Trims in Cold Weather

Saturday, October 25, 2003 6:27 PM
We've been riding several of the classic woodies the last two months. Riding these great coasters on crisp cool days with all the leaves in color and the sky a clear blue is exhilirating. But it raises a question.
We all know trims are placed on coasters not necessarily for the safety of the riders, but to reduce the hammering the tracks and structure take. it reduces maintenance over time.
But parks know knowledgeable riders dislike the trims.
We also know temperature affects wooden coaster speeds. The Beast, for example, runs much faster late on a hot summer day than it does in the morning of the same day, or anytime on a cold October day.
So why don't parks turn off the trims when temperatures drop below a certain level? It would not hammer the tracks and structure and would reduce the complaints. Enthusiasts would figure this out pretty quickly and could schedule their visits accordingly.
Imagine if you could make an October trip to PKI to ride the Beast unleashed. Or if you could get to PKI all season for rope drop and ride the Beast until noon before they turned on the trims.
I checked with a dozen of the trimmed classics, and they all admit they could turn off the trims rather easily.
Saturday, October 25, 2003 6:48 PM
Can't turn the trims off on The Beast. At least not without carrying a socket wrench up the hill and doing a lot of cranking.....

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Saturday, October 25, 2003 6:56 PM
OK, maybe that would preclude turning them off mornings all season. But somebody could still go up October 1 every year and do the cranking. They have to walk the wood all the time anyway.
Sunday, October 26, 2003 12:07 PM
Why? The only people it's going to matter to make up less than 1% of park visitors. It's not worth the time, effort, or money.


Sunday, October 26, 2003 12:30 PM
But it wouldn't take any money, and would take very little time or effort. I've been researching this a little more. Most of them have replaced their mechanical ("fin") trims with magnetic trims. This means all they have to do is cut the switch down at the station.
Yes, it's true the real enthusiasts are a minority. But like every other marketing field, that small minority is critical. They talk to people all the time, influencing the masses to go to a particular park or not. People have choices, and they can be easily swayed.
So parks do consider the hard core. And this would be a very easy way to garner a major favor with huge numbers of them.
*** This post was edited by Trekker Park 10/26/2003 5:35:24 PM ***
Sunday, October 26, 2003 1:47 PM
Uh, trekker, I can only think of two wooden coasters that have magnetic trims, and they can't be turned off by "cutting the switch". In fact, there isn't a "switch", because trim magnets aren't powered by electricity.

Six Flags Worlds of Adventure Online

Sunday, October 26, 2003 2:24 PM
Sorry, Trekker, but you're just plain wrong.

You cannot just "cut the switch" to magnetic brakes because they're not electromagnets. They are *permenant* magnets, which means that you have to mechanically and manually adjust them to "turn them off". This takes time, effort, and money (because you're paying somebody to do this).

Enthusiasts' opinions really sway nobody. Sure, enthusiasts (and shows like those on the Discovery Channel) may increase awareness of certain parks, but things like location and cost are going to dictate what parks people visit a whole lot more than an enthusiast talking about how a certain park "turns the brakes off in the fall."

*** This post was edited by coasterdude318 10/26/2003 7:25:19 PM ***

Monday, October 27, 2003 11:33 AM
The idea of removing brakes at certain times of the day is wholly unfeasible. It's a headache to get them right as it is.

That being said, the Phantom's Revenge generally starts out the year with fewer magnets, and has a couple added as the trains loosen up. You'll never notice, of course, because they always average out to having the same affect.

As far as late-year cold days, the trains are usually so broken in by then that they don't roll as slowly as they would in the spring on a cold day anyway.

Monday, October 27, 2003 12:06 PM
Well, guess I'll have to forget this brilliant idea. The bottom line is I sure wish we could find some way to get those darned trims cut off for a few days a year so I could ride those magnificent coasters the way they were intended.
Maybe they ought to mount a bucket at the entrance to Beast, etc., on a few Spring days to cover the cost of doing this. I suspect many of us would be happy to drop in a few dollars for a nontrimmed experience. I know I would.
Of course a cynic might observe that with the $9 parking fee ($10 in 04) PKI could certainly afford a few days of trimless operation.
Monday, October 27, 2003 12:23 PM
The trims are there for a reason, Trekker. Parks don't add them just to make their ride less interesting--they either wish to keep the ride from tearing itself up or for it to run on a safer time interval. Even if the trims could be turned off whenever a park pleased, they sure aren't gonna go through the trouble just to please one or two people. (You have to remember that parks aren't pleased with us already, so a bunch of enthusiasts demanding that they turn off the trims won't help).

Six Flags Worlds of Adventure Online
(edited for clarity)
*** This post was edited by PhantomTails 10/27/2003 5:25:44 PM ***

Monday, October 27, 2003 12:28 PM
I thought that many rides used computers to control hydraulic trims, and would make adjustments based on the speed of the previous ride. That would mean on really cold October days, the trims would never engage like they do in the summer, because the trains are moving at a slower rate. That's hydraulics however.

With magnetic trims, I thought the only change that could be made was to remove them. Aren't magnetic trims, by design, on 'full-blast' all the time?


I really enjoy the Simpsons. It's just a shame that I am starting to LOOK like Homer.

Monday, October 27, 2003 12:37 PM
Magnetic trims can be loosened, but only by having mechanics manually adjust them.

Six Flags Worlds of Adventure Online

Tuesday, October 28, 2003 12:00 PM
Magnetic trims can be slightly adjusted by tightening/loosening a set of bolts to spread/pull the magnets away from/closer to the fins. This is essentially a fine tuning issue, however, and it's a real pain to get right. The best bet for magnets is to set it and forget it.

There are, of course, other types of trims that are pneumatic, hydraulic, friction, etc. that can be adjusted manually or by a computer operating the ride.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003 8:03 AM
It's a myth that all trims are there to pervent damage to tracks. A lot of them are there to limit forces on the riders, and some are there to get the feel of the ride just right.

Most of B&M's trims are computer controlled by the speed of the trains. I know that Nitro's trims are all off on a cool autumn morning.


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