I've noticed the recent trend that coasting's dirtiest word, "trim," has been appearing a lot lately. It's used by some people in the way that a naughty kid waves around his father's gun. Most of the people talking about them are jumping on a bandwagon and haven't considered their real implication, if any.
Most "trims" are actually block brakes, the brakes that will stop a train if the train ahead has not cleared that block. As we all know, blocking is what assures us that two trains will not collide. Often times these brakes are also used to trim speed off of a train.
Are they trying to cripple the ride? Not likely. Chances are good that the train ahead has not had adequate time to clear the block. The resulting trim probably doesn't shave more than two or three seconds off of the ride. I'm sorry, but I doubt that anyone can feel the difference in speed when we're talking about that little bit of time.
There are rare cases that a trim was installed to slow down the ride excessively, like Mean Streak, but that has more to do with the structural integrity of the ride. That's a design flaw, and not the issue here.
I also feel that the presence of these brakes is 99% psychological. Did you ever stop and ask if it was a good ride, or are you too jaded by the sound of that little mid-course squeeze? Raptor, Apollo's Chariot, Alpengeist, Raging Bull, etc... they're all trimmed. Does it matter? Only in your head. I enjoyed every one of them.
------------- Jeff Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
I really only began to think of them, twice, last summer--on Kraken and on Montu.
We rode Kraken the month after its inception and found it being "held back." This was understandable in that the ride was brand new, and all the "bigshot eyes" were present. But, after searching different rows, we found the back two cars providing an exceptional ride!
Except for the "newness," we found the same on Montu. The back ripped, "trims" and all.
In my case, Jeff's analysis of "psychological" factors is absolutely correct. I am a child of old rough woodies and still enjoy the flat-out bumping and grinding and flying of a ride like Gwazi.
With our "later generation" coasters, the rides are generally so much smoother that it "shaves" the sensation of speed from one's perception.
At any rate, I also enjoyed every ride I took! For me, this is a no-brainer. Even though I may over-analyze a ride, I'd rather be there *****in' than be at work pitchin'. :)
------------- bukweet FL "kanwegoagain?"
*** This post was edited by bukweetfl on 11/24/2000. ***
IMO the only ride I've been on ruined with trims is Mean Streak. It was one of my favorites when it didn't have the trims. Medusa at SFMW has individual trims throughout the ride but it is still my favorite looping coaster. Magnum is another of my favorites and it has trims going into the pretzel turnaround.
------------- Mellenium Force; The future is riding on it.
*** This post was edited by mfcrazyrider on 11/25/2000. ***
Dont forget about the Beast. Not that it was ruined. But if anyone rode it before the first and second lift hill breaks, you know what it was like before they were added. And those of you Magnum lovers cant tell me you arent dissappointed of the break going into the turn around. Is there a difference? Of course there is! God Bless CCI!!!
Buzzo's right - I thought the same thing about Texas Giant after riding it several times last Sunday. I know that the Giant is rough, but rough and trimed is a bit much. The brakes were quite noticeable to me, although I doub't the GP has any idea that they are even there. The trims do nothing for the roughness, they just make the train feel a bit tight on the course. Although, I doubt anything is as trimed as Mean Streak.
Yes when I think about trims I immediately get the picture of Mean Streak in my head, I don't know call it what you will, but I think Mean Streak is a synonym for trim break. Hold on let me look it up in the thesaurus. :) LOL!
I will say one thing though, when Timber Wolf's main drop brake is off, it runs like a bat out of H-E-Double Hockey Sticks ;)
*What if the Hokey Pokey is really what it's all about?*
Dustijn ----------------------- W I L D F I R E 2 0 0 1 -----------------------
Sorry, Jeff, I disagree here. I realize I gripe about brakes a lot, but I DO notice them. I DO know that trims and midcourses have other purposes than to just tame a ride, esp. midcourse block brakes, but I strongly disagree with your opinion that the before-and-after effect they have on rides is relatively unnoticable.
Now, brakes don't cause me to not enjoy a ride, (after all, my favorite wooden coaster, the Beast, is quite heavily trimmed) but when I'm used to experiencing a ride a certain way, there's just something about going through it slower that takes a little bit of the thrill away. You think its psychological; I think its noticeable. For instance, there are times (usually early in the season and at night) when rides like the Magnum and the Beast are trimmed much lighter than they are in the peak season. When this is the case, these rides just fly through their courses. The effect is incredible. The Beast feels like its going to rip off the track and the airtime on the Magnum's bunny-hops is unbelievable. I'm a big fan of speed and intensity, so that's why I probably notice the trims.
Another slight peeve I have is with the squeeze brakes in general. I really don't mind the old-fashioned skid brakes and the Intamin magnetic brakes that bring trains to a graceful, gradual stop. When you go through squeeze brakes, you stop very abruptly, and that just interferres with the flow of the ride. That's why I don't mind the skid-brake trims on the Beast. They are a lot harder to notice and don't really interfere with the flow of the ride. Same with the end of a ride. There's just something I like about being brought to a gradual stop at the end of a ride instead of being squeezed to a sudden halt. Just a personal preference, I guess.
Enough of my rambling, but I just wanted to state the point that some people DO notice brakes. Very few people, like myself, think they come close to ruining a ride at all, but their effe琀猀 愀爀攀 渀漀琀 渀漀琀 樀甀猀琀 瀀猀礀挀栀漀氀漀最椀挀愀氀⸀ 䈀爀愀欀攀猀 䌀䄀一 氀漀眀攀爀 愀 爀椀搀攀✀猀 琀栀爀椀氀氀猀⸀ഀഀഀ ⨀⨀⨀ 吀栀椀猀 瀀漀猀琀 眀愀猀 攀搀椀琀攀搀 戀礀 䴀漀漀爀攀伀渀 漀渀 ⼀㈀㔀⼀㈀ ⸀ ⨀⨀⨀
These brakes are used for two reasons. With a coaster running multiple trains you MUST have a way to stop them in mid course in the event of an emergency. They also can be used to help keep the trains a safe distance from each other. This is not a new practice. For instance the BOBS at Riverview Park in Chicago had control blocks operated from a tower in the middle of the ride. They were manually controlled as opposed to the automatic ones used today, but the effect was the same.
Yes, I said I realize WHY the trims are there in the first place, but my only point is that the effect they have on the ride is not just psychological, and that riding a roller coaster with trims off is usually a much better ride than with them on. I'm NOT saying that block brakes are a bad thing. On a side note, wasn't the Bobs the first ride to use 3-train operation? If that was so, then I understand the need for brakes on it.
That depends entirely on the ride. I know with Magnum, for example, the operator can turn off the trim, but generally will only do so in the case of an empty train or a strong headwind, depending on the time that lapses between the top of the lift and the block. Beyond that, they are adjusted manually by the mechanics, if I understand it correctly.
So why not just leave them off? Given the ride's blocking and length, trains coming in too fast ask for a setup. It only takes one slow guest to create that situation. Imagine one train in the station and one on the transfer. If those two trains aren't moved forward before the other train reaches the block (the brake run right next to the lift), it stops there and the ride shuts down. They have to manually go to the block and release it. Dan or RideMan might know the exact time, but I think they generally have around 50 seconds to get that train unloaded, loaded and out. I've seen Magnum's run time vary as much as twelve seconds, so you can see why the timing is so very important in this case.
------------- Jeff Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
I think the main purpose of the trim is to tame the ride for the average park goer. After all how many of the average park goer did you ever hear talking about the trims slowing up a ride to the point of being boring.
Jeff is right about most trims not affecting the ride since they were designed into them like on Steel Force, Raptor, Mantis, Ananconda, and so on. I imangine if they were turned off they would make the second half painful.
Some trims ruin the ride IMO. The best example I know of is the Thunderhawk at Dorney. I feel the first trim (the one on the first turn) is necessary since the second hill top delivers air to the point of being painful. Although the first trim is necessary I feel the second trim (right befor the bunny hops) ruins the ride. The second trim takes away all the airtime the coaster could deliver.