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Intimidator 305 on its final brake run.

A brake is a device on any roller coaster track used to slow down or stop the train. There are a number of different types of brakes that can be located anywhere on the roller coasters' circuit. Contrary to some belief, almost all coasters have brakes on the track, rather than the underside of the train.

Brakes are often used to create block sections.

Types of Brakes[edit]

Block Brakes[edit]

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Any modern roller coaster with more than one train has block brakes. They act as virtual barriers between the trains running on the ride, preventing collisions should one train fail to make it round the course for any reason.

Brake Run[edit]

A brake run is quite simply a series of brakes one after another which work together to slow down (and sometimes stop) the train. Almost every roller coaster has a brake run of some type at the end, just before the station, and longer rides often have a mid-course brake run, which also acts as a block brake.

Trim Brakes[edit]

Trim brakes are meant to "trim" the train to a certain speed. They are not meant to fully stop the train. These brakes can be used everywhere in the track.

Braking Methods[edit]

Different roller coasters use various methods of braking to slow down their trains.

Fin Brakes[edit]

Magnetic Brakes[edit]

Magnetic brakes work by having very powerful magnets under the car and on the track.

Skid Brakes[edit]

Skid Brakes.jpg

Skid Brakes are basically a long piece of material, often ceramic covered, situated in the middle of the track, parallel to the rails. When engaged, the skid rises and friction against the underside of the train causes it to slow down and eventually stop. Skid brakes were one of the first advancements in roller coaster braking and are rarely used in modern coasters with the exception of Twister at Knoebels Amusement Park in Elysburg, PA and the Matterhorn at Disneyland in California.