There are several factors which affect the speed of a wooden roller coaster. Why is speed important? If the train is going too slow it may not make it around the track. Too fast, and the forces on the riders may be too great. The biggest factors which effect wooden coaster train speed:
- Temperature – The lower the temperature the slower the train.
- Wind – The direction and speed of the wind affects the speed of the train.
- Load – A loaded train (with weights or people) will go faster.
- Wheel Bearing Clearance – Correct assembly of the wheels reduces internal friction and heat.
- Wheel Bearing Lubrication – The amount and type of grease affects the speed of the train.
- Track Lubrication – If the tack is lubricated, the train will travel faster. Track lubrication also prevents excessive wear to the rails and the wheels.
Some of these factors cannot be controller, such as temperature and wind (unless built entirely indoors). Parks have complete control over the number of guests they allow on the train as well as when to use lubrication. Rain is also a natural lubrication. Most rides have set maximum and minimum values of the duration of the ride. There are also different types of greases to use depending on the time of year.