Is California Screamin the only coasterto have this? it seems that it works well for the ride, meaning that it is very quiet and won't disturb the neighbors... So, do you think that chain lifts will eventually be replaced by the new technology of LIM's. I for one like the noise and feel of a traditional lift hill, but think that LIMs will be considered more often now for future rides.
LIMs are way too complex and unreliable to replace normal chain lifts. It's simply unneeded and would be overkill. You wouldn't build a coaster with a single solid steel support under the entire length of the track would you? Some things are better left unchanged...
All are excellent points. My 2¢; chain lifts are the cheapest way of elevating trains. The problem with them is the higher the coaster, the heavier they are which is why SD2K has two end-to-end. They also require constant maintenance, a bit more than cable lifts & probably more than LIM/LSMs as there are no moving parts.
Sorry if I'm being thick Taipan but could you just explain the "the highter they get the heavier they are?" I don't see how a car could get heavier just by changing altitude? Surely it gets lighter (f=G1g1M1m2/r^2) but by such an infintescimal amount it doesn't make too much difference.
Lol, I meant the chain gets heavier the longer it is which is proportional to the height of the coaster. Also the longer it is, the more energy required to work against the friction in the guide channel. I think the chain for a 140ft lift hill weighs eight tons or more. There is a limit into how much weight they can support.
While I'm sure we'll see plenty of new coasters with different lifts and so forth, for smaller coasters I think we'll always have chains. They're the most well known, easiest technology, and probably (at least for now) the least expensive. Why change what works? Larger coasters may use other methods, like Taipan was saying about the weight, but smaller ones are doing just fine.
I doubt we will see the chain disappear for good. That is, unless someone can find another method that is as cheap to run, but costs less to maintain. If you look at the newest technologies being picked up by companies they usually have something to do with reducing maintenance costs. This includes things like magnetic brakes and anti-rollbacks that make no contact unless needed. Intamin may have pioneered some of these ideas, but other companies are picking them up more and more.
Reducing costs is a goal of companies in just about every industry. People go to school to get Industrial Engineering degrees just to specialize in solving this problem.
There is something to be said for old chainlifts. After riding Millie, Things you'll miss The click click click sound of climbing. The slow cresting of the hill, the moment of hesitation before the drop. these are lost on the cable system. Newer is not always better. ------------- Roller coaster of Love ~ ooi ~ ooi ~ ooi