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Japanese Coasters- Imminent Rollbacks?


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We all know that Japan is the earthquake capitol of the world, but do we know what happens if a coaster is operating when an earthquake strikes? Think about this.. your riding Thunder Dolphin at Tokyo Dome, Japan. Your pulling out of a drop and about to go up a hill, when all of a sudden, an earthquake strikes. This would make a dramatic change in the coaster's speed.. would there be a rollback? From what I've seen, most coasters in Japan have extensive supports to protect the coaster from falling down from a severe storm, earthquake etc. How do these supports act in event of an earthquake? Do they absorb the shock of the earthquake and no damage what-so-ever is done to the coaster? It's an interesting topic, I wonder if anyone has been unlucky (or lucky in an enthusiast's case) to be on a coaster while an earthquake struck? Get it? ~Flea

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Japanese regulations mean that a coaster must have walkways for the entire track (though looking at Thunder Dolphin, they must have a different way of achieving this than the traditional catwalk). So they've always got ways of getting people off the rides when the strike. I'd also be certain that the rides are designed to withstand particularly rough earthquakes. Looking at Thunder Dolphin's supports, I'd guess they do a very good job of absorbing any forces on them, meaning the structure would probably sway a heck of a lot in an earthquake, but not collapse.

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