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NEWS: Coaster Accident at DCA


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Last night at DCA two trains appear to have collided on Calif Screamin. One stationary and one travelling a full speed but failing to stop in its block. Both trains full with 24pax each, 15 people taken to hospital as a precaution. The media is of course blowing it out of proportion as usual saying 60 people injured, pity its only two trains of 24 so I don't know how their calculators work. Plenty of info here http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewt...pic.php?t=17952 . Elissa made a good point, whilst people are jumping on the Intamin sucks band wagon, it's a sign of their good engineering that the trains stayed intact and didn't break apart resulting in major injuries!

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I like Intamin. Anyway, As soon as I read the first sentence I thought, damn, those trains must be in bad condition, but alas, the trains are intact. Good news. Who was most likely at fault is a good question. Disney, or Intamin? I may be wrong, but once the ride is built, doesn't the ride fall completely into the hands of the park? If that is true, then Disney would be held responcible for failing to properly maintain the ride and ansure safety, rather than Intamin being blamed for shoddy engineering. Also, perhaps having 5 trains, eleven blocks and two stations is a bit much for the one roller-coaster. I think that Disney needs to re-think that particular strategy, that seems like far too much for the one roller-coaster.

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I think we have to look at this for what it is, a freak accident. Think about just how long those 5 trains, 11 blocks and 2 stations have been operating without incident and how many patrons they have put through, I'd say probably more than any coaster out here (or park even) in its entire lifetime. Disney will always push the limits because it simply has to have a far greater capacity to it's rides than any other park, MY GOD look at Pirates for that! What I am interested to see is if this was a PLC failure (ie it kept the block open as oposed to closing it in front of the inbound train) or a Mechanical Failure of the Brakes themselves failing to stop the train even though they were instructed to do so. I'd say we are probably looking at a good month of this thing being down which is unfortunate for the park at this peak time of the season.

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The computer power required to safely operate a coaster even as complex as California Screamin' wouldn't even be that of many modern cars. The number of trains or blocks on a ride has nothing to do with safety, provided the logic that controls those trains and blocks is correct. I would expect that this situation was caused by a mechanical error. There just isn't room for programming errors in the context of a ride, and the scrutiny going into designing the control systems would be second to none when developing a ride.

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