Magnetic gates

Saturday, October 21, 2006 5:19 PM
I know most parks that use gates on theyre coasters use air gates which seem to work very well. But, I've noticed that Dorney Park is the only park I have seen that has the stupid magnetic gates at all theyre coasters. The guests take forever to figure out to push them open unlike the air gates found elsewhere.

I don't know why Dorney insists on using them instead of air gates.

My question is, does anyone know of ANY other park that uses magnetic gates in a coaster station? I've just always thought it was very odd thad Dorney has them and wondered if they actually exist anywhere else.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006 5:56 PM
Most if not all the Impulse coasters use them on the exit gates, but it seems stupid to use them on the entrance gates.
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Saturday, October 21, 2006 6:01 PM
Yeah, people stand in front of them expecting them to open automatically...I've seen many empty rows go out on coasters because people weren't listening when told to push open on the gates....it really seems to hurt capacity sometimes. *** Edited 10/21/2006 10:02:39 PM UTC by scraperguy99***
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Saturday, October 21, 2006 6:17 PM
I noticed that happening a lot today, especially on Hydra where people just stand there when other rows are boarding.

At least you don't have to worry about people breaking the air gates and then shutting the ride down.

They sometimes make an announcement and say "Push on your gates" which usually helps as well.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006 7:51 PM
A couple of coasters/rides where it would be "really bad" for people to enter the ride area while in operation have them. (The exit to V2 MW and all the gates on S:ToP, for instance)
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Saturday, October 21, 2006 8:49 PM
It does seem odd for them to use them on coasters. CP has them on all (or at least most) of their flats for entrances and exits.
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Saturday, October 21, 2006 11:15 PM
The only coaster that I know that use them instead of air gates is Canyon Blaster at Great Escape. Same as you've noticed at Dorney Park, people standing there while they're "open"!
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Sunday, October 22, 2006 2:03 AM
"Air Gates" can be opened and closed with enough force. Many air gates have proximity sensors that detect whether the gates are completely closed or not. If you were to push the air gate very hard when it is closed, you can actually cause the ride to shutdown, when the proximity sensor and the gate no longer line up correctly.

Magnetic locks are not as prone to this problem, however, you can still kick your way through some gates that are magnetically locked (Please don't try and find out which ones!).

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Sunday, October 22, 2006 12:41 PM

If you were to push the air gate very hard when it is closed, you can actually cause the ride to shutdown

That happens pretty often on the Mack built Avalanche at BPB, UK. There doesn't seem to be too much force behind the gates and sitting on them does cause them to open and you either see the train stop or get yelled at by an operator.

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Sunday, October 22, 2006 12:59 PM
Well they could always do what SFA did back in the AW days.They simply had a cable that went across the opening & riders were smart enough not to attempt to open them or cross under them until it was time for them to board.

Roar was the first coaster in the park to use air gates back in 98,but even then everything else in the park had that simply cable system to keep on coming riders out of harms way.

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Sunday, October 22, 2006 1:49 PM
Then there are still a few parks left that have *NO* station gates and NO safety cable. Yet, people are smart enough to stay back until permitted to board. Cedar Point was this way until not that long ago.
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Sunday, October 22, 2006 6:33 PM
Why don't they combine air gates with the magnetic locking system? You would solve the problem of having the gates not open on their own and help prevent the proximity sensors from being separated prematurely.

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Sunday, October 22, 2006 6:43 PM
^Easy, money, it would cost double the money of doing one or the other.
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Sunday, October 22, 2006 7:54 PM
You may be right, but I doubt it necessarily costs "double" the money. The air gates are probably expensive to install, but you already have the basic infrastructure in place; now all you have to do is apply the magnetic locking device. It's not like you have to buy two gates. The only extra costs would obviously be the magnetic locking device and the system necessary to unlock it, but I don't think it'd be all that difficult to modify a (current) system to make that possible.

If you had one, I'd think you'd also be able to create faster dispatches--that's if the magnetic gates are such a hassle and if the air gates being manipulated in a method that caused the ride to be shut down. Not only that, but it would free up time for the mechanics if they have to respond to the ride being broken down from the "proximity sensors"; they would be able to spend their time in other areas.

It's entirely possible that I'm wrong, but I'd think that it would actually save money in the long run.

Edit -- The above ideas are mostly practical to new installs. I'm not suggesting that parks completely overhaul the current gate systems. *** Edited 10/22/2006 11:56:28 PM UTC by Infamy***

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Monday, October 23, 2006 12:50 AM
You could always have a locking pin that falls into place when the gates are closed, and pops back out before opening. Simple, cheap, effective.
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Monday, October 23, 2006 2:35 PM
Why not do what Cedar Point did with Power Tower...

Put a lightweight spring on the gate so that when the magnet is released, the gate pops open by itself. Then the attendant just has to slam all the gates closed once the magnets are re-locked.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
(who thinks boarding gates are a waste of time and effort, but exit gates are not such a bad idea...)

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006 12:50 AM
The thing that I don't like about Power Tower's gates is that they can be opened at any time. Accidently bump into the button when the ride is in motion and it's a severe operational violation.

Using airgates and magnet locks are unnessesary. They could easily operate the gates at a low pressure and hold them at full pressure when closed to lock them. Easily done.

Care must be taken in any case to prevent guests from being squished at high pressure.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006 9:51 AM
Yeah, but that's an operational issue. The gates themselves are plenty secure, they just aren't tied into the ride controls.

I thought there was a standard for "Boarding gates, when used..." but so far all I can find is "Ride or Device Vehicle Doors" which provides the following advice:



ASTM F 2291-06a:6.1.3.2: Powered doors shall be designed to minimize pinch points and entrapment areas. The doors' (opening and closing) movement shall be controlled, and the maximum exerted force, measured on the edge of the door at the furthermost point from the hinge or pivot, shall not exceed 30 lb (133 N).

I thought sure there was a similar clause for platform gates...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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