This is the top of the chain lift.  The chain is not visible because it is located inside the channel positioned in the middle of the track.  The saw-toothed features mounted to the sides of the chain trench are part of the anti-rollback mechanism.  Each train is equipped with multiple anti-rollback "dogs" that are metal bars mounted underneath the cars.  These "dogs" are hinged and rise slightly when pulled up over the teeth and then fall down into the notches of this sawtooth pattern.  This essentially turns this mechanism into a linear ratchet and it only allows the trains to travel up the hill.  This prevents a train from falling backward down the hill, even in the unlikely event of a break in the chain.

Nearly every roller coaster has an anti-rollback system like this one.  The sound of the "dogs" clicking into the teeth makes the clacking noise that so many coasters make when trains are going up the lift hill.  Griffon is somewhat uncommon since its anti-rollback "dogs" are designed to be nearly silent as trains travel up the hill.

There is a camera on top of the hill.  It allows ride operators to observe the train as it passes from the lift to the first drop.  There is also an anemometer to measure the wind speed.  The ride's manufacturer has set a maximum wind-speed in which the coaster can operate.

Sawtoothed features of the anti-rollback mechanism on a roller coaster chain lift Home Busch Gardens Index           Previous Next

©2018 by Joel A. Rogers.