Gravity Group’s Timberliner Trains Could Be a Game Changer

Editorials and Rants Roller Coaster News

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.

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

23 Comments

  1. That's pretty cool. Hopefully they'll be as good as they claim them to be.

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  2. I love Hades at Mt. Olympus. I think the only problem with it is the PTC trains. They need Timberliners. Also, Hades has some really banked turns. the PTCs aren't exactly designed for that.

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    • yeah, they`ll definiteley be good.

      PS-the guy who was locked in the restraints was wearing a hades shirt.

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      • I noticed Quil. It would look good in my roller coaster shirt collection.

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  3. Yes. Excited. Very.

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  4. If it ain't broke…The Voyage is perfect as it is. I can't imagine these trains making it even better.

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  5. I plan to try them out on Voyage this summer and am trying to reserve judgment until then. My immediate visceral response has been that they are too much like steel coaster trains and they will overly cocoon the rider in those deep bucket seats. On the other hand, I am quite pleased with the level of padding and the promises of improved rider comfort.

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    • also, the steering trains show stop all of the banging.

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  6. Since there rehabing Thunder Road, I think (and hope) that carowinds gets some of these trains. I would definatally want to ride it more often.

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    • No kidding as far as this idea goes, for me it`s 2 thumbs way u↑p!

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  7. CC there's a bit of a problem whith the allingnment of the site right now.

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    • What do you mean Quil? I know a lot of the older page's formats are a little off, but I'm slowly going through them and cleaning them up.

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      • Oh, it must`ve been the computer I was using, the sidebars were overlapping the edges of the page. the first 3 words of my comment were pushed under the left sidebar when i wrote them. must`ve been the computer. everything`s fine now.

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      • The home page has been opening very slooooooooooooowly for me this week … seems like it takes the video links a while to load. I didn't have this problem in the past.

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        • How old is your cp?

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        • That's weird. Anyone else experiencing the same? The video in this post doesn't load on the home page, just the summary for that post. I'll see if I can tell what else might be causing the home page to slow down. Hmmm….

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          • Everything seems to be back to normal this morning. Speed is ok and columns are loading where they should.

          • must`ve been a temporary problem.

  8. Well, with all the padding, I hope these new trains make the ride feel smoother a little bit, too.

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  9. Cedar Point should buy these for Mean Streak and remove the brakes on the first drop. I rode Mean Streak when it first opened and that ride was super fun fast.

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    • most say something like "horrible" or "sucked", but i`ll have to take your word for it.

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  10. Having a actual test fitting in the final seating design. I can honestly say, "THESE ARE THE MOST COMFORTABLE SEATS OF ANY WOODEN COASTER TRAIN ANYWHERE"!

    Plenty of hip room, Plenty of room period! Me and my brother are large guys and in PTCs were sitting all sideways and hanging out of the car in the shoulder area. We don't even touch in these, Yet there will still be some interaction. The Lap bar will sit a inch higher and be three inches longer than the video depicts. Also these lap bars have a double hydrolic locking system, Meaning the bar will stay where its locked! The bar also wraps around the waist of everyone big or small and not rest on top of or dig into people. IM VERY IMPRESSED! The padding was more than sufficient, Yet soft and forgiving. One of my biggest problems with a PTC is the padding does not encapsulate the top of the sides of the cars, This causes rib cracking and PAIN! If my brother slammed me on Voyage in the PTC Id be in pain for a hour, We came to ride defensively and literally grab the side to keep from hitting the other.

    Having a couple hundred rides on Voyage and several hundred on Legend at HW, What strikes me is the fact that all coaster trains before these literally slam the side rail of the track and are forced to turn! On Voyage you can literally hear and feel it happen as if the train starts turning a second or two after its supposed too. The New trains steer!!! Gone will be that banging with increased speed and smoothness.

    I Cannot wait to ride these, With the trains being on site now and testing to begin shortly, My hands are sweating!

    Interesting observance of the review as I myself found myself to becoming addicted to the action of Voyage. "THANK YOU MAAM! MAY I HAVE ANOTHER????? 🙂

    Chuck

    Reply
    • by the sound of thatthe vopyage is going to be better than before. (as if it needed another advantage)

      Reply

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