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Articles Linnanmäki Särkänniemi Tykkimäki Wasalandia Ålandsparken Itäkeskus Santapark Suomen Tivoli Tivoli Seiterä Tivoli Sariola Tivoli Suuronen


Updated 11.09.00

Click here to see how the Crazy Worm works

Crazy Worm

Crazy Worm is a portable roller coaster by Sartori, and purchased by Suomen Tivoli in 2000. The ride arrived in midsummer, in the middle of the season. When I took the photos, it was the 9th time the ride had been erected. Crazy Worm is a kiddie roller coaster, but this does not mean that only children can enjoy riding it. The first season has already indicated that it has been very popular with all age groups.

The technology of the ride is similar to much bigger roller coasters. The only major difference is that bigger rides have more track parts and are thus longer and higher. The erection of the ride was extremely interesting, and it was a great learning experience too. The build up was fast and smooth, since the build crew were real professionals.

Click images for larger picture

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12:00 pm. Crazy Worm load

This is the beginning of the build up. The whole ride fits inside one trailer. The worm itself peeks at the end of the trailer that acts as a station. The yellow parts are tracks, green are parts of track support structure and silver parts are used in foundation and platforms.

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Adjusting cranks

The first step is to level the trailer. This is done by adjusting the height of the legs using the cranks. The height of the station must be correct or the rest of the track will not attach to it properly. Furthermore, the front end of the station must be slightly lower in order to launch the train from the station without outside help.

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Unloading the parts

The parts are unloaded next. It's best to take one part at a time and attach them immediately, so it's necessary to dismantle the ride in proper order at the previous site. The red container is a compressor that produces the compressed air for the brakes and lap bar locking systems.

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12:30 pm. Station platform

The green bars support the platform of the station. When the ride is travelling, the platform sheets are in a vertical position. They are simply turned into their places. The fences are lifted up as soon as the floor is ready.

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Lift motor

Some heavier parts are put aside to wait for their turn, like the lift motor...

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chain, and...

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decorative lights.

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12:40 pm. Foundation

It's time to lay the foundation. This consists of 30 bars that have a specific location.

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The end of the foundation bar

At the end of the bar there is a welded part number indicating where to place it. The bars also contain adjustable legs to level the foundation.

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Assembly diagram

You can check the location of each part on this diagram. It illustrates the shape of the foundation.

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Attaching the bars

The bars slide inside the adjacent bar. A pin is pushed through both bars to secure the joint.

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13:10 pm. Tie bars

Tie bars prevent the foundation from moving. There are hooks at the end of these bars, so in theory it should be a quick operation to install them. In practice you have to adjust the position of the foundation before you are able to hook the tie bars.

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13:30 pm. Levelling the foundation

When the foundation is finished, it must be levelled properly. It can be done by screwing / unscrewing the legs while using a spirit level to check level.

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The foundation is ready

The bare foundation looks like this.

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14:00 pm. Unloading the heavy parts

When the foundation is ready, it's time to bring the lifting arm and unload the heavy parts.

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The frame

The vertical supporting pillars come next. They form the structure of the ride.

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Attaching the supports

You slide a pin through the parts and secure the joint using a cotter pin. Note that the joint is not in the centre of the green bar's end; this enables the support to lie down until you erect it.

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Electric cables

There are permanent cables inside the bars. The lights are powered simply by plugging in the mating connector.

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Building up the frame

Note the fences in the foreground. They support the pillars until the track is installed.

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14:40 pm. First section of the structure is erected

The fence will be installed to the left, between the vertical supports.

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Unloading the tracks

The tracks are lifted down and carried to their place waiting for installation. Each part weighs about 50kg. Sections of the lift hill and the trim brakes may weigh 100kg.

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16:00 pm. Installation of the track begins

The track supporting structure is erected in the same order as sections of track are installed. This step requires the participation of the whole team: One to control the lifting arm, and two men to erect the structure and direct the track to it's proper place. Usually the foundation must be slightly re-levelled in order to attach the tracks tightly.

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Installing the tracks

The fourth man sits on top of the structure and fastens the track to the frame. He uses the bar to close the gap between the sections and then secures the joint using a pin.

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Securing the joints of track

The joints of the track are secured as illustrated in the picture.

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17:30 pm. The upstairs is ready

The higher section of the track (the workmen call it "upstairs") is finished. The lower section parts can be lifted manually. At this stage the team calls it a day. The work is due to continue the following day. Note the lift hill in the left.

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09:30 am. The ends of the track

A new day begins and the work continues. Each track fragment has pegs on one end and holes on the other end. This ensures that the tracks are firmly attached. There are part numbers on the track, too. There are 49 track parts in total. The part number 1 is at the beginning of the lift hill.

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Track is almost ready

The installation of the lower section is very fast since the task does not require a lifting arm.

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10:20 am. Installing the final part

Needless to say, the last segment is always the most difficult one. The best tool in this stage is a big iron bar. However, the result is a track that sits extremely firmly on it's place.

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Vertical tie bars

The green vertical tie bars also prevent the structure from moving. This step takes lots of time, since the foundation must be lifted and adjusted until the bars meet their proper locations.

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11:20 am. The frame is ready

When all the tie bars are installed, the track looks like this.

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Cables for the lights

The worst is over when the frame is ready. Power cables are installed next.

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Installing the control panel

It's time to install the control panel and attach the electric cables and hoses for the compressed air.

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Lift hill walkway

The lift hill contains a walkway and a fence. They are needed in case there is a malfunction and the train is stranded in the middle of the lift hill. The customers can exit the ride safely if this happens.

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11:50 am. Installing the motor

It's time to install the motor on the lift hill. Note the chutes for the chain.

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12:00 pm. Chain is installed

The chain is hauled up as soon as the motor is in its proper place. Surprisingly this step takes just a few minutes.

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The decorative lights are also carried up and installed. The connectors are plugged in straight away.

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The facades are assembled. All the extra parts are stored underneath the trailer.

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The station

The other half of the station platform is installed.

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13:30 pm. Washing the train

The train is washed using a pressure washer. After washing, it's time to unfasten the train from the trailer (there are clamps at each end of the train) and send it along the track. Once the station has also been washed and the rest of the area cleaned the work is more or less done and the ride can be tested.

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Train on lift hill

The train is empty on the test run.

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14:00 pm. Return to station

Worm is returning from the test run. This is the best bend of the track. A typical ride takes three laps, one minute per lap.

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On board

This is a view from the front seat during a ride.

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A bird's eye view of the track

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There is a single train consisting of 6 cars with two rows of seats per each car. There is room for one adult or two children in each row of seats.

The team of four employees spent 9 hours and 30 minutes for the build up (not including breaks). This means that the build up takes 38 manhours in total. It took twice as much when the ride was erected for the first time. Each time the ride is built up or dismantled the workers come up with some new ideas to reduce the time. It is possible to build the track using a team of three but this requires approximately 50 manhours. In theory even two men can erect it, but it takes more than twice as many total manhours as when a team of four is used. Dismantling takes only half of the time needed for assembly.

The pictures were taken in Kerava, between 6-7.9.2000. Many thanks to Petri Sariola for the technical details of the ride, and also to the magnificent build up team Ossi, Jyri, Vesku and Luki, whose work I terrorized for two days with my camera. Special thanks to Mark Cook for helping me out with the translation.