Instead of a more traditional lift hill, Speed Monster uses a hydraulic launch system to accelerate trains quickly out of the station. Hydraulic motors and accumulators, housed in the building situated under the track in the background of this picture, are connected to a huge spool. The cable surrounding this spool is attached to a launching system that shuttles back and forth under this straight section of track.
Nearly a hundred metal fins are placed on this launch track, and a few are visible in the lower left of this shot. The fins are spring-loaded into the up position, and pneumatic pressure is used to lower them right before each launch occurs. After the train is launched, these fins pop back up just in case the train suffers a roll-back. The fins interact with magnets on the train and are used to slow the train in the event a train doesn't crest this first hill and falls backward toward the station.
©2013 Joel A. Rogers.