I’ll start by admitting that this is not a breaking story, but it does deserve a post. The Gravity Group is a wooden roller coaster design company. They’re a fairly young company, but they’ve churned out some amazing coasters in the past five years including Hades, Ravine Flyer II, Fireball (China’s first wooden coaster, and the top rated wooden roller coaster in the World, The Voyage at Holiday World. Last year, The Gravity Group unvieled their revolutionary new Timberliner Trains. And then later they announced that The Voyage would be the first roller coaster to feature the trains.
It sounded like some pretty cool news, but after watching this demonstration video I’m really feeling the gravity of the issue (sorry, I couldn’t help the pun). I knew what they claimed the new trains would be able to do, but at about 1:44 in this video I still gasped at what I witnessed and the implications for all those rickety, punishing, jarring woodies out there.
The Gravity Group Gives A Virtual Tour of the Timberliner Trains
If the Timberliners can effectively “steer” as their expected to do then these new trains could be a complete game changer for wooden roller coasters. Of course, parks would have to decide to buy them and I would imagine that they’re not cheap. But, I’d ask those parks if they would you rather have low ridership, higher maintenance costs, the occasional customer complaint, and horrible reviews from sites like mine or the chance to possibly bring their forgotten, painful woodie back to life.
I already gave The Voyage a 10 out of 10 when I rode it during it’s opening year in 2006. I (perhaps, insensitively) compared it to an abusive relationship:
Holding your hands up is a battle. Is it TOO rough? At times it felt like it, but then I got off briefly exhausted, but not physically beat up. Then, I kept finding myself back on another train 10 minutes or so later. It was really weird, like an abusive relationship I couldn’t get out of. - The Voyage Review
The point was that The Voyage was amazing even though it verged on being a little too rough and intense. With these new trains, the 10 out of 10 could be lifted to even greater heights as weird as that sounds. To keep up on the latest updates from the Gravity Group, check out their blog and podcast at: Gravity Cast.
What’s Your Take?
Are you excited about the Timberliner trains? Do you plan on riding The Voyage this year? Leave a comment below.