Ever wondered what the backstage of a theme park looks like? Or how they keep their park functioning? Powerland gave us the opportunity to glance at their backstage. We saw the storage rooms of Thunderbird and Junker and we visited their big maintenance hall where defect cars and rides are being repaired.
Above we see the transfer track of Thunderbird. Thunderbird was the first roller coaster from GCI in Europe. It opened in 2006, a year earlier before Troy opened at Toverland (the Netherlands). As typical for most GCI coasters, Thunderbird has a brake section first and the transfer track with storage room lies between the brake section and the station, in a shed. Since GCI roller coasters have no mid brakes, most run with just two trains.
Thunderbird is not different on that. On the day we visited, it wasn’t very crowded so only one train was operated. The other one was stored on the storage track. If it would be needed to put the second train on the track, Powerland will empty the operating train and dispatch it. It will go on the lift hill where it will stay until the second train is in the station. At the end of the storage room/transfer track there’s an operating panel which an operator (or someone from technical service) lets operate the transfer track. The track connecting the brake section to the station will move to its left and the storage track will move along with it, so it fills in the empty spot between the brake section and station. The second train can now be dispatched into the station. The storage track moves back to its original place and once that has happened, the train waiting on the lift hill can be dispatched and ride the fill circuit. Thunderbird is now ready to operate with two trains.
A bit different, but the same system works for Junker, the parks newest roller coaster. Junker opened in 2015 and is a launch coaster from Gerstlauer. Typical for Gerstlauer is the use of single car trains, therefore a long transfer track and storage track isn’t needed. Before the station, there’s a small transfer track just big enough for one car. That transfers the cars to a single storage track that can store two cars. Other cars can be stored at the station. The storage room of Junker is pretty big and allows the technicians to work in all comfort on the cars.
Next to the Cobra roller coaster (a Vekoma boomerang) there’s a big building which you could easily think there’s a dark ride in it. But no, this building is a huge stockroom. We saw all different kind of stuff being stocked or repaired here. Reserve coolers to sell ice on hot summer days, a bunch of measuring sticks, some bumper cars, cars from the haunted house, etc…
Sure there’s more to see behind a theme park. They need offices, dressing rooms etc. as well. But we can’t take all the magic from behind the scenes away can we?!