First midcourse brake?

Monday, June 20, 2005 1:20 PM
I was in the midst of a conversation about Space Mountain at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom recently, relating how Cast Members must push the rockets out of each block brake after an E-Stop and I got to wondering which ride had the first midcourse brake run installed.

Any ideas?

I thought it odd that Space Mountain requires the rockets be pushed and surmised that, perhaps, its design came early on in the life of the brake run as the cause. I have nothing of substance to back that up, of course, though I can't immediately think of other rides with midcourse brakes from much earlier than that era. Multiple lifts do not count.


Monday, June 20, 2005 1:24 PM
Almost every mouse and Herschell Mouses had brakes along their course. This dates at least back to the 50s.


Monday, June 20, 2005 1:25 PM
I think one of the first was the Matterhorn. It has a bunch of those old skid brakes throughout its course, which allows it to run many cars. While they don't slow the car down usually, they can stop the car in an E-stop. *** Edited 6/20/2005 5:25:58 PM UTC by coasterwiz***
Monday, June 20, 2005 1:28 PM
Ah yes, the perennial Wild Mouse. How could I have forgotten? Presumably, the mouse predated Matterhorn, even.

It's quite amazing how the real innovation in coaster technology came in small, not 456' tall packages.

I guess that just makes Space Mountain really bizarre.


Monday, June 20, 2005 1:31 PM
Mamoosh's avatar They date farther back than that, too. Coney's Cyclone [1927] has a MCBR on the second turn. I'm sure with a little detective work one can find older coasters that had them.

Edit - It makes Space Mtn poorly designed! LOL! I suspect the newer version will have MCBRs that are on a decline so trains will roll away from them once released.

*** Edited 6/20/2005 5:32:29 PM UTC by Mamoosh***

Monday, June 20, 2005 6:49 PM
The old Space Mtn's brake runs did have declines its just that they were so shallow that it would take too long to clear the block before the one behind it caught up causing more downtime. I remember reading somewhere that they used to push rockets in the station as well to get blocks cleared faster until they installed those pneumatic catapults (DL).

...and such

Monday, June 20, 2005 6:50 PM
Mamoosh's avatar You still helped make my point that the original was poorly designed.
Monday, June 20, 2005 7:21 PM
exactly...just reinforcing what you already stated =)

...and such

Monday, June 20, 2005 8:16 PM
I remember reading somewhere that Chicago's Riverview Bobs had 2 block brakes to allow 3-train operation on busy days. If I remember right, there was a special booth where an employee sat and turned the brakes on if needed.

Anybody have more insight into how this worked? *** Edited 6/21/2005 12:16:55 AM UTC by MooreOn***

- Chris
Monday, June 20, 2005 8:57 PM
Mamoosh's avatar Manually, Chris ;)
Wednesday, June 22, 2005 12:32 AM
What if the operator got drunk? Or fell asleep? Or was suddenly stricken blind or stupid?

Would the trains then explode like in RCT?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 3:06 AM
So that is what MCBR means. . . You silly kids. I would make the r lower case, but who am I to make such IMPORTANT decisions.

Michael Darling - Yes.

Edit: Break Run. . .Right on. *** Edited 6/22/2005 7:09:54 AM UTC by Word***

Down is the new up.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005 6:39 AM
MCBR = Mid-Course Brake Run... not just Mid-Course Brake... silly old person. ;)

Edit: Whoops. Your edit told me you realized that... and... you're not old.

*** Edited 6/22/2005 10:43:42 AM UTC by Michael Darling***

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 9:10 AM
First mid-course brake?

How about Thompson's Switchback Railway (1884)?

The cars would roll to the end of the track, then would be manually pushed to the top of the hill for the return run.

Maybe they didn't use actual brakes for the mid-course block, but still...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 12:15 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar ^ I think that qualifies as more of a 2nd lift hill than a MCBR. Your mileage my vary :)


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
Wednesday, June 22, 2005 3:31 PM
As a former Space Mountain MKP Cast Member I can tell you that the blocks are perfectly level on Space Mountain. The block brakes only have two settings Open (only manually) and close (automatic & manual). The only way to open a block after it has closed is to walk out to it and open it. Then you have to push the Rocket Sled out of the block once it is out it will almost always make to unload.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005 4:05 PM
Mamoosh's avatar The cars would roll to the end of the track, then would be manually pushed to the top of the hill for the return run.

Using that logic what about the original Russian ice runs? Those sleds had to get back to the top somehow ;)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 4:20 PM
I saw a video of some ice slides and they were sliding on their butts. Maybe some had sleds.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005 5:24 PM
Mamoosh's avatar Found online:

"Every history has a starting point and most roller coaster historians agree that the roller coaster's origins were the Russian Ice Slides. These slides first appeared during the 17th century throughout Russia."

I highly doubt you saw video or film of that, RavTDD.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 5:39 PM
I did see a video. They did not stop having them in the 17th fact, they still have some.

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