Saturday, March 28, 2009

Prowler Construction Tour 03/26/2009

For some of you this may be the third time you have seen photos from this same day, however you know what they say... greatness takes time! (that's a joke folks, sorry this is as good as it gets).

So lets head back to another great work in progress, Prowler as work is about finished up on the structure itself with attention now turning to the details. With an opening day of May 2nd already on the calendars Prowler is now starting to look like the finished attraction that it will become.

Poking heads through track has offered some great photos lately, but I think this is one of the best, looking back on the first drop. Just don't ask our photographer about his much earlier "poking through the track" incident with the Orient Express!

Even though the track is all but done, workers still are hard at work checking their handywork.

What pretty teeth to eat you with! Patented in 1919 by John Miller these are Anti-Roll backs, literally steel teeth that combined with a steel "chain dog" on the bottom of the coaster train itself create the unique clicky-clack that you hear on a lift hill. However, these anti-roll backs are NOT in their natural habitat, otherwise known as the lift hill. These are located on the final "s" turn right before the brakes. So why there?

If you will allow me a little moment with Worlds of Fun's other wooden coaster, Timberwolf, it also has these funny little roll-back teeth at the end of the 580 degree helix. They are found in both places, on both coasters for one and only one reason. Roll backs. Let me say that again.... Rollbacks. Coasters are thrilling machines but their creators are surprisingly cautious adding safety devices for situations that may or may not happen. In this case if say on a cold morning the Prowler train may not make it all the way around the course.

Another gravy shot, ohhhh pretttyyy!

The Perimeter fences, on most coasters these are to keep people out of the track area. On Prowler it is to keep people AND Deer out of the track area. Can't you just see it? New on the Blue Bronco/ZardaQ/whatever they are calling it this year menu... fresh Venison.

Its all in the details and here we see the Prowler station getting its coat of new paint.

There have been some discussions on what that bar in the center of the track is for. It is not actually part of the braking system at all. Instead it is for releasing harnesses, or in the case of prowler the lap bars. When the button is pushed by the operator that bar will actually raise up and unlock the bars. I believe if you look also at the far right side of the track you can also see where the photo eye sensors will be located.

Here we have a completed run to the lift hill.

Dumping gravel, this will be the base for the concrete walkway.

Prowler plaza area is shaping up nicely, and in the summer will have lots of shade!

Looking back at the Africa train trestle. In the background is Boomerang.

A little bit further along, in the background is the Zulu station.

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