Scott's Coaster Closet

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Wooden coaster Manual Braking systems

Postby SeaWhippet » Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:02 am

Ok, this is one of my more obscure offerings from The Closet, and it will probably appeal more to the wooden coaster purists out there.

With that said, I've always had a fascination with wooden roller coasters with manual braking systems. In the old days, this is the way virtually all coasters were operated. There's something terribly romantic about a loaded train roaring into the station and having its momentum arrested by an operator using his weight and skill to manipulate various wooden levers, eventually bringing the train to a smooth stop. There was a certain grace I associated with the whole affair, and I miss that.

Sadly,most of the wooden levers and skid brakes have been replaced with with harsh squeeze brakes and soulless magnetics. At least we still have Camden Park and a few others ... :?r

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Postby DCody » Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:00 pm

THANK YOU for posting those! I am a Big Ol' Brake geek and I wish more coasters were still manually braked like that.

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Postby Nrthwnd » Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:06 pm

The Coaster in Playland, Vancouver (celebrating it's 50th Birthday this year, by the way) has got computer stuff linked into all of it's twists and turns, the lift hill, the braking runs, everywhere...

But they still do the braking in the station like they did when the coaster was first opened, in 1958.

It's still one of those "few others," thankfully. :smile:

And thanks for sharing a great part of the wood coaster experience.

The brake guys! :airtime: :airtimer:
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Postby Kennyweird » Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:08 pm

EDIT: Never mind, Rollo coaster still uses manual brakes; I guess I got it confused with something else.
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Postby SeaWhippet » Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:14 am

DCody wrote:THANK YOU for posting those! I am a Big Ol' Brake geek and I wish more coasters were still manually braked like that.


I KNEW I wasn't alone in my brake handle obsession! :)

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Postby montezooma » Thu May 01, 2008 3:21 pm

Scott-

If you have this "thing" for the brake handles that are in the station...How do you feel about the coasters that actually have the brake person that rides along on the coaster train???

I'm just sayin...

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Postby SeaWhippet » Thu May 01, 2008 3:36 pm

montezooma wrote:Scott-

If you have this "thing" for the brake handles that are in the station...How do you feel about the coasters that actually have the brake person that rides along on the coaster train???

I'm just sayin...

-Shane


Well, yes, I do have a bit of a "thing" for the brake handles. ;) And the only woodie I've ridden with a big strapping brakeman was England's Dreamland Scenic Railway, which some bloody idiot recent torched.

I'm just sayin ...

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Postby montezooma » Thu May 01, 2008 3:48 pm

That was a great collection of brake handles, I have to admit I have a thing for that too. It sure is a rarity these days to see those around.

I too have ridden the Scenic Railway at Dreamland as well as the one (I don't know how to spell it) at Tivoli in Denmark. I remember seeing that for the first time and thinking WTF? I never even knew such a thing existed until I saw it in person way back in 1980. What a cool job that would be...you actually get paid to ride a roller coaster!
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Postby SeaWhippet » Thu May 01, 2008 4:20 pm

montezooma wrote:That was a great collection of brake handles, I have to admit I have a thing for that too. It sure is a rarity these days to see those around.

I too have ridden the Scenic Railway at Dreamland as well as the one (I don't know how to spell it) at Tivoli in Denmark. I remember seeing that for the first time and thinking WTF? I never even knew such a thing existed until I saw it in person way back in 1980. What a cool job that would be...you actually get paid to ride a roller coaster!


Agreed. It would be a great job, though I'd be soooooo tempted to say ... "Hold on, people. This is gonna be a ride you'll never forget!" And then, just release those brakes for the whole circuit and see what happens. :b

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Re: Riverview Bobs (1950s mag article)

Postby armagnac » Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:50 pm

Scott:

I just found this while browsing yesterday on my favorite topic, "The Bobs." After looking closely at the pages, it appears as if you have two desperate articles - and on the page numbered 15 at the bottom it says, continued on Page 41. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a page 41. and thus the article is incomplete <sigh>. Nonetheless, it's a great addition to my collection of Bobs memorabilia.

I spent a lot of time on the Bobs as a young adult... lot's of "Let's Ride Again," trips from in the front seat on one of the three trains. My reason for responding is that I do have some of the photos that appear in the article. If you would like some copies email me at armagnac@sbcglobal.net. Did you ever ride the Bobs? Just curious.

One other thing to mention. In the same year that The Bobs was constructed, another coaster was built from a similar set of plans by Prior and Church. Actually, the other coaster has about 2/3rds of the same track layout, hills and dimensions. It's still in operation, and I live in the town where the coaster is.

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SeaWhippet wrote:Back before the Web was commonplace, roller coaster/park research meant going to libraries and historical societies and digging through tons of meaninglessness to find little hidden treasures. In the early '80s, I discovered this article on the infamous Riverview Bobs in a university microfiche collection.

Sorry for quality of the images but that was the best their printer could produce. I don't even know what magazine it came from now, but I would love to see these photos in the original. There's mention of Chicago (mag?) on the bottom of page 6, but I don't think every page came from the same mag. If anyone can ID this publication, please let me know.

Enjoy!
-Scott

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