to find a can of grease in the office, so maybe I’ll save some money on laundry this time around.

Stay tuned. Even though I won’t exactly be updating with the progress of the trains (which I know kept people coming back for more), I’ll find a way to make sure this blog continues to entertain.

By , November 19, 2007
Evan Souliere

I just want to post quickly and mention how much fun we had at IAAPA last week. A lot of people came by the Great Coasters booth to say hello and talk about coasters, and it was really nice meeting everyone. Finding other people in my school/personal life that like roller coasters as much as I do is hard to come by.

Exploring the rest of IAAPA was equally fun, as we got to see what everyone else in the industry is up to. There are some really good things going on. Plus, who can complain about free Dippin Dots, Laser Tag, Noble Roman’s pizza, and rides on the Kang-a-bounce?

That’s it for me. We’ll hopefully get some photos up of what’s going on at Six Flags right now and get the final Great America layout up here, as well. But, admittedly, I don’t have much to do with the goings-on in the office right now…

Thanks for reading.

By , August 22, 2007
Evan Souliere

You can find the deleted scenes from “Build it Bigger” on this site. Once you’re on that page, you’ll want to “Pick a Clip” in the Web Extras Section. There, there’s a clip called “Pants Optional” (second one down), which is a lot of what was filmed in our office a few months ago (and was cut from the episode).


In other news, THIS WEEKEND is when Adam and I will be at ValleyFair. Drop us a line through this site if you’re going to be around.

By , June 17, 2007
Evan Souliere

As the weekend wraps up, there are two things to report:

First of all, Troy made its first (and more) successful circuit today at approximately 12:00 EST. As soon as Chris called to tell me, I knew it was good news and I was thrilled to hear it. So the testing phase has begun and hopefully Troy will be open to the public soon. We haven’t posted any photos of the ride itself in a long time, but Toverland has done an amazing job with the theming, so it looks like this will be quite the coaster experience. I now need to figure out when I can get there.

The second thing to report is that I am done in the GCI office for this season. My last day was Thursday (I left at lunch and drove straight to Cedar Point, actually, in time for Coastermania on Friday). I have since moved out of the area, so I’m posting this from the comfort of my own home. As Adam commented when he had to leave, it has been quite the experience. Though assembling trains isn’t exactly what I want to end up doing in the business, it sure allowed me to better understand the amusement industry as a whole and certainly coaster design and construction. I owe a lot of what I now know and where I will end up to everyone at GCI. This especially goes for Chris, who took it upon himself to give two guys a great opportunity because he was once in our shoes.

As for the site, which you’re probably most interested in, it will remain up and as active as we can make it. As Troy continues to test, Adam and I remain in contact with Chris and the team in the Netherlands, so we will continue to post as much as we can.

Beyond that, things will obviously die down, but I’m sure we’ll find more good stuff to post.

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