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Your choice for operating a ride?

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I liked the Cables for the workout as well and Runaway Train for the challenge of the three trains.


When did you work Mine Train? That was my "home" ride somewhere between '81 & '83... Three trains was always fun... but we had a lot more staff working the ride back then!


At the top of the stairs, you had an usher who would open the chain and let 28 people into the station. He/she would tell you to follow another person who would "usher" you into each stall starting at the front, working towards the back. There was no "waiting" for seats. You were assigned a stall to wait for the next train. (This is how the station always remained calm as well, only 28 people at a time!) We also had swinging saloon style doors; not hydraulic gates.


On the other side of the station, you had the operator who was responsible for keeping the trains from "setting up"... You also had three attendants; the first person would lock and unlock car one as well as give the spiel over the PA system, then you had another attendant who took care of cars two & three; then the last attendant would handle cars four & five.


I remember having to "push" a train out of the station, then rush out to the trim & ready brakes to "pull" the next train in before the third one entered Block "C"... all to avoid a setup. If we DID have a setup, we had to send three attendants up to "safeties"...to release the brakes and push the train down the hill... and we were supposed to send another to the top of the lift to restart it. (But I knew where the RN limit was and could reset it with a screwdriver, and restart the lift with a broom handle by forcing the big switch near the compressor at the bottom of the tower under the operator booth!) Kenny Burns looked at me very puzzled the first time I did that during pre-season training with new staff - and told me to never do it while there were guests on board... I told him we only do that when the trains are empty... (wink wink...) The things you learn from the electricians and maintenance guys!


So basically, you had six attendants working the ride at any given time - not to mention additional staff to sweep queue lines or play "crowd control" or to cover for breaks... Today, there's only one or two people running the ride... Due to the "computerization" and safety measures imposed on the ride, they no longer run three trains, and whenever I've been there they've only run one train at a time. The original compressed air skid brakes were replaced with fin-style clamping brakes... No more speed stopping trains here either!


The WORST part of not having the compressed air brakes is that young teenage boys can no longer enjoy the festivities of bouncing the train up and down when girls would come to the ride after getting soaked on the Log Flume... Operators and attendants used to call out the car and seat number for each other to watch as the train was bounced... All you'd hear was "51" and then the train would bounce... while the guys would immediately look at car 5, seat 1... (51) or "43", or "11" etc. <sigh>... good times... But there IS a saving grace... There is STILL the exit stairs where wet shirts still offered a wonderful view from the operator's booth... The attendants just had to lean back a little over the edge to get a glimpse... :Yuck:

Edited by Ol'FormerRideOp
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^ That's awesome and reminds me of working Sarajevo Bobsled with those restarts.


It's funny because at Disney the same thing happens with calling out the girls (and many of these are grown men doing it). If you're ever on a Monorail Platform and you hear something about a car or a rear strobe being "10-8", it has nothing to do with the condition of the ride or the blinking light on the back of a train.

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  • 6 months later...

I need to ask about three train operation on the Runaway Train ride...so I am glad that I found this point in the thread where you guys have brought it up..


In 1977 I believe..could have be one year either side... there was an accident late in the evening on the Runaway Train. A train was delayed leaving the station and one coming into the station at the end of it's run ran into and up and over the back of the standing train. The third train in the cycle was stopped out over the water at one of the check points and the guest removed on the safety walkway...after some time had passed. Meantime our EMTs and JACKSON's First AID and FD had responded as we had about 30-35 injured guests and employees in the station area and the lead car of the incoming train still on top of the station train. Maint, Magment, Security, Ride Ops. all had people there, and as you know the staion rea is rather crowded with the crew and twenty five guests boarding a train..so the place was jammed. It was difficult to get to the injured, evaluate who was hurt, who was shook up, who was just in the way, and who was looking for a lawyers phone number.


GA's Ambulance transported 3 injured guests and Jackson took the 2 most serious to Freehold Hospital,. a few others and some ride employees were treated at the Parks First Aid office for minor cuts or scrapes. Two guests were seriously injured..one had a broken back. and another lady had several broken bones and was very near giving birth. Once again piecing together the details was an all night interviewing and statement taking activity.


One thing we learned that night was that our friends at the Jackson PD, FD, and First Aid, didn't know crap about the internal geography of the Park other than how to get to Security, Cash Controll (police), and the Main Gate. We had to provide guides to take them to the Train entrance via Gate 3 and the back road passed the arena.


OK some of you old timers..were you there? or did you get the story from someone who was?? What can you add?

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  • 4 years later...
On 3/23/2009 at 12:41 AM, KillerChiller said:


This. I did all that and then some when I was up in that booth (like using all 5 of the good lines from the crappy source material as launch spiels. I must've watched that movie like five times in April looking for lines. Oh the things I did for that ride... :( )

I would do that too! What did you say? "What killed the dinosaurs? THE ICE AGE!" or "It's time to kick some ice!"

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