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Beast Brakes

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There has been discussion of The Beast's brakes - both trim brakes and final brakes - but I have a question which I believe was never talked about.....

Since The Beast gets constant maintenance, both new wood and new track, why is it still necessary for the trim brakes, which I was told were installed so the coaster won't beat itself up? Continuous repair and/or replacement of wood and track would seem to me to be preventing the beating. This question especially applies to the brake on the hill after the first tunnel.

(I am aware that when first built, there were no trims in the "turnstile" - or, at least, they weren't functioning as the test riders claimed they flew through that "shed", and the video of the testing shows that there were no brakes on the entrance to the helix.)

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The trim brakes are there for both maintenance issues & ride comfort.

Comfort side- Beast, if left untrimmed, is reportably unbearable (this was a comment made back in 1979 during test phase- I unfortunately cannot find the article containing this info).

Maintenance side- while Beast (and most other wood coasters) is constantly worked on, if there were no trims, the time & money needed to keep up with issues would increase significantly.

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Comfort side- Beast, if left untrimmed, is reportably unbearable (this was a comment made back in 1979 during test phase- I unfortunately cannot find the article containing this info).

I wonder if that would still be the opinion today. I mean, in 1979, I could see someone calling Voyage unbearable.

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I think the only one that truly kills it for me was the installation of the magnetic breaks after the first drop and turn, heading into the second drop. The airtime used to be great there, and now it delivers nothing.

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Comfort side- Beast, if left untrimmed, is reportably unbearable (this was a comment made back in 1979 during test phase- I unfortunately cannot find the article containing this info).

I wonder if that would still be the opinion today. I mean, in 1979, I could see someone calling Voyage unbearable.

And in 1987, people probably called Vortex butter smooth!

In other words, I think exactly the opposite of what you suggested - I think people are just now getting used to ultra-smooth, computer-designed creations and intelligent layouts compared to rides of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. No park patron would accept Kings Dominion's Anaconda as a new ride because it's a shaky, head-banging experience with an awkward layout, odd track transitions, and weirdly spaced elements. Our tolerance and expectation for roughness has gone way down, so I imagine that 1979 Beast riders were expecting roughness and were still shocked. I could be wrong.

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^ Absolutely.

Just look at the amount of wood vs. steel coasters built over the last 30 years.

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Typically toward the end of the season you'll notice a portion of trims brakes in the brake shed and helix removed and sat on the catwalk running boards next to where they usually sit on the track. Same with the first few weeks of operation due to cold weather.

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One other thing to remember. In 1979, The Beast had bench seats with buzz bars. No seat belts, no seat dividers, no headrests and no individual lap bars. It was likely a much different ride experience than it is today. Imagine how many people would feel The Beast is unsafe if it still operated the way it did in 1979. Although many of us would consider this fun, I'm sure others wouldn't.

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Most of all, it had deeply cushioned leather seats. Not hard polyurethane foam. So did Racer. So do most wood coasters today, except in Ohio and New Jersey, sad to say.

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I hate to say it, but I don't like the brake before the double helix. I loved shredding through that tunnel. Does anyone notice that The Beast gains speed at night. It might be just me.

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I believe it's an optical illusion. You have nothing to gauge your speed by. i.e there are no trees that you can see zoom by to give you an idea of how fast you are going.

While you may like shredding through that tunnel, I bet the trains/track/your spine doesn't like shredding through that tunnel hahaha

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If I am not mistaken, there has always been some type of trim going down the hill prior to the helices.

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Does anyone notice that The Beast gains speed at night. It might be just me.

Top speed of The Magic Kingdom's Space Mountain? 27 miles per hour. Half the speed of Flight Deck. Few would believe it, though, thanks to the dark! It's a theatrical trick on par with forced perspective.

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Close your eyes.

GYK, who has... And has enjoyed the ride all the more!

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Magnum after dark seems like you're going 90 mph. I hope it's just an illusion, because Magnum at 90 mph would probably mean death.

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When I rode it in September '79 it seemed like it had sled brakes on the first hill and rows of tires riding on the sides of the trains in the shed and I can't remember if it had any going into the helix. It does seem like the helix profile was different and the helix was not enclosed. The trains had four bench seats so they would scrub off a little speed in the turns.

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I think people are just now getting used to ultra-smooth, computer-designed creations

While I do agree with you, I'd just like to say that rides can very well be butter smooth and designed by paper; all of B&M's coasters were made on paper, and check out how smooth they are!

Said by Walter Bollinger in one of these two videos-

*Sorry for the fullsize videos, it wouldn't let me post as a normal link.

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Has The Beast always had four sets of brakes? First drop, second drop, thru the shed and after the last lift before the helix? I don't remember all of those brakes being there or at least I am pretty darn sure they weren't anywhere near as forceful.

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Well.. I'm not sure what year they were added but you were alive when they had different styled brakes.

http://rcdb.com/67.htm?p=137 These are what used to be there which I'm not sure if they were magnets or if they just brushed the train.

Now they have more noticeable and abrupt braking. especially on the crest before the second drop and the "bridge" portion

(look on youtube for a 2012 POV to see it quickly, can't post it here)

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Has The Beast always had four sets of brakes?

What I've learned from prior threads on this topic over the years along with my own experience (others please fill in details and correct errors):

- since Beast opened to the public, there have been trim brakes at the four locations: First Drop, Second Hill, Brake Shed (covered straightaway), and Drop into Helix (after second lift hill)

- for many years, these were skid brakes which slowed the train via friction interference. They were changed to magnetic brakes which deliver more reliable/consistent speed reduction in shorter distance (this therefore feels more forceful)

- Magnetic trims, as added, are designed to slow the train to the same speed as the skid brakes they replaced. However, since skid brakes weren't as consistent (rain, wear, other factors caused them to be less effective) there were likely times that the ride ran faster than it is with the magnetic brakes (people often point to how far up the second lift the train sometimes reached)

- Skid brakes on the first drop began as a shorter length, then were extended to almost the full length of the drop before being replaced by the magnetic trims

- the brake shed used to have the skid trims and some pinch brakes along with kicker wheels as used on the final brake run/station. This was to enable the train to be stopped/restarted at this point as this was part of the blocking system at one point (although no longer is). Now, the train ahead must be clear of the second lift block before the next train can clear the first lift block (hence the slower first lift speed that some talk about)

Searching for Beast blocking and Beast trim brakes may lead to some of the old threads - search wasn't easy on mobile so I'm not doing it right now.

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They probably didn't want to have another "SoB 2006" happen where the wood cracked from to much pressure caused by the speed of The Beast.

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They probably didn't want to have another "SoB 2006" happen where the wood cracked from to much pressure caused by the speed of The Beast.

Is this why they build The Beast in the 70s with those brakes added shortly after?

You can definatly feel the trim brakes going into the 540 helix

Does this ruin your ride on The Beast?

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Hmm...well, I can add to this conversation: according to the web video "Riding History to the Limits" (I'll link in this post), The Beast was originally not supposed to have the trim brakes prior to the double helix finale. However, a group of people rode it prior to the ride's opening in 1979 and thought the final helix was "too intense" so they added the trims there. Not sure if the other 2 "trim" locations, not counting the brake shed, were intentional- I've only ever heard about this one.

However, in 2002, when The Beast switched from skid brakes to fin brakes for the first time, I was told by a reliable (I think...?) source (named The Interpreter) that the brakes before the final helix were removed, but not replaced, and the park let the ride actually run WITHOUT brakes before the final helix for a few days/weeks (not sure), and that said rides were quite wild...

Also, on an early Beast promo, I read they claimed the top speed was...get ready for this...70 mph. Not sure if this is exaggeration, or if Beast could actually hit 70mph if ALL of the trim brakes were removed/off...I honestly do feel perhaps it could. However, if I was riding Beast and saw all the trim brakes removed, to be honest yet again...I'd actually be a bit worried, because the ride would likely be VERY rough and VERY forceful...and the ride would tear itself up, more than likely...

Video link for "Riding History to the Limits":

http://www.cetconnect.org/video/riding-history-limits-rivertown

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^

I, tragically, am a bit confused...are we talking about the ride in 1979 (original opening) or 2002 (opening with new trim brakes)...? Because it was running with no trims whatsoever when it re-opened in 2002, then some here sure do know what the trim-less Beast was like...

Sorry about getting confused, BTW...

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When the magnetic braking was installed.

When it opened in 1979, the braking was not significantly different than it is today, unless it had been raining.

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^

Oh...thanks for clearing that up...hmm, perhaps Beast+No Trims isn't so "unsafe" after all...maybe not as comfortable (probably far from it), and certainly it's going to need more maintenance...but, still "safe" enough to operate for a short while...

Oh, and thanks for reminding me- I forgot that skid brakes SUCK when it rains, which means Beast Pre-2002+Rain=Super Epic Ultra High Speed Rampage Through Forest at 70mph...and+Night=Super Epic Ultra High Speed Rampage Through Forest at 70mph in Pitch Black Darkness! :wub:

I'll bet you THOSE rides are where The Beast got its "epic coaster legend" status from...and sadly, it's those rides the new brakes have taken away, because they work mo' better in rain...even though, because of the October 2001 accident, I can see why they were changed...

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