Remember to check your own restraints

Tuesday, October 16, 2001 9:26 AM

A reminder to ALWAYS check your own restraints…

This weekend, on an old style Arrow looper at one of the major Ohio parks (the type where the ride-op has to press the foot switch to lock and unlock the OTSRs) my train was half way out of the station with my restraint completely unlocked. The ride op simply forgot to step on the switch to lock the restraint.

This wasn’t the standard "floppy" Arrow OTSR (like on Corkscrew at CP), it required some effort to push it up or to pull it down... so an unlocked restraint could easily be missed.

Fortunately, I was aware that she had not locked the restraint, but I had to push the OTSR up and yell at the girl at dispatch to get the train stopped.

Would I have been thrown from the train??? Probably not… but the fact remains that if I hadn’t been paying attention, I could have easily been over the lift hill and never known my OTSR was unlocked.

Tuesday, October 16, 2001 9:50 AM
Good catch kip and good advice to all.  Remember, don't relay on someone else to keep you safe.  Now more than ever, we must all be aware of what's going on around us at all times.

What did they have to say for themselves?

Tuesday, October 16, 2001 9:59 AM
You must be talking about *Vortex*?
Dayuum, Your HOT!
Tuesday, October 16, 2001 10:05 AM
Actually, I am assuming it is Double Loop at SFWoA.  That is the only other Arrow looper in Ohio with manually locking restraints (foot pedal).  I thought Vortex was automatic.  Thanks for the warning....

Prog Ray

Tuesday, October 16, 2001 10:17 AM
Good advice at all times...the best safety device in the whole world rests squarely on your shoulders...if you don't understand that, it's probably for the best....
rollergator - intent on improving the "guest experience" - coming soon to a park near you
Tuesday, October 16, 2001 10:29 AM

gatorwoodie said:
the best safety device in the whole world rests squarely on your shoulders...

Nice one, we are talking about OTSR's here ;). Yes, people and common sense make for the best safety. (Although there are sometimes when they make danger)
I always push up the restraint to make sure its locked, common sense I guess.

Save Cheese on a stick!

Tuesday, October 16, 2001 10:57 AM
The one and only thing you should do every time you get on, no matter if you have ridden 1,000 times before, is check your restraint(s).  Just take a physics course if you need motivation.
Tuesday, October 16, 2001 11:00 AM
I don't get how the op's could dispatch a train if the restraints are not locked.They must be using an older control system for that ride.This is why I always make sure that I'm stapled to the train especially on SFA's Mind Eraser.I still remember what happened back in 99 when I was riding it in the blue train.My restraint wasn't locked properly and it almost opened up on the dive just before the sidewinder element.
Tuesday, October 16, 2001 11:02 AM
Loop can dispatch with unlocked restraints. The restraints are no way connected with the rides controls.
Tuesday, October 16, 2001 11:20 AM
Actually they are. All of the restraints must be locked although it is possible to run the ride with one or more of the restraints open.

It is, however, also possible to dispatch the train with one or more cars' restraints unlocked. There is a prox switch between the station and the lift or at the base of the lift which counts the pedals on the cars to make sure that they are all in the correct (up) position. A pedal miscount will shut down the lift. Thing is, the train can still go with the pedals down; it just can't complete the circuit.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Tuesday, October 16, 2001 11:32 AM

ProgRay said:
Actually, I am assuming it is Double Loop at SFWoA.  That is the only other Arrow looper in Ohio with manually locking restraints (foot pedal).  I thought Vortex was automatic.  Thanks for the warning....

 Your right. I misread  kip099's post.
Dayuum, Your HOT!

*** This post was edited by Coasterr on 10/16/2001. ***

Tuesday, October 16, 2001 12:06 PM
And considering how slow Vortex goes through it's corkscrews, the OTSRs are quite necessary...
Tuesday, October 16, 2001 1:19 PM
I am not positive about this... but... here it goes:

From what I have heard, [at least I am refrencing to X-Flight in this case...] the ride will actually stop on the lift hill and still be dispatched from the station regardless if there is a restraint open on the ride. [On X-flight, an op forgot to push down somebodys knee support, the train reclined AND started to move out of the station].. some supposed "experts" backed up what I said with saying that it would have in fact stopped it on the lift hill because the system knows its not down, but still lets it dispatch.

However, I don't think this true for all rides either, only because now I noticed on S:ros@SFDL [Intamin] that they do NOT push down the bars and lock the belts for the empty seats... the train does not stop on the lift or anything... so if a riders bar was not pushed down at all it would still dispatch and go through the whole ride regardless of the restrait was down or in the top position.

I am not familiar with "old arrows"... I am guessing that they could go through the whole ride w/ a restraint not down without it stopping but that is just a guess. Most of the manual pedal locking ones were at one time automatic, but I guess the old age wore them off? Well, whatever the reason, most [if not all] were automatic locking to begin with.

Maybe an expert could clarify on the whole lift hill mechanism situation and how the trains work :P

Can you predict the future? Cast your vote for SFDL's 2002 expansion:

Tuesday, October 16, 2001 2:10 PM
Intamin's ride control systems LET you dispatch the train without the restraints being down. I work Lightning Bolt At MGM Grand and we send empty cars all the time with the restraints up.

Arrows, as Rideman mentioned, will stop on the lift as there is a sensor at the bottom counting pedals. One night when I worked at the Adventuredome, we were closing Canyon Blaster and the train stopped on the lift. The ops pedal was in the up (locked) position. It probably stopped because the underside of the pedal (the part with the wheel that makes contact with the laten aka the big bar in the station) wasnt down enough to be counted.

I'm not sure about all Premiers, but Speed: The Ride has individual latens for each car. This means if the laten is down then you can dispatch.

The newer Chance and Zamperla Rides such as Inverter have something similar where the retraints must travel a certain distance before it is secure. Even though it may lock sooner, it still needs to go all the way down to a certain point.
"ok everyone go ahead and pull down on your shoulder restraint so you feel nice and stuck!"

Tuesday, October 16, 2001 8:16 PM
I just thought it was good to push this topic back to page 1, just to be safe.

Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2001 12:06 PM
Which coaster was it?

Double Loop kind of does need the restraint because depending on what seat you are in, you might go too slow in the loop. Just MO.

G.Bush:We will find those who did it, smoke them out of their holes, get them running, and bring them to justice.
I pray that I will never see a Six Flags Conneaut Lake

Wednesday, October 17, 2001 1:58 PM
Double Loop at SF@GL and Corkscrew at Cedar Point are the only two coasters in Ohio that fit the description...and Kip ruled that one out. :)

The 'auto locking' shoulder bars are a relatively new development on the Arrow trains; the early ones all use the foot pedals, and I seem to recall that a few (Dragon Fyre at Canada's Wonderland and Viper at Darien Lake) may use an auto-unlock, manual relock mechanism.

Until recently, NO coaster actually checked for restraint position before the train could dispatch. The first one I know of to include such a signal is Apollo's Chariot. All the Arrow looping and suspended coasters, even the ones with remote bar locking, that I have seen use the pedal check mechanism. It's particularly noticeable on the shuttle loops...a little box near the center of each car. If any one of those boxes detects a pedal down, the launch aborts. But those systems only check to verify that the bars are locked, not that they are actually closed.

Most coasters never even bothered to check for bar-lock because the unlock mechanism is typically a mechanical or electrical bus-bar in the station that simply doesn't exist elsewhere on the track, and therefore the bar will self-lock when the train is not in the station. NAD supplies an interesting case with the Century Flyer train in that the train has a bar un-lock trigger at the back of each car, and normally the attendant locks the bars by pulling a lever on the side of the train. But even that includes an auto-relock lever on the train that usually hits a post or other trigger at the downtrack end of the station.

That's because those bars can lock *open*. :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Thursday, October 18, 2001 6:11 PM
Okay... when i went on Corkscrew at CP my OTSR was not locked. Luckily, it was not disbatched. No, i am not stupid. I know when you first get in they do that. BUT THE RIDE OP SKIPPED MY CAR. SO, I LIFTED MY OTSR UP TO SHOW HER. I THINK SHE HAD A LONG, LONG DAY. 
Friday, October 19, 2001 12:25 PM
It seems self evident to me that one would want to check their own restraints.  Merely becuase stuff does happen, humans make mistakes, even sophisticated relay and PLC logic has the occasional hiccup. Consider that its your safety wer're talking about, so if it something that you can do in a matter of seconds to re-assure yoursself that things ore OK, why wouldn't you?

I'd also like to add, never ride with a ratcheting lapbar in the loosest setting.  Although 99.44% of the time you are perfectly fine, there is a not infrequent circumsntance where the ratchet bars "slip' a ratchet.

Most commonly this is caused by a rider bringing the bar down just far enough for the "push down to release" catch to engage, but not far enough for the acual ratchet to engage.  Problem is that when operators check the bars by pulling up, the first part of the ratchet mechaism prevents the bar from coming up, so you and the attendnat think its locked.   


I was riding a coaster at a "Major Amusement Park". I was being lifted backwards up the first lift hill,legs dangling free, and the only thing seperating me from a gravel patch beloow was an OTSR.  As the train neared the top of lift 1.  The OTSR 'slipped' a ratchet.  The OTSR loosening up was very noticeable, along with the between legs seatbelt going taut.  The rider in the seat next to me tells me my facial reaction was PRICELESS.  It added a whole new dimension of fear to that particular ride, but as I learned safely back in the station, the bar still had a ratchet point before failure, so it was actually locked. 



End message: At least a small sliver of ride safety is your responsibility.  Okay, maybe a chunk more than a small sliver.

David Bowers
Mayor, Coasterville

Friday, October 19, 2001 4:29 PM
From the description of the particular ride you were on it must have been a vekoma invertigo.And the way you describe the OTSR slipping by a ratchet that's pretty much what happened to me on SFA's Mind Eraser.The restraint was tight when I boarded the train but I swear the thing moved a bit on the dive just before the sidewinder element.I had to hold the thing down through out the remainder of the ride.

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