Wooden roller coaster

As a wooden roller coaster roller coasters are called, whose rail structure consisting largely of wood. The support structure is in most wooden coasters also made of wood, with some tracks but also a metal structure is employed. The rails of wooden roller coasters are made of several layers of wood, classic laminated from boards, with metal supports for the treads of the wheels.

  • 2.1 hybrid and all-wood roller coasters


Historically important wooden roller coasters

The first as a roller coaster ( Roller coaster structure ) designated driving business and thus also the first wooden roller coaster was in 1884 in Coney Iceland opened Gravity Pleasure Switchback Railway LaMarcus Adna Thompson of. This train consisted of two straight-running hilly routes between two raised platforms. The cars were pushed after reaching the respective opposite platform for the next ride on a transfer track on the opposite track. Since the car had only simple benches without backs, they had to not be rotated. Using the model of this path similar plants were built in many other places.

The first lanes closed route yet simple ovals were built in the 1880s. Shortly thereafter, the first figure -8 tracks, of which the German word " rollercoaster" derives emerged. The oldest still operating roller coaster, Leap the Dips at Lakemont Park, Altoona built in 1902 by Edward Joy Morris, is such a figure -8 path.

Thompson has been very successful with its listed Scenic Railway tracks. Many of them were intricately designed according to the name, such as an artificial mountain range or drove pavilions with dioramas and moving figures. Such sheets were next to the road wheels only lateral guides ( Sidefriction roller coaster ), they were built up in the 1930s, even after the invention of Underfriction wheels. Today, only a few Scenic Railways are obtained. The oldest operating the Scenic Railway at Luna Park, Melbourne in 1912.

1919 John A. Miller patented a new type of chassis and rail construction. With the Underfriction wheels, wheels that grip from the bottom to the tracks, the cars are kept firmly on the route. Thus, the construction of steeper slopes, more inclined curves and faster run over hills with more airtime was possible, and was crucial to the development of modern high-speed roller coasters.

Most of the wooden roller coasters in the first heyday, the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have not been preserved. Many were demolished after a few years to make way for new, more exciting, to make paths, a large number also fell victim to various fires. Many were due to the poor economic situation of their operators closed, largely as a result of the Great Depression of the 1930s. But later many old lanes were still shut down or demolished. For large parts of the Dokumententation to the early roller coasters is very patchy. Too many tracks is hardly provides something often exist only pictures on postcards that can no longer be assigned safely sometimes spatially and temporally.

Some old wooden roller coasters could be protected from demolition. Some of them are operated to this day, some are registered as National Historic Landmarks ( USA) or were placed under monument protection. Examples are already mentioned above or the famous, still in operation, the Cyclone Astroland, Coney Iceland from 1927 or the Scenic Railway at Dreamland Margate, Margate 1920 - the track is closed after a fire in 2008, a renewed operation is planned.

Wild Wild West (now Bandit ) in the Warner Bros. Movie World, the first wooden roller coaster was in 1999 which was built recently in Germany. Followed in 2001 as the first Intamin "Plug & Play Woodie " Colossos at Heide - Park.

Method of construction

Hybrid and all-wood roller coasters

Wooden roller coasters are not made ​​entirely of wood. Nails, screws, fittings, rail pads, chassis and wheels of the trains are made of metal. For most tracks the running surfaces of the wheels of steel, are at only a few facilities like the steel coasters treads are used with Polyuretanbeschichtung. Examples: mammoth in Tripsdrill theme park, Efteling in Pegasus.

Also in the construction of rail support structure and there are variations. Thus, for example Gemini at Cedar Point a wooden structure, but the cars drive on steel rails ( another example: Diabolo - El Tren de la Mina | Port Aventura ). While many built by The Gravity Group coasters like The Voyage at Holiday World have walkways and railings made ​​of wood, the support structures, however, are made ​​of steel. These tracks are often referred to as a hybrid wooden roller coasters (English Hybrid Coaster). Also in wooden support structures metal supports are used in addition to the wooden beams normally used to bridge larger distances often.


Dinn Corporation

Founded in 1983 by Charles Dinn Dinn Corporation was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1992. His daughter started taking the company Custom Coasters International. The wooden roller coasters are known for their often rough handling. Of the 13 tracks are now produced six demolished, dismantled or rebuilt.

Custom Coasters International

One of the best known manufacturers of wooden roller coasters is Custom Coasters International ( CCI). The company was founded in 1991, but went in July 2002 during the construction of the New Mexico Rattler bankrupt and had to be closed. The company has built 34 wooden roller coasters in the 11 years of its existence. After the bankruptcy was based from part of the design team, the company The Gravity Group. The cars for the CCI roller coasters were often made by the Philadelphia tobboggan Company.

Great Coasters International

The company was founded in 1994 has so far built 20 wooden roller coasters worldwide, making it one of the most successful wooden roller coaster manufacturer. The company stands out among others by their Millennium Flyer trains from which to provide through their cushioned seats with new tracks for a high comfort.

The Gravity Group

The Gravity Group, which was formed in 2002 from part of the design team of CCI, built the first wooden roller coaster with a bank angle of 90 °. For this, a large part of the operating paths are designed as a hybrid coaster having a steel structure as a support, and no wood. Three times the new curve segment in The Voyage was used, which was often honored as one of the best wooden roller coasters.

Rocky Mountain Coasters

This company came, although founded in 2001, in 2010 over the rebuilding of the Texas Giant at Six Flags Texas in appearance. The rails of the wooden roller coaster was completely replaced by steel, which in turn made ​​extreme inclinations and a gradient at the exit of 79 °.

In March 2013 was opened as the first completely self- built railway Outlaw Run. However, the tracks here are not like in Texas Giant, completely made ​​of steel, but only of wood and instead partially reinforced with steel. This unusual items like a double Heartline Roll are still feasible for a classic wooden roller coaster.

2013, Rattler similar to Texas Giant at Six Flags Fiesta Texas is being rebuilt. Here, the slope is 81 degrees and have to be installed an inversion. The bars are made ​​entirely of steel.


Intamin revolutionized before the Gravity Group wooden roller coasters with a new principle entirely prefabricate the tracks and not to cut and assemble the parts locally. Coasters that were built with this technique are referred to as plug and play Woodie. The first version of this design principle is Colossos at Heide - Park. Inspired it was El Toro ( Six Flags Great Adventure), which the steepest descent had a wooden roller coaster in front of Outlaw Run. Next tracks are Balder ( Liseberg ) and T Express ( Everland ).