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29yrswithaGApass

When does a wooden coaster become steel?

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Our friends over at NewsPlusNotes recently reported on an updated design to Six Flags Great America's new under-construction Goliath. Originally introduced as a trick-filled wooden coaster, new updated renderings now reveals a revised lift that makes use of mostly steel. This in addition to the ever-popular steel tracks being used by Rocky Mountain makes one think - is this a wooden or steel coaster? Or at the very least is it a true woodie or hybrid?

 

After all, when a new ride threatens El Toro's record breaking stats, I want to make sure it is a fair fight! :)

 

SFGrAmGoliathUpdated.jpg

 

Screen+shot+2014-02-21+at+8.46.51+PM.png

 

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Oh the great debate of steel vs wood. Personally i don't know where i stand on this. Im glad to find out it is steel though because my mind was blown when i saw the photos, i couldn't help but think "how will that little wood hold all that weight?"

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Yep I've seen this debate elsewhere too.

As RMC is concerned, to me the topper track (like Goliath) is wood and the I-Box/Iron Horse track (like Iron Rattler) is steel since the topper track is made with layers of wood with steel on top, but the Iron Rattler track is all steel. I've seen many varying opinions though.

Edited by RC98

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Guest Moonracker7

I think, like the mine train, should have a mix of wood and steel supports before it is considered to be hybrid, this is just a wooden coaster that has more options.

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I think it should be counted as a steel coaster. It almost reminds me of the Arrow hybrid rides like Gemini and Excalibur where you have wooden supports and a steel track but they are considered steel coasters.

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Steel. A true woodie can't have a steel lift. It could be considered hybrid, but i'm still gonna say steel.

Edited by SFGadv123

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With steel vs wood, we should look at the track/rail construction and not the supports. Morey's Great White is a Wood coaster with steel supports while Ceder Point's Gemini is a Steel coaster with wood supports. Great White's track is still wooden rails with steel wear plates while Gemini is tubular steel rails

 

I say this is a Wood coaster since there is wood in the rail construction, a true steel coaster would have all steel rails regardless of what the track supports are made of.

 

Hopefully it won't end up being another Son of the Beast. Wood is more limited than Steel. Heck most metals fatigue much more than steel does, even titanium, yet alone wood.

Edited by The Master

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^ I have to agree with this. If there's wood in the construction of the rails, then it's a wood coaster. To me the only RMCs that are steel are the Iron Horse (Iron Rattler/New Texas Giant) type. IMO Goliath is wood as long as they don't change it to the rails Iron Rattler has.

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The longtime appeal of wooden coasters for many was the movement provided by the wooden structures compared to the rigid steel supports. This key aspect is lacking in many of todays "woodies" when the supports are made of metal.

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Yeah but the classification of coasters goes by the rails not the supports. As The Master pointed out, many coasters with all wood rails have steel supports, for example pretty much any Gravity Group woodie (Voyage, Ravine Flyer 2), the later classic woodies (Morey's Great White) and even a GCI (White Lightning). All of those are still wooden coasters, so as long as Goliath still has wooden construction in the rails, it will be a woodie to me. Don't worry, El Toro isn't going anywhere away from my #1 spot anytime soon! :)

 

Edit: Referencing the post below me, I was unclear. I didn't mean that Goliath is a classic woodie, I was just giving examples of rides people consider to be "classic" that also have steel supports like Goliath does.

Edited by RC98

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I think this Goliath is anything but a "classic" woodie, it is a high tech woodie.

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So Six Flags is considering Great America's new Goliath coaster wood even though it has steel rails, lift, and inversions, and yet it is promoting Six Flags Mexico's Medusa redo as steel? How does that work?

 

Screen+shot+2014-06-08+at+7.40.43+PM.png

Photo from newsplusnotes

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Medusa's rails are 100% steel. The only wooden part is the majority of the support structure. Goliath has a wood stack below the running rails, just like El Toro, only the steel part is thicker. The wood stack is still vital in the construction of the rails, so for me, it is a wooden coaster. The support structure is what determines the useless "hybrid" term. Medusa is steel hybrid, just like Gemini.

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If the steel is thicker than the wood of the rails than it should be considered a steel coaster. As for Goliath, the rails are primarily steel with a thin layer of wood underneath which makes it a steel coaster in my book.

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Here's a comparison between I-Box track used on Medusa and the Topper track used on Goliath and Outlaw Run. Everyone has their own opinion, but personally I think It's fair to call Goliath a wooden coaster. You can make up your own mind though, of course.

http://eastcoastcoasters.com/iaapa2013.html

 

Picture is seven images from the bottom.

Edited by Password121

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My opinion is if there is any wood in the track rails, then it is a woody. If the rails are all steel, then it is a steel coaster IMO. The lines are more blurred than they used to be.

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