The time has finally come: We have started to test drive Taron!
The multi-launch coaster has finally been given the chance to speed round its labyrinth of tracks and show off what it can do. That is the aim of our current test rides. We are putting the ride under the microscope to make sure it can meet all of the technical performance figures.
The only way to do this is to apply a clearly structured approach. As a multi-launch coaster, Taron is significantly more complex than a conventional coaster. It has to be tested in a step-by-step process, each phase of which builds on the last. By the end of the process, we expect it to be approaching the final values.
The first major test block is dedicated to calibrating the overall system: During the intensive test runs, we are laying the technical foundations for making sure that Taron is fault-free later on. The sensors, the controls, the software – everything has to be tested and carefully calibrated with one another. During this process, the LSM driver and the brakes pose a particularly big challenge. Both aspects are highly-sensitive points in the system and must be treated with particular care during commissioning.
As a result, we are only permitted to test each of the two track sections individually between the launches during this initial test phase. And we have to keep the system at half-speed. This is the only method that allows us to test all of the complex settings thoroughly.
We are also putting Taron’s train under the microscope during this first test block, making sure that it is run in fully. We have fitted special hard rollers especially for the test mode because they generate as little resistance as possible during the ride. The chassis is also being tested using a preliminary configuration, which is adjusted continuously ready for the final settings.
Once this calibration work is over, Taron is ready to face its next big challenge: During the second test phase, the system has to implement all of the carefully adjusted settings from the first phase. And then it is time to really get down to business: Testing Taron on the entire track for the very first time. From the very first instance, it roars over the tracks and doesn’t even pause during the second launch. Right on cue, the train is catapulted forwards: a flying start right in the middle of the track.
Now it is time to start increasing the speed, round by round. We work slowly and surely towards to the final speed, but will not hit top speed just yet. This shows us how well the initial settings worked our and whether we need to make any further adjustments. And something else becomes clear: Taron gets an additional boost during the second launch, shooting the train through the second section even faster than before.
These test rounds give us a chance to get rid of the loud buzzing sounds created by the temporary hard rollers. Once we have applied the final, softer rollers, the multi-launch coaster glides almost silently over the tracks.
This forms the ideal basis for the third stage of the tests. Calibration work is already at a very advanced stage, speed is high, Taron has “conquered” the majority of the track – now we are ready to test out several trains at once.
It is time to try out four-train operation. To be specific, this means: Two trains travel round the tracks at the same time, while the other two are busy loading and unloading. Yet another key step in Taron’s major test phase. And it’s vibrations are starting to spread through Klugheim...