NCL Free At Sea

Apocalypse Being Retracked at Six Flags Magic Mountain

By on 03/15/2017

If you’ve ridden Apocalypse at Six Flags Magic Mountain in the last year or two, you’re probably aware that it’s gotten pretty rough. The wood used during its construction in 2009 has not held up well under the harsh heat and dry conditions of the Southern California sun. A company called Wood Coaster Developments, out of the U.K., was contracted to replace 400′ of the laminate track, smoothing out some of the roughest parts of the ride.

Wood Coaster Developments has been doing an excellent job at keeping us updated on the progress of the repair work on their Facebook page, but for those of you not on Facebook, I’ve assembled most of their photos here for your convenience. Every single one of these photos was taken by Wood Coaster Developments and not me. Anything you see in italics is a direct quote from them, also from their Facebook page. Enjoy!

Removed all running steel and track sections cut ready to be lifted off:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

All of the old running steel was removed:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

A crane was used to remove old sections of track that were cut into small chunks:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

Old sections of track that have already been cut and removed:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

Fresh ledgers awaiting new laminate track to be installed:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

Inspecting the existing structure:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

This turn is huge:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

Stair stepped joint. New track, cross ties and ledgers:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

4×4 cross ties 20d nailed across centreline 2 x 12 boards:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

It’s starting to come back to life:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

Replacement of Y Ledger:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

Stacking board:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

1st laminates and cross ties:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

Adjusting centrelines:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

Easily visible set out:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

Bending stick allows a visual means to create parabolic curves, you need to have keen eyesight to use one:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

Entry into high return curve:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

Tracking gangs working in the heat:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

Tracking gangs:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

Note profile over crest which has been manually assisted:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

First laminate set out:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

Profiled crest:


Image © Wood Coaster Developments, Ltd.

Before we teardown the track we do a full survey on its position, angle and centrelines, We also look for distortions in the laminates, irregular steel wear, upstop – laminate interference and we also get familiar with train type and any articulation problems. This information determines what , if anything, we change about the profile. Generally speaking we never move centreline or ledger heights over 2-3 in, but these small adjustments make a huge difference to how it rides.

I’m very excited this work is being done and I can’t wait to ride Apocalypse again. It looks like WCD is doing a great job at the repairs. I’ll try to post more photos from them as they get farther along the project.

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  1. Josh

    03/15/2017 at 12:22 pm

    This looks like shes getting the ghostrider treatment, no? Well, thats exciting

  2. Steve J.

    03/15/2017 at 3:42 pm

    Only 400′ of it huh ?? That doesn’t seem like much, but I’m not the professional. I love this ride, and yes it needed some help, very happy they are doing this. Maybe I can keep my hands up the whole time now, and not worry about throwing my back out 🙂 . As always thanks Kurt.

  3. RCA

    03/19/2017 at 8:00 pm

    Yes this is great but … 5 – 10 years from now we’ll be right back to a rough Woodie needing another re-track 🙁 , I know its expensive but in the long run six flags should have pulled some strings and did another Rocky Mountain Construction “wood hybrid” with steel tracking !

    • Matt

      04/20/2017 at 3:42 am

      That seems like a terrible idea. We already have a coaster like that in the form of Twisted Colossus. Why do you want Apocalypse to be the same sort of experience? What makes it so charming is the feel of the wooden tracks, that’s not something that should be taken away. Though I do agree this refurb was probably needed, it was starting to get almost as bumpy as Psyclone in her later years on those last few curves over the queue area, even with the great cushioning I could feel my internal organs jostling about.


    03/20/2017 at 6:46 am

    Are they replacing the cars too!? Been there twice in 2013 and 2016 and didn´t ride it because of the coments about the ride´s roughness..

    • The Coaster Guy

      03/20/2017 at 12:38 pm

      No, the cars are fine. They just needed a smoother surface to ride on.

      • KT

        03/30/2017 at 9:01 pm

        Those trains are actually the best. Aren’t they millennium flyers?

  5. Ryan

    03/20/2017 at 8:41 pm

    I miss bobsled n the lake that used to be there

  6. Sean Lewis

    03/22/2017 at 9:25 pm

    I’ve ridden GHOSTRIDER after it’s refurbishment and I was instantly hooked to the point that it is now my favorite coaster at KBF. Hopefully, WOOD COASTERS DEVELOPMENT does the SAME magic for Apocalypse!!

  7. JJJ

    03/23/2017 at 10:22 am

    Cant believe Six Flags is actually spending money on a rehab!

  8. M. Smith

    03/31/2017 at 3:12 pm

    Hey, I heard Boomerang at Knotts is closing next month!! (April).
    This is for real, not an April Fool’s Joke.

    Know anything about it??? Replace with what???

    • Eric

      04/11/2017 at 11:54 am

      It is closing. Sunday, April 23, I believe, is the last day to ride Boomerang at Knott’s Berry Farm. If I had to guess, Boomerang is being removed to accommodate a new for 2017 project… and I’m thinking it could be a new coaster. Another guess is Cedar Fair likely relocating Boomerang to another park, and I’m thinking that Michigan’s Adventure could be the top contender to receive Boomerang.

      • Eric

        04/11/2017 at 11:54 am

        I meant 2018, not 2017… sorry.

  9. Nima

    04/09/2017 at 8:58 am

    Hello everyone, this question is off topic but I wanted to know the answer to a question. Every time I go to six flags I realize that some rides are capable of handling more than two trains. For example x2, tatsu(I think), and twisted colossus. Yet I barely ever see any ride running three trains for the exception of twisted colossus only time that I was there. The lines are always very long I just wanted to know what is holding six flags back from running three trains on these rides that have long wait times. The long wait times is something that always holds me back from going to six flags.

    • The Coaster Guy

      04/09/2017 at 6:02 pm

      If they have three trains for a coaster, they will typically run two while the third is being refurbished. Then can then swap the refurb’d train for the next one that is due and continue to run two trains. You can’t run all your trains all the time. They eventually need to be taken out of service for maintenance.

      • Eric

        04/11/2017 at 4:49 pm

        Generally, a coaster will have enough trains to run at its designed capacity plus a spare. Some of the rides at SFMM are designed to run with three trains, but the park will only run two. In some cases—like X2—it can run three trains, but there’s no point because the loading is slow enough (and the ride is short enough) to allow the second train to return to the station before the first train is unloaded/reloaded. On X2, running two trains is actually more efficient. But some other rides…hmmm…

        • Brandon Carter

          04/29/2017 at 6:19 pm

          Staffing budgets and how they fit into saftey guidelines for a particular attraction are also to be considered. These days the park does better at having at least 3 folks on a platform but in the late 90s till the mid 2000’s some coasters ran with just 2 folks. With only 2 you can’t run maximum trains because you need to have someone physically in the control booth at all times. This is why some rides have that big aux panel outside the booth…which would allow 2 op single train operation.

  10. Ed

    05/07/2017 at 10:23 am

    Thanks for the article. Retracting is now complete. I was able to again ride on May 6, ’17. It was a very comfortable ride with the seat padding and new track.

  11. Zackery

    09/15/2017 at 2:00 pm

    is it still closed

    • The Coaster Guy

      09/15/2017 at 2:23 pm

      It is closed, but not due to this re-tracking work. That has been completed.

  12. Brandon Paul

    04/14/2018 at 3:24 pm

    This repair was done by Amuse LLC, not coaster developments. Richard and his son were hired by Amuse in addition to our crew. Please see the shirts in the pictures with the Amuse logo. Richard was actually removed from this job before complete because Six Flags asked him not to post on FB and he continued.
    We have pictures of lots of additional wood coaster work ongoing by Amuse. Thank you, Brandon Paul, President of Amuse LLC

    • John

      04/25/2018 at 8:36 am

      Amuse may well of fronted the works but it was staffed by WCD Ltd, and WCD Ltd actually didnt post any more pictures after the request from the park not to do so. check out their site to see projects completed over a 18 year span.
      Life is a rollercoaster!

  13. Steph

    01/16/2019 at 6:48 pm

    Does anyone know when Apocalypse will be opening? Also the new Coaster?

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