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Mar 16, 2016
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It would seem odd if the specs for each piece weren’t included with the purchase. Having to get replacement pieces from Germany would take weeks at a time between fabrication, shipping, and acclimation. There are certainly plenty of woodworkers or cabinet/furniture makers in central NJ that have the tools and skills to custom build track pieces.
That is credibly expensive to do. Like I stated, the bigger PreFab issue is that is wasn't more widespread. From what I understand, the whole manufacturing process for the PreFabs are a pain in the ass based on the size of the milling machines needed. There's a reason that SFGAdv chose to replace track themselves and it has little to do with time, acclimation, or finding someone to mill the wood.

I dunno if this has ever been shared but this basically breaks down why the prefab isn't that great and hard to do what needs to be done:
 
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Jonesta6

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@warfelg that's basically what I'm going off of as well - the part about how prefabs are basically more like steel coasters yet made of wood between expense and the incredibly tight tolerances Intamin designed and the milling plant made.
 
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Nov 30, 2018
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That is credibly expensive to do. Like I stated, the bigger PreFab issue is that is wasn't more widespread. From what I understand, the whole manufacturing process for the PreFabs are a pain in the ass based on the size of the milling machines needed. There's a reason that SFGAdv chose to replace track themselves and it has little to do with time, acclimation, or finding someone to mill the wood.

I dunno if this has ever been shared but this basically breaks down why the prefab isn't that great and hard to do what needs to be done:

If it’s the size of the prefab pieces requiring uncommon size machines, that’s a very different problem than tight tolerances and fabrication processes - the latter being more easily obtainable.

Buying a wood coaster without the ability to regularly service the track is rather short sighted, as no wood coaster is going to avoid weathering over time. Having to go to a special factory overseas for track pieces means every time an issue comes the ride is down 4-6 weeks instead of just fixing it locally. Very short sighted from an investment perspective and probably the reason few parks made that choice.
 
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Apr 22, 2019
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I want to counter a bit of what has been said recently. When I rode it I, I think it was 2 years ago, I thought it was amazing. Super good and now one of my favorite coasters. I didn't find it "too rough" at all. If they change this to steel I'm out. I hope they do it right and retrack it (with wood track) if that will fix it.
 
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Mar 16, 2016
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If it’s the size of the prefab pieces requiring uncommon size machines, that’s a very different problem than tight tolerances and fabrication processes - the latter being more easily obtainable.

Buying a wood coaster without the ability to regularly service the track is rather short sighted, as no wood coaster is going to avoid weathering over time. Having to go to a special factory overseas for track pieces means every time an issue comes the ride is down 4-6 weeks instead of just fixing it locally. Very short sighted from an investment perspective and probably the reason few parks made that choice.
It’s much more than just that. If you haven’t watched the ElToroRyan video watch it. Basically it’s near impossible to service the track without replacing long stretches that need to be made to a tight tolerance with an expensive wood that isn’t weathertreated much with an expensive glue, and a train that’s basically designed to be rough on the track.
 
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Jonesta6

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Marine grade treated track pieces, but the supports are different and seem to be regular pressure treated lumber.

However, that's part of the issue for how they were milled - the supports are designed and constructed differently than a standard woodie making it more difficult to replace.
 
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Not sure about T-Express but Colossos at Heide Park was closed for several years as they had to spend €10 million to completely retrack it. Balder is rotting and has been closed for over a year as it has to undergo a complete retracking itself.
Well...........this don't sound good.
 

Ice

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I think this is the first of high profile cases were we will see any larger scale woodie start to go extinct. They are maintenance nightmares due to the amount of structure and the amount of maintenance they require due to the forces. Honestly things like the huge RMCs are going to get more and more steel as part of it as time goes on, parks are probably getting tired of the maintenance.

Wouldn't be surprised if this whole thought process was what motivated BGW to push as much steel on InvadR as they did as well as the relatively small size. Could've been a smart local design team seeing the growing doom with SEAS and saw benefit in keeping their maintenance costs as low as possible to help please corporate.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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I think this is the first of high profile cases were we will see any larger scale woodie start to go extinct. They are maintenance nightmares due to the amount of structure and the amount of maintenance they require due to the forces. Honestly things like the huge RMCs are going to get more and more steel as part of it as time goes on, parks are probably getting tired of the maintenance.

Wouldn't be surprised if this whole thought process was what motivated BGW to push as much steel on InvadR as they did as well as the relatively small size. Could've been a smart local design team seeing the growing doom with SEAS and saw benefit in keeping their maintenance costs as low as possible to help please corporate.
The structure is less the issue and more the track itself. The way Intamin made the track, they glued all the sheets of wood together, then treated the exterior, causing rot on the inside should something get in there. Then they ran the polyurethane wheels, with some space for the upstop, which stresses the track in different ways every time.

BGW using steel for the supports was more about the spacing needed for the train and Le Scoot interaction would have been much more costly with wood and would have needed some sizable beams and supporting. If you look at other woodies, the structure doesn’t need touched a whole lot should you maintain it properly and use the right wood in the first place.
 
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Wood coasters have been built with steel structure for pretty much as long as they've been around. A good chunk of Traver's coasters had steel structure. The Cyclone has been running for almost a century with a mostly steel structure. That isn't a new thing. And as for maintenance, yeah, wood coasters take more maintenance than steel, but that maintenance is generally far cheaper and faster.
 

Ice

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It is normal maintenance to replace structure and track for wooden coasters, and this is amplified on the larger scale woodies. So is the cost, since generally it is more complicated the bigger the coaster. I believe at some point the park (and parks on a larger scale) are going to get tired of it and see it as not worth it. There has been a trend with the newer RMCs to have more steel throughout as they get bigger, probably due to the nightmares with Steel Vengeance. The larger wooden definitely have structural attention, as recent as Steel Vengeance. That thing needs insane structural attention. I know it can be avoided, but I think it is still seen as a risk to the parks that they don't necessarily need to take. The reward for making a woodie bigger than standard seems lower than the risk they take on nowadays, just my view on the trends.
 
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I think this is the first of high profile cases were we will see any larger scale woodie start to go extinct. They are maintenance nightmares due to the amount of structure and the amount of maintenance they require due to the forces.
Rather than the first, I see it more as a continuation of the ongoing demise of overscaled wood rides.

El Toro’s construction is different, but the critical interrelated Huge Wood Coaster themes of ongoing expense, major maintenance headaches, and rider injuries are remarkably familiar to those of other massive wood coasters that are now long gone.
 

Ice

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I guess first in my mind because I feel it has been a while since the like big famous ones have been brought up, but yes definitely a trend for this sort of thing to happen.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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It is normal maintenance to replace structure and track for wooden coasters, and this is amplified on the larger scale woodies.
The promise of the prefab was to cut down on this. It didn’t. It actually ended up costing more because of the process not the size.
 
Apr 22, 2019
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All i can say is I hope they put in the money to bring it back to safe operation and running like it used to, still wooden. It is (was?) an amazing coaster and I will hate it so much if we lose it either to being torn down or being changed into a steel coaster.
 
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Ice

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Regardless of the prefab, the larger one of these rides is the more forces it is working with and generally the more wear the structure and track will experience. It being "prefabricated" doesn't change the fact that it is maintenance heavy, just maybe reduces how much of a pain the maintenance is if the modular nature is executed properly. Sounds like it really wasn't.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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Regardless of the prefab, the larger one of these rides is the more forces it is working with and generally the more wear the structure and track will experience. It being "prefabricated" doesn't change the fact that it is maintenance heavy, just maybe reduces how much of a pain the maintenance is if the modular nature is executed properly. Sounds like it really wasn't.
Size has little to do with the issues El Toro is having. Balder is having similar issues to El Toro despite being much smaller (118 ft vs 176 ft).
 
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Ice

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I'm not saying size is the only thing to blame, I'm just trying to draw parallels with the other big woodens going extinct and this one. It is a fact that size = more wear which generally equals more maintenance. Not sure how you can disagree with that.

The issues El Toro faces are probably exacerbated by it's size, it's more likely for larger wear issues to come about given it's size and forces than compared to something half it's size. Who knows, maybe the methods they have chosen wouldn't really be that much of a persistent issue if the track wasn't as worn hard as it is.
 
Apr 22, 2019
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Losing El Toro will make SFGAdv a much lesser park for me. It wouldn't be the same. And I really hate the idea of parks with no wooden coasters at all.
 
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Brambo

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I want to counter a bit of what has been said recently. When I rode it I, I think it was 2 years ago, I thought it was amazing. Super good and now one of my favorite coasters. I didn't find it "too rough" at all. If they change this to steel I'm out. I hope they do it right and retrack it (with wood track) if that will fix it.
I first rode late August 2020. My second visit was May of this year. The ride got significantly rougher from my first experience on it. Don't really recall any roughness initially like you mention, but wheel seats were borderline un-marathonable in May (I can handle marathoning some pretty rough rides usually).

Regarding the "pothole" that has been mentioned. It was VERY evident in May, last wide sweeping right in the twister section before heading back towards the station. Not too bad in middle seats, but if in a wheel seat and you didn't expect it coming I could see you hurting yourself. I thought I'd heard Toro closed down to remedy it shortly after my visit, but maybe that was rumor.
 
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