Whats with the brakes?

Friday, December 27, 2002 10:20 AM
On most Arrow coasters with two lift hills, there are brakes right before the lift hill begins. This can be seen on Adventure Express at Paramount's Kings Island, Iron Dragon and Cedar Creek Mine Ride at Cedar Point, Big Bad Wolf at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and I'm sure several others. Why are those brakes there, right before the lift hill?

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Friday, December 27, 2002 10:21 AM

I'd presume they are block brakes to keep the trains from getting too close to each other.

--Ryan

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Friday, December 27, 2002 10:29 AM

I doubt that since the lift itself is usually a block. My guess goes for slowing the train to reduce wear on the chain dogs.

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Friday, December 27, 2002 10:33 AM
It's on Tennesse Tornado, too - and they use it, even though the train's barely moving at the time. I can understand on AE's two lifts, 'cause the train's moving pretty fast when it gets there.

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Friday, December 27, 2002 10:42 AM
Almost certain Jeff's right...you want the train to be travelling *about* the same speed as the lift chain to reduce wear-and-tear....
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Friday, December 27, 2002 11:31 AM
Arrow and Vekoma trains tend to wear a lot when they rush up the lift-hill at a speed greater than that of the chain. So Jeff's right, those brakes are just to reduce the speed of the train.

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Dutch Coastin' :: European coasters, thrills and theming!

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Friday, December 27, 2002 11:57 AM
DRNK, rollergator, Den and Jeff have already said it, but I'll say it too: it's a low-tech way to match the train speed to the lift speed to minimize the sudden jerk (which can snap a chain) when the train runs out of energy on the lift and settles back down onto the lift. If you've been to Cedar Point before they re-did Mine Ride and ridden it with the trims open, you know that train would coast part way up the second lift, rattle a bit, then settle back onto the chain with a bone-shattering CRUNCH!

You don't see that so much on newer coasters. On many European coasters you don't see pre-lift brakes because advancing motors are used to carry the train at lift speed to the lift. And on many newer coasters, the lifts have variable-speed motors on them. On Magnum XL-200, for instance, there is a pair of prox switches between the station and the lift. When the train passes those switches, the lift speeds up to train engagement speed, and once the whole train is on the lift, the lift speeds up again to cruise to the top.

Of course, there is a limit to how fast the lift can run, so on Adventure Express and Iron Dragon, brakes are used to slow the train down before it engages even though those lifts do have variable speed motors.

By the way, on Adventure Express, the brake between the station and the first tunnel is, in fact, a block brake. That's why I've never seen it closed when a train went through it.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Friday, December 27, 2002 2:41 PM

Thunderbolt at Dreamworld an interesting system of ensuring the train enters the lift at the appropriate speed. They have tyres, similar to advancing wheels on 'European coasters', except rather than moving the train forward, they actually brake the rolling train to the desired speed.

They're in the shadows here http://www.totalthrills.com/dwgallery.php?page=thunderbolt01 - I used to have a good clear picture of the lift alone, but it managed to completely vanish.

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Friday, December 27, 2002 3:03 PM
Its done to slow the train down, so it doesnt tare stuff up. You want the train and the lift to be going at about the same speed.

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Friday, December 27, 2002 5:38 PM
Well on the suspendeds the trains needs time to stop swinging so that the wheels below the cars can follow the guide and so the train doesn't swing into the stairs.
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Saturday, December 28, 2002 5:03 AM

Nemesis Inferno uses a new lift motor and gear box. The train hardly loses any speed at all from the run out of the station, and cruises up the lift at a significant speed.

In the following pic you can see this mechanism:

http://www.thorpeparkguide.com/features/coaster03con/page5/pics/oct02-19.jpg

I think it senses how fast the train is going and matches the chain speed to it. In conclusion, quite an innovation for B&M and a way around the pre lift brakes.

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Saturday, December 28, 2002 5:24 AM
I don't think B&M's have brakes before lifts, just advancing wheels.

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Saturday, December 28, 2002 6:31 AM

Nemesis Inferno at Thorpe Park has a single brake before the advancing wheels due to the substantial run up to the lift where the train goes very quickly.

You can see a picture here with the brake falling roughly where the ladder is.

Edit: I've just realised that there aren't even any advancing wheels on Nemesis Inferno, just the brake. It goes up the lift very quickly, too.

Regards, Marcus
Coaster Kingdom: Alton Towers review

*** This post was edited by Marcus Sheen on 12/28/2002. ***

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Saturday, December 28, 2002 6:41 AM

What happens if they E-Stop it there? Where's the momentum to get it to engage on the lift?

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Saturday, December 28, 2002 7:19 AM
I guess that brake will not be affected in a E-Stop, the train would come to a stop on the lift maybe.

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Saturday, December 28, 2002 9:18 PM

Pressing E-Stop will close ALL brakes, regardless of the brake's function. An E-Stop is a hardwired switch that will open the circuit from the control system to the brakes, lift motors, feed motors, etc. I believe it would be against electrical code to have a brake that is not wired in that way.

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Sunday, December 29, 2002 12:06 AM

I would imagine that the brake on Nemesis Inferno will stop the train and HelixSpiral says.

I seem to remember that the final brake run on most B&Ms has a slight gradient before it gets onto the stretch with the advancing tyres.

I suspect there is a slight gradient on the run up to the lift and gravity will move the train onto the lift should a complete stop happen.

Regards, Marcus
Coaster Kingdom: Expedition Ge-Force review

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Sunday, December 29, 2002 6:30 AM

HelixSpiral said:

Pressing E-Stop will close ALL brakes, regardless of the brake's function. An E-Stop is a hardwired switch that will open the circuit from the control system to the brakes, lift motors, feed motors, etc. I believe it would be against electrical code to have a brake that is not wired in that way.



Fair enough - but your definition is inaccurate, as a E-Stop does not close trim brakes does it?

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Sunday, December 29, 2002 8:41 AM
My understanding is that these days an E-stop is, basically, a compliance with the National Electric Code sec. 525 (I forget the chapter and verse) where there has to be an electrical disconnecting means within 6' of the operator's position.

If the ride has a spring-applied brake at the base of the lift, the brake is probably adjusted so that when it is closed, it won't stop the train (in accordance with the definition of 'trim brake'). if it's a pressure-applied brake, as on the Arrow coasters we were discussing earlier...well, there are no controls on those brakes. If they are closed, they are at a specific pressure and stay that way as the train goes through; they don't open and close. If power is lost, they will either remain at pressure until the reserve tank runs out, or they will simply open. If it were a block brake, the brake would snap closed, but trim brakes won't necessarily. Oh, and I believe B&M's trim brakes, unlike their block brakes, are pressure-applied.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Sunday, December 29, 2002 10:34 AM
Yea, and this is definately a trim brake because obviously the train weight is always different and the train must still synchronize with the lift speed, as that is the purpose of the brake.

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*** This post was edited by SFNE Freak on 12/29/2002. ***

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