Browsing Tag: roller coaster

    Disneyland Monorail breaks down | Fresh Baked Disney
    Articles, Blog

    Disneyland Monorail breaks down | Fresh Baked Disney

    October 14, 2019

    There’s something you don’t see everyday. The monorail…has stopped. That almost happened to us yesterday. We took
    the monorail and we stopped in Downtown Disney. And they had to take us off. They closed
    the ride or at least an hour. But I wonder if there was a car stuck on the track. This guy has had enough. He’s ready to look outside. You guys see that family in the nose? You know if Candi were in there right now
    she would be panicking like you wouldn’t believe. She gets very claustrophobic. And she does not like the nose or the
    tail because there are no open windows. I don’t know how long they’ve been on that track, but I’ve been standing
    here for 15 minutes waiting to see if that thing will move. It’s going. Finally. At least a half an hour. Look at that. There’s a guy… What’s he doing? He must have come all the way around So they managed to push it back to the Tomorrowland station. I guess they got everyone off ok. And I guess that thing pushed it along. They had to bring that thing all the way around from maintenance
    to catch up with the car and then push it around.

    LEGO Light Rail Transit (LLRT) System
    Articles, Blog

    LEGO Light Rail Transit (LLRT) System

    October 12, 2019

    Hey everyone, Jason here. Today we are going to take a look at my latest train designed to run on the roller coaster
    track system. Now, last year I posted a version that could handle all the sloped
    track pieces, which had a pretty significant impact on the design of that
    train. This one was designed to only run on the flat sections of the track, which
    gave me a lot more flexibility when designing it, and as a result I was able
    to design more of a traditional style of train with an engine on either end and
    some relatively longer cars. I was also able to make it run a little bit faster
    than the previous one as well. So, how does it work. We’ll take a look at
    the engine first and I have a stripped-down version here to more easily see what’s going on. There is an M-motor on the inside, which drives these
    four wheels underneath, through some gearing in the front. The wheels I’m
    using are these standard train motor wheels, which have a little rubber ring
    around them to provide some friction with the track. Now, obviously these
    weren’t designed to run on the roller-coaster tracks but they do seem
    to work pretty well. The spacing in here is a little bit odd. It all fits within a
    four stud wide gap but these train wheels are actually a little bit wider
    than half a stud, and if you build a lot with the Technic system you know that
    things go best together in half stud or full stud increments. So, I am doing some
    non-conventional things in here to get it all to fit properly while still being
    able to drive all four wheels. I’m also using these door rail plates underneath
    each side of the engine which just barely latch on to the rails of the
    track, and it has just enough clutch to prevent the engine from pulling itself
    off the track as it goes around the corners. Speaking of the corners, if there
    are any custom part makers watching this I would love to see some wider radius
    track curves. The cars are pretty simple. They’re each built on a 6 by 16 stud
    plate and each bogie is just a decorated version of the standard roller coaster
    car with a turntable on top to allow it to rotate. For this train I actually have
    a motorized engine on either end because I found that a single engine can really
    only reliably pull two cars around the corners. So, I have a battery box and IR
    receiver in this car and I’m using an extension cable to connect the motor on
    the far engine. Both motors are connected to the same motor output so that they
    always run at the same speed and one thing to note regarding that is that I
    did have to mirror the drive gears on the engines since they are facing in
    opposite directions. I’ve created building instructions for the engine and
    the cars which you can find over at, along with some
    building notes which might be useful if you decide to build your own. I have had
    this train running at a couple of events already, and aside from stopping to change the batteries it has run continuously at
    each one. So, it seems to perform fairly well, and I think that’s about it for
    this model. if you do happen to build your own train based on this system I’d
    love to see it feel free to tag me on social media wherever you post it.
    As always thanks for watching, keep on building, and I’ll see you next time.

    Roller Coaster Safety: How to Manage Too Many Trains at Once
    Articles, Blog

    Roller Coaster Safety: How to Manage Too Many Trains at Once

    September 22, 2019

    I recently returned from a family trip to
    Walt Disney World. Everyone in my family is a bit of a Disney
    fanatic, and we’ve made many a trip. Yes it’s an expensive adventure, but it’s
    a place that has a special place in my heart, and one that I truly believe has shaped me
    into who I am today. Particularly my experiences at Epcot, perhaps
    the only theme park dedicated to exploring new technologies and world cultures. What excites and interests me most about Walt
    Disney World is their constant innovation and use of technology in novel ways. The technology throughout the resort has always
    fascinated me. From what today we would call simple things
    like using RFID tags to cue up narration segments on Living with the Land (Narration: Some
    of our best ideas have been inspired by nature) not to mention Magic Bands, to the use of
    Monorails as an actual transportation solution, oh and why not send it through the atrium
    of a hotel and build a station while we’re at it, to the use of linear induction motors
    to propel the ride vehicles of the Peoplemover (a system, by the way, which has been in near
    constant use since all the way back in nineteen-seventy-freaking-five. (60Hz hum from propulsion system) Love that
    sound! To the increasingly complex and impressive
    Animatronic figures, with this new Na’Vi figure being remarkably fluid and believable. But this video isn’t about those things,
    it’s about ride safety and capacity. Yeah. I’m a nerd. Deal with it. Because of Disney’s extensive use of theming,
    they are able to hide certain ride control elements to make their attractions accommodate
    more people while still remaining safe. What I’m talking about here are roller coasters. Roller coasters generally receive all the
    energy they need at the beginning of the ride. Whether it’s a launch or a more traditional
    lift hill, a roller coaster train starts the course with the maximum amount of energy at
    the beginning, and then navigates the track with an overall downward slope from its highest
    point. With rare exceptions, roller coaster trains
    are entirely passive vehicles, requiring elements in the track to both provide them with energy
    (such as a chain lift) and to stop or slow them through the use of brakes. Because the control elements are located in
    the track, the capacity of a roller coaster is limited. When in operation, two trains cannot navigate
    the course at the same time or a collision would be possible should one train encounter
    a problem, such as a dislodged wheel, and come to an unexpected stop. In many roller coasters, this is managed with
    large trains capable of handling many people. When one train is dispatched, another takes
    its place in the station to be unloaded and reloaded. But that train cannot be dispatched until
    the train in front of it returns to the station, at which point it is certain a collision cannot
    occur as the first train has returned and is now stopped. This means that trains can only be dispatched
    about as frequently as the ride is long. A roller coaster with a two minute ride time
    can therefore only dispatch one train every two minutes, so its capacity is limited to
    30 train loads per hour. This necessitates long trains with many seats,
    or an acceptance of lower ride capacity. Now, if you’ve ever ridden Space Mountain,
    you’ll know that each train holds a whopping 6 people. This is needed because the ride is enclosed
    in a building and doesn’t have a lot of space. Which is odd given the name. Anyway, the tiny trains are able to navigate
    really tight corners and sudden changes of direction, which allows for the ride to be
    very thrilling even though it’s so compact. But with only six people per train, the ride’s
    capacity would be pretty awful if only one train was allowed on the course at once. With a ride time of 2 and a half minutes,
    only 144 people could ride per hour. So, there must be some tricks up their sleeves. The first and most obvious trick is that there
    are two mirrored copies of the same roller coaster inside the mountain at Walt Disney
    World. So now we’ve got 288 people per hour. Whoop-a-de-freaking doo-da. But if you pay attention while in line, you’ll
    see that they send a train about every 20 seconds. With two sides running, that’s like sending
    6 people every 10 seconds. That’s a much more impressive 2,160 people
    per hour. But how can they do that and still be safe? Dispatching a train that frequently means
    there are about 7 trains running about at once. Well, the fact that the ride is in nearly
    complete darkness means that Disney can hide a lot of safety elements. What are they hiding? Lots and lots of brake runs. Incidentally, it’s not that hard to see
    what Space Mountain looks like with the lights on, just ride the peoplemover while it’s
    broken down and you’ll get a good view. There’s oodles of mechanical equipment everywhere,
    and among the wires, girders, and gobbledygook are frequent, regular intervals of straight
    ride track containing brakes just like you see in the station, but stronger. These are called brake runs, and they are
    capable of bringing the train to a complete stop with a moment’s notice. Let’s build a mini-roller coaster using
    marbleworks. Yes, marbleworks. When a marble is placed on the course, it
    can’t be stopped until it reaches the bottom. If these marbles were vehicles containing
    fragile and litigious human beings, the only way to prevent collisions would be to only
    allow only one marble on the track at once. But let’s imagine that at each connection
    to the next piece there is a brake run that can stop the marble. Now we can send more than one marble at a
    time because there are multiple places that we can stop them if necessary. To prevent collisions in a rollercoaster,
    the ride’s computer system is constantly monitoring sensors in each of these brake
    runs which tell it if a train is there and how fast it is going. The computer’s goal is to ensure there is
    always a brake run between trains. It will not allow a train to pass through
    a brake run unless the following brake run has already had a train go through it and
    is now clear. If the train in front of you hasn’t made
    it out of its own brake run, the computer will immediately apply the brakes ahead of
    you to stop your train and prevent a possible collision. These intervals on the track are called block
    sections, as any Roller Coaster Tycoon aficionado would know. Also of note is that the type of brakes used
    in roller coasters generally require power, often in the form of air pressure, in order
    to be released, with a spring providing the actual braking force. A sudden loss of pressure will cause them
    to immediately engage. Now, with trains being sent every 20 seconds
    in Space Mountain, there needs to be a brake run at least that frequently throughout the
    ride. But sticking to that interval for brake runs
    would require that each train go through the course at precisely the same speed. If the train in front of you were to slow
    down even just a little bit, your train would need to be stopped at the next brake run to
    eliminate the risk of a crash. This would happen because the computer didn’t
    see the lead train go through the brake run and can’t be sure a collusion won’t happen. This would also require all trains behind
    you to be stopped. Additionally, if your train got ahead of where
    it should be, there would be no way to prevent a collision with the next train should it
    stop unexpectedly. There should therefore be a brake run about
    twice as often as the trains are dispatched. This allows wiggle room for inconsistent train
    speed, and ensures there is always at least one brake run between every train. And in fact, if you pay attention while riding
    Space Mountain, you’ll notice an odd regularity in the ride. Space Mountain as a ride is very twisty, turny,
    droppy, and fun. Kinda like marbleworks. But about every ten seconds, you spend a moment
    going perfectly straight. Then you resume the shenanigans, and after
    another 10 seconds, you go perfectly straight for a brief moment. After which point you again spend roughly
    10 seconds careening through the galaxy, before going perfectly straight. Each of these straight sections is a brake
    run. Brake runs have to be straight as the brake
    fins below the train need to be lined up between the squeezy bits here. And though you can’t see it, there’s also
    a platform and walkway beside you along the brake run in case of a ride evacuation. With frequent brake runs, the computer controlling
    the ride can also adjust the speed of trains. Because train detection sensors can determine
    the speed of each train in addition to simple presence, the computer can compensate for
    a train going too fast by lightly applying the brakes to slow it down. In this case, the brakes would be referred
    to as trim brakes, and you might notice your train being slowed down in these straight
    sections from time to time. Likewise, it can slow trains if a train up
    ahead is going slower than usual. The brakes and computer system work together
    to allow perhaps as many as 7 trains on each track to traverse the course at once. But sometimes errors do occur. If the computer tries to slow down a train
    and slows it too much, it may not clear the following brake run before the train behind
    it catches up. Or perhaps the brakes failed to act well enough,
    allowing the train to get too close to the following train. Or even simpler, a sensor may be acting up
    and reports something weird to the computer, making it think a ride vehicle is present
    when it actually isn’t. In these cases, the computer will need to
    take over. Though I can’t confirm it as I’ve never
    worked on a roller coaster or studied its operating minutia, it’s likely any of these
    scenarios will trigger a complete stop of the ride, with every brake run instantly engaging
    to stop all motion on the track as soon as possible. This safety measure is probably the cause
    of many a lengthy breakdown, as the ride will have to be manually reset after these emergency
    stops. In fact, there’s a great video here on YouTube
    of the Disneyland space mountain, that’s Disneyland in California, going through just
    that. Disneyland’s space mountain is slightly
    different in that there’s a single track with each train holding 12 people. In the video, you can see that there are trains
    scattered throughout the mountain, with each of those brake runs holding a train. The cast members then go backwards through
    the mountain, starting at the bottom, releasing trains one at a time through the rest of the
    ride. Once all the trains have returned, they can
    begin the process of restarting the ride. The unfortunate thing about Space Mountain
    is that’s it’s pretty much impossible to show you any of this. Disney went the easy route and relied on the
    cover of darkness to hide what’s going on. But at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, I can. Remember how I said “Because of Disney’s
    extensive use of theming, they are able to hide certain ride control elements to make
    their attractions accommodate more people while still remaining safe” earlier in the
    video? Well, at this attraction, they use a different
    method. Big Thunder has an immense capacity, with
    each train consisting of 15 rows that can accommodate two adults with a child. AND, Big Thunder’s station uses two loading
    platforms with track switches, which allows for sending trains twice as fast as they can
    be loaded. Sending trains so frequently means that multiple
    trains occupy the track at once, which requires the use of block sections to prevent collisions. But rather than use frequent brake runs which
    are obvious without Space Mountain’s shotgun approach of complete darkness, Big Thunder
    Mountain Railroad contains three separate lift hills. A lift hill can be a type of block section
    as the train can be stopped simply by stopping the lift. Lift hills also offer more flexibility, because
    the train travels along it for a large number of seconds and therefore is in complete computer
    control for longer. The computer has all this time to decide if
    it needs to stop the train, allowing for a large amount of slop and inconsistency between
    trains. Also, because each lift hill moves the train
    as part of its normal operation, the ride can recover from minor trouble by restarting
    a train’s movement after a stop was required, so long as it’s safe to do so. This is in contrast to Space Mountain, where
    the block brakes are simply providing a last-minute means of stopping the ride altogether in emergencies. This merging of theming and mechanics is one
    of those things that I consider genius on Disney’s part. The extra lift hills on Big Thunder seem,
    from the rider’s perspective, to simply be theming elements or perhaps just a fun
    addition to the ride, but they are more than that. They are an integral part of the ride’s
    safety systems, allowing for a huge boost in ride capacity all the while protecting
    you from injury (and the company from lawsuits). Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom takes
    this one step further. I don’t have footage of the ride so I’ll
    be brief, but this ride contains two lift hills, and two reversing sections. All of these elements allow the train to be
    stopped if need be, with the reversing sections stopping the train as part of a normal ride
    experience. By building a stop into the ride’s theme,
    there is yet another added point of flexibility. In this case, if a train in front of you is
    occupying the next block section, the ride system simply holds your train longer than
    usual. Once it’s clear to go, the train is released. If you’d like to see this ride in action,
    check out the link below or through the card on your screen. And please, fix the Yeti. I’ve often felt that Disney has shaped the
    kind of person I am in more ways than one. I’d say a large part of my interest in technology
    comes from this technological mecca of entertainment. It was always fun to try and figure out how
    they did what they did, and let me tell you, I’m still having fun doing that today. Thanks for watching, I hope you enjoyed the
    video! And if you did, please consider subscribing. I’d also like to thank all of my supporters
    on Patreon. You can also support this channel through
    a totally voluntary contribution by visiting the link below or on your screen. Your support can help me make videos like
    this more frequently, and your consideration is much appreciated. I’ll see you next time.


    Motorized LEGO Roller Coaster Train

    September 6, 2019

    Hey everyone, Jason here. Ever since LEGO released their new roller coaster track system I’ve been wanting to build a
    motorized train for it, and for this particular train I wanted to design it
    to be able to handle all of the possible features of the coaster system, so it can
    handle going up and down the steep slopes and all of the various grade
    changes that come along with that. And that imposed a few restrictions on the design, for example I couldn’t make the cars very long otherwise the front and
    back of the car would hit the track as it went through one of these dips. And
    those dips along with the really tight curves also requires that there be
    enough space between the cars so they don’t interfere with each other. You can
    see that the front and back car almost touched the motor when going through the
    dip, and similarly the sides almost touch when going through the curves. I also
    thought it’d be kind of cool to throwback to the old monorail system by
    putting the motor in this small central engine car, and this also has the added
    advantage of being able to easily run it in either direction. So let’s take a look
    at how it works. I have this standalone model of the
    engine car to show you what is going on and the drive system is pretty simple.
    There are two axles that drop down below the chassis of the engine car, on either
    side of the track, and each one of those axles drives a rubber tire alongside
    this lower sidewall of the track system. And it’s actually a really secure fit. I
    think you could even do some kind of suspended train this way as well. For
    tires I’m just using these basic small rubber tires which are pretty common, and
    normally they come on these little small wheel hubs, but they also happen to fit
    on these Technic half bushings which makes it really easy to drive them using
    a standard Technic axle. The spacing between the tracks is a little bit odd
    so on the chassis the axles have to be four and a half studs apart and so to
    achieve that I have one running through a standard Technic 1×2 brick with a
    single hole, and the other one is running through a
    Technic brick with two holes. As a result the engine car isn’t perfectly centered
    on the track it’s shifted about 1/4 of a stud off-center. And the connection to
    the motor which I’ve just removed here so you can more easily see what’s going
    on is through this central cross axle, which transfers power to each of the
    drive axles. For the other cars, I just have them mounted on the standard roller coaster car frames since they work really well with the coaster system, and
    to connect the cars together I’m using this small shaft with a ball joint on
    either end. Since the train is going through curves on the level and also
    going through grade changes you do need two degrees of freedom in that
    connection which is why I’m using the ball joints. And that is pretty much all
    there is to it. I have created building instructions for
    this basic train chassis which you can find, along with some other information about assembling your own train over at I’m actually looking forward to experimenting with some other train and engine designs, especially for just a flat track configuration. I think removing the steep hills will allow for some more flexibility in the train design and I’d love to design a longer El
    train that would look good running through a city display. I just need to
    get a couple more, well a lot more, of these straight tracks. These are the only
    two I have right now. If you want to see more original LEGO designs, be sure to
    subscribe. As usual thanks for watching, keep on building, and I’ll see you next

    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Disneyland — 4-year-old on a rollercoaster  | Astrid Disastrid
    Articles, Blog

    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Disneyland — 4-year-old on a rollercoaster | Astrid Disastrid

    August 18, 2019

    Astrid! What? What ride is this? Big Thunder Mountain! How many times have you been on it? Four, I think. What? Four Yeah. Is this your favorite ride? Huh? No. Small Town. [gasps] Small World! Small World’s your favorite ride? OK. Let’s make a video. OK, OK. But hold me! I’m holding you. We have to see where we’re going, OK? It’s dark! Woo! Can you put your arms up? Where are we going? See the goat? Was that fun? Yeah! Yeah! You wanna go again? No? Ha ha! Maybe tonight. Too scary!