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kinserman11
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Hey guys,

This is my first post here so bear with me. I have been coming to Kings Island for most of my life (24 years). I made my annual trip this year on Tuesday Aug. 22 and spent a wonderful day at the park with my family, but the one thing that I could not get over was the excessive amount of braking on The Beast, especially in the brake shed midway through the ride. While The Beast still delivers an amazing ride, I cannot help but think how much faster and out of control the ride would be if they would just let the ride run as it was designed. My father has told me stories of riding The Beast during it's first few years of operation and how he didn't think he was going to make it back to the station alive. He said the sensation of speed was unexplainable and something that had to be experienced to understand.

I got a chance to experience this coaster for the first time 16 years ago at the age of 8. What I experienced on that very first ride in the front seat is forever etched into my mind, and is something I will carry with me to my grave as a most memorable experience. While I still think The Beast is one of the best wooden coasters around with a helix that is unmatched by any coaster (sorry Voyage), I feel maintenance to this ride in addition to all of the wooden coasters in general at Kings Island has slipped.

I also rode The Racer and Recar during my visit and found the forwards side running painfully rough. When I was little Racer was a very enjoyable ride, now it's rougher than The Beast. I think the words jackhammer describe the ride I had very well. But anyway back to The Beast.

I have heard everything from structural issues, to keeping maintenance costs to a minimum as to why they slow The Beast down as much as they do. I know that they have other wooden coasters to tend to and SOB has taken alot of time and money to try to keep up and running, but this has come at the expense of Racer and Beast in my opinion. Many people have posted on here about how much they want a new coaster and maybe in a few years that could come to fruition, but shouldn't Kings Island first try to maintain what they have to the best of their ability?

I hope that Cedar Fair is willing to put in the time and effort it will take to keep The Beast running smoothly. They seem to be off to a good start as dispatch interval was improved notably from my last few visits to the park.

In closing, I know that all of the maintenance workers at the park put many many hour into making sure the coasters are safe for us to ride every day, but I still feel that under Taft Broadcasting and KECO the rides were better maintained, and they didn't need trim brakes on all of the coasters as they do today, since The Beast has little airtime, which is fine by me, I always enjoyed the speed of the ride. They have taken this away from the first part of the ride with the magnetic brakes, so all you have now is a mine train with a d*** good helix at the end, instead of bat out of h*** tear through the woods. I just hope that The Beast gets returned to its former glory so people can experience what it was like when it was new.

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I hate to say this, but Cedar Fair's record in the wood coaster maintenance business is not, shall we say, sterling. From Shivering Timbers to Mean Streak to Hercules to Thunderhawk at Dorney to what has become of Ghost Rider....

I wouldn't hold high hopes that the wood will improve at Kings Island under Cedar Fair.

And yes, your Dad was right. The Beast was once far more intense than it is today....but that's true of many, if not most, wood coasters of a certain age...including the venerated Coney Island Cyclone, the lamented and gone Texas Cyclone, Colossus at Magic Mountain, the Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas and most recently, the former Riverside Cyclone at Six Flags New England, which was really neutered in a not so nice way.

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The Beast has had brakes for years. The only differences between the skid brakes and the magnetic brakes are, the skid brakes slowed the train down more gradually, while the magnetic brakes slow it down much faster. The speed of the ride is unchanged. I'm sure back in '79 it ran a whole lot faster.

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People might say that The Beast was more intense when it had its good old sled breaks. But those always need to be checked every so often. The breaks on The Beast are now Magnetic which means less up keeping. These breaks were added to The Beast in 2002. Magnets are the one thing that never fails.

The Beast also changed one other thing from when it opened. If you remember in 2004 The Beast received seatbelts. And in 2003 the turn after the first drop was re-profiled.

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The majority of roller coasters have relied on friction brakes for deceleration. However, due to the friction, these brakes are subject to wear and must have a routine monitoring and be maintained. Magnet breaks replace the wear and tear of friction on the fins and offer no contact to the fins.

So when I say Magnets can't fail, I am comparing it to the friction breaks.

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I'm just trying to get the point across that Magnets although they can fail... They do not F-A-I-L! They are much MUCH more reliable than sled breaks. Even if there is no power to the ride, Magnets will always do the job. They have flaws and I never meant to make you think I thought they were flawless.

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The system was supposed to fail in a default "stop the ride" mode.

It was not correctly designed...an air hose, apparently not properly maintained, failed. When it did so, the brakes, which were supposed to fail, if at all, in a "stop the ride" mode in fact failed in a "let the ride proceed" matter...and the brakes did not stop the ride. Whether or not the magnets failed is not the issue...the magnetic BRAKES failed, and that is what we are talking about here.

Just like on Drop Zone, no the magets themselves will not fail...but the system may.

Nothing is foolproof.

Nothing at all.

Not even (and most certainly not) this poster!

And I never claimed to know everything, I merely pointed out that magnetic brakes can and do fail.

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Those kinds of mag brakes, like on Millenium Force, physically move the magnets themselves to allow the train to move. The system that moves the brakes was most likely at fault, NOT the magnets themselves. The brakes on Beast and Drop Zone are stationary, which means they are meant to slow the train, not stop it. Therefore, they never move, therefore, they never fail.

End of discussion, the brakes did not fail, rather the system that moves them failed.

*Disclaimer: I am not 100% sure this is what happened, hell, I have no clue if I am anywhere right, but SCIENCE shows that magnets to not turn off, and from what Interpreter said, I came up with this explanation

EDIT: LOL, internet battle

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The system that was supposed to keep the magnets in contact with the brake fins if the power failed did not work due to the defective air hose. There were changes made in the braking systems for the rides thereafter. The magnets themselves did not fail, but they cannot stop the ride if they do not make contact with the fins!

Again, the point is the system (not the magnets alone) did not work. When the ride opened, it was pointed out to all and sundry that the magnetic braking system could not fail, but it later did just that.

Well, enough on that....I'm begining to sound like I am preaching, which I don't intend to be! Just want to point out that most anything man or woman builds can eventually not work.

And you are good at figuring out stuff, what you just posted is exactly what happened....just remember, the goal was to stop the ride if there was any kind of failure...and the system, at least as first designed, did not do that, when it was advertised as being failure proof....

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Just like on Drop Zone, no the magets themselves will not fail...but the system may.

That's what I was originally thinking. The magnets will not fail, the system behind it is another story but like you said the magnets themselves will not fail. I didn't mean to turn the whole thing into an argument, I'm sorry if I came off that way. If there is anything I don't like on a forum it is arguments.

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I know this one:

An earth magnet, like what you see on Drop Zone, will NOT fail. It is designed so that there is always a magnetic charge. This is done by using earthen metals that naturally have a magnetic field, which makes it 100% reliable. On Drop Zone, thats your entire system. There is no electricity or anything else running to the brakes, just two types of earth magnets.

A metal that has been charged by an earth magnet will fail once it loses the charge.

Electromagnets, or the majority of braking systems on coasters, WILL fail when power is removed. Even though electromagnets are made out of the same earth materials that have a charge (AKA an earth magnet,) it still needs more pull to do the job. So, electricity is put through the magnet to create a larger magnetic field. But, as GE has proved this year at PKI, power is not always reliable. So how does a manufacture fix this design flaw? (Again majority)

There is a separate braking system. Lets take The Beast for example. The Electromagnets on The Beast are not there to actually stop the coaster. They are used as trim only. Therefor, no secondary braking system is needed in those areas. IF power was lost from The Beast while you were going in the brake shed, the magnet would have little, if no, effect on the car. It simply does not have the magnetic pull to slow the car down.

Now lets take the incident on Superman:

That incident started with bad maintenance practices. Where am I getting my facts? I work maintenance, talk to the maintenance guys. The hose was faulty, should have been replaced. Now what did this hose do? It MOVED the electromagnet in order to stop or propel the car forward. By switching which side of the magnet has more electric running to it, you can either propel a coaster, or stop it. Think FoF. Anyway, due to the mechanism that MOVED the electromagnet failing, the magnet was not in a proper alignment to stop the car. Instead, it was out of alignment, thus causing the accident.

Am I saying electromagnets are completely safe and should not have redundent braking systems added? No. They should ABSOLUTELY have a friction braking system set up in case of power loss.

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Interpretor was saying that the mag brakes on Beast were possible to fail, which is not the case.

If for any reason those magnets do not contact the fins on the trains, the trains will most assuredly not stop. Likely? No, much less likely than skid brakes. But failure is not impossible...remote? Yes. Impossible? Sadly, no.

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