Millennium Force uses an "Elevator Lift" system that makes the lift hill incredibly steep and very fast. A catch car is located within the track and has a cable attached to both ends. The catch car descends the first hill while the train is being loaded with passengers. When the train is ready to depart the loading platform, the catch car couples to the front of the train. The cable, which is moved by an electric motor under the peak of the lift hill, pulls the catch car and train upward at a speedy 15 miles per hour. It can't be seen in this picture, but the thick steel cable is strung from the peak of the lift hill, passes vertically downward to ground level, winds many times around an electrically motorized drum, travels horizontally towards the station, passes through three large yellow pulleys, goes under the station, goes through another pulley to reverse its direction, and heads back up the lift hill to complete the circuit. With the cable attached to both ends of the catch car, it can be pulled forward and backward. Two of the yellow wheels are in a fixed location, but a third wheel, hidden by the metal building in this image, is attached to a massive weight. That middle wheel moves up and down in order to adjust the tension on the cable system.
©2017 by Joel A. Rogers.