PTC Trains (Buzz Bars & other restraints)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008 8:00 PM
BINGO
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Tuesday, March 18, 2008 9:50 PM
^Great explanation, Dave!

I've thought (and said, not popularly) for a while that the old PTC lapbars are less of a problem than the new ones. With the new ones you can get all kinds of "it's low enough," "no it's not" from rider/ride op, respectively.

To some recent injuries (and death), the parks pretty much staple everyone now.

With the old lapbars, it's either locked or not. That is not to say that there cannot be an improvement there, however. A redundant, 2nd locking mechanism (on the left side of the train).

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008 10:53 PM
DantheCoasterman's avatar Sorry to change the topic a bit, but doesn't PTC have a new train design, similar to MFlyers? Does anyone know what the restraints will be like on them?
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Wednesday, March 19, 2008 12:11 AM
Re: PTC's new trains:
From photos, they look like cut-down versions of the old trains, so expect more of the same.

Re: old vs. new lap bars:
One of the problems, I think, is that a lot of well-meaning people, including people who are involved in ride design, construction and maintenance, simply do not understand the way that ride restraints are designed to function. Traditionally, ride restraints have served several functions--

a) To serve as a means of communicating with riders
b) To provide a hand-hold for riders
c) To provide rider containment

Note that they provide rider "containment". The idea is to prevent the rider from coming out of the coaster (or whatever), not to pin the rider to the train and make him one with the seat. And some of us will argue that this is a good thing, as keeping the rider de-coupled from the seat makes for a ride that is smoother, more fun, and probably a little scarier.

That scariness is a problem for some people, and part of the problem is that we're raising a whole generation of kids who don't even know what it's like to sit *anywhere* without being securely strapped in with a racing harness until they're twelve years old. We plop 'em down in a wide open coaster seat and say, "Hang on!" and they...and/or their parents...get really, really scared.

Well, you know something? I don't think that's a bad thing. A rider who is a little bit scared might actually have a little respect for the ride, for one thing. For another, IT'S A ROLLER COASTER FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE SCARY! :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008 2:15 AM
^

That's a really good point! The concept that you're supposed to sit down and hang on is gone. Think about all those kids that have been tossed from Scrambler/Sizzler rides in the past few years. That ride has been around for serveral decades and I don't remember hearing of people being tossed out of them until about 10 years ago. If I remember correctly in almost every case it was because a kid stood up.

I remember riding the a Sizzler at a fair back when around the age of 4. Hanging on was important and the concept of standing up or trying to get off a moving ride never occured to me. I think I understood the concept standing could result in injury, but more scary was the attendant rocking out to loud Judas Priest.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008 2:38 AM
^Kids must not be taught anymore. Their parents must not be telling them to "hang on", and don't exit the ride while in motion. People assume that kids know not to get out of a moving ride, but they do it because they aren't taught.

Also, I have heard of some teens that purposely try to keep that lap bar as high as possible, and try to stand up on a wooden coaster to get more airtime. They are doing it on steel coasters also. It's just that they want more than what they are getting. That's why they even put seatbelts on rides, and they are putting seatbelts on some Sizzlers.

How is a seatbelt helping? People have to worry about their seatbelt first if they want to take it off. This alerts the ride ops in a way, and the people near that rider also become aware (What is that person doing??) because the person that wants to get off are looking down to try and release their seatbelt. It's deters the people from trying to fall out of the ride, or thinking about it. Anything that makes people harder from falling out of a ride is in my opinion better.

I think with these seatbelts, they should have seatbelts that lock, and you can't get out of them until the ride is done. The only example I can think of is the ARM Super Shot. This is a carnival ride tower. You plug your belt in, and it locks until you are done with the ride. Put it around your waist, and let it lock so you can't get out of it, and make the other side like a car seatbelt.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008 8:43 AM
Here was my restraints as a kid.

BE HOME BEFORE SUPPER!

Geeze Louise. From Rocker to carseat to Horsecollars.

Chuck, not saying all those are bad things but this Inner city protect at all cost has gone too far.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008 11:22 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

RideMan said:Well, you know something? I don't think that's a bad thing. A rider who is a little bit scared might actually have a little respect for the ride, for one thing.

Thats an interesting point.

On the other side of that, ride the Jack Rabbit at Kennywood and half the train has their hands up going down the double down. Are people NOT scared of falling out of the train? Their hands are up, they obviously trust that seat belt to hold them.

I hang on.


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Wednesday, March 19, 2008 12:10 PM

SteveWoA said:
It pushed my legs towered the middle and makes it extremely uncomfortable. I am tall, 6'7" so it doesn't help. My legs are just too long for those trains.

But give me a nice Millennium Flyer train and I am in heaven. Roomy, no leg pinching, comfortable, perfect.


And at 5'8" and 165 lbs. (I'm usually lighter during the summers), I absolutely despise the MF trains. This all goes back to a thread I started back in 06' that said that I despise almost all lapbar designs. Why? Because most of them fall during the ride (mainly due to g-forces) and I'm trapped.

And the MF lapbar is particularly uncomfortable when it falls because it digs into my stomach. I shouldn't have to fight to keep a lapbar up during a ride. It distracts from the ride experience. Granted, I've only ridden two MF-enabled rides--Lightning Racer and Kentucky Rumbler--but I'm sure they're all like that.

Going back to the PTC problem, I only rode The Voyage once towards the front due to time constraints, but that was particularly uncomfortable due to a) the lapbar stapled me after the first drop (there went the 24-seconds of airtime), and b) that stupid new seat divider with the square hole in it. I kept banging into it throughout the ride and it didn't feel good.

And most people already know how evil I think the Gerstlauer design is. So can anyone make a decent modern-day wood-coaster rolling stock? Well, I really like the trains on El Toro. They keep you in place due the bucket seat design, and the lapbar doesn't fall down, but I don't know if that kind of design could be adaptable to anything but an Intamin woodie.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008 12:39 PM
^Intamin Fan, those recent 'super/most airtime coaster' coasters REALLY refers to 'uplift' forces. I mean, for me, it's not airtime if you are stapled to your seat!

On El Toro, it is very obvious that you are not going to move. The pull that belt tight and push that bar down hard. Voyage is a different set up and allows for a little more room.

I don't see the point of marketing a ride as an 'airtime' ride when you are cramped in your seat so hard (referring to El Toro) - or for that matter, designing it with such EXTREME, SUSTAINED 'uplift forces' that if something did happen to go wrong, it may be catastrophic.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008 12:54 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

Intamin Fan said:
I only rode The Voyage once towards the front due to time constraints, but that was particularly uncomfortable due to a) the lapbar stapled me after the first drop (there went the 24-seconds of airtime), and b) that stupid new seat divider with the square hole in it. I kept banging into it throughout the ride and it didn't feel good.

If you were stapled to the seat then how did you keep banging into the divider. :)

Seriously though, the ride throws you around an awful lot, if it wasn't the lap bar or seat divider it would be your neighbor's lap or the side of the train etc.


CoasterComet said:
I don't see the point of marketing a ride as an 'airtime' ride when you are cramped in your seat so hard (referring to El Toro) - or for that matter, designing it with such EXTREME, SUSTAINED 'uplift forces' that if something did happen to go wrong, it may be catastrophic.

Come ride El Toro, the ride with 22 uplift force moments! Doesn't have the same ring... :) *** Edited 3/19/2008 4:56:33 PM UTC by eightdotthree***


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Wednesday, March 19, 2008 1:01 PM
Seriously though, the ride throws you around an awful lot, if it wasn't the lap bar or seat divider it would be your neighbor's lap or the side of the train etc.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And that my friends is why Legend was better without the divider. If you just went with it, It was a blast! If you fought it, it would wear you out.

Chuck

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008 1:05 PM
eightdotthree's avatar For the record, I don't like the seat divider with the hole in it either. Not really sure why they do that, I guess its to keep the weight down?
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Wednesday, March 19, 2008 1:49 PM

eightdotthree said:

Come ride El Toro, the ride with 22 uplift force moments! Doesn't have the same ring... :) *** Edited 3/19/2008 4:56:33 PM UTC by eightdotthree***


Hmmm... 22 uplift forces? On a ride with 9 hills? Even if you get air up then down, the max would be 18 :)

A force is nice, airtime in better ;)

I counted 19 moments of air (however small) on Voyage. 21 at night :) Voyage has like 25 hills!? Previous winner was Texas Giant with around 18? (Now 15?)

All time incredible air time goes to Timberwolf 1989! Anyone ride it at night that summer!? Can you think of more 'real' airtime on a ride?

While we changed the subject to airtime - I'll vote for Cornball and Cyclops as most enjoyable, real airtime per foot of track... maybe time to start a new topic! *** Edited 3/19/2008 5:52:48 PM UTC by CoasterComet***

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008 2:18 PM
Going by Airtime alone, Shivering Timbers in top form beats any other wood or steel coaster out there. 24 seconds? I swore it was that much on hills 2 3 and 4 alone :)

Chuck

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008 3:05 PM
I don't know for certain, but I think the idea behind the new PTC seat divider with the hole in the middle is to provide a little more room for the rider to spread out into. From that perspective, I think it's a good idea.

The trouble is that the new divider seems to be *wider* than the old one, and the rail is rectangular in cross section. If we could get PTC to use instead a piece of smaller, padded ROUND pipe, similar to what they had mocked up in their Texas Tornado train when it was under development, that would be better all around.

I'd really love to do a 'basketball test' on the Jack Rabbit. I wonder if an unsecured, seated rider would actually get past the top of the seat. I don't think one would.....

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008 3:35 PM
eightdotthree's avatar You don't think someone horsing around could fall out?
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Wednesday, March 19, 2008 4:17 PM

eightdotthree said:
For the record, I don't like the seat divider with the hole in it either. Not really sure why they do that, I guess its to keep the weight down?

Like Dave said, I think it's to give the rider's body a place to "expand". Of course, that doesn't make getting in and out of the seat any easier for wider bodies, and I've found that slamming into that hard rectangular tube is a lot worse than slamming into a padded panel.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008 4:17 PM
^Of course someone could!

The girl that flew outta the Texas Cyclone in the late 70's had her feet on the seat and/or was sitting on them or something like that.

People have been reported falling out of coasters over the years after they were standing up. Same with Timberwolf. There were all kinds of conflicting reports there - on that the girl meant to fly out.

If you are tall enough to ride and seated properly with your lap bar locked and/or seatbelt, you are going no where. BTW, I think seatbelts didn't come into play until the 80's on woodies as well as headrests. Seatbelts are a secondary, redundant restraint.

I remember thinking how odd it looked for a wooden coaster to have headrests back them. Cept Mr. Twister and Texas Cyclone which both had large 'backboards' in the last seat. A few other woodies had them too.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008 4:24 PM
Sawblade5's avatar I am wondering a few things about the PTC L shaped lapbar system. I am wondering when did this new lapbar system start, I have always thought that this lapbar system was rushed in a hurry after the Timber Wolf accident in 1995 (just before Cedar Fair took over Worlds of Fun)?


Another thing I wondered is that I have seen some pictures of PTC trains in Europe with a T bar style system. I am wondering why we don't see these here in the states.

I have personally ridden PTC with 3 different lapbar systems. 1. A fixed lapbar with bench seating and a single seatbelt on the RollerCoaster at Joyland. 2. The buzzbar style which I last rode on the Racer at Kennywood. and 3. The ratching L Bar systems on most all their coasters like Timber Wolf, Voyage, Gwazi, ETC. You guys can probably guess which one was my favorite of them.

One last thing on my comments about the L bar system. I still see big flaws with the sytem and I am not felling as safe in the L bar system as I do with the Buzzbar system with the flaws I see with them. Some I consider making the problem they ment to be fixed to be worse. I will not go into details there as I don't want anyone tempted to hurt themselves on the flaws.


Chris Knight

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