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Dave Ware's Gilbert Erector Roller Coaster

Dave writes: "I have finally completed the new model of the roller coaster. This version is 6 feet long and is 42 inches high not including the supports for the lift pulleys. Each of the 4 tracks drops 6 inches over the 6 foot run and each of the three flip over points use 6 inches of height. The car takes approximately 11 seconds to travel the 24 feet of track. The flip over sections have to be adjusted carefully to insure success. (My record is 7 times through the track without a derailment. I plan to make a fresh car for smoother operation as it is a little worse for wear from dropping off the track on to a cement floor too many times).

A motorized lift raises the car to the top and dumps it onto the track. A transfer strip at the beginning of the track insures that the wheels align with the track properly. The lift also pushes a lever at the top that is attached to a string that pulls on the motor shift lever down below, taking it out of gear. This allows the lift to return to the bottom by gravity and catch the car at the end of its run. I was not able to come up with a scheme to restart the lift automatically, although I tried 4 different designs including a variation on the parachute lift with the segmented gear.

The car is made from 4 Z flanged wheels, 1 MC baseplate, and 2 N Long Double Angles. The rails are made from edge on C 10" girders. They are spaced from and attached to the framework with M small double angles which are kept a the proper spacing with MO 3" Angle Girders. The screws on the rails face out so that the edges of the wheels do not hit screw ends. Also the girders are overlapped with the inside edges facing down hill for smoother operation. The design uses a lot of parts, but all are common ones that can be purchased inexpensively (from Wagner & Sons). The rails used 54 C girders and the framework nearly 100. I plan to count the parts used when I disassemble the coaster."