Blocking purposes mainly...keeps trains from running into each other. I am SURE Vekoma uses them too...the "kiddie" coasters don't need 'em since they only run one train, as is the case with shuttles. I don't remember on SLC's specifically, (I don't really like 'em much) but someone will answer soon... ----------------- rollergator - intent on improving the "guest experience" - coming soon to a park near you
sfdl dude, those are not mid-course. They are trim breaks or station brakes. They are used to slow/stop the train, not keep trains from making blocking violations. ----------------- Hey, SFGAm management, can I buy a couple cages of Sky Whirl?
Quality of the ride is really not that affected by the mid-course brake. In fact some mid-course brakes add to the ride such as Montu's which provide some airtime pop. high capacity for roller coasters is essential for parks. I think if we do not have mid course brakes, then lines would be doubled even thripled. The only solution may be to have much longer lengths in rides and duel-loading stations plus two brake areas at the end like most B&M inverts. Two brake areas before the station elimanates the need for mid-course, rides such as DD and any Batman clone have the two brake areas and no mid-course brake.
anyone notice the brakes at the bottom of the X drop? c'mon magic mountain, what the heck?? I know theres many good reasons to put brakes on a ride mid course, but not right after the first drop. I love the mountain dearly, but enough is enough. ----------------- the neon love chicken has spoken :)
TRIM brakes are used to eat a bit of speed from a train before or after certain elements..such as the trim brake on Mantis' first drop. They usually are NOT accompanied by a walkway or any real way to leave the train if the brakes were to fully close.
BLOCK brakes are used to separate coasters into various zones, so the location of the trains are monitored, and so two trains can not occupy the same zone. Block brakes are applied lightly on most of the coasters that have them, but it does not affect the ride in the slightest. Block brakes will ALWAYS have some sort of escape route in the event of a walkdown (I mean, thats why the brakes are there) and they are always on a flat piece of track.
I have never been on a coaster where the blocks have been on high enough where my ride has been ruined. As for trims, contrary to popular belief, the Mantis brakes do not bother me in the slightest. The only trims that annoy the beejezus out of me are Mean Streak's trims down the first drop (Mean Streak is also a case where the BLOCKS are applied heavily)
sfmm_x_dude, just because the brakes are there does not mean they are going to use them. You wouldn't be able to even feel them most likely...it's not like Mean Streaks or anything like that...simply a strip to keep it going the proper speed if the train is for some reason a bit too heavy. ----------------- Yet another coaster-craving yuppie
Mid course brake runs such as found on B&M loopers serve two purposes. First, they add a block to the track allowing more trains to be run for greater capacity. Second, they requlate train speed serving much the same purpose as a controlled trim brake. By the time that the train on a long coaster reaches the mid point of the course its speed can vary quite a bit due to wind, rain, weight of passengers and temperature. If the designers don't include some sort of brake to adjust speed, they have to design the second half of the course pretty conservatively to ensure that the G forces don't get higher than desired and at the same time also ensure that the train doesn't valley out. Using a mid course brake, either blocking or trim to regulate speed allows them to design a more exicting coaster.
Jeff, I am a little bit of an enthusiast crybaby...but that shed on Beast makes me sad, as did those on the first drop of Mean Streak (which I HEAR have been toned down quite a bit:-)! I agree that some trimming is needed on some rides, but overall, I could do with less on my beloved woodies... ----------------- Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!
Maybe the reason for the trims on X's first drop is in the event of a high gust of wind which could prevent the train from completing the raven turn. If the train did roll back from the raven turn riders would be flipped upside-down mutliple times going up and down the pull out of the first drop. That may seem cool to some people (like myself) but in reality it could make some people nautious.