Defunct Roller Coaster Drachen Fire

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Oct 23, 2019
I am glad I got to ride this back in the day. My home park was Kennywood so i was very familiar with the Steel Phantom. I remember enjoying this ride. My brother and I rode it multiple times due to there being no line.

What year was it ripped down? I can't remember if it was still there dormant in 2008
Oct 7, 2011
When I was a kid, the turn out of the station really impressed me. I think more coasters should have elements like that.
So much yes.

That hairpin 180 was strangely attractive and even just a bit thrilling, more than it had any right to be.

Also one of the smoothest curves on the entire ride.
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Reactions: Pretzel Kaiser
Oct 7, 2011
I don’t remember much about the speed of DF’s lift, but I do remember noticing in maybe 1996-7 that it was very quiet. It was said here and there that the park had the trains modified to eliminate the clanging noise of high-speed contact between the anti-rollbacks and rack. Not sure if true. But that lift got awfully quiet vs. earlier operating seasons. Kingsmill concession?


Aug 3, 2017
Newport News, VA
@halfabee - Here's what was said about that from a poster on /r/rollercoasters that had talked to the designers and lived next door to one of the coaster's mechanics -

Drachen Fire opened with traditional Arrow roll-backs, but the people who live in Kingsmill complaint that the rollbacks were waking them up when they cycled the ride around 4-5am for greentag testing each morning. Following the 1993 season, the park re-designed the rollbacks to be completely silent. The way the new rollbacks worked was that they stayed "up" at all times, unless the train started to roll backwards, at which point they would fall down and engage. This meant the train rolled back slightly harder than normal coasters, and if the train was stopped on the lift very low, it would shake the track so much you could see it vibrating in the station.
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Hard, Hard Times
Silver Donor
Jan 5, 2018
Frederick, MD
That is interesting. I have always wondered why they don't just put like.. some sort of padding on the anti-rollbacks so it isn't metal continuously hitting metal, rather like a plastic strip hitting metal.
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Reactions: DJTLG
Jul 31, 2017
I've done the coaster tour at Busch and can confirm that both Nessie and Griffon use a plastic sheath on the anti-rollback device that puts less wear and tear on the actual metal. I'd be willing to assume that at least all of the other B&Ms at the park are the same.


Great Adventure got an RMC...
May 14, 2011
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Intamin has the patent for rolling anti-rollbacks. As the train moves a wheel in contact with a small track on the lift and station keeps the ARBs up for the whole duration of the lift. If the train loses speed or gets set up then the ARBS lower as the wheel backs down. I imagine Arrow employed a similar method with Drachen Fire that was most likely a one time thing, and Intamin later patented a modern take on the idea.

B&M and some other companies utilize either plastic or sometimes even Kevlar sleeves that get inserted on the ARBs which have a significant impact on the sound of the lift. This is most notable with the Inverts, as their ARBs can sound like machine gun fire when all 4 ARBs are unprotected.
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