Loch Ness Monster

Even though they are created to be scary, roller coasters are engineered to be extremely safe.  This close-up image shows some of the redundancies built into a coaster to ensure its safety and reliability.  For example, there are multiple wheels above and below the track.  There is even a metal tab next to the green up-stop wheel mounted below the tubular track rail.  This metal tab ensures that the coaster can not be lifted up off of the rails even after the unlikely event of a problem with the up-stop wheels.  And while there is a hinged joint (seen on the lower right) that couples these two cars together, two braided steel cables link the cars just in case the normal linkage breaks. (The steel cables are hard to see because they are enclosed in a black plastic sheath for most of their lengths.)  The nut closest to the camera that holds one cable in place has a cotter pin running through it.  It is a little hard to see in this image, but all of the large nuts in this picture have a small metal cotter pin inserted through them. (The cotter pins in this image are colored slightly lighter than the nuts and bolts.)  After inserting these split pins through holes drilled in the nuts and bolts, the ends of each cotter pin are bent, ensuring that the pin can't be removed.  These pins lock the nuts firmly onto the bolts.

Roller coaster safety and redundancy - cotter pins and braided steel cables Home Busch Gardens Index         Previous Next

©2018 by Joel A. Rogers.