Register or Login to Hide This Ad for Free!
Jan 28, 2010
256
429
160
This really bugs me, so I'm venting here. I have read multiple posts on various social media platforms where someone is convinced that ride operators can push a button to make a roller coaster trains come to a sudden stop wherever they are on the track. In some cases the people making that assertion or those commenting have gone as far to say that operators would only push that button in the case of extreme emergency since it's a very violent stop that would likely injure riders and since the trains would be stuck in that spot.

How do so many people who are obviously interested in coasters not understand the basics of how they work? After being launched or released from a tall hill, gravity and physics take over. Even if there was some sort of emergency brake on the trains, why would it function in such a way that it would cause injury? And how would riders be evacuated from the train if they are in a precarious spot? I've tried to explain the basic physics, that they can only be stopped at brake or launch sections where there is a walkway alongside the track, and that the trains are able to re-start and make it back to the station from the places where they can be stopped. Regardless, some people remained convinced of this magic and dangerous stopping ability.
 
Oct 7, 2011
1,793
5,767
250
Standing on an observation platform atop Pittsburgh's Mount Washington in the mid-90s, I witnessed a flyover by an F-117 Nighthawk, aka Stealth Fighter. Surprisingly low over the tops of the downtown buildings. Very impressive.

A couple was standing next to me, having made a point to hang out there for a while so they could watch the flyover. (Thereby showing interest.) One turned to the other and said, in perfect seriousness, "It must be broken. You aren't supposed to be able to see it." And the other half of the couple agreed.

That was almost 25 years ago. Sorry to say: despite the advent of greater public awareness of stealth technology, trillions in military spending, and easy access to the Internet, that exact flavor of easily avoided ignorance has not only failed to dissipate -- but has actually percolated all the way up to the current occupant of the Oval Office.

There will always be public ignorance about everything, no matter how simple it may seem. It can be limited, but not truly contained. That's not a reason to give up on educating people, but as for the emotional aspect: if it bugs you now, your mood isn't gonna improve much with the passage of time. ?
 

b.mac

Indiana Beach Vibe
May 14, 2011
4,776
7,094
250
BFE, Virginia
Stopping the train mid-course in the event of an emergency would only make the situation worse. The time it would take to get people off if an area with no stair access would take a significant amount of time.

In comparison, allowing the train to finish its course before stopping it on the brake run would make it far more accessible. An e-stop typically cuts all power off to a ride. Ride operators would then run to the passengers with a manual release/battery box and a possible fire extinguisher. In the event of an emergency, it shouldn't take any more than 5 minutes to get riders off of a brake run, 10 minutes off of a lift hill, and about 15 if the train is stopped on a mid-course brake run.

Of course these numbers would vary, but the current procedures allows immediate access in getting passengers off. If an "automatic mid-course make believe bullshit e-stop" actually existed and was used, you'd have to get access to those riders. The fire department would have to assist in getting people off and there would be no immediate assistance. The idea of such an e-stop would only hurt the efficientcy in getting people off. Time is critical in these situations.

Pretty much this. Evac procedures vary from ride to ride but in the majority of cases rides are built and planned with evacuation in mind in case of emergency. The only real time a train will stop in an unintended area is when the train valleys due to poor weather conditions, part failure, or interference from foreign objects (trees, backpacks, etc.). Most of the length in getting riders off the ride is from waiting for authorized personnel (maintenance and supervisors) to respond to the ride and attempt to reset the ride to prevent an unload, but when the unload process begins it's usually done with in about 10 minutes for standard rides, 20 for floorless, and 25 minutes for the unique ones like B&M Flyers. Most maintenance personnel in parks will at least try to get trains in less easy spots to evac like lifts and MCBRs to at least make it to a more accessible unloading area, but sometimes the ride just doesn't want to cooperate within an acceptable timeframe.
 
Jan 28, 2010
256
429
160
Just for clarification and context, these posts were relating to situations where allowing the train to complete the course would be dangerous - an obstruction on the track, a lap bar coming unlocked, etc.

I have also seen posts where discussing a coaster that has been stopped on a lift or break run. Inevitably someone will make a comment along the lines of "I'm glad they didn't stop it when the were upside down". Umm, yeah, that can't happen either. Don't people realize that rides are designed with safety in mind?
 

b.mac

Indiana Beach Vibe
May 14, 2011
4,776
7,094
250
BFE, Virginia
Just for clarification and context, these posts were relating to situations where allowing the train to complete the course would be dangerous - an obstruction on the track, a lap bar coming unlocked, etc.

I have also seen posts where discussing a coaster that has been stopped on a lift or break run. Inevitably someone will make a comment along the lines of "I'm glad they didn't stop it when the were upside down". Umm, yeah, that can't happen either. Don't people realize that rides are designed with safety in mind?

In most cases if those things are caught then the E-stop is pressed and the train stops at the next control area. Obviously there's no 100% way to prevent that sort of thing from happening, Ninja 2014 is an example. In most cases parks with rides that are close to trees and such usually ask employees and maintenance to do "personal clearance checks" to try and reach out and grab tree branches and stuff. I had to do it for 4 years at Bizarro, and even employees on Kingda Ka have had to do it from time to time.
 
Consider Donating to Hide This Ad