Monday, January 30, 2012

The Comet Gets Magnetized

After much planing and engineering, the new braking system project for the Comet coaster is starting to unfold. The first Comet car has returned from Velocity Magnetics where it was fabricated with a new undercarriage that will allow it to function with the new magnetic and pneumatic braking system being installed for 2012.

With the first car back in the Waldameer shop, work can now begin on the rest of the cars. The materials for the new undercarriage, provided by Velocity, will be installed by our very own Waldameer mechanics.

While the cars get fitted, Velocity is busy working on the pneumatic and magnetic braking sections that will be utilized in the Comet's new brake run. The Comet trains will first hit three sections of static magnets that will slow the train down, followed by five sections of pneumatic friction brakes to slow the train to a crawl. Once inside the station, two more sections of pneumatic friction brakes will hold the car in the unload position as well as the load position. The sections are due to arrive in the next few weeks.

The neat thing about Waldameer's new braking system is the fact that we are using both friction and magnets to slow the trains. Typically, coasters use magnet brakes with pinch brakes having a fin under each car. The Comet is unique in that the friction brake pads under each car must also be magnetic. Velocity Magnetics has designed this new system specifically for Waldameer's Comet to keep much of the Comet's history and origianal feel alive.

Along with this new braking system comes a new control unit, provided by Terry Hoffman. Once the new brake run is installed, Terry can begin his work computerizing all the functions fo the new hardware.

To see more pictures of the Comet car, visit us on Facebook at Waldameer & Water World.


Nick said...

I love reading about details like this. Thanks!

Unknown said...

Best of all, most riders shouldn't even feel much of a difference in performance. Magnetic brakes don't jerk, so when the train hits the magnetic trim brakes it should feel the same as when the train hit the old skid brakes.