Ask RideMan #5 - Restraints

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 8:24 AM
Walt's avatar

What is the mechanism that causes the restraints on roller coaster trains to lock in place then release once the ride is over? Is this mechanism changed on newer coasters from what it has been on older ones? And when riders have to be evacuated away from the station — either from a lift hill or a brake run — how do operators disengage the restraints?

http://pointbuzz.com/content/ask-rideman-restraints

Again, huge thanks to Dave for sharing his knowledge with the community!

Last edited by Jeff, Sunday, August 23, 2020 10:15 AM

Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz
PointBuzz on Twitter | Facebook | YouTube
Home to the Biggest Fans of the World's Best Amusement Park

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016 9:47 AM

That was extremely interesting to read! The photos were also a huge help!

Thanks again, Dave, for answering my question!

Last edited by Perpetual Obsession, Tuesday, March 1, 2016 9:48 AM

Past Cedar Point visits: 10/??/11, 05/18/12, 08/8/13, 08/28/14, 08/25/15, 8/8/17, 7/30/18
Planned visits: TBD

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016 12:57 PM

Fun fact about GateKeeper restraints (and Valravn)... Even though the restraints are hydraulic, they don't require electricity to manually unlock them like the Intamins do. The two holes behind each seat have levers inside that unlock the restraint when pushed up. You have to cross your fingers to reach them properly.


2012: Gemini/Mean Streak
2013: Co-Team Leader of Gemini/Maverick on Halloweekends Fridays
2014: Ride Supervisor of Thunder Canyon/Skyride/GateKeeper on Halloweekends Fridays
2015: Ride Supervisor of Rougarou

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016 1:18 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

The link to "here’s an example" didn't work for me. Did we overload the website?


854 Coasters, 35 States, 7 Countries
http://www.rollercoasterfreak.com My YouTube

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016 1:24 PM
Walt's avatar

Good question. I'm pretty sure I checked it yesterday. There doesn't seem to a be a cached page on Google.


Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz
PointBuzz on Twitter | Facebook | YouTube
Home to the Biggest Fans of the World's Best Amusement Park

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Thursday, March 3, 2016 12:04 AM

So did we really just 'fireball' an obscure European hydraulic manufacturer's web site? Or is that just an interesting coincidence?

(And what was the canonical term for that back in the day? Your web site gets linked to by a popular site and crashes under load...)

Kenny Myatt asked:
do you think there is a better way for the Intamin rides to manually release their restraints? I have always thought it was kind of strange that if they ever got stuck (which has happened to me on TTD and I believe Millie) that they'd have to haul out the power pack for it.

I'm looking for clarification from People Who Know™...

But on those hydraulic cylinder assemblies, the control generally uses a spool valve with a solenoid operator, mounted on the cylinder body somewhere.

In theory, you could manually release the restraint by putting your finger on the back end of the spool and pushing it into the valve body against the return spring tension. The problem with that is that first, Intamin puts these assemblies under covers, and second, each restraint has two independent cylinder assemblies. So in order to manually open the restraint you would have to remove the cover panel and then simultaneously operate two valve spools, both of which may be positioned in locations where you risk getting your hands or fingers clobbered or pinched by moving machinery.

You could do it, and it would work.

The battery box is a much simpler and easier solution, though, so long as it is available, and with the battery box you can open all four seats at once.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.



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Thursday, March 3, 2016 12:12 AM

If you change the link from HTTPS to HTTP, is seems to work, at least for the time being.

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Thursday, March 3, 2016 9:24 AM
Walt's avatar

Thanks, jscll. I'll edit the link.


Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz
PointBuzz on Twitter | Facebook | YouTube
Home to the Biggest Fans of the World's Best Amusement Park

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Friday, March 4, 2016 1:38 AM

It seems I didn't give Intamin quite enough credit. Not only is it possible to operate the restraint valves manually, it's possible to do so without removing any parts from the train. Which makes sense, as it might be necessary to do that at any time.

The procedure is simple enough, but it does require the use of a tool. Apparently you don't operate the spool directly, but there is a bypass valve. 99% of the time, though, it's still easier to use the battery box.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.



/X\ *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
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Friday, March 4, 2016 2:02 AM
Chuck Wagon's avatar

Link note: The hyperlink to article #5 is not currently being displayed on the other 4 existing RideMan articles.


-- Chuck Wagon --
aka Pagoda Gift Shop

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Friday, March 4, 2016 1:35 PM
JK125's avatar

Thanks. Very interesting. I do have a question. I was loaded in the Mean Streak station with the lap bar locked when the power went out early last year. On a couple of the cars, the ride ops could not release the bar even though they had a couple of guys trying to pull the loop up. They finally had someone from maintenance come and go underneath the station to release the lap bar. I was wondering what they did. I didn't like being locked in for 20 minutes but I got a front of the line pass which was nice to use later in the season.

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Friday, March 4, 2016 7:50 PM

If they went under the station they probably pounded or pried on the release plunger on the side of the train. On the PTC trains ([Blue|Mean] Streak) the entire lap bar mechanism is inside that rectangular cover on the side of the train. The locking pawls are not only spring biased into the closed position, they are also torque-locked against the teeth on the lap bar axle due to the bias supplied by the return spring, and possibly by your own squishiness. So to release the ratchet, the lap bar needs to be rotated "down" so that the teeth can disengage. It looks to me like the release key pulls on the same rod that is operated by the release plunger (which pushes a wedge block that pushes the release rod up) so the only appreciable difference between releasing it from the bottom and releasing it from the top is that from the bottom it might be possible to apply a bit more force.

The PTC mechanism is kind of neat, as it has that middle locking pawl in it that locks the lap bar in the full open position when the bars are released. I'm a big guy in his 40's, so I appreciate having something solid to help me out of the seat!

--Dave Althoff, Jr.



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Sunday, March 20, 2016 9:49 AM

Corkscrew used to unlock restraints as the train entered the station. Back when we still had 3 train operation and the trains raced into the station. They stopped doing for good in either 2000 or 01. (They were still doing it when I worked there in 99)

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Saturday, March 26, 2016 1:41 AM

Really?!

I never saw that done at Cedar Point. It was SOP at Geauga, but at Cedar Point I thought they simply relied on a larger platform crew so that when the train stopped an attendant was already there to stomp the pedal. As they once did on Mine Ride (I was once told that ride had a crew of 26 people. I figured that included 10 pedal pushers per shift to handle both load and unload.).

But then, by now everyone has seen my video showing how they loaded Blue Streak back in 1991, complete with the operator riding the running board while checking seat belts...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.



/X\ *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
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Saturday, March 26, 2016 12:00 PM
Pete's avatar

It was very common back in the day for a ride host to press the unlock lever on each car as the train was coming in. The did it both ways, with a larger crew they had one person per car, but when they were a little short handed they did the pedal press routine on the inbound train.


I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks,
than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

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Saturday, March 26, 2016 2:37 PM

Regarding the MaxAir restraint status being in "groups": I worked that ride a few times and I swear that I remember the screen in the booth showing each seat being either red/green individually. Of course, the restraints are released in sections in the case of someone wanting to get off/not ride etc.

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Saturday, March 26, 2016 4:27 PM

^ you're absolutely 100% correct

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Saturday, March 26, 2016 6:26 PM

Wait, so the area where people boarded Blue Streak is now where the control booth is now?


Weather Freak
Ride Warrior

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Saturday, March 26, 2016 10:43 PM

Yes, but you boarded on the opposite side from the control booth.

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Sunday, March 27, 2016 12:57 AM

The original set-up for Blue Streak ( I may have a few details off) but you entered and exited where you now currently exit. The queue was set up out the outside not the inside current setup. There was a seperate load and unload station setup (i.e. TTD ) you loaded where the area what I call the pit is and unloaded where the load/unload part is now.

It also had bench seats with a buzz bar and seat belt for both people.

Yes I do remember the ride operators hanging on to the end of the station checking the bars and belts once again, Also every so often what I called the BSrun when they couldn't get one to lock or failed the final check and had to stop the train on the hill and go and correct the restraint.

What I miss was the insane airtime you had a jokingly always had one hand up and one hand on the ever floating buzz bar. Miss the good old days of Blue Streak before Raptor was born.

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