Thursday, July 17, 2014

Solving the B&M Track at Clermont Steel Fabricators - Where's it Headed and What's it to be?

For those that don't know, Clermont Steel Fabricators is the location where Bollinger & Mabillard (aka B&M) manufactures all of their track for coasters around the world. B&M is responsible for some of the best steel coasters in our opinion as well. Rides such as, Leviathan, Manta, Kumba, Griffon, and the newly opened Banshee.

In the past few months there has been an uptick in activity around the facility and several different colored track segments have been spotted laying outside. This has gotten the rumor mill all abuzz in the coaster enthusiast world and we're here to help try and decipher the madness of it all, or at least try to.

Image via
While we know that the white track is headed to Italy for Gardaland's new Dive Machine Coaster that's set to open in 2014, the other sections aren't so clear. In addition to the track headed overseas to Italy, there's also been yellow, orange, red and a blueish/teal colored track spotted in recent weeks as well.

That's 4, maybe 5, coasters and while we know who is getting something shiny from B&M in 2015, we're just not sure which is going where just yet.

Many insiders and coaster enthusiasts believe that at least one of these is bound for Carowinds and their rumored B&M Giga coaster coming in 2015. So, that leaves the others for contention between various parks. Some believe that one is headed to somewhere in China and the other headed to The Netherland's Efteling for their "mini Dive Coaster" that's slated for a 2015 opening as well.

So, which color is going where? That's a little harder to decipher and there are many possibilities. It's been odd to track things down.

First and foremost is the idea the teal/blue track is headed to Carowinds for their massive B&M project. This would make sense on the surface and Leviathan at Canada's Wonderland does have a similar color scheme. Interesting to note, Millenium Force also has a blue color pallet as well.

Though, with the recent Roman hints, blue seems a bit off for that but they could make it work somehow I guess. Both rumored names Fury 325 and Centurian both don't quite carry a blue/white kind of vibe by the sounds of them.

The fact that Carowinds already has two coasters, Intimidator and Vortex, that match the red color schemes makes it unlikely they would add a third in my opinion. They also have a blue and white coaster with Afterburn and yellow track on Nighthawk too, so I'm really not sure here. That said, I've been wrong in the past, so we'll just have to wait until the reveal on August 8th, as hinted by the VIII.XXI.MMXIV (8.21.2014) on the bottom of the banner in the image above.

Another front runner is that the orange/red track is headed to Holiday World for whatever their 66 Days at Sea campaign is hinting at. While it wouldn't be out of the question for most places, the idea is a curious one and probably the most reaching as there are other companies linked to their newest project as well.

Why? Well, Holiday World doesn't have a pure steel coaster in the park and spending $18million+ on a single ride would definitely be a first. Granted, they have stated that their 2015 project would eclipse any of their last expansion projects and be the largest expansion since the park's opening in 1946.

So, with that I guess anything could happen, but is it $18mil+ possible?

Everything from a B&M hyper coaster to a wing rider, or even something else entirely, is being speculated and right now it's really anyone's guess. That said, the colors seem off here as well. I don't really associate red/orange with ocean voyages, but if it's going into the park's Thanksgiving section like some think then maybe I could see it.

Either way, we only have about week until that announcement is made on July 24th, so hopefully that will shed a bit more light on just what they have planned as well. Might even be a project from another company all together at that!

Image via Screamscape from February, 2014
This leaves the mysterious yellow track that's been around for quite a while. This has been rumored to be headed to Xishuangbanna Theme Park in China as a flying coaster. I've done a bit of digging and I haven't really seen any word on who else might be building something else new for next year over there, so that seems to be the most likely case as they are expecting one.

With less and less of the yellow around these days, it seems likely that is probably the case and leaves only the other couple of colors up for grabs in reality.

However, without a 5th coaster being present or known about, unless we count the dark blue sections, that leaves Efteling not present in the photos above. That's a bit of a problem, since we know for a fact they're getting a dive coaster in 2015.

There is also some contention that the dark blue pieces, seen in the image at the top, aren't even a whole new ride. It is possible that they're just support sections or some other component that's part of one of the existing four we know of. Now, if Holiday World is not building a B&M, then this is a moot point and one of the others is headed to Efteling. If they are, then the track for that hasn't been seen yet.

Quick recap time. We have the white track going to Gardaland (confirmed), blue/teal track headed to Carowinds (maybe), red/orange track to Holiday World (maybe) and the Yellow to China. This leaves Efteling out in the dark. Could it be the the dark blue segments? No clue, might not even be a new coaster entirely either and Holiday World could be doing something else with another company entirely.

So, there ya have it. Everything that we've been able to dig up about what's going on at the fabled (and frequently spied upon) Clermont Steel Fabricators in Ohio. A few of these questions will get answered in the next week or so, but until then, feel free to speculate away!

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