Flat track on roller coasters

Thursday, April 11, 2002 7:57 PM

Curious question...

I've noticed that on many of the coasters that I've ridden, there is a short stretch of flat (non-brake) track, usually located in a valley. I'll use Gemini, Blue Streak, and Magnum (in the 1st tunnel) as examples. I'm wondering if there is a logical reason for this.

Jim

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My K'Nex Coasters: http://home.insight.rr.com/seward/knex-main.htm
Coming to Wyandot Lake in 2003: Sea Dragon's Revenge

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Thursday, April 11, 2002 8:20 PM
I think it's an arrow thang.
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Thursday, April 11, 2002 8:24 PM
how can it be an arrow thing with blue streak?
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Friday, April 12, 2002 3:19 AM

S:ROS does it..... thats not Arrow

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Anthony Clauser

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Friday, April 12, 2002 3:53 AM
Other coasters CAN have flat track, not just arrow.

Arrow's rides tend to have lots of flat tracks. Cedar Creek mine ride is basically lots o'flat track between helixes. Magnum has flat trax after the first tunnel, as mentioned, and also after the 3rd tunnel and trims, there is flat track going into the station, corkscrew has about a mile of flat track going into the station, Gemini has flat track. Need I add more examples?

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Friday, April 12, 2002 5:12 AM

Its not just an Arrow thing at all. Personally, I think flat track placed strategically adds a lot of variety and excitment to a coaster by adding anticipation.

For all of us CP lovers, we are all well aware of the flat track zooming by Cedar Downs up into the Cobra Roll on Raptor. Its a small detail, but it gives a short little seocnd of flat out, close to the ground speed, and it allows for a lot of anticipation. You can also find the same sort of thing on Alpie, if I remember correctly. While the trackage on Kumba just before the Cobra Roll is certainly not straight, it provides for pretty much the same effect.

The Raven also does it at the bottom of the first drop. The Boss also does it just before the bunny hop by the station. Of course, Superman at SFA and SFDL feature a lot of straight track. Personally, I didn't mind it at all. I was really caught off gaurd by SFA's mainly because I was expecting something a bit more tame than what I got. I know other people are really bothered by the straight track on those rides, but of course that's a completely subjective type thing.

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If the shoe fits, find another one.

*** This post was edited by ravenguy98 on 4/12/2002. ***

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Friday, April 12, 2002 5:16 AM

coasterfreaky said:
there is flat track going into the station, corkscrew has about a mile of flat track going into the station


lol, wait a second buddy. If we count brake runs then doesn't just about every coaster in existance have straight track?

Honestly, I don't think its really an Arrow thing, per se. Arrow does it, occasionally, but so do other manufacturers pretty often, too.

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If the shoe fits, find another one.

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Friday, April 12, 2002 5:41 AM
The Boblo Sky Streek had a ton of flat track before the hill to the brake run. It's a sensation of speed trick.

*** This post was edited by Wolf on 4/12/2002. ***

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Friday, April 12, 2002 6:38 AM
S:ROS at SFDL and SFA seem to have a ton of flat sections. I've only seen pictures. For someone whose been on one, do they seem to be to long, or wast space where possibly another hill could have been fit in in place of flat track?
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Friday, April 12, 2002 7:51 AM
Vortex has a VERY tiny peice of flat track right before the Batwing. None others at PKI have it accept The Beast right before the second lift but that's just so that the entire train is the same speed when it hits the lift. (I may be wrong)

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It's his turn to feast, when you ride the Son of Beast.

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Friday, April 12, 2002 8:07 AM

Hmm....actually the Beast has that looooong stretch of flat track after the second drop, and also before the final turn into the second lift. KC (RIP) had flat track with a trick-track. FoF obviously has a long flat track to launch. SoB has a very long piece of flat track after the first helix.

Don't think Racer or AE have any. ;)

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He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

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Friday, April 12, 2002 8:30 AM

On the mirror image SROS's possibly a bunny could have been placed in the straights, but not a large hill. The straight track does work well as an anticipation builder at night.

There are a couple of uses for straight track that haven't been mentioned. The first is as a filler. When coaster designers complete the design of the elements for a coaster, things may just not add up. Inserting a price of straight track allows the track to meet. Of course, you can put it where it may help to build anticipation.

The other use seen is to minimize foundation loads in areas where foundations are difficult, usually over water. Low straight flat track places the least load on foundations. Apollo's Chariot at BGW is an outstanding expample of the this with it's two straight, flat crossings of Fabio's goose pond. Steel Force at Dorney has a straight, flat water crossing which is at the top of a hill. Arrow used this for double duty though by installing the block brakes at this point.

This may also be the reason for the straight track on the SFA and Darien Lake SROS's. Remember that Darien Lake was the original. The straight track at Darien Lake is largely over water leading to and from some slightly higher ground where the first helix is located.

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Friday, April 12, 2002 8:41 AM

joey isch said:
S:ROS at SFDL and SFA seem to have a ton of flat sections. I've only seen pictures. For someone whose been on one, do they seem to be to long, or wast space where possibly another hill could have been fit in in place of flat track?


Not really, just one spot bewteen the frirst helix and the third hill. the other peices may look a little flat, but there really not, its just the gradual lead intot he helix.

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Friday, April 12, 2002 8:54 AM
There is another flat section between the second hill and the first helix. At night at SFA you hurtle along flat until you feel a slight rise that signals that you are about the enter the first helix. It's not real long, but it is distinctly there.
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Friday, April 12, 2002 10:18 AM

Let's just say that on S:RoS, at the speed the train is "hurtling along", the flat track doesn't last long...and it gives a sense of anticipitation that is really sweet - 'cause you KNOW from the prior hill what kind of airtime is waiting at the top of that third hill.....

The flat track on MF is kinda cool too, but for the opposite reason. After the beginning of the ride, you start to think there's NO airtime at all - then you hit the hill on the return run to the station...:)

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Friday, April 12, 2002 10:28 AM
even though i was like 7 I remember the Sky streak at Boblo quite well, it was one of my first coasters. I liked the flat part at the end it gave you a chance just to be fast and enjoy the wind and stuff. It was cool.
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Friday, April 12, 2002 10:32 AM
The flat track on the Screechin' Eagle (park formerly known as Americana) is excellent. It's about the only respite you get from the brutal, violent, non-stop airtime.

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He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

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Friday, April 12, 2002 10:34 AM
The LOOOOOOOONG piece of flat track on the Beast is a midcourse brake. Same with the brake after the helix on SoB. The reason for that being so long is it has maunch tires at the end in cause they ever have to stop it, to accelerate it so the train will be a 60mph at the bottom of the next drop. And I wouldn't consider a trick track being "a flat piece of track". Same with a launch....it has to be straight!

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It's his turn to feast, when you ride the Son of Beast.

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Friday, April 12, 2002 10:41 AM

OK... I know the loooooong flat track on the Beast is a mid-course, but it's still flat, and it's about 10 times as long as the average mid-course.

On SoB, there is a huge amount of flat track before you hit the brakes, so I'd also consider that "non-mid-course" flat track.

KC had a very short portion of flat track immediately before the trick-track. And FoF *is* straight. If you want to be technical, the "launch" part runs out while there is still flat track in front of you. You can feel exactly when the magnets stop pulling you.

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He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

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Friday, April 12, 2002 10:44 AM

there's a time and a place for straight track. Raptor's straight section seems like a great anticipation builder, but other rides like S:ROS (SFDL/SFA) just have long boring pieces of straight track that only detracts from the ride.

if I want the sensation of going fast, I'll stick my head out of my car window. then I'll get a face full of bugs and realize that going fast really isn't all that great when compared to climbing into the sky and then diving back to the ground.

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-Bob (formerly Coaster Jedi)
Knott's Berry Farm Cuba ~South Park
"Your proctologist called, he found your head!" ~Jerry "The King" Lawler

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