Types of roller coaster tracks

Types of roller coaster tracks DEFAULT

The track is a part of a roller coaster that the wheels of the coaster's train run on.

Track Types

Box Track

A box track is a track type that uses a box-shaped spine. All roller coasters built by Bolliger & Mabillard have a box track.

Old Intamin AG roller coasters, such as Flashback at Six Flags Magic Mountain and stand-up coaster Cobra at La Ronde also use box-track. This is because the founders of Bolliger & Mabillard used to work for Intamin.

Flat Track

A flat track is a spineless track type consisting simply of two rails connected by beams at diagonal and right-angles. This track type is typically found on Wild Mouse and kiddie coasters.

Single Rail Track

A single rail track uses one exterior guide rail to carry along a car versus the traditional two-rail configuration

Skeleton Track

A skeleton track typically uses a square-shaped or triangle-shaped skeletal framework as the track spine.This kind of track is typically found on Intamin coasters and Gerstlauer Eurofighters.

Sours: https://rollercoaster.fandom.com/wiki/Track


For the list of elements that turn riders upside-down, see Inversions.

Roller coaster elements are the individual parts of roller coaster design and operation, such as a track, hill, loop, or turn. Variations in normal track movement that add thrill or excitement to the ride are often called "thrill elements."

Basic elements

Brake run

Main article: Brake run

A brake run on a roller coaster is any section of track meant to slow or stop a roller coaster train. Brake runs may be located anywhere or hidden along the circuit of a coaster and may be designed to bring the train to a complete halt or to simply adjust the train's speed. The vast majority of roller coasters do not have any form of braking on the train but rather forms of braking that exist on track sections. One notable exception is the scenic railway roller coaster, which relies on an operator to manually control the speed of the train.

On most roller coasters, the brakes are controlled by a computer system, but some older wooden roller coasters have manually operated brakes. These are controlled by large levers operated by the ride operators.

Buzz bars

Single-position lap bars on wooden roller coasters are sometimes referred to as "buzz bars," a slang term named for the buzzing sound that some bars make as they lock or release. The term can be misleading as the buzzing sound only occurs on Philadelphia Toboggan Company (PTC) trains when the solenoid that releases the bar is out of alignment. There are other train types, such as NAD and even some PTC trains, that feature a single-position lap bar that has a mechanical release and therefore does not produce a buzzing sound. Most parks have switched to individual ratcheting lap bars, similar to the lap bars found on steel coasters. Ironically some of the earlier ratcheting lap bar conversions use a solenoid release and can also produce a buzzing sound. It can be argued that single-position buzz bars give more air time on roller coasters, as ratcheting lap bars tend to lock further during the ride in many installations.

The traditional "pirate ship" style thrill ride often utilizes this type of restraint, as does the Troika.

Drive tire

A drive tire, or squeeze tire depending on its usage, is essentially a motorizedtire used to propel a roller coaster train along a piece of track. Although they are most often used in station areas and brake runs, they can also be used to launch trains at greater speeds. However, they are generally used to propel the train at speeds between 5-8 mph. The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal's Islands of Adventure is notable for using drive tires to launch the train up an incline. Some roller coasters, most noticeably Vekoma Roller Skaters (Vekoma's version of a junior coaster) also use drive tires instead of a chain on lift hills. Drive tires are also used to power other types of amusement rides, such as ferris wheels and other spinning rides. The Olympia Looping traveling roller coaster at Barth and Mindbender at Galaxyland at the West Edmonton Mall also feature a drive tire instead of a chain on their lift hill.

Drive tires are often used in one of two ways on roller coasters. When oriented horizontally, drive tires are often put in pairs so as to "squeeze" a portion of the train as it crosses that section of track. In this case, it is usually the brake fin that is used to propel or slow the train with the tires. When oriented vertically, they contact the underside of the train as it crosses a particular section of track. This underside area is a flat area which often has a grated metal surface to increase friction between the car and the tire. One disadvantage of vertical drive tires is that rainy weather can greatly reduce friction between the tire and the train, possibly causing the train to slightly overshoot its intended position and cause an emergency stop.


Main article: Headchopper

A headchopper is any point on a roller coaster where the support structure of the ride comes very close to the passengers' heads, or at least appears to do so. All headchoppers are, of course, designed so that even the tallest rider, with both hands up, would be unable to touch the structure; although if a rider exceeding the maximum height does board the coaster it could be potentially dangerous. Headchoppers are most common on wooden roller coasters but are also found on many steel roller coasters.

The inverted roller equivalent is a footchopper. Footchoppers are designed such that rider's legs appear to come close to the ride's support structure, water, or other ride surroundings. Suspended Looping Coasters, such as Vekoma's Mind Eraser, are known for their footchopper effects because of their compact layout. For example Dragon Challenge at Islands of Adventure has many footchoppers, where the rider's feet come within feet of the ride's supports. Vekoma's Suspended Looping Coasters also feature an intense footchopper during an in-line-twist, in which the train approaches a section of track directly below, making it appear that the riders' feet will impact the track if the train remains on that course; but the train undergoes an in-line-twist right before the obstruction, twisting the riders onto their backs as the above track crosses safely over the track below.

On Bolliger & MabillardWing Coasters, keyhole elements are present. These elements feature the effects of both headchoppers and footchoppers. The train, which seats riders in pairs on either side of the track, passes through the centre of an object just big enough for the train and required clearances to fit.[1][2]

Launch track

Main article: Launch track

A launch track is a section of a launched roller coaster in which the train is accelerated to its full speed in a matter of seconds. A launch track is always straight and is usually banked upwards slightly, so that a train would roll backwards to the station in the event of a loss of power.

A launch track serves the same basic purpose as a lift hill—providing energy to the train—but accomplishes it in an entirely different manner. A lift hill gives the train potential energy by raising it to the highest point in the track (and not significantly accelerating it). A launch track gives the train kinetic energy by accelerating it to the maximum designed speed (while not significantly raising it).

A launch track normally includes some form of brakes. Depending on the type of coaster, these brakes may be used in every run of the coaster (this is normally found on a shuttle roller coaster where the launch track also serves as the main brake run) or they may only come into play when a rollback occurs, normally on a complete-circuit coaster such as Stealth, Top Thrill Dragster, Kingda Ka, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith and Xcelerator. In either case, the brakes are retracted to allow trains to launch and are engaged at all other times.

Lift hill

File:Walibi World Goliath.jpg
Main article: Lift hill

A lift hill, or chain lift, is often the initial upward section of track on a typical roller coaster that initially transports the roller coaster train to an elevated point. Upon reaching the top, the train is then disengaged from the lift hill and allowed to coast through the rest of the roller coaster's circuit.

Lift hills usually propel the train to the top of the ride via one of a few different types of methods: a chain lift involving a long, continuous chain which trains hook on to and are carried to the top; a drive tire system in which multiple motorized tires push the train upwards; a cable lift system as seen on Millennium Force; or a linear synchronous motor system as seen on Maverick.

Launch lift hills are like launch tracks, but instead of having it flat, it is rather at an incline. Sometimes, launch lift hills serve the same purpose as lift hills but faster transport to the top of the lift hill; or they are sometimes used to power the train up into an element, like the Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal Orlando. Launch lift hills use mostly linear synchronous motors or linear induction motors but sometimes use drive tires.

Linear induction motor

Main article: linear motor

The linear induction motor is a simple but powerful type of electric motor used to propel the cars. Rather than using a standard enclosed spinning rotor and drive wheels, there is a long flat magnetic pole plate with closely spaced electric coils. This pole plate mounts on the track underneath the car and a matching metal plate attached to the car moves across the magnetic pole faces. By applying a multiphase alternating current to the poles, the pole plate induces eddy currents into the moving plate and can be used to accelerate or brake the car.

Compared to other drive mechanisms, the linear motor is typically maintenance-free. The pole faces on the track and moving plate attached to the car do not need to touch, and the gap between them can be quite wide to accommodate any side-to-side car motion, so there is no friction or wear between them. Further, the magnetic coil assembly on the driving pole plates are either potted or sealed in a weathertight enclosure, so that rain, vibration, and dust do not affect motor performance or cause drive motor slippage.

On-ride camera

Main article: On-ride camera

An on-ride camera is a camera mounted alongside the track of a roller coaster that automatically photographs all of the riders on passing trains. They are usually mounted at the most intense part of the ride, to capture the best possible pictures. The pictures are available for viewing and purchase at a booth outside the ride's exit. On some rides, such as the Saw: The Ride at Thorpe Park, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios Florida, and the Sierra Sidewinder at Knotts Berry Farm, video as well as still photographs can be purchased upon exiting the ride.

File:El Toro station.jpg


Main article: Train (roller coaster)

A roller coaster train describes the vehicle(s) which transports passengers around a roller coaster's circuit. More specifically, a roller coaster train is made up of two or more "cars" which are connected by some sort of specialized joint. It is called a "train" because the cars follow one another around the track as a railroad train. Individual cars often vary in design and can carry anywhere from one to eight or more passengers each.

Some roller coasters, notably Wild Mouse roller coasters operate with individual cars instead of trains.

Tester hills

A tester hill, or trick hill, is any small hill following the lift hill or brake run. After a train is hauled up the lift and begins to descend down the hill, the force of gravity pulls the trains that are still hooked to the lift. When a tester hill is used, the tension and stress on the lift mechanism is reduced prior to the train's release. Not all roller coasters use tester hills.

The alternative name "trick hill" comes from the illusion created from the tester hill, which "tricks" riders into thinking they have already started the main descent, when in fact they haven't.

Thrill elements


A batwing is a heart-shaped roller coaster element that inverts (turns riders upside down) twice. The train goes into a reverse sidewinder, followed by a sidewinder.[3] This inversion is the inverse of a cobra roll.

Like other inversions, the batwing has different names depending on the manufacturer. This element is called a batwing on Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) coasters, such as Afterburn at Carowinds or Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida. On Arrow Dynamics coasters, such as The Great American Scream Machine (no longer operational; torn down and replaced with Green Lantern) at Six Flags Great Adventure, was called a boomerang.

The first roller coaster to use the batwing element was Orient Express at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, where it was called a "kamikaze curve". The ride was demolished after the 2003 season.


A bowtie is an element similar to the batwing, except the entrance and exit of the inversion are in the same direction. Dragon Mountain at Marineland is the only coaster to feature this element.[4]

Butterfly inversion

A butterfly inversion is sometimes found on Vekoma roller coasters. A butterfly begins like a normal loop, but as the track goes up it twists 45 degrees to one side or the other, and then when it is headed down the track twists back. The maneuver is then repeated but in reverse. It is essentially the same in construction as a batwing / boomerang, however the coaster exits the element traveling in the same direction as it began. An example of this is found on Goudurix in Parc Astérix in Plailly, France, or Ninja at Six Flags Over Georgia.

File:Alpengeist (Busch Gardens Europe) 04.JPG

Cobra roll

The cobra roll is a roller coaster inversion which resembles a cobra's head. Riders traverse forward through an upwards half-vertical loop, corkscrew perpendicular to the first direction, enter another corkscrew that merges into a downward half-vertical loop that exits in the parallel but opposite direction of the entrance. It takes riders upside-down twice.

There is much confusion pertaining to the correct naming of this inversion. This is because different roller coaster manufacturers give their own names to inversions. Cobra roll is the standard name used by Intamin and B&M for this type of inversion. The first coaster to use a cobra roll was Vekoma's Boomerang model, the first of which was installed at Morey's Piers in Wildwood, New Jersey, in the year 1984. All Vekoma Boomerangs, Tornado at Särkänniemi in Tampere, Finland, Huracan at Belantis in Leipzig, Germany, and almost all B&M 7-inversion coasters have a cobra roll.


A corkscrew inversion resembles a spiral, which rotates riders 360° perpendicular to the track. It was named for its resemblance to a corkscrew tool used to remove corks from bottles. Unlike a vertical loop, riders remain facing forward for the duration of the corkscrew element.

File:Corkscrew (Cedar Point) 01.jpg

Corkscrews are normally found towards the end of roller coaster layouts and often exist in pairs, where the end of one leads straight into the next. It is also common to see interlocking corkscrews, where the entrances and exits are parallel, but both corkscrews cross over each other's track.

The corkscrew was the first modern-day inversion element to be featured on a roller coaster. It debuted with the release of Corkscrew, a roller coaster designed by Arrow Dynamics that opened in 1975 at Knott's Berry Farm. Due to its success, the element became a staple of many steel, inverting roller coasters for more than a decade. A variation of the element was created by Bolliger & Mabillard, which the company refers to as a "flat spin". Flat spins snap riders quickly through the inversion at varying speeds, whereas a typical corkscrew element rotates riders at a slower, constant speed. Template:Clear


A cutback element is a roller coaster inversion similar to a corkscrew; however, the two half-corkscrews are in opposite directions causing the train to exit the inversion in the same direction from which it entered. The defunct Drachen Fire at Busch Gardens Williamsburg was the first roller coaster to feature a cutback. Drachen Fire was closed on July 11, 1998, and subsequently demolished. Only a handful of roller coasters with cutback elements remain in operation such as Sky Rocket at Kennywood Park and SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge at Nickelodeon Universe in the Mall of America.

Dive drop

File:Dive Loop Inversion.jpg

A dive drop[5] (also known as a Wing Over Drop[6]) is a roller coaster inversion in which a half-inline twist is performed at the top of a lift hill, leading into the initial drop. The dive drop is currently only found on three B&M Wing Coasters; The Swarm at Thorpe Park, X-Flight at Six Flags Great America and GateKeeper at Cedar Point.[6][7]

Dive loop

A dive loop (also, diving loop) is a type of B&M roller coaster inversion whose inspiration was taken from a stunt plane maneuver. The track twists upwards and to the side and then dives toward the ground in a half-vertical loop. This element is seen on B&M sit-down, stand-up, inverted and floorless coasters. There are six Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter coasters to feature a dive loop: Dare Devil Dive at Six Flags Over Georgia, Mystery Mine at Dollywood, SAW - The Ride at Thorpe Park, Takabisha at Fuji-Q Highland in Yamanashi, Japan, The Smiler at Alton Towers, and Abyss at Adventure World. Arrow and Vekoma use a similar element known as a reverse sidewinder. Just as a dive loop is the reverse form of an Immelmann loop, the reverse sidewinder is the reverse form of a sidewinder element (Arrow and Vekoma's version of an Immelmann). It can be seen in Arrow's Cyclone at Dreamworld in Australia and Vekoma's Ninja at Six Flags over Georgia.

Double Dip and Double Up

Template:AnchorTemplate:AnchorTemplate:AnchorTemplate:Anchor A double dip (a.k.a. Double-Drop, and double down) is created when a hill is divided into two separate drops by a flattening out of the drop midway down the hill. The most notable coaster with this element is the 1921 John Miller classic Jack Rabbit at Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The inverse of this element is known as a double up, where two inclines are separated by a level piece of track.

Hammerhead turn

A hammerhead turn is based on a flying maneuver by the same name and is similar to, but not the same as, a 180-degree overbanked turn. The train enters the element with a steep slope up and a slight curve in the direction opposite that of the overall turn (a so-called "priming" of the turn). The train then banks heavily to the side opposite the initial curve and finishes its climb while it negotiates the overall turn, beginning its descent mid-way through the turn. The second half of the element is the same as the first half, but in reverse order. While negotiating a hammerhead turn element, the train makes a turn of more than 180 degrees; however, because of the entry and exit curves, the overall effect is that of a 180-degree turn that exits toward the direction from which it entered, roughly parallel to the portion of track preceding the hammerhead turn. Hammerhead turns are found on some B&M hypercoasters. Examples of these coasters are Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure, Behemoth at Canada's Wonderland, and Diamondback at Kings Island.

Heartline roll


A heartline roll is a roller coaster inversion in which the rider performs a 360-degree roll. The center of the train rotates on one axis. The track changes in elevation to keep the train moving in the same line in which it entered the element. In an inline twist, a similar element, the track remains straight at the same elevation. The point of rotation is either above or below the rider's point of view, unlike a heartline roll which keeps the point of rotation near the middle.

High speed section

A high speed section is an element which appears in Bolliger & Mabillard steel roller coasters and Rocky Mountain Construction wooden roller coasters. It is best described as a mini camelback which is entered at a high speed resulting in higher negative G-forces than a normal camelback. Appearances of this element include Shambhala: Expedición al Himalaya at PortAventura, Leviathan at Canada's Wonderland and Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City.[8]


File:Afterburn (Carowinds) 02.JPG

A horseshoe is a type of turnaround maneuver found on Maurer Sohne coasters. The horseshoe is essentially a 180-degree turnaround with high banking so that riders are tilted at a 90-degree angle or more at the top at the element. The horseshoe is named that way because the element is shaped roughly like a horseshoe, with a semicircular shape at the top. It is found on coasters such as Sonic Spinball at Alton Towers.

Immelmann loop

An Immelmann is a popular inversion found on many roller coasters. In an Immelmann, riders enter a half loop and then go through a half twist and curve out in the opposite direction in which they came. The inversion is very similar to the sidewinder. A sidewinder consists of a half loop and a half corkscrew and comes out closer to 90°, while the Immelman comes out in more of a straight line back to where it started. An Immelmann traveled in reverse is a diving loop. It is most commonly found on B&M inverted and diving roller coasters.

The name "Immelmann" comes from Immelmann turn, an aircraft maneuver named after the World War I German fighter pilot Max Immelmann.[9]

Inclined dive loop

An inclined dive loop is essentially a dive loop that has been tilted. Instead of exiting vertically, an inclined dive loop exits at an angle. The only two examples are on Hydra the Revenge at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom and GateKeeper at Cedar Point.

Inclined loop

File:Chang (Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom) 02.jpg

An inclined loop, also known as an oblique loop, is a 360° loop that has been tilted at an angle. It is not entered vertically, like a vertical loop, or horizontally like a helix. Instead, it is usually entered at an angle between 45° and 80°. inclined loops can be found on B&M stand-up roller coasters, B&M

Sours: https://rollercoaster.fandom.com/wiki/Elements
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How Roller Coasters Work

There are two major types of roller coasters, distinguished mainly by their track structure. The tracks of wooden roller coasters are similar to traditional railroad tracks. In most coasters, the car wheels have the same flanged design as the wheels of a train; the inner part of the wheel has a wide lip that keeps the car from rolling off the side of the track. The car also has another set of wheels (or sometimes just a safety bar) that runs underneath the track. This keeps the cars from flying up into the air.

Wooden coaster tracks are braced by wooden cross ties and diagonal support beams. The entire track structure rests on an intricate lattice of wooden or steel beams, just like the beam framework that supports a house or skyscraper.Track designers can even flip the train upside down (though this is rare in modern wooden coasters). But, because the track and support structure are so cumbersome, it is difficult to construct complex twists and turns. In wooden coasters, the exhilarating motion is mainly up and down.

Even though wood has its limits, which typically make wooden coasters slower and tamer than steel coasters, it also has advantages. Wooden coasters are designed to sway slightly as the train moves through them, which lends a unique effect that cannot be replicated with more rigid materials.

The range of motion is greatly expanded in steel roller coasters. The world of roller coasters changed radically with the introduction of tubular steel tracks in the 1950s. As the name suggests, these tracks consist of a pair of long steel tubes. These tubes are supported by a sturdy, lightweight superstructure made of slightly larger steel tubes or beams.

Tubular steel coaster wheels are typically made from polyurethane or nylon. In addition to the traditional wheels that sit right on top of the steel track, the cars have wheels that run along the bottom of the tube and wheels that run along the sides. This design keeps the car securely anchored to the track, which is absolutely essential when the train runs through the coaster's twists and turns.

The train cars in tubular steel coasters may rest on top of the track, like the wheels in a traditional wooden coaster, or they may attach to the track at the top of the car, like in a ski lift. In suspended coasters, the hanging trains swing from a pivoted joint, adding an additional side-to-side motion. In an inverted coaster, the hanging train is rigidly attached to the track, which gives the designer more precise control of how the cars move.

A tubular steel track is prefabricated in large, curved segments. The steel manufacturing process allows for a smoothly curving track that tilts the coaster train in all directions. A wooden roller coaster rattles as it rolls over the joints that connect the pieces of the wooden track. In a tubular steel coaster, the track pieces are perfectly welded together, making for an incredibly smooth ride. As any coaster enthusiast will tell you, each sensation has its own distinctive charm.

According to the Roller Coaster DataBase, there were 4,639 coasters in operation around the world in 2018 — 4,455 of them steel, 184 wooden. The RCDB identifies eight main coaster types:

  • Sit-down: The traditional design, with riders sitting inside a car.
  • Stand-up: Riders stand on the train's floor instead of sitting.
  • Inverted: The train travels below the track instead of on top of it. It is distinct from a suspended coaster since the train is fixed to the track.
  • Suspended: The train travels beneath the track, but unlike an inverted coaster, the train is fixed to a swinging arm that pivots from side to side.
  • Pipeline: The track is attached to the middle of the train, instead of above or below it.
  • Bobsled: Wheeled trains slide down a U-shaped tube instead of being fixed to a track.
  • Flying: Riders start out in a seated position but are rotated to face the ground as the ride starts, giving the feeling of flying.
  • Wing: Two seats from each car are positioned on either side of the track. The seats spin or rotate on their own axis, either freely or in a controlled motion. In 2018, there were nine Wing coasters in operation with two more under construction. This type of coaster is sometimes referred to as 4th Dimension.

Never been on a coaster before? In the next section we'll give you some advice on your first ride.

Sours: https://science.howstuffworks.com/engineering/structural/roller-coaster8.htm
Why Roller Coaster Track is Filled with Sand

Redefining Roller Coaster Types for the Modern Era

Since Disneyland’s Matterhorn opened in 1959, roller coasters have been divided into two main categories: steel roller coasters and wooden roller coasters. According to the Roller Coaster Database, there are over 4,000 roller coasters operating worldwide today. Of these, only 183 (or less than five percent) are classified as “wood” coasters. Over the years, the dividing line between the two has been blurred. But with all the latest technologies and innovations, maybe it’s time to redefine the different types of roller coaster.

wood or steel coaster

The Historical Roller Coaster Types

The traditional defining factor for roller coaster types used to be solely based on the material that the rails are constructed from and not what the supports are made of. Generally, steel roller coasters are defined as a roller coaster with track consisting of tubular steel rails while wooden coaster tracks are made from layers of laminated wood. Technically speaking, every wooden roller coaster is actually a “steel” coaster because all the wheels ride on bands of steel. This track steel sits on top of a stack of eight pieces of wood, “the stack” being what defines it as a true wooden coaster.
From The American Roller Coaster by Scott Rutherford:

“To begin, there are two basic types of roller coasters: the classic wood-track rides and those sporting track fashioned of steel….the track construction itself – not the supporting structure  – defines the category into which a coaster is placed. If the track is made of laminated wood on which steel strap rails are mounted, it’s considered a wood coaster. If the track is made entirely of steel components, it’s a steel coaster.”

Should There Be a Hybrid Roller Coaster Type Class?

We can primarily thank the following companies for throwing a wrench into the coaster type discussion: Arrow Dynamics for wood supported steel coasters, Rocky Mountain Construction Topper Track and I-box track, Intamin Plug-and-play prefabricated wooden coasters, Gravity Group and Great Coasters International steel supported wood coasters. One train of thought is to simply add a third class of coasters: wood, steel, and hybrid. What would a hybrid be defined as? Any coaster that uses a mix of wood and steel? Lightning Rod would be in the same class as Gemini, Adventure Express, Wicked Cyclone, Voyage, Goliath, etc.

The problem I have with this approach is with the ride experience. What does the ride feel like? Steel hybrids still feel like steel coasters. Magnum and Gemini at Cedar Point feel similar despite one being support by wood and the other supported by steel. This is because they both run on tubular steel rails. If your friend asked you “What is the New Mean Streak going to feel like?” how would you respond? You’d tell him smooth like a steel coaster wouldn’t you? It’ll be completely different than the all wooden version. To me, it just doesn’t make sense to define Cornball Express (a wood tracked coaster) as the same type as New Mean Streak (a steel tracked coaster).

Roller Coaster Types for the Modern Era

In order to account for construction materials and ride experience, I propose replacing the two traditional roller coaster type categories with four:
Traditional Wood – wooden track, wooden supports
Examples: The Beast, El Toro, Original Mean Streak

Gold Striker is a traditional Wooden coaster, with wooden supports and wooden track.

Wood Hybrid– wooden track, mixed supports
Examples: The Voyage, Invadr, Goliath (SFGAm)

Steel Hybrid – steel track, mixed support
Examples: Gemini, New Texas Giant, New Mean Streak

Pure Steel – steel track, steel supports
Examples: Diamondback, Magnum XL-200

intamin roller coaster design
Even then, there could still be exceptions. For example, how would you classify Son of Beast? It began as 95% traditional wood coaster EXCEPT for the loop which was supported by steel. Would this make it a Wood Hybrid type then? So when the loop was removed, it changed classification to a Traditional Wood coaster? Nowadays it’s almost rare to see an all wooden roller coaster built.

roller coaster types hybrid coasters
In the end, does it really matter what type you define a roller coaster as? No, as long as the ride is fun, that’s truly important. But us roller coaster enthusiasts like to give everything a name, so we might as well try to decide on a definition we can all agree on.
What are your thoughts?

Sours: https://www.coaster101.com/2017/06/13/redefining-roller-coaster-types-modern-era/

Of tracks types roller coaster

Roller coaster

Rail-based amusement park ride

For other uses, see Roller coaster (disambiguation).

The Scenic Railway at Luna Park, Melbourne, is the world's second-oldest operating roller coaster, built in 1912.

A roller coaster, also called a rollercoaster, is a type of amusement ride that employs a form of elevated railroad track designed with tight turns, steep slopes, and sometimes inversions.[1] People ride along the track in open cars, and the rides are often found in amusement parks and theme parks around the world.[1]LaMarcus Adna Thompson obtained one of the first known patents for a roller coaster design in 1885, related to the Switchback Railway that opened a year earlier at Coney Island.[2][3] The track in a coaster design does not necessarily have to be a complete circuit, as shuttle roller coasters demonstrate. Most roller coasters have multiple cars in which passengers sit and are restrained.[4] Two or more cars hooked together are called a train. Some roller coasters, notably Wild Mouse roller coasters, run with single cars.


Main article: History of the roller coaster

The Russian mountain and the Aerial Promenades[edit]

The Promenades-Aériennes in Paris (1817)

The oldest roller coasters are believed to have originated from the so-called "Russian Mountains", specially constructed hills of ice located in the area that is now Saint Petersburg, Russia.[5] Built in the 17th century, the slides were built to a height of between 21 and 24 m (70 and 80 feet), had a 50-degree drop, and were reinforced by wooden supports. Later, in 1784, Catherine the Great is said to have constructed a sledding hill in the gardens of her palace at Oranienbaum in St. Petersburg.[6]

The first modern roller coaster, the Promenades Aériennes, opened in Parc Beaujon in Paris on July 8, 1817.[7] It featured wheeled cars securely locked to the track, guide rails to keep them on course, and higher speeds.[8] It spawned half a dozen imitators, but their popularity soon declined.

However, during the Belle Epoque they returned to fashion. In 1887 Spanish entrepreneur Joseph Oller, co-founder of the Moulin Rouge music hall, constructed the Montagnes Russes de Belleville, "Russian Mountains of Belleville" with 656 feet (200 m) of track laid out in a double-eight, later enlarged to four figure-eight-shaped loops.[9]

Scenic railways[edit]

See also: Side friction roller coaster

In 1827, a mining company in Summit Hill, Pennsylvania constructed the Mauch Chunk Switchback Railway, a downhill gravity railroad used to deliver coal to Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania – now known as Jim Thorpe.[10] By the 1850s, the "Gravity Road" (as it became known) was selling rides to thrill seekers. Railway companies used similar tracks to provide amusement on days when ridership was low.

Using this idea as a basis, LaMarcus Adna Thompson began work on a gravity Switchback Railway that opened at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York, in 1884.[11] Passengers climbed to the top of a platform and rode a bench-like car down the 600-foot (183 m) track up to the top of another tower where the vehicle was switched to a return track and the passengers took the return trip.[12] This track design was soon replaced with an oval complete circuit.[8] In 1885, Phillip Hinkle introduced the first full-circuit coaster with a lift hill, the Gravity Pleasure Road, which became the most popular attraction at Coney Island.[8] Not to be outdone, in 1886 Thompson patented his design of roller coaster that included dark tunnels with painted scenery. "Scenic Railways" were soon found in amusement parks across the county.[8]

Popularity, decline and revival[edit]

By 1919, the first underfriction roller coaster had been developed by John Miller.[13] Over the next decade, roller coasters spread to amusement parks around the world and began an era in the industry often referred to as the "Golden Age". One of the most well-known from the period is the historical Cyclone that opened at Coney Island in 1927. The onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s, however, significantly impacted the amusement park industry and brought an end to the rapid growth experienced during the Golden Age. This aside, roller coasters were still built with varying success from location to location. In May 1932, the Scene Railway witnessed somewhat of a revival in the UK, including the opening of the roller coaster at Great Yarmouth. Today it is one of only two scenic railways still in operation in the UK.

In 1959, Disneyland introduced a design breakthrough with Matterhorn Bobsleds, the first permanent roller coaster to use a tubular steel track. Designed by Arrow Development, the tubular track was unlike standard rail design on wooden coasters, allowing the track to bend in sharper angles in any direction, leading to the incorporation of loops, corkscrews, and inversion elements into track layouts. A little more than a decade later, the immediate success of The Racer at Kings Island in 1972 sparked a new era of roller coaster enthusiasm, which led to a resurgence across the amusement park industry over the next several decades.[citation needed]


There are several explanations of the name roller coaster. It is said to have originated from an early American design where slides or ramps were fitted with rollers over which a sled would coast.[8] This design was abandoned in favor of fitting the wheels to the sled or other vehicles, but the name endured.

Another explanation is that it originated from a ride located in a roller skating rink in Haverhill, Massachusetts in 1887. A toboggan-like sled was raised to the top of a track which consisted of hundreds of rollers. This Roller Toboggan then took off down gently rolling hills to the floor. The inventors of this ride, Stephen E. Jackman and Byron B. Floyd, claim that they were the first to use the term "roller coaster".[12]

The term jet coaster is used for roller coasters in Japan, where such amusement park rides are very popular.[14]

In many languages, the name refers to "Russian mountains". Contrastingly, in Russian, they are called "American mountains". In the Scandinavian languages, the roller coaster is referred as "mountain-and-valley railway". German knows the word "Achterbahn", stemming from "Figur-8-Bahn", like Dutch "Achtbaan", relating to the form of the number 8 ("acht" in German and also Dutch).


Main article: Physics of roller coasters

Video from inside a roller coaster car (Helixat Lisebergin Gothenburg, Sweden)

Roller coaster trains are not typically powered. Most are pulled up a lift hill by a chain or cable and released downhill. The potential energy accumulated by the rise in height is transferred to kinetic energy, which is then converted back into potential energy as the train rises up the next hill. Changes in elevation become smaller throughout the track's course, as some mechanical energy is lost to friction. A properly-designed, outdoor track will result in a train having enough kinetic energy to complete the entire course under a variety of stressful weather conditions.

Not all coasters feature a lift hill, however. A train may also be set into motion by a launch mechanism such as a flywheel, linear induction motor (LIM), linear synchronous motor (LSM), hydraulic launch, or drive tire. Some launched roller coasters are capable of reaching greater speeds using less track when compared to traditional coasters that rely on a conventional lift hill.

A brake run at the end of the circuit is the most common method of stopping a roller coaster train as it returns to the station. One notable exception is a powered roller coaster, which instead of relying on gravity, it uses one or more motors to propel the trains along the course.

In 2006, NASA announced that it would build a system using principles similar to those of a roller coaster to help astronauts escape the Ares I launch pad in an emergency,[15] although this has since been scrapped along with the rest of the Ares program.


A variety of safety mechanisms protect riders on roller coasters. One of these is the block system. Most large roller coasters have the ability to run two or more trains at once, and the block system prevents these trains from colliding. In this system, the track is divided into two or more sections known as blocks. Only one train is permitted in each block at any given time. There is a section of track at the end of each block where a train can be stopped if necessary, such as preventing dispatch from the station, stopping a lift, or simply applying brakes. Sensors detect when a train passes so that the system's computer is aware of which blocks are occupied. If a train attempts to enter an occupied block, the stopping mechanisms in all blocks are engaged.

Another key to safety is the programmable logic controller (PLC), an essential component of a roller coaster's computer system. Multiple PLCs work together to detect faults associated with operation and automate decisions to engage various elements (e.g. lift, brakes, etc.). Periodic maintenance and visual inspection by ride engineers are also important to verify that structures and materials are within expected wear tolerances and functioning correctly. Effective operating procedures further enhance safety as well.

Roller coaster design is another important aspect that requires a working knowledge of basic physics to enhance ride comfort and avoid harmful strain to the rider. Ride designers must carefully analyze the movement a ride subjects its riders to, ensuring it is within a reasonable tolerance. The human body needs sufficient time to react to sudden changes in force in order to control muscle tension and avoid harmful consequences such as whiplash. Designers typically try to stay in the range of 4–6Gs (40–60 m s−2) as a maximum for positive g-force acceleration, which increases the feeling of weight and pushes riders downward into their seat. For negative g-force, or the feeling of weightlessness, the target is 1.5–2Gs (15–20 m s−2) as a maximum.[citation needed] These fall into a range considered safe to a majority of the population. Lateral acceleration is also typically kept under 2Gs using various techniques including the banking of curves.[citation needed]

Roller coasters are statistically very safe when compared to other activities, but despite all the safety measures in place, accidents still occur.[16] The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 134 park guests required hospitalization in 2001 and that fatalities related to amusement rides average two per year. According to a study commissioned by Six Flags, 319 million people visited amusement parks in 2001. The study concluded that a visitor has a one-in-500-million chance of being fatally injured, which is less likely than being injured in a golf cart or folding lawn chair.[17]

Controversy about safety has increased over the years as roller coasters become more extreme. There have been suggestions that these may be subjecting passengers to translational and rotational accelerations capable of causing brain injury. In 2003, a report from the Brain Injury Association of America concluded, "There is evidence that roller coaster rides pose a health risk to some people some of the time. Equally evident is that the overwhelming majority of riders will suffer no ill effects."[18] A similar report in 2005 linked roller coasters and other thrill rides with the potential triggering of abnormal heart conditions that could lead to death.[19] Autopsies have shown that some of these were due to undetected, preexisting heart conditions.[citation needed]


See also: Roller coaster elements

Roller coasters are divided into two main categories: steel roller coasters and wooden roller coasters. Steel coasters have tubular steel tracks, and compared to wooden coasters, they are typically known for offering a smoother ride and their ability to turn riders upside-down. Wooden coasters have flat steel tracks, and are typically renowned for producing "air time" through the use of negative G-forces when reaching the crest of some hill elements. Newer types of track, such as I-Box and Topper introduced by Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC), improve the ride experience on wooden coasters, lower maintenance costs, and add the ability to invert riders.

A third classification type is often referred to as a hybrid roller coaster, which utilize a mixture of wood and steel elements for the track and structure. Many, for example, have a track made out of steel and a support structure made from wood.[20][21][22] RMC has notably redesigned wood coasters that have either deteriorated from age or been deemed by parks as too costly to maintain.[22][23] RMC often replaces the wood track with their patented steel I-Box track design, while reusing much of the ride's wooden structure, resulting in a smoother ride with the incorporation of new design elements, such as inversions, sharper turns, and steeper drops.[23][24]

Although the term wasn't widely used or accepted until the 21st century, one of the oldest examples is Cyclone at Luna Park, which opened in 1927.[25] It features a wood track and steel structure.[26] Other older examples include mine train roller coasters, many of which were built by Arrow Dynamics.[27][28] The term hybrid became more prominent after the introduction of New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas opened in 2011.[29] Many in the industry, however, continue to classify coasters strictly by their track type only, labeling them either steel or wood.[20][30]

Modern roller coasters are constantly evolving to provide a variety of different experiences. More focus is being placed on the position of riders in relation to the overall experience. Traditionally, riders sit facing forward, but newer variations such as stand-up and flying models position the rider in different ways to change the experiences. A flying model, for example, is a suspended roller coaster where the riders lie facing forward and down with their chests and feet strapped in. Other ways of enhancing the experience involve removing the floor beneath passengers riding above the track, as featured in floorless roller coasters. Also new track elements – usually types of inversions – are often introduced to provide entirely new experiences.

By height[edit]

Family coaster:Kingdom Coasterat Dutch Wonderlandin Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is a 55-foot tall (17 m) coaster that reaches a top speed of 40 mph (64 km/h).

Several height classifications have been used by parks and manufacturers in marketing their roller coasters, as well as enthusiasts within the industry. One classification, the kiddie coaster, is a roller coaster specifically designed for younger riders. Following World War II, parks began pushing for more of them to be built in contrast to the height and age restrictions of standard designs at the time. Companies like Philadelphia Toboggan Company (PTC) developed scaled-down versions of their larger models to accommodate the demand. These typically featured lift hills smaller than 25 feet (7.6 m), and still do today. The rise of kiddie coasters soon led to the development of "junior" models that had lift hills up to 45 feet (14 m). A notable example of a junior coaster is the Sea Dragon – the oldest operating roller coaster from PTC's legendary designer John Allen – which opened at Wyandot Lake in 1956 near Powell, Ohio.[12]


For a list of hypercoasters, see Hypercoaster § List of hypercoasters.

A hypercoaster, occasionally stylized as hyper coaster, is a type of roller coaster with a height or drop of at least 200 feet (61 m). Moonsault Scramble, which debuted at Fuji-Q Highland in 1984, was the first to break this barrier, though the term hypercoaster was first coined by Cedar Point and Arrow Dynamics with the opening of Magnum XL-200 in 1989.[31][32] Hypercoasters have become one of the most predominant types of roller coasters in the world, now led by manufacturers Bolliger & Mabillard and Intamin.

Giga coaster[edit]

A giga coaster is a type of roller coaster with a height or drop of at least 300 feet (91 m).[33] The term was coined during a partnership between Cedar Point and Intamin on the construction of Millennium Force.[34][35] Although Morgan and Bolliger & Mabillard have not used the term giga,[36] both have also produced roller coasters in this class.

Strata coaster[edit]

A strata coaster is a type of roller coaster with a height or drop of at least 400 feet (120 m).[33] As with the other two height classifications, the term strata was first introduced by Cedar Point with the release of Top Thrill Dragster, a 420-foot-tall (130 m) roller coaster that opened in 2003.[44] Another strata coaster, Kingda Ka, opened at Six Flags Great Adventure in 2005 as the tallest roller coaster in the world featuring a height of 456 feet (139 m). Superman: Escape From Krypton exceeded 400 feet (120 m) back when it opened in 1997, but its shuttle coaster design where the trains don't travel a complete circuit usually prevents the roller coaster from being classified in the same category.[44][45]

Major roller coaster manufacturers[edit]


  • Roller Coasters
  • Raptor, a steel inverted coaster, is located at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, United States.

  • Lightning Racer at Hersheypark is a racing, dueling roller coaster made by GCI.

  • This all-wooden roller coaster, built in 1951, dominates the Linnanmäki amusement park in Helsinki, Finland.

  • Son of Beast in Kings Island was the only wooden coaster to have a vertical loop. The loop was removed in 2006, and the ride was closed from 2009 until its demolition in 2012.

  • Great Bear is the first steel inverted coaster in Pennsylvania, located at Hersheypark.

  • Thunderbolt at Kennywood outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was built in 1968.

  • Leviathan, also at Canada's Wonderland, is the current tallest coaster in Canada (93 m or 306 ft, 148 km/h or 92 mph) and is also made by Bolliger & Mabillard. It was the second tallest coaster made by B&M.

  • Fury 325 at Carowinds is the tallest roller coaster ever constructed by B&M and the tallest roller coaster to use a traditional chain lift.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ab"Definition of roller coaster in English". Oxford Living Dictionaries. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
  2. ^"Gravity switch-back railway; US patent# 332762". Retrieved May 28, 2017.
  3. ^"First roller coaster in America opens - Jun 16, 1884 - HISTORY.com". HISTORY.com. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
  4. ^"Roller Coaster Glossary – Roller Coasters". www.ultimaterollercoaster.com.
  5. ^Coker, Robert (2002). Roller Coasters: A Thrill Seeker's Guide to the Ultimate Scream Machines. New York: Metrobooks. 14. ISBN 1-58663-172-1.
  6. ^Bennett, David (1998). Roller Coaster: Wooden and Steel Coasters, Twisters and Corkscrews. Edison, New Jersey: Chartwell Books. 9. ISBN 0-7865-0885-X.
  7. ^Fierro, Alfred, Histoire et Dictionnaire de Paris p. 613
  8. ^ abcdeUrbanowicz, Steven J. (2002). The Roller Coaster Lover's Companion; Kensington, New YorK: Citadel Press. ISBN 0-8065-2309-3.
  9. ^Valérie RANSON-ENGUIALE, " Promenades aériennes ", Histoire par l'image [en ligne], consulté le 26 Mai 2017. URL : http://www.histoire-image.org/etudes/promenades-aeriennes
  10. ^"Roller Coaster History: Early Years In America". Retrieved on July 26, 2007.
  11. ^Chris Sheedy (2007-01-07). "Icons – In the Beginning... Roller-Coaster". The Sun-Herald Sunday Life (Weekly Supplement). John Fairfax Publications Pty Ltd. p. 10.
  12. ^ abcRutherford, Scott (2004). The American Roller Coaster. MBI. ISBN .
  13. ^"Patent Images". patimg2.uspto.gov.
  14. ^Robb and Elissa Alvey. "Theme Park Review: Japan 2004", themeparkreview.com. Retrieved on March 18, 2008.
  15. ^Chris Bergin (November 3, 2006). "NASA will build Rollercoaster for Ares I escape". NASA Spaceflight.com. Archived from the original on 2006-11-15. Retrieved 2007-01-08.
  16. ^"Verified Injury Accidents at Theme and Amusement Parks".
  17. ^Arthur Levine. "White Knuckles Are the Worst of It". themeparks.about.com. Retrieved 2007-01-08.
  18. ^Blue Ribbon Panel (2003-02-25). "Blue Ribbon Panel Review of the Correlation between Brain Injury and Roller Coaster Rides – Final Report". Archived from the original on 2006-11-29. Retrieved 2007-01-08.
  19. ^Charlene Laino and Louise Chang, MD (2005-11-16). "Roller Coasters: Safe for the Heart?". WebMD.com. Retrieved 2007-01-08.
  20. ^ abWeisenberger, Nick (2012). Coasters 101: An Engineer's Guide to Roller Coaster Design (Paperback) (1st ed.). United States: Createspace Independent Publishing. p. 18. ISBN .
  21. ^Throgmorton, Todd H.; Throgmorton, Samantha K. (April 30, 2016). Coasters: United States and Canada(E-book) (4th ed.). McFarland, Incorporated, Publishers. pp. 21, 49, 116, 223, 231. ISBN .
  22. ^ ab"What Is a Hybrid Wooden and Steel Roller Coaster?". TripSavvy. Retrieved 2021-04-26.
  23. ^ ab"What Is A Hybrid Roller Coaster?". coastercritic.com. Retrieved 2021-04-26.
  24. ^"State of the Arts: A New Kind of Wooden Coaster Twists and Turns at Cedar Point". WKSU. 2018-05-04. Retrieved 2021-04-26.
  25. ^"Cyclone - Luna Park (Brooklyn, New York, United States)". rcdb.com. Retrieved 2021-04-26.
  26. ^"The Cyclone"(PDF). nyc.gov.
  27. ^"Arrow Dynamics - Coasterforce". Coasterforce.
  28. ^"Roller Coaster Search Results". rcdb.com. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  29. ^"Roller Coaster Search Results". rcdb.com. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  30. ^"New Texas Giant Roller Coaster". Guide to Six Flags over Texas. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  31. ^Meskil, Paul (August 6, 1989). "A Rolling Revival". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  32. ^"Coaster Landmark Award: Magnum XL-200". American Coaster Enthusiasts. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  33. ^ abMurphy, Mekado (August 17, 2015). "Just How Tall Can Roller Coasters Get?". The New York Times. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  34. ^"310-Foot-Tall "Giga-Coaster" Nears End of Construction". UltimateRollercoaster.com. March 9, 2000. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  35. ^"Millennium Force". Cedar Point. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  36. ^"Bolliger & Mabillard – Products". Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  37. ^"Millennium Force-Cedar Point". rcdb.com.
  38. ^"Steel Dragon 2000-Nagashima Spa Land". rcdb.com.
  39. ^"Intimidator 305-Kings Dominion". rcdb.com.
  40. ^"Leviathan-Canada's Wonderland". rcdb.com.
  41. ^"Fury325-Carowinds". rcdb.com.
  42. ^"Red Force – Ferrari Land (Salou, Tarragona, Spain)". rcdb.com.
  43. ^"Orion – Kings Island (Mason, Ohio)". rcdb.com.
  44. ^ ab"National Roller Coaster Day: Ten incredible records for every thrill seeker". guinnessworldrecords.com. August 16, 2016. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  45. ^"Watch the plunge from this new 325-foot roller coaster". USA Today. March 6, 2015. Retrieved May 3, 2018.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bennett, David (1998). Roller Coaster: Wooden and Steel Coasters, Twisters and Corkscrews. Edison, New Jersey: Chartwell Books. 9. ISBN 0-7865-0885-X.
  • Brady, Matthew K.; Knight, David Alan (2001). Rollercoaster Tycoon (Paperback). Prima Games. p. 40. ISBN .
  • Cartmell, Robert (1987). The Incredible Scream Machine: A History of the Roller Coaster (Paperback). Amusement Park Books. ISBN .
  • Coker, Robert (2002). Roller Coasters: A Thrill Seeker's Guide to the Ultimate Scream Machines. New York: Metrobooks. 14. ISBN 1-58663-172-1.
  • Francis, David W.; Francis, Diane DeMali (2002). Ohio's Amusement Parks in Vintage Postcards (Paperback). Arcadia Publishing. ISBN .
  • Rutherford, Scott (2004). The American Roller Coaster (Paperback). Motorbooks International. ISBN .
  • Urbanowicz, Steven J. (2002). The Roller Coaster Lover's Companion: A Thrill Seeker's Guide to the World's Best Coasters (Paperback). Kensington Publishing Corporation, Citadel Press. ISBN .ISBN 0-8065-2309-3
  • Weisenberger, Nick (September 2, 2014). The 50 Most Terrifying Roller Coasters Ever Built (Paperback). Createspace Independent Publishing. ISBN .

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roller_coaster
An Introduction to Roller Coasters


Notice how the spine is a "box" and the rails are connected above the spine.

The track is a part of a roller coaster that the wheels of the coaster's train run on.

Track Types

Box Track

A box track is a track type that uses a box-shaped spine. All roller coasters built by Bolliger & Mabillard have a box track.

Old Intamin roller coasters, such as Flashback at Six Flags Magic Mountain and stand-up coaster Cobra at La Ronde also use box-track. This is because the founders of Bolliger & Mabillard used to work for Intamin.

Flat Track

A flat track is a spineless track type consisting simply of two rails connected by beams at diagonal and right-angles. This track type is typically found on Wild Mouse and kiddie coasters.

Single Rail Track

A single rail track uses one primary guide rail to carry along a car versus the traditional two-rail configuration

Skeleton Track

A skeleton track typically uses a square-shaped or triangle-shaped skeletal framework as the track spine. This kind of track is typically found on Intamin coasters.

IBox track

IBox track is a pair of I-shaped steel beams that is used exclusively by Rocky Mountain Construction hybrid coasters, like Steel Vengeance. The trains run on the upper lip of the I-shape, which keeps them from flying off.

Sours: https://coasterpedia.net/wiki/Track

You will also like:

A group of people enjoying the roller coaster ride.

Are you a roller coaster enthusiast? If you’ve been riding roller coasters for a while, you’ll know that there’s nothing that gets the heart racing and the adrenaline flowing quite like a good roller coaster. These amusement park rides inspire both fear and excitement in all who choose to ride them. Yet, despite how much people fear them, it’s very unlikely that you’ll see an amusement park without one. Roller coasters continue to attract scores of people to amusement parks – and for good reason!

Many different types of roller coasters have been developed around the globe. The variations are based on their mechanics, the track layout, the train type, as well as their height. But regardless of the differences, each type promises unique moments of enjoyment and entertainment. We’ve prepared a list of the most popular types of roller coasters with some facts about each of them.


Accelerator Coaster

A group of people riding an accelerator coaster in Australia.

Designed to generate an adrenaline rush like no other, the accelerator roller coaster ensures that optimum speed is reached within the shortest possible time.

An example of such a coaster is Intamin’s rocket coaster in the US. Its hydraulic winch launch system enables continuous and smooth acceleration right from the start. The park-specific layout of this roller coaster is designed to cater to the customer’s budget and space requirements.

Hence, whether you’re searching for low, bullet-shooting rides or high, heart-stopping towers, accelerator rides are a great option. They’re characterized by high speeds ranging from 60 mph to 150 mph and heights between 40 and 456 feet!

Shoulder restraints present in Intamin’s newer train designs provide upper body freedom, while the magnetic braking system offers both a smooth launch and a smooth break run.

Source:International amusements

FlyingRoller Coaster

Amusement park visitors riding the Manta flying roller coaster in Orlando, Florida.

The first flying roller coaster, Skytrak, was introduced in the UK in 1997. It allowed passengers to climb onto it in a way that was like climbing a ladder. Once the passengers were on board, the ride would begin. However, the ride was closed in 1998.

According to Roller Coaster Database, there are as many as 29 flying roller coasters around the world. The most recent one in the US, Manta, was launched back in 2009. The first flying roller coaster was built by Vekoma, the Dutch roller coaster manufacturer, in 2000. It is known as Stealth and is located in Great America in California. Six Flags Magic Mountain and Cedar Point both launched flying roller coasters in the same year called Millennium Force and Goliath respectively. Stealth is nicknamed The Flying Dutchman, and the newer versions launched by Vekoma aren’t much different from this original coaster.

All three Flying Dutchman coasters are located in the US and comprise of trains that load the riders in a seated position but recline just before they are due to be launched. In this setup, the riders are effectively lying on their backs while facing the sky. This initial position might be uncomfortable for some riders, but as soon as the ride begins, all that discomfort fades away as the adrenaline gets pumping.

The newer versions of the Flying Dutchman comprise of multiple riding platforms and slightly longer tracks as compared to Stealth. One problem with Vekoma’s flying coaster design is that riders aren’t allowed to use the locking lap bar combined with the shoulder straps. All three versions have problems associated with shoulder straps in which the locking clips may delay the loading and unloading process.

The Flying Dutchman roller coaster design was ultimately overtaken by Bolliger and Mabillard, with the launch of Galactica at Alton Towers, and Superman: Ultimate Flight, a flying roller coaster in Six Flags over Georgia. B&M fixed the many issues of The Flying Dutchman and perfected the concept of the flying roller coaster. As opposed to the riders of Flying Dutchman roller coasters, the B&M flying coasters allow riders to experience the feeling of flight without having to lie on their backs.

B&M flying coasters also feature one integrated shoulder restraint and lap bar as a solution to the Flying Dutchman’s two separate restraining devices. To make the experience even more comfortable, B&M coasters added ankle locks to the restraint system to prevent the riders’ legs from dangling. In addition to this, B&M’s recent custom layouts, like those of Manta and Tatsu, make them the two best flying roller coasters on the planet.

Canada’s Time Warp is another exhilarating flying roller coaster designed by Zamperla. It features a row with seats that accommodate up to four riders. Riders need to ride up a ladder into the train and place their hands and head into position before the back of the trains get locked for the launch. Upon launching, the train is motioned into a flying position before being thrown into a spiral-style lift.

Time Warp doesn’t hold riders’ bodies tightly in its train. Instead, riders enjoy some freedom inside the cage-like restraint. Passengers can move a little as the roller coaster turns and spins while on its spiral course. However, many riders feel extremely uncomfortable with this type of restraint as the twists and turns may cause their bodies to roll or get hurt.

When everything is taken into consideration (safety, excitement, etc.), the flying roller coasters manufactured by B&M remain the safest ones on the planet owing to their passenger-centric, safe designs.

Source:Theme park insider (Flying Roller Coaster)

Bobsled Roller Coaster

A first-person look at riding a bobsled roller coaster.

Previously known as flying turns, Bobsled roller coasters comprise of bobsleigh-like cars that race along pipes that are open from the top. The pipes don’t have fixed tracks so that cars can slide freely within the pipes to give passengers the feel of riding a real bobsleigh on snow. Due to their twisted layouts, the gravitational forces at different points will certainly take you by surprise. They are popular as family-style roller coasters.

Although they’re fun and fairly tame rides, only 9 operational bobsled roller coasters exist around the world. Avalanche, an incredible family-friendly bobsled roller coaster, is present at Kings Dominion, Virginia. It is a perfect roller-coaster ride for beginners or members of a family. Alpine Bobsled at Great Escape in New York and La Vibora at Six Flags in Texas are other bobsled roller coasters in the US.

Stand-Up Coaster

Stand-up roller coasters are designed in a way that riders stand during the ride. They are steel roller coasters comprising of bicycle-like seats for riders to stand against. These seats are restrained by over-the-shoulder restraints. Stand-up roller coasters are similar to seated looping coasters with very little to add. Moreover, some roller coasters are designed so that riders can choose to stand or remain seated.

The first of this kind was King Cobra, introduced at Kings Island in 1984, that operated until 2001. Among the 15 operational stand-up coasters around the world, 7 are designed by Bolliger & Mabillard, 6 by Togo and 2 by Intamin.

Among the most popular ones include Chang at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, and Riddler’s Revenge in California, which is 156 feet tall and 4,300 feet long and is regarded as the ‘King of the stand-ups.’ This particular stand-up coaster covers six aversions, including 2 dive loops, 2 corkscrews, a vertical loop, and an inclined loop. Some other stand-up coasters include Shockwave at Kings Dominion and Mantis at Cedar Point.

Source:Coaster critic

Floorless Roller Coaster

Amusement park visitors riding a floorless roller coaster.

A floorless roller coaster is a steel roller coaster that has no floor and riders sit on seats with their legs swinging freely just above the tracks. The track layout of a floorless roller coaster typically encompasses 3 to 7 inversions.

While the train is parked in the station, a floor is used to load and unload riders. Similarly, a gate is placed right in front of the front row when the train is stationed. This is because the roller coaster itself doesn’t have anything in front of the front row to prevent riders from walking over the edge of the station. This gate and the station floor aren’t removed until all the over-the-shoulder restraints are locked. After the ride, when the train returns to the station, the gate and floor are brought back.

16 floorless roller coasters are currently operational in the world, 11 of which are located in the US. The remaining 5 belong to Taiwan, Spain, Denmark, Hong Kong, and India. Dominator at Kings Dominion, Patriot at California’s Great America, Rougarou at Cedar Point, and Firebird at Six Flags America are the most popular floorless roller coasters in the US. Additionally, Hair Raiser in Hong Kong and Nitro in India are popular floorless roller coasters outside the US.

Besides this, the German roller coaster manufacturer, Maurer Sohne, developed a sophisticated version of the floorless roller coaster known as the X-Car in 2003. Despite having no over-the-shoulder restraints, the X-Car allows passengers to be upside down for a longer period of time during the ride. It is located at Magic Springs and Crystal Falls in Arkansas, US.


Dive Coaster

Amusement park visitors riding the Sheikra dive coaster in Tampa, Florida.

Dive coasters are steel roller coasters designed to feature extreme vertical drops. The thrilling sensation of staring down and being dropped from enormous heights attracts a countless number of visitors.

The only manufacturer of this breathtaking roller coaster is Bolliger and Mabillard. The first dive coaster, known as Oblivion, was made operational in 1998. The coaster takes its riders up to six stories, stops at the top, and drops them from 160 feet into a dark black hole.

Oblivion was soon followed by G5 in Taiwan, while if you reside in the US and are a fan of dive coaster rides, you can’t miss the completely vertical, 90-degree drops from 200 feet of either of the two dive coasters in Florida and Virginia. These include Griffon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg Amusement Park, Virginia, and Sheikra at Busch Gardens Africa in Tampa, Florida.

For fans of Oblivion, Sheikra in 2005 took the idea of dive coasters to a whole new level. It retained the train length and large drop characteristics, but it also featured a completely vertical drop, added an inversion, and a fantastic water-splashing finish.

Source:Coaster force

Inverted Roller Coaster

Amusement park visitors riding the Montu inverted roller coaster in Tampa, Florida.

Inverted roller coasters are designed in a way that riders sit on seats attached to the underside of tracks. In this way, riders seem to hang down, with their feet dangling free. While some inverted roller coasters that are designed for kids and families contain no inversions or loops at all, most have of some type of inversion.

Some roller coaster enthusiasts complain that inverted roller coasters are meant to entertain the riders in the front row only as they’re the ones who feel the unobstructed rush of the wind and see what’s ahead, getting the true flying experience. On the other hand, those seated behind are deprived of this. You’ll often see long queues for front row rides; however, those who’ve had the chance to occupy the back row seats have great experiences as well, as the wind forces are even more intense at the back of the train.

B&M, with its launch of Batman: The Ride in 1992, pioneered the concept of the inverted roller coaster at Six Flags Great America. It turned out to be so popular that dozens of its clones were developed around the world.

Like B&M’s previous stand-up coasters, its inverted design features a four-across seating arrangement but with a relatively higher capacity of 8 rows. In addition to its inverted design clones, B&M continues to work on custom inverted coasters at a number of theme parks. To name a few, Nemesis at Alton Towers, Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa, Raptor at Cedar Point, Afterburn at Carowinds, Alpengeist at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Talon at Dorney park are the most popular inverted coasters in the US.

With the advent of dive coasters, flying coasters, and floorless roller coasters, however, the inverted design became unpopular for a while until the launch of B&M’s Banshee at King’s Island in 2014. Featuring a restraint style similar to that of flying roller coasters, Banshee offers a custom inverted coaster design.

In the presence of so many inverted roller coasters all over the world, Banshee’s new design may not be considered a great innovation, but it continues to provide an exciting experience for all who choose to ride it.

Source:Theme park insider (Inverted Roller Coaster)

Sours: https://trekbaron.com/types-of-roller-coasters/

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