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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.

That's where I heard it.

Thanks! :)

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Back in the 90's, when it was possible for the maintenance folks to easily adjust/lower the old skid brakes, I had the opportunity as an employee to take a spin on The Beast with all the brakes off. They occasionally did this early in the year in preparation for the start of the season to "break in" the ride.

Having ridden it in normal operation hundreds of times, I can honestly say the most impressive part of the experience was the amount of speed the ride is capable of in the section between the break shed and the second lift (in the sections of track where the ride hugs the ground). The lack of breaks on the first drop didn't add a whole lot to the experience (although it did allow for the smallest pop of airtime in the back seat on the hill as you come off the first drop). The helix felt a little faster, but mostly a dramatic increase in roughness.

Having ridden it without the breaks, I definitely think they are necessary (as much as I hate to say it) for the comfort of most guests and for maintenance purposes - I could see some of the turns needing yearly rebuilding if they let it go "full throttle." And while the speeds today are generally the same as when the skid breaks were used, I just think they are more noticable because of the magnetic trims. The skid breaks slowed more gradually, as opposed to the sudden "grabbing" feeling of the magnets.

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^And you never invited me to go on any of those trimless rides?!? ;)

I stumbled upon a one-time opportunity and ran with it :-) . Sorry, didn't have time to start making phone calls :-)

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On 7/15/2012 at 6:13 PM, McSalsa said:

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

Back in the early 90's my dad did some vibration testing on The Beast for his company (Signalysis, Inc) attempting to get into the ride biz. He said one night after hours, he and my step mom rode The Beast completely free of any and all brakes. I'll have to get the exact numbers from him but I'm pretty sure he said he originally calibrated his equipment to just under 80mph. Well, the thing surpassed 80mph, he claims it actually crested the 2nd lift hill with almost no need for the chain lift, and after the most insane ride of his life he had to ride it AGAIN because he had to recalibrate his equipment for over 80mph. My dad was always a bit of a thrill seeker but in this case it was a little bit too intense and he wasn't exactly excited about having to ride it again!

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I agree, it is intense enough as it is.  The Beast already has many elements which make it feel like you are going really fast (in the woods, low to the ground, tunnels).  Going a faster speed is likely going to increase roughness more than anything else that would be noticeable.  My only real complaint with the ride is the seat dividers in the trains.  

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Last night I got a night ride on The Beast, and the trims where almost completely off. Do they usually do that for night rides?

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12 minutes ago, Kodistict said:

Last night I got a night ride on The Beast, and the trims where almost completely off. Do they usually do that for night rides?

The way magnetic brakes work is they oppose movement based on speed, the faster you are going the more noticeable they are.  The slower you are going the less they do, which is why you never see them used to stop a train because they cannot.

To my knowledge all of the magnetic brakes on The Beast are a kind that cannot be turned on or off, maintenance has to go out and physically remove the brakes, you can sometimes just see them sitting off to the side of the track, typically in the spring and fall when it is cooler.

Likely you were just unable to feel the brakes because the train was not moving fast enough for them to grab hard enough for you to notice.  There is no such thing as a trim less ride on The Beast for any members of the public.

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^
Also, for the record: I have heard Beast runs with less trims (they shorten some of them by taking small sections of them off) during the spring and fall seasons compared to mid-summer as the ride is usually only running during weekends at this point, and it is usually cooler so the rides don't run as fast as they do on hot summer days.

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Night rides will also seem faster due to the combination of the way your eyes take in light when its dark and your brain's heightened senses when one or more of your other senses are lacking.  You get added tunnel vision from the adrenaline kicking in (combined with the forces and sounds since your senses of touch and hearing are more sensitive) and it'll seem faster.  

Also with wooden coasters, they behave differently at night than during the day since wood, being a more natural material than steel, will expand and contract when its hot and cold.  Most wooden coasters typically run smoother and maybe a tad faster in the cold and rain.  

 

 

 

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Can confirm. Rode The Beast first last night and my friend and I both agree that it was the best ride we've ever had on The Beast. We've done night rides before but this time it was smoother and (arguably) faster. Maybe they did remove a trim, I don't know, but it was THE BEST.

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On 7/12/2012 at 10:01 AM, Browntggrr said:

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.

Before the breaks where upgraded you could still get the out of control rides on The Beast if it opened after it rained. While it was fun ride. The track got a lot of wear and tear. 

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