Why does alpengiest have a lead car?

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 2:45 PM
Good evening felllow coaster enthusiasts,

I did a search and couldn't find the answer, for this. but I was wondering why does alpengeist have a zero car on it, I realize that B+M has done this on many of there sit down and stand up coasters, but htey haven't doen this on many of there inverteds Is this just something the park wanted? or is it becasue they wanted to lower the weight of the car and not worry about capacity similar to what cedar point did with TTD. Thank you for your time,

Wood Fan

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 3:08 PM
I think the concensus has been that all the inverted coasters from B&M have a 'zero car', but Alpengeist's doesn't have seats attached.

But, operationally, for example, Raptor's first set of seats operates the same as Alpengeist's 'zero-car'.

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--Maddie--

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 3:13 PM
GOOD question and observation, WoodFan. I noticed the lead car, too, the first time I visited Alpengeist and thought it was a bit odd. Here's my guess:

Alpengeists', unlike other Inverteds', lift hill is directly after the station. An "lead car" may have been needed so the train could more easily engage the chain lift. I know it sounds like complete crap but that's the best idea I have. I can't think of why else it would be like that; why would the park have "wanted" a lead car with no seats? That doesn't make sense. As to what a "zero car" is, I have no idea, and I don't think any other B&M's have a lead car like Alpengeist does.

Where's Dave Althoff Jr when you need him?

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 3:24 PM
Zero car as on Sit Downs, Stand Ups & Hypers.

My reckoning for Alpie is to reduce any stress & vibrations at its high speed.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 3:27 PM
That argument is unfortunatly forgets a few things Doc, mainly the fact that all the Batman's, TG:TJC and I am sure others I am missing have lift hills straight out of the station. ;)

My hypothesis is that the increased speed and manuevering of Alpie required the use of the 9th wheel set. As much as the thing snaps when entering the cobra roll I can only imagine how much more it would snap if I was even one more row ahead. I think the zero car may just smooth things out a bit.

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God bless Intamin, Company that I love. Stand beside her, and ride her, from the opening to the closing of the day.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 3:32 PM

ophthodoc said:Alpengeists', unlike other Inverteds', lift hill is directly after the station. An "lead car" may have been needed so the train could more easily engage the chain lift.

Well, it's not for that reason. Great Bears lift is also directly after the station, but it does not have a lead car.

Edit: Brent beat me to it :)

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"If we knew how safe roller coasters were, we'd lose their thrill" - Daniel Keller
*** This post was edited by 3r1c 5/27/2003 7:37:01 PM ***

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 3:34 PM
True, Magnum, but I wouldn't necessarily argue that Alpie "snaps" or maneuvers any more than any other B&M invert. Just because it is a larger coaster doesn't necessarily mean it has to do something more challenging than one of the smaller, more compact, B&M's. And Great Bear's lift is directly out of the station, too? I guess it's been a while since I've ridden that one.
*** This post was edited by ophthodoc 5/27/2003 7:35:58 PM ***
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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 3:47 PM
The zero-car has two degrees of rotational freedom, if I recall correctly, while the rest of the cars in the train are fully articulated for three degrees of rotational freedom.

http://www.rcdb.com/installationgallery1.htm?Picture=1

This picture of Raptor illustrates this, and stands out in my mind because someone else has used it to illustrate this point.

You can see how the first and second cars are now bowed outward as you would expect, and as the rest of the cars in the train are. This is because the first group of seats are mounted to Raptor's 'zero-car'. . . again, functionally equivalent to what is used on Alpengeist, but it has seats.

All the B:TR clones, The Great Bear, Alpengeist, Talon, ... (and more!) all have lifts straight out of the station. The trains engage the chain in several positions, not only in the first car.

I suppose the real mystery is finding what advantage there is to limiting the motion of the first car of the train.

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--Maddie--

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 3:53 PM
Which is behind my hypothesis. Isolating the first car from the less flexible zero car woudl provide a "smoother" ride.

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God bless Intamin, Company that I love. Stand beside her, and ride her, from the opening to the closing of the day.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 4:08 PM
...it just seems counter-intuitive to limit the motion of something to make it track better. . .

but, that's probably the driving force behind the development of the trains.


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--Maddie--
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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 5:11 PM
From what I have heard on this subject (I think on ACN) is that B&M trains work like a car and trailers.

When you have a trailer with only one axel you need to hook it to a car with 2 axels. Therefor it will not fall over. Well B&M cars are like the trailers and only have one set of wheels. If every car only had one set of wheels the cars on the trian could swing back and forth.

So they need a car to pull them. Other coasters like arrow looper each car is like a car not a trailer( have two axels). B&M's way of fixing this is two attach the front 2 cars together, making the front car the zero car. Or haveing a zero car.

This is why raptors front 2 cars are angeled differntly in the picture in chernabog's post.

Hope that helped. Sam

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 5:22 PM
I think Coasterdude38 has it. Didn't I read that Millenium Flyer trains piggyback like that? If so, they should have a double axle first car also. Can anyone confirm this?
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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 5:22 PM
I just want to point out that unlike many other coasters, B&M usually do not have chain dogs/anti-rollback dogs on each car. I think each SUF (SFOG) train has something like 2 or 3 chain dogs and about the same number of anti-rollback dogs. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think BTR and Scorcher had odd placement of both devices also.

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Is that a Q-bot in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 5:28 PM
...however, Arrow's multielement trains are also trailered.

http://www.rcdb.com/installationgallery34.htm?Picture=1

...in the instance of Arrow / Vekoma trains, the 'zero-car' is located at the rear of the train.

You'll also note that it appears as if the Arrow trains do not have a 'car', to borrow your analogy. They're made up of a series of individual axles.

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--Maddie--

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 5:46 PM

Coasterdude38 said:
From what I have heard on this subject (I think on ACN) is that B&M trains work like a car and trailers.

When you have a trailer with only one axel you need to hook it to a car with 2 axels. Therefor it will not fall over. Well B&M cars are like the trailers and only have one set of wheels. If every car only had one set of wheels the cars on the trian could swing back and forth.

So they need a car to pull them. Other coasters like arrow looper each car is like a car not a trailer( have two axels). B&M's way of fixing this is two attach the front 2 cars together, making the front car the zero car. Or haveing a zero car.

This is why raptors front 2 cars are angeled differntly in the picture in chernabog's post.

Hope that helped. Sam


But what about rides like B:TR, Great Bear and Nemesis, they dont have a zero car, yet they don't fall over. Do they have four axel's in the front car?

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 5:47 PM
If you look a bit more closely at the picture you put in your post you can clearly see that it does have a "car". The very front car has two wheels in a row which would serve as a zero car. Also it appears it has the same 2 wheel configuration in the back of the train as well.

Wheres RideMan when you need him? ;)

Sam

EDIT: After looking more closely at then picture you can see there is the same 2 wheel configuration between all the cars. To answer the question above, the two front cars are connected making the front car like a zero car with seats on it. I figure it is the same with floorless, too. I hope this helps.

*** This post was edited by Coasterdude38 5/27/2003 9:54:20 PM ***

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 6:03 PM
All Arrow multi-element coasters have four wheels per axle.

So do B&M coasters, for that matter.
(Really long URL)

So, as far as I can see, there's still no rigid two-axle structure in an Arrow multi-element train that would function as ACN suggests the B&M Zero-car does.

Of course, this could be exactly why the B&M trains seem to operate better. But, it certainly isn't required that the train have a 'car' to stay put together.

Or, so it seems.

Jeff . . . of Swanton, you'll note that the picture of Raptor I linked to answers your question. They all have a 'zero-car,' but Alpengeist is unique because it doesn't have seating attached to its leading axle.

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--Maddie--

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*** This post was edited by Chernabog 5/27/2003 10:10:26 PM ***

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 6:52 PM
Maddie is doing pretty well here...

On an Arrow train, the axle assembly is attached to the back of each car by means of a spindle with a castle nut and cotter pin which forms a coupling that can roll.

The front of each car is attached to the pin on the top of the center of the axle. Relative to that axle, the car can pitch and yaw. What that means is that the lead axle on the Arrow train is the roll control axle: the nose of the lead car will always sit parallel to the rail. The back of the lead car might not be parallel to the rail, because the axle will sit parallel and can roll relative to the back of the car. The second car's nose will be parallel to the rail, though it may not be in the same plane as the lead car. And so on to the back of the train. If the attachment to the front of any car could roll, that car could simply flop over sideways between the two axles.

On the B&M train, something similar is going on, but the configuration is reversed. The lead axle can roll relative to the lead car, but the second axle is rigidly attached to the car so that it cannot roll. Instead, the second car can roll relative to the second axle, but not relative to the third. And so on, back to the back of the train.

As noted, most of the B&M inverted coasters have two axles on the lead car; Alpengeist is the exception because its lead axle doesn't have seats hanging from it.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 9:08 PM
Any idea what makes Alipe different Dave?

And Brent, I don't think the lead car reduces forces. If anything, it moves the center of mass of the train a hair forward, making the forces in the back greater.

(Note that the longer Intamin trains have more forces, both because of track layout and because the front and back rows are farther from the CoM.)

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Be polite and ignore the idiots. - rollergator
"It's not a Toomer" - Arnold Schwartzenkoph
"Those who know don't talk and those who talk don't know." -Jeff

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 5:11 AM
Andy, I think that is one of the Great Unanswered Questions™. (For a list of more, consult The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy).

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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