Valravn Construction: Live Q&A At Cedar Point
The weather has been beautiful in Ohio the past few weeks. Warm weather in Ohio means faster progress on Valravn, the record breaking coaster being erected at Cedar Point.
There’s a lot of hustle and bustle when building a new roller coaster of this magnitude. Tony Clark, Cedar Point’s director of communications decided to give us a live feed from his phone while they were adding the highest section of Valravn. When he went live, coaster nerds from around the world all had a ton of great questions for him. Surprisingly, he stuck around and answered way more than we thought he would. In case you missed the live feed, we transcripted the Q&A below. So here goes!
@Baseballlgnd9: Will the drop be completed by Christmas?
Tony: It will probably not be completed by Christmas. The crews deserve a break with their family as well.
looking over at the lift hill…
The staircase on the right is for people to climb up. But you can’t just go up there, it’s so steep you have to be tethered in, so… the staircase on the left has a funicular. A funicular is a motorized tram-like vehicle that will take maintenance crews up the hill, similar to what’s on Millennium Force. This box will allow crews to access every car and every row all the way to the top from the device.
@Brian_S83: Why do all dive coasters have the same turn at the top?
Tony: Well, that’s because of space. If we were to just do the drop right over the top without turning, you would actally be diving into the perimeter road that goes around the park. In fact, most coasters probably turn a little bit because of space.
@sean_joyce: Do they fully tighten the bolts now, or does that happen at the finish?
Tony: They will tighten the track bolts as tight as they can but the ones that remain loose are typically the ones down on the ground on the footer because once they put the track sections together that gives them wiggle room to move from side to side etc… Once it’s all in place and level they will come through and torque them. They do come by and torque all the bolts before testing begins. They do it a couple times prior to that. So.. they don’t just go through once and done, they go through a couple times to test and make sure everything is in place. In fact, what they will do is place a white mark across it to show where the bolt is. when they come back to inspect it, they will see if it shifted at all. And if it shifted,then that means they have to tighten it, and come back and check it out. So, it’s a good way of seeing if everything is still lined up where it should be. None of Valravn has marks yet, so it all still needs torqued to spec.
No lines on valravn bolts yet
Here, you can see the white lines he talked about on the Fury 325 bolts.
@timofey1899: Is it all B&M employees doing the construction?
Tony: Interestingly enough, no. um.. The manufacturer B&M aka Bollinger and Mabillard will send a representative on site to supervise the process. They don’t tell people what to do, but there here to provide guidance and also to make sure all the blueprints are correctly being followed. The guys who are erecting Valravn right now are from Adena, in Mansfield Ohio. They are used to building roller coasters. They have built Gatekeeper and a few others as well. They are Cedar Points go to guys. There’s other contractors that build the station and steel supports, others who come in and do electrical… so, there all different companies, it’s not just one company. B&M just manufactures the track, the ride system, and they are in charge of delivering the product itself, but then the contractors come in and build things like the station and other things that are not physically part of the actual coaster itself.
@Crazy4Cavies: Will the station be built at the end?
Tony: Everything is kinda moving simultaneously. The footers for the Valravn station building are completed.
@coasterguy246: When will the drop be completed?
Tony: I do not know. I get an update every day on where we are in the construction process, and my update today has all been on the topping. So, i don’t have a date of when the drop will be complete.
@baseballlgnd9: Why brown and blue?
Tony: Why not?…. It’s actually copper… copper metallic..
@Joe_gobucks: Is the station hydraulic?
Tony: If you mean if the floor drops? the yes it is. The flat pieces that will drop are called combes. Each ones will drop just like we showed you the florless arrangement over at Rougarou.
@BrandonB_128: Should construction move faster once most of the high work is done?
Tony: Yes, actually, so the big red crane (Manitowoc) that’s holding the top piece up there right now will stay through the assembly of the immelman, so that’s the very first drop and thats the first inversion, the highest inversion of the ride. It’s the second highest inversion at the park and it’s the second highest in the world. So, once that is complete, the red crane will go on vacation and another crane that is shorter will erect the rest of the pieces.
@Joe_gobucks: What color will the station be?
Tony: If you go over to the Valravn page on the Cedar Point website, you can see a rendering of what the station will look like. It’s not final, but it’s pretty close to what the physical building will look like. It may have slightly different colors and exterior treatments.
@MarioSlogar_x: Why not make it THE highest inversion in the world?
Tony: That’s funny.. well, because it’s right over there on Gatekeeper. We’re happy with that, we’ll keep that.
@timofey1899: Is there anything not in the rendering that will be added?
Tony: ahhhhhh….. no we haven’t released what the detail of the midway and what the entrance will look like to the ride, the queue line those kinds of things. Those are all still to come. We don’t release those until later on in the process because we are still literally working on that, we aere still not done with those things yet.
@Brian_s83: Any Secrets not yet released to the public yet about Valravn?
Tony: No. I can’t tell you if there were any secrets anyways..
@Cmarsh4202: How many people can ride this at once?
Tony: It’s 8 across, 3 rows per train. So 24. There’s 3 trains.
@MarioSlogar_x: Will there be a double loading station?
Tony: No, it is one station, so you come in.. you queue up and walk down a really long line on the platform which is awkward and weird since it’s a very long queue shoot that goes into the ride then you get off. So you load unload all in the tiny little space.
@CoastingatCP: Will the throne stay with the ride?
Tony: Yes. It will be there for photo ops.
@jerdrell: We need a 600 footer…
Tony: No, can’t do that… toooo muuuuch moneeeeeyyyyy….
That’s a wrap with the Q&A!
Cedar Point is known around the world as an innovator in not only ride technology, but a builder of big things. Very, very big things. When Valravn opens in May 2016, it will boast of 10 world records!
- Tallest Dive Coaster (223 feet)
- Fastest Dive Coaster (75 mph)
- Longest Dive Coaster (3,415 feet)
- Most Inversions on a Dive Coaster (3)
- Longest Drop on a Dive Coaster (214 feet)
- Highest Inversion on a Dive Coaster (165 feet)
- Most Roller Coasters Taller Than 200 Feet at One Amusement Park (5)
- Most Rides at One Amusement Park (72)
- Most Steel Roller Coaster Track at One Amusement Park (9.9 miles)
- Most Roller Coaster Track at One Amusement Park (11.4 miles)
Want to know more? Click here to see our other article with construction update photos.
For season passes and more information, visit the official Cedar Point website by clicking here.
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