Python (Efteling)

Roller coaster
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Python
Python Corkscrew Efteling.jpg
Efteling
Location Kaatsheuvel, North Brabant, Netherlands
Coordinates 51°38′49″N 5°03′13″E / 51.646831°N 5.053558°E / 51.646831; 5.053558
Park section Ruigrijk
Status Operating since April 12, 1981
Cost ƒ10,000,000 (€4,500,000 approximately)
Soundtrack No
Rider height 120 cm minimum
Statistics
Manufacturer Vekoma
Product MK-1200 (Double Loop Corkscrew)
Designer / calculations Ing.-Büro Stengel GmbH
Type Steel
Hourly capacity 950
Propulsion Chain lift hill
Height 29 metres
Drop 22 metres
Top speed 75 km/h
Length 749.8 metres
Inversions 4
Duration 2:08
G-Force 3.5
Rolling stock
Manufacturer Vekoma (2012−present)
KumbaK (2005−2011)
Vekoma (1990s−2005)
Arrow Dynamics (1981−1990s)
Riders per train 28
HELP
Python logo2005.png

Python is a steel roller coaster located at Efteling in Kaatsheuvel, North Brabant, Netherlands. It was built by Vekoma and opened on April 12, 1981. When it first opened, it was the largest steel coaster in mainland Europe.

History

Vertical loop.

Python opened on April 12, 1981 and was the start of a new strategy of development for the park: moving from a fairy-tale forest into a proper amusement park, which led to many problems with the local community. Environmentalists tried to get the building permit withdrawn, and the park's neighbors feared more problems arising from growing visitor numbers. This, and the likely noise pollution the coaster saw the highest court of public justice order the construction to be stopped. After some time, construction could recommence, but legal problems continued for several more years.

In 1995, when operating hours were extended until 10 pm, the coaster's 45-decibel noise level became a problem once more. Plans were submitted to the local municipality, describing an extension and complete renovation of the coaster, which would reduce the noise substantially. Due to the high cost, the funds were allocated to the construction of a new enclosed (to reduce noise problems for the nearby community) roller coaster, Vogel Rok, which opened in 1998.

Efteling hoped to get a night license for Python with some small renovations (new trains and a chain lift), but only with a change in the permit could Python remain open until 10 pm.

For the 2018 season, the track from the start of the first vertical loop to the brake run was replaced. While the coaster still follows the same layout, the new track has smoother transitions. The works, which cost € 4.5 million, also included a replacement of the lift chain, the introduction of a single-rider queue, and a new "ride reservation" virtual queuing system. Python reopened on 31 March.[1]

Design

Elements

Colour scheme

White track and dark green supports.

Trains

2 trains with 7 cars per train. In each car, riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows, for a total of 28 riders per train. The ride originally used trains built by Arrow Dynamics. The trains were replaced with Vekoma built ones in the 1990s, due to noise pollution. Around midway through the 2005 season, the Vekoma trains were replaced by KumbaK trains. Then near the end of the 2011 season, the trains were once again replaced with Vekoma trains. These new cars have a new set of restraints that accommodate the needs of riders large and small. There is a flexible over the shoulder strap which is not unlike those on accelerator coasters such as Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure but slightly thicker. Over these are metal bars for riders to hold on to and to give support to the under straps. Also, the cars have been fitted with wheels which allow for a smoother ride.

Incident

On 30 July 2007 at around 7:30 PM, a train became stuck at the top of the lift hill with 26 riders onboard. It was positioned such that the first two cars were over the top of the lift. Operators began evacuating the train from the back, which made the weight distribution in the train progressively more imbalanced. When 18 riders remained onboard, the heavier front caused the train to start moving. An employee evacuating the fourth car managed to close the restraints once again and jump out the way of the moving train, injuring himself in the process. Nobody else was injured. Following the incident, park management stated that they had revised their evacuation procedures and would retrain their staff.[2]

Location

The ride is located in the "Ruigrijk" area of the park, roughly translating to "Thrill Realm".

Images

References

External links

  • Python on the Roller Coaster DataBase.
Most inversions on a roller coaster (4)
tied with
Carolina Cyclone, Demon, Demon

April 1981 - May 1982
Preceded by
Corkscrew
Most inversions on a roller coaster (4)
tied with
Carolina Cyclone, Demon, Demon

April 1981 - May 1982
Succeeded by
Viper
Articles on Efteling
Efteling logo.jpg