By Sabrina @ Holiday World
Published

This week we set out to answer two of your burning questions about the Voyage:

Why did we start track work early? What are we doing to the track? Initially we thought we would take some cellphone pictures to share progress on the Voyage. Once we started working with the maintenance team and heard what they were up to, we couldn’t resist turning it into a full morning of production. Over 600 feet of the old track is being replaced to ensure smooth voyages in 2020 and our maintenance crew is already on track with the upgrades. 
Here is where the track maintenance ends on the Voyage.

The end of the line! Here is where the track maintenance ends on the Voyage.

Once I started talking with the crew one thing became abundantly clear: Our roller coaster technicians are passionate about our coasters and giving our guests the best experience.

Our three wooden coasters get ridden every morning by our roller coaster techs. When the Voyage was due for maintenance, they knew exactly where they wanted to smooth out the ride in the off season.

These upgrades are going to make for a MUCH smoother ride!

In the photo above the rail is nailed to the middle to the hand rail.

In the photo above the rail is nailed to the middle to the hand rail.

First, our team  nails the rails to either the top or middle of the side rail.

Taking this step first ensures that each piece of rail goes back in the correct order when the track work is finished.

Here is the section of track where the rails and track have already been removed. The rails are nailed to the hand rail so the crew can easily put them back in order.

Here is the section of track where the rails and track have already been removed. The rails are nailed to the hand rail so the crew can easily put them back in order.

Why did we need the jump start to get the Voyage repairs done before 2020? Through our annual maintenance rotation between our three wooden roller coasters, it was time to check up on the Voyage.

After an assessment, it was determined we would replace about 40 feet, with the overlap that adds up to over 600 feet of track! 

Under the rails are EIGHT layers of staggered wood!

Under the rails are EIGHT layers of staggered wood!

When repairs are made to a wooden coaster, you can’t just remove the part you are focused on improving.

Once the rails are up there are EIGHT overlapped layers of wood that have to be removed!

So large sections of the coaster have to be removed to smooth out small portions of the ride.
Our team carefully removing a chunk of the Voyage!

Our team carefully removing a chunk of the Voyage!

Have you ever noticed that our coasters blend in with their scenic surroundings? To not disturb the treeline or fencing in place, the telehandler has very little room to work and navigate. As you can see in the picture above, the pieces are led by another team member to ensure the track doesn’t swing. Once they have detached a section it gets added to the ever-growing discard pile.
Old track pieces laying in a pile.

Out with the old track, in with the smooth!

The wood seen above also can’t be picked up at your local department store. We have found a specific type that is hardy enough to withstand  daily use and Indiana’s elements. The Voyage improvements are evidence of Holiday World’s dedication to improving our guest’s experience. Our team exceeds industry standards by not only maintaining our coasters but working to make them better. Not only do we have exciting projects like Cheetah Chase, but we’re prioritizing the upkeep of the rides you love! Fans of the Voyage will have a much smoother ride in 2020! Who’s counting down the days to May already? Check out the latest installment of Hard Hat Chronicles to see upgrades from a birds-eye view with comments from Josh a Holiday World Roller Coaster Technician! 
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One Response to “Out with the Old, In with the Smooth”

  1. Joe

    I am counting down the days until May already. It’s going to be a long winter. I’m glad to read about track work on our favorite ride at your park. I only wish I was there to help!!!

    Reply