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Let's say we're starting a new park, we've just spent a great deal of time beautifully terraforming our terrain and we’ve placed an elevated shuttle, having built and tested it to our own requirements. Then we realize we haven’t given a lot of thought how we’re going to get our guests up to our elevated stations.


We’ve already carefully terraformed the park so altering the landscape is not an option. We know it’s also not the best idea to put a dip in the track just for the station so it can be closer to the ground. At these times usually the first thing we think of is path and queue stairs.




How To's - Elevated Coaster Stations and Access Options - Station Stairs, Image 01

We didn’t want long straight staircases and although we got a bit creative these stairs are just about adequate for the purposes of park design. Guests can access the shuttle now but these stairs don’t do much to add to the park’s atmosphere. It happens we’re using a Revolutionary Rides track for our shuttle. Could we come up with shuttle access that’s also revolutionary?  Indeed we can!  What about the in-game elevator.


How To's - Elevated Coaster Stations and Access Options - Station With Single Elevator, Image 02

Here we’ve illustrated an elevator with entrance and exit at the top and also at the bottom.


In a setup like this with a single lift guests should be able to enter and exit the lift both to/from the main path system, and to/from the shuttle access decking up above. Security guards, mechanics, janitors, and perhaps entertainers, will be needed up on the shuttle access decking just the same as they are required on the main paths.


Because each elevator car carries 10 guests at a time a single path tile square is sufficient for the elevator entrance tile although you could use more path tiles if your design needs call for it. Because of this the timings for the elevator should be set so there is just enough time for ten guests to get into the elevator car. This is important for two reasons:




Firstly, if in your park the elevator is going to take the time to lift the guests 500 feet to your coaster station then the guests don’t need to be waiting in the car any longer than they have to before the elevator car closes and the lift begins; in this example the time spent by your guests during their ascent or descent in your elevator car is in itself long enough.




Secondly, if your coaster has long trains with long waiting times you want the guests to get up to the coaster (which by elevator is at a rate of 10 guests at a time) without additional waits in between car trips. You want this so there are enough guests accumulated in the queue and waiting to embark on the next train that arrives at the station so that when that train departs it is full.





In view of that you’ll need to keep these thoughts in mind:



the shuttle’s elevated entrance queue needs to be long enough so the guests have somewhere to accumulate while the shuttle is not at the station,


the elevator speeds need to be increased to their maximum to get your guests up to the shuttle access decking as quickly as possible, and


the wait time between the tenth guest getting into the elevator car and the elevator doors closing needs to be minimal.


Once they’ve arrived up at the shuttle access decking, from each elevator car holding 10 guests an average of eight or nine guests will walk directly into the shuttle queue provided the queue is long enough that they can queue immediately after getting off the lift. Guests who can’t immediately queue will lose interest in the shuttle and simply wander back and forth along the shuttle entrance decking looking for a way off the decking, so ample queue length is a necessity.


Now, let’s increase the number of cars on the train from two to seven.





How To's - Elevated Coaster Stations and Access Options - Shuttle With Seven Cars, Image 03

Each MM-DR car holds 16 guests and now our single train shuttle with seven cars will hold 112 guests. This means if we want the train to leave the station full we need to allow enough time for 112 guests to embark. We saved and placed our 7-cars-to-one-train shuttle into a new sandbox and with standard queue and path, discovered if we turned the minimum and maximum waiting times up to 250 seconds, these settings permitted our shuttle train to completely fill with guests just prior to departing the station so we’ve discovered what the timings need to be and that full departing trains are possible with our shuttle. What we need to do now in our example park is to accomplish full trains leaving the station, but with elevators to the queue line instead of stairs.


With our seven-cars long train, considering the limited number of guests that come up with each elevator car we’ll definitely need more than one lift. Let’s start out adding one more for a total of two elevators:


A

One especially for the guests to use when they exit the shuttle and wish to return to the main path system.


B

The other for the guests to ride up to the shuttle entrance in addition to having an exit set up on this lift so that those who need to do so can leave the shuttle access decking without riding the shuttle.


How To's - Elevated Coaster Stations and Access Options - Station With Two Lifts, Image 04

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