Shane said:Where is this exactly? I need to look for it. I don't know what the layout of the area was before Volcano, first time I ever went to KD was in around 2003 or so.
"An operator rode in the lead car, and could stop and start the train as dictated by guest misbehavior or electrical or mechanical problems. One the train was loaded and the lap bars locked, the operator pressed a start button, and the train left the station, rounded a turn and climbed up a 50-degree chain-driven lift hill (an odd direction for a train that supposedly was tunneling underground – but that’s just the start of the mine train madness).
Therein lies the engineering anomaly of the mine train: Why in God’s green earth did Arrow build a motor-driven, self-propelled train with a chain lift hill and a subsequent downhill profile?
It was a maintenance and operational debacle that no one seemed to anticipate. The motors were not strong enough to drive the train up the steep hill, therefore the train was equipped with the same style “chain dogs” used by real roller coasters that hooked into the giant, greasy chain and pulled it up the hill. The chain and train motors had to be perfectly synchronized at the EXACT same speeds. If the chain was running even slightly faster than the train motors, the train would slide and start bouncing, causing a derailment. If the train motors were running fast than the chain, the chain dog hook would try to pull out, then at the top of the hill it would pop out of the chain with a noise that sounded like a hand grenade inside an oil drum. Then the train would derail anyway.
If there was a power failure on the train while on the lift (such as a copper brush popping out of the buss bar), the train’s brakes would lock automatically but the chain would continue dragging it up the hill, sliding a flat spot on the nylon wheels and causing a derailment (a pressure indicator was mounted on the lift idler pulley that supposedly would stop the lift chain if excessive force was detected, but the train always derailed before the lift shut off). If the lift for some reason cut off but the train kept running, the chain dog would pop out with that characteristic cannon blast, derailing the train with the added bonus of terrifying everyone in that end of Hanover County.
Luckily, the train was also equipped on the bottom with a chunk of standard operating procedure steel called an “anti-rollback dog” that prevented a stopped train on the lift from rolling backwards. That is the clanking sound heard when a roller coaster climbs a lift hill.
To prevent power interruptions while the train was on the lift the on-board operator had to hold their thumb continuously on the train power button. Another operator had to stand at the top of the lift hill and depress the lift power button the entire time the train was on the lift. And everybody held their breath until the train was safely off the lift hill."