Coasters-101: What influences roller coaster speed?

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8 Responses

  1. AE says:

    The speed of a roller coaster train depends first of the energy the train gets with the start. This is either the height of the lift (v = square root of 2xgxlift-height)or the launching energy. The next factor are the wheels, are there polyurethan tyres or polyamid tyres. The polyurethan tyres are more comfortable and less noisy, but are slower than the hard polyamid tyres.

  2. Nick says:

    The article has been updated.

  3. kitty says:

    Lubrication of the track is huge.

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  5. N8 says:

    It is not clear to me how weight makes the coaster go faster. Two issues: Galileo showed that the mass of light things compared to heavy things does not change its acceleration. Also, the force of friction increases with weight, slowing the train a bit.

  6. Mike says:

    And out and backer has fewer turns than a twister. Clearly the extra turning would slow the train more. Do engineers use a formula to calculate how much extra energy loss to account for this or do they just use an average figure of some sort? .

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