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
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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. Block brakes allow more than one train to run on the circuit, and to completely stop trains in case of a ride stop.
A brake run is a series of brakes which slow down a train usually to a complete stop. 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 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.
Magnetic brakes work by having very powerful magnets under the car and on the track. Most notably, Millennium Force was one of the first coasters to use this technology.
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, Pennsylvania, USA, and the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, USA.
|Roller coaster descriptions|
|Basic elements||Brake run • Station|
|Advanced elements||Bunny hill • Headchopper • Inversions • Pre-Drop • Tunnel|
|Propulsion||Lift hill (Cable • Catch car • Chain • Electric spiral • Elevator • Ferris wheel • Friction wheel • Spiral)|
|Technology||Block brakes • Car • On-ride camera • On-ride soundtrack • Test seat • Train • Track • Transfer track • Wheel assembly|
|Other||Chicken exit • Exclusive ride time • POV • Queue line • Rollback • Theming|