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Patriot Undergoes Preventative Maintenance

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Coaster Shop 101

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Class is in session, and today we’re learning a little about all the work that goes into keeping the scream machines at California’s Great America running smoothly all season long!

Safety reigns supreme at the park. As the days grow shorter heading into fall, our maintenance team begins their preventative checks on each of our park’s rides. As I write, one of Patriot’s trains has been completely disassembled—allowing our eagle-eyed mechanics a chance to inspect every nut and bolt of the coaster’s 28-seat vehicle.

I popped into our coaster shop to take a peek at what Patriot’s train looks like when it’s stripped down to its skeleton.

You can see some of the ride’s biggest workhorses in this shot. When you strap into Patriot’s train and roll out of the station, the gray hook-shaped objects are what grab onto the chain lift and carry you to the top of the ride’s first drop. They hang below the train and latch right into the chain’s grooves—giving Patriot the lift it needs before propelling riders through its twisted track. Behind the pallets of parts are the ride’s wheels.

What keeps the train safely locked on the track while hanging upside down? These wheel housings are where our mechanics bolt on three sets of wheels that hug the ride’s rails—making sure the train always stays put along its journey.

Here you’ll see a few of the ride’s chassis. These gray metal blocks each get four seats bolted onto them, and then seven rows get linked together to make the train.

It’s important to make sure the ride’s seats and restraints are in tip-top shape since Patriot takes riders through two inversions and down a nine-story drop!

Once everything is put back together, it gets some finishing touches. These details give the ride its patriotic flare.

Need to get your floorless coaster fix? No worries. Even when one train is in the shop, the second is still screaming along the track. Make sure to come to the park soon to grab a thrilling ride aboard our newest scream machine!

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Danny Messinger

As public relations coordinator for California’s Great America, I get to tell the incredible stories of our park to the world—and take our biggest fans Between the Lines. I’ve been an incurable amusement park fanatic since I was a kid and have worked at two other parks (shout-out to Cedar Point and Valleyfair!). Now, I can’t wait to share my passion with our readers!

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