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.
The T bar you see on some European/Japanese coasters is actually an Intamin train.
I think the PTC ratchet bars came out in 1990 with the Georgia Cyclone and Texas Giant. Those are the first coasters I can think that opened with them. Not sure about the Darien Lake Predator...
Of course, the American Eagle at Great America has a much better ratchet L-bar on it's (somewhat Frankenstein-ed) PTC trains. That was done in-house by Great America (also note the return shocks on the otherwise standard PTC ratchet bars of the Viper - great!)
I know there were some incidents with coaster geeks playing with the locking systems as well as using bungee cords to keep them up (and getting snapped!). And of course, simply not putting the bars down very far (and getting away with it).
The coaster community learned alot from those things, I hope. The general public, and 'teens that Six Flags babysits' didn't though.
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I wonder if us coaster nerds hit it with too much traffic. They must have a lousy host if thats the case.
Theres nothing wrong with leaving a bar a inch off your lap. Hell, theres nothing wrong with the bar six inches off your lap like on Skyliner. Just don't do nothing stupid
Chuck, not advocating unsafe riding. I was there. Quite honestly. i've seen no enthusiast do stupid things like stand up although I have seen the lanyard and stuff its more from keeping a bar from ratcheting down further than necessary than to keep it in a high unsafe possition.
I also don't have the problem with the PTC lap bars crushing my stomach, as the farthest they will go down is about 3 inches from my waist-line. But what I do have a problem with, is when rides like Voyage give you that quick ejector air, and my lap SLAMS into the L-bars! It is very painful, and I think the problem could be solved if they were better padded, and made to go down farther for a better fit on skinnier riders. (I don't know why I said "rides like Voyage," because there are no other rides like Voyage! ;))
The G-trains' restraints do crush my stomach. Airtime is ruined, because when you are thrust forward, there is hardly any padding... OUCH!
I think it is a good idea, just poorly executed. The divider needs to be a soft cushiony material so it doesn't hurt the smaller-framed riders among us (designing a system around overweight coaster enthusiasts is a bad idea. It needs to be comfortable for most riders). It doesn't need to be rigid to be effective. A big pillow would be just as effective at keeping riders from turning.
As for restraints... perhaps individual buzzbars is the answer. They would fit into the existing car shell. They could share a pivoting axel in the middle and have individual lock boxes on both sides of the car instead of just the one lock box currently on cars with buzzbars. They could even ratchet if needed, but just being individual bars would get around the "individual restraint" code.
Long live the Big Bad Wolf
Seems like any coaster with ejector air is painful unless there is some a little space between me and the lapbar.
Doesn't it hurt your rear end when you come down on to the seat on a ride like Phoenix? I know it does for me. Not that I am complaining.
One last thing, Is there something wrong with padding? Seems like most of the older coasters trains (church NAD etc) have/had a lot of padding.
I have a feeling it has to do with maintenance. Typically you see a lot of electrical tape on those old trains holding the padding in place.
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