"People Powered" coaster opens in Wales

Wednesday, June 2, 2004 1:34 AM
I thought you all might find this coaster interesting. It just opened over last weekend and is being dubed as a "people powered" coaster...

It's called "Green Dragon" and it resides at "GreenWood Forest Park" in Wales.

Basically, the way it works is you climb a long set of stairs to the loading platform, get on the ride and enjoy. The ride ends at an exit platform directly behind the loading platform, just a couple dozen feet lower. When you get off the ride, you go into this cabin that's on the same side of the hill the exit platform is on. The cabin is attatched to the exit platform by a series of ropes and pullies and when all the exiting riders enter the cabin, the combined weight of the riders and the cabin are enough to pull the exit platform and the train on it up the incline to be inline with the enterance platform.

It's an interesting idea for a "clean running" coaster, and a good example of kinetic and potential energy in use. (ie when you climb the stairs, your body is gaining potential energy, when you get in the cabin the potential energy is converted into kinetic energy to pull the train back up te hill.)

Wednesday, June 2, 2004 1:48 PM
Very ingenious, but I don't think we'll see any hypers operating on this principle.
Wednesday, June 2, 2004 2:44 PM
Interesting. But what happens if they only have a light load and the weight isn't enough to send the train back up the hill? I guess that's when they drag out the intern and make them push it up manually!
Wednesday, June 2, 2004 3:16 PM
This would never work with Intamin rides. You have to weigh 130 lbs. and have a 28-inch waist to ride one, so there would never be enough weight on the platform. ;)
Wednesday, June 2, 2004 3:22 PM
Not to ruin the intamin bashing, but the description of the way the ride works is not exactly correct. It is is the movement of the train down the hill that pulls the other train back up. Check the link.


Thursday, June 3, 2004 4:53 PM
Hmmm...how does the train that is running the course remain attached to the transporter? From the pictures, the train isn't attached to anything on the twisty course. How could it be pulling the other train up? Perhaps the "pulling" section is only a portion of the ride.
Thursday, June 3, 2004 5:08 PM
Actually, the description I gave from the begining is exactly correct...there is an inclined plane with two sides. On one side is a level piece of track, and on the other side is a "cabin" both are on wheels and the two sides are attatched by a cabel system. The two units weigh roughly the same when the train and the cabin are empty (if anything, the train side weighs slightly more. The cabel system is set up so when the track portion is at the bottom portion of the inclined plane, the cabin portion is at the top. When exiting riders enter the cabin, the weight of the cabin side excedes the weight of the track side making the cabin side slide down the incline plane pulling the track side up. When the people exit the cabin, the slightly heavier side of the of the track side slides back down reseting the system.

Compare it to old mines at the top of hills. They had two railroad tracks going down the mountain. They'd load a cart at the top of the mountain and the weight of that cart going down the hill would pull an empty car back up the hill by a system of ropes and pullies. This coaster works on a similar principal.

Thursday, June 3, 2004 5:26 PM
Coaster Lover has it right.
Thursday, June 3, 2004 5:33 PM
I noticed the following quote on this link http://www.greenwood-centre.co.uk/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=33

Indeed, over a year of operation, the ride should generate more power than it uses.

Apparently, in addition to being environmentally friendly, the Green Dragon also violates the law of conservation of energy! Wow, an amusement park where the rides don't neccesarily obey the laws of thermodynamics! I must visit this place!

Thursday, June 3, 2004 11:22 PM
It may take more than a trainload of Intamin riders, but would probably only take 2 enthusiasts to pull the train back to the starting point.

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