If you’ve driven through Santa Claus, Indiana recently, you’ve seen it.
We had discarded pieces of track in the parking lot for all to see.
After many years of comments from our Guests and especially from Coaster Enthusiasts, it’s finally happening: The Raven is getting its moment.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Raven project if my sister, Lauren, didn’t weigh in… it is her sister coaster after all (it’s a long story). When I asked her to comment, she said, “It’s about time. These past few years it’s been ‘Legend this’ and ‘Voyage that.’ The Raven was starting to feel like the new middle child coaster. Rude.”
We’ll have a Hard Hat Chronicles episode for you next year, but until then, we just want to give you a preview. There’s so much work in this project, we’ve decided to call it The Raven Evermore project.
The Lake Turn
As you can see in the panorama below, all of the track is gone from the lake turn. Track ties, ledgers, walk boards, and of course, all eight layers of wood are being replaced for about 530 feet.
Before demolition began, this turn still had some of the original lumber from when the attraction was built in 1995.
That’s right. Some of the lumber in that turn was 25 years old.
Rebuilding this turn is going to be a total game-changer for The Raven.
Oh. Should I mention how much I appreciate our coaster maintenance team?
Because I’m kind of their biggest fan (actually I’m a huge fan of our entire maintenance team). I applaud when I get to re-ride coasters after the coaster techs have worked their magic in the off-season. I love following their progress on each project every year. And I love their work.
Wooden roller coasters are fun because they’re alive. They contract and expand in the weather. Depending on what time of year you visit, the time of day, how many trains are running, where you sit, the experience can be totally different. They have a mind of their own. This is why our coaster techs deserve a round of applause. Wooden coasters are demanding and high-maintenance, and frankly just outright cranky sometimes. They do small repairs and big repairs depending on the year, but the coasters essentially have to be rebuilt every five to ten years.
Our coaster maintenance program doesn’t happen by accident. We’re really proud of our excellent “track” record (get it?) of major coaster projects in the last several years. We have a dynamite team that works hard to make sure our coasters are more than just intense thrill machines. I mean, we want them to be intense thrill machines. But we also want them to be enjoyable and re-rideable. We make sure the team–even in the middle of a global pandemic–gets the time and resources to take on projects like this as often as we can.
Back to The Raven Evermore. Nearly 25% of our track is being repaired.
Did I mention there’s still more work being done? It’s hard to make out, but if you look closely you can see fresh lumber in the track below. Another 120 feet of track are getting work done on the top two layers. Total, that makes for more than 650 feet of work this season, which for The Raven means nearly 25% of the ride is going to be smoother.
It’s about time.
Oh. And there’s another surprise in this project that we’ll share about another day.
Calm down. It’s not another element. We’re just going to roll this announcement out later.
Would you like to receive HoliBlog notices – along with news releases and sweepstakes – by email? Sign up here and you can choose whether to receive the emails weekly or the same day the blog posts are published.