The Gravity Group announces a wooden shuttle coaster: The Switchback Railway

Posted Wednesday, November 19, 2014 8:44 AM | Contributed by Jeff

At this year's IAAPA Expo, The Gravity Group announced a new shuttle roller coaster for ZDT's Amusement Park in Seguin, Texas.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014 9:14 AM

Obviously it is just an animation, but I'm tryign to figure out how the coaster gets back to the station, as it must go up the lift hill and back down again. I'm sure there is something missing from this video.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014 9:29 AM

Walt, I am getting the same impression.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014 9:41 AM

There's a switch not in the animation, because NoLimits can't do that.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014 9:44 AM

I did a pretty fair amount of talking w/ Billy (and watching video) to try and find the switch-track (in reality, I think it's transfer track - thanks Andy). In one of the interviews with TGG and the park owners...ZDT are the initials of the owners' three kids...they give away the secret to this crazy design.

Turns out, the train will actually go part way back up the first drop (backwards), then fall back into the station to re-orient the trains. The first drop will function as the "second spike"...crazy innovative!

If I can quickly locate the video, I'll link it...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLpoYCq-UXI (watch the whole thing, but the specs on the lift/spike/transfer come in at about 3 minutes).

Last edited by rollergator, Wednesday, November 19, 2014 9:52 AM
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014 7:31 PM

Jeff- It's true that NL1 can't, but NL2 can. I'm surprised they're not using NL2.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014 9:45 PM

+1 for your name alone.

I'm quite excited for this ride.

(Sorry, I have nothing of real value to add to this conversation.)

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014 10:04 PM

So I'm trying to think of whether, with this new switching concept, it would be possible to operate 2 trains on this ride. One in the station, one on the circuit. When the traveling train hits the final brake the train in the station dispatches. When it clears the station the waiting train can enter. The train that's on the lift will not be allowed to clear the top of the lift until the switch positions itself correctly.
Does that sound like it might work? Or am I confused?

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014 10:29 PM

Sure, the blocking actually isn't that different in that case. You can have standby brakes uptrack of the station and after the switch.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014 11:59 PM

I was thinking the same thing, RCMAC. I'm sure this kind of ride could run two trains. While the second train is traveling up the lift, the first train is getting situated into the station. By the time the second train reaches the top of the lift and is ready to roll, the transfer or switch track is back into place and ready for it.

Not saying that this small-family-park-that-I-never-heard-of-before will need two trains, but if a slightly larger park were to buy a ride like this, two trains look to be very possible.

And let me just add, the forwards/backwards design of this ride is blowing my mind.

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Friday, November 21, 2014 10:39 AM

Right. If they wanted to increase capacity, I'd imagine the easiest way would be to increase the length of the train.

What a funky park. And the layout will go *through* a hundred-year-old building? Wow.

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Friday, November 21, 2014 11:13 AM

Great observation. Why not both ideas: two trains and longer trains? If a larger park wanted something like this, high capacity would not have to be a problem with a little redesigning.

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Friday, November 21, 2014 12:50 PM

It will have two trains. One train will ascend the lift while the other transfers to the station. This looks neat. Info came from an interview with ZDT.

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Friday, November 21, 2014 1:31 PM

As of today, the new ride shows up in rcdb: http://rcdb.com/12392.htm

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Friday, November 21, 2014 3:48 PM

As of days ago it was in the database here too.

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Friday, November 21, 2014 4:14 PM

Me sorry...old habits and all.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014 1:28 AM

So it's being called a "shuttle" coaster for lack of a better term? :)

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Saturday, November 22, 2014 2:05 AM

All I need to see a detail drawing of the layout in order to see how the train get back to the station. It's not on the Gravity wedsite or the news release. I wonder it's half full circuit half shuttle coaster.

Last edited by twj, Saturday, November 22, 2014 2:16 AM
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Saturday, November 22, 2014 8:18 AM

Train comes to a stop in the straightaway after the first drop. That piece of track moves as a transfer track would to line up with the station.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014 11:44 AM

The track after the first drop is straight for good reason. That's where the transfer takes place after the train travels backwards through it, halfway up the first drop, and then back forward into the straight piece of track. There will probably be brakes on the piece of track after the first drop.

I hope that makes sense.

It's a very interesting idea.

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