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Most modern two-train coasters theoretically could run three trains, but not practically so. I won't go into block theory here, but Dave Althoff wrote a fantastic description that can be found here.

 

What he says is correct: on a multi-train roller coaster, there should always be at least one extra block. However, ideally speaking from an operational standpoint, it is wise to have at least two more blocks than the number of trains. While what I said above is true, it just wouldn't be sensible from an operating standpoint due to obscene amounts of stacking and stoppages on the lift hill.

 

Most coasters in this category are designed with the aforementioned four blocks:

 

1. station

2. lift approach and lift hill

3. ride course and final brake run

4. pre-station holding brake, usually transfer track

 

MOST final brake runs are designed with magnetic trim brakes and then a final friction block brake at the end to stop the train in the event of an E-stop or occupied block in front (for whatever reason). However, on some rides (such as El Toro which we'll get to later) the final brake run does not count as a block because it contains no friction assembly, therefore the ride cannot be stopped fully.

 

El Toro

 

El Toro is pretty much a ride op's worst nightmare when it comes to the blocking system. Because of the tight space, the ride had to be designed so that the final brake run contains no friction assembly and the holding brake extends partly into the station building. Because of this, the track fork that leads to the storage cannot be switched unless one train is stopped on the lift hill and one is stopped in the station/storage bay. The ride ops also have to be more precise in their dispatch timing because a lift hill stoppage due to an occupied block is much more likely on El Toro than pretty much any other ride.

 

Running that coaster in full manual mode would keep you busy...

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Most modern two-train coasters theoretically could run three trains, but not practically so. I won't go into block theory here, but Dave Althoff wrote a fantastic description that can be found here.

 

What he says is correct: on a multi-train roller coaster, there should always be at least one extra block. However, ideally speaking from an operational standpoint, it is wise to have at least two more blocks than the number of trains. While what I said above is true, it just wouldn't be sensible from an operating standpoint due to obscene amounts of stacking and stoppages on the lift hill.

 

Most coasters in this category are designed with the aforementioned four blocks:

 

1. station

2. lift approach and lift hill

3. ride course and final brake run

4. pre-station holding brake, usually transfer track

 

MOST final brake runs are designed with magnetic trim brakes and then a final friction block brake at the end to stop the train in the event of an E-stop or occupied block in front (for whatever reason). However, on some rides (such as El Toro which we'll get to later) the final brake run does not count as a block because it contains no friction assembly, therefore the ride cannot be stopped fully.

 

El Toro

 

El Toro is pretty much a ride op's worst nightmare when it comes to the blocking system. Because of the tight space, the ride had to be designed so that the final brake run contains no friction assembly and the holding brake extends partly into the station building. Because of this, the track fork that leads to the storage cannot be switched unless one train is stopped on the lift hill and one is stopped in the station/storage bay. The ride ops also have to be more precise in their dispatch timing because a lift hill stoppage due to an occupied block is much more likely on El Toro than pretty much any other ride.

 

Running that coaster in full manual mode would keep you busy...

 

That's very interesting that you bring that up. El Toro can be a pain to time dispatches properly. The proper interval is right as a train is hitting the first break run. Anything earlier than that and we run the risk of a train stopping on the lift, not that it's a big deal but it shouldn't have to happen at all. El Toro isn't the only ride like that and actually most Intamins have the minimum amount of blocks necessary to run multiple trains. Millennium Force for example has 4 blocks for 3 trains. The Superman Ride of Steels don't even have two seperate break areas and only have that one break run that acts as the waiting break and actual break run. This is completely the opposite of how B&M does things with their long break runs. I know that Bizarro has 5 blocks which makes it much more easier and potentially efficient to run 3 trains. However, the way Intamin designs their short break runs makes it much more efficient to run 2 trains since you don't have to wait 10 years for a train to roll through the break run like on a B&M. Combine that with a quick cable lift and you can have a ride that can do 1,300 people an hour (About El Toro's max capacity)

 

Another fun fact about El Toro is that there are 2 drive tires on the break run right before the transfer track. When switched in manual mode, trains can be stopped before the transfer track and that actually leaves the back two cars of the train still on the incline down from the first break area. This is where we park the train that isn't on the transfer track at the end of the night. In addition, El Toro can not fully operate in manual mode. In order for the train to engage the lift hill, the ride needs to be in auto mode. (One more fact, when doing a transfer on or off, we also have the option to park a train at the base of the lift instead of on the lift hill. In cold weather, this is preferred because the trains get cold when they're suspended high up for so long which leads to valleying issues. I have seen a train valley because of this.)

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^I knew about the option to park at the base of the lift hill (a fellow poster from another forum works El Toro frequently) but I omitted it for simplicity's sake.

 

Interesting how the lift hill can't be manually engaged. I thought most coasters went through a few test runs in manual mode to specifically test each part's responsiveness.

 

I've also noted Intamin's frequency with minimal blocks but El Toro is especially interesting because of its specific block assembly with the holding brake.

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Mantis was built over a lagoon. The entire second half sits on a landfill, hence why it looks so muddy.

This also explains why elements are placed where they are. The inclined loop, entry corkscrew tripod, and the second half of the turn into the BR (and the BR) are the only high-force factor segments that sit atop the landfill. This could be because only their foundations occupy the original land.

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Mantis was built over a lagoon. The entire second half sits on a landfill, hence why it looks so muddy.

This also explains why elements are placed where they are. The inclined loop, entry corkscrew tripod, and the second half of the turn into the BR (and the BR) are the only high-force factor segments that sit atop the landfill. This could be because only their foundations occupy the original land.

 

Ironic how one if the crappiest rides I've been on sits on a landfill[emoji2][emoji2][emoji2]

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- Nemesis Inferno is the only B&M that hit the lift using its natural speed. All other B&M have tires to synchronize the grip and makes it smoother.

Doesn't hydra also do this? It doesn't have any drive tires on the bottom of the lift.

 

Aw my bad. Yes Hydra does that too. Good eye.

 

Isn't Griffon like this too?

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^I knew about the option to park at the base of the lift hill (a fellow poster from another forum works El Toro frequently) but I omitted it for simplicity's sake.

 

Interesting how the lift hill can't be manually engaged. I thought most coasters went through a few test runs in manual mode to specifically test each part's responsiveness.

 

I've also noted Intamin's frequency with minimal blocks but El Toro is especially interesting because of its specific block assembly with the holding brake.

 

The catch car is tested by itself in manual mode. It's the first thing that gets tested when the ride gets started up in the morning.

 

Also, El Toro has the ability to hide a train from the block system. When the train is parked right outside the station, the lift block still registers as empty and the station does as well. We can also advance both trains at the same time forwards or backwards at high speeds in manual mode. It's cool because the two trains will literally be inches apart from eachother.

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We can also advance both trains at the same time forwards or backwards at high speeds in manual mode. It's cool because the two trains will literally be inches apart from eachother.

In my opinion, it would look cooler if all coasters did that all the time (the train in the station and the one behind it starting moving simultaneously) and maybe it would increase dispatch times by a few seconds.

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We can also advance both trains at the same time forwards or backwards at high speeds in manual mode. It's cool because the two trains will literally be inches apart from eachother.

In my opinion, it would look cooler if all coasters did that all the time (the train in the station and the one behind it starting moving simultaneously) and maybe it would increase dispatch times by a few seconds.

 

It would totally increase dispatch times. (Luckily at Toro, our drive motors are like the fastest I've ever seen so we don't lose too much time between trains even with one train moving at a time.) A lot of rides already have systems like this implemented like Maverick and Millennium Force. They're called rolling blocks. I don't know why more rides are built with this. It may be do to costs because I'm sure many more proxy sensors have to be installed and the ride's program probably becomes more complicated.

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I've also noted Intamin's frequency with minimal blocks but El Toro is especially interesting because of its specific block assembly with the holding brake.

 

Millennium Force is set up the same way. The waiting/holding brake is also the coaster's safety break. Overshooting that waiting/holding/safety brake would be a major issue.

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Mantis was built over a lagoon. The entire second half sits on a landfill, hence why it looks so muddy.

This also explains why elements are placed where they are. The inclined loop, entry corkscrew tripod, and the second half of the turn into the BR (and the BR) are the only high-force factor segments that sit atop the landfill. This could be because only their foundations occupy the original land.

 

Ironic how one if the crappiest rides I've been on sits on a landfill[emoji2][emoji2][emoji2]

 

It's still a must ride for me every visit. Along with mean streak.

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I've also noted Intamin's frequency with minimal blocks but El Toro is especially interesting because of its specific block assembly with the holding brake.

 

Millennium Force is set up the same way. The waiting/holding brake is also the coaster's safety break. Overshooting that waiting/holding/safety brake would be a major issue.

 

I know overshoots at Toro cause a trouble light and that shuts the ride down. Luckily it almost never happens. Millennium Force and Toro have weird blocking setups for sure but they're definitely better than the SROS's. Atleast with Millennium and Toro, there are two brake areas to slow the train down while the SROS's only have their one short brake area that acts as the safety and holding brake and it's literally feet before the train waiting in the station. Not to mention that all of the brakes in the SROS's brake run are not permanent but moveable which led to this http://www.rideaccidents.com/2001.html#aug6. Luckily magnets are strong and reliable most of the time. lol Intamin was definitely like this when they designed that.

 

yeah-bitch-magnets.jpg.e8f13e8d5e4ec00759cde2c374bfbaad.jpg

It seems they learned their lesson after that accident though because they haven't designed a brake run like the ones found on the SROS's since. All their new mega coasters basically have two brake areas in one where the first half is only fixed, permanent brakes and the second half are the moveable ones. Not to mention the brake runs themselves are a hell of a lot longer.

SROS.jpg.1afe8dddabde121919bca3f51c6ccb9b.jpg

It just seems so odd to stop such a heavy train traveling over 40 mph in such a short distance. (Photo from coasterbuzz.com)

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The first Vekoma Boomerang at a Six Flags park was Flashback at Six Flags Over Texas in 1989, Cedar Fair's first (They built) was Boomerang at Worlds Of Fun in 2000, and Premier Parks first was Mind Eraser at Geauga Lake in 1996.

 

 

Out of all the Walibi properties that Premier Acquired in 1998, Only Walibi Smurf/Lorraine never had/added a Vekoma Boomerang

 

 

Six Flags paid more for Great America in 1984 than Magic Mountain in 1979

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It just seems so odd to stop such a heavy train traveling over 40 mph in such a short distance.

Yeah, it does. I've never ridden a SROS but every time I watch a POV (especially bizarro's) I think: Well, that was close!

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We can also advance both trains at the same time forwards or backwards at high speeds in manual mode. It's cool because the two trains will literally be inches apart from eachother.

In my opinion, it would look cooler if all coasters did that all the time (the train in the station and the one behind it starting moving simultaneously) and maybe it would increase dispatch times by a few seconds.

 

It would totally increase dispatch times. (Luckily at Toro, our drive motors are like the fastest I've ever seen so we don't lose too much time between trains even with one train moving at a time.) A lot of rides already have systems like this implemented like Maverick and Millennium Force. They're called rolling blocks. I don't know why more rides are built with this. It may be do to costs because I'm sure many more proxy sensors have to be installed and the ride's program probably becomes more complicated.

 

B&M also use rolling blocks on some of their newer coasters, one example being Leviathan.

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^I've just checked the POV and that's not quite what I meant. The second train does enter the station before the entire first one leaves it (so it's already better than some rides) but was talking about the two trains starting moving at the exact same so that the space between them remains the same until the second one stops (or slows down) in the station.

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^I've just checked the POV and that's not quite what I meant. The second train does enter the station before the entire first one leaves it (so it's already better than some rides) but was talking about the two trains starting moving at the exact same so that the space between them remains the same until the second one stops (or slows down) in the station.

 

As far as I know, Millennium Force is one of the few coasters that does that.

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I think I find B&M to be a good medium between the two because you still get the (although dampened) advantage of rolling blocks without putting too much risk into engineering a system that will effectively E-stop the ride if need be. Could just be my more cautious side coming through, though.

 

I do think Intamin's crazy fast switch track on Phantasialand's log flume is pretty damn cool though.

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^ They say because it's welded together and worked from the station in both ways in the turn before the corkscrew has a small construction fault in the shape of a knick in the track. They didn't come out 100% and the welding didn't gave them room to adjust the track (like you they can with bottled one), that error is said to be there today.

Don't know if this is true, but heard this several times.

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