What is a roller coaster
A roller coaster is a circuit on a rail system that goes up and down depending on its design. Today, most of them incorporate large drops and even vertical loops, in which travelers remain upside down for a short period of time. Each train is made up of cars, with seats and restraints for two, four, six, eight, and even twenty passengers.
There are several types of roller coasters. They can be classified by the height they reach, in which case we can find coasters (up to 45 meters), megacoasters (over 46 meters), hypercoasters (over 61 meters), gigacoasters (over 91 meters) or stratacoasters (over 122 meters). meters). Those of the shuttle type are characterized by reaching high speed in a few seconds.
Brief history of roller coasters
These attractionsThey owe their name to the slides that were installed during the winter in Russia , with sleds that slid on the snow. However, the first models were carried out in the United States, around 1880. They were wooden circuits that worked by gravity and had many elevation changes.
In 1912, designer John Miller built the first interior friction ride, an idea that soon spread throughout America’s amusement parks. Although the Great Depression paralyzed investment in roller coasters, in 1959 the Disneyland theme park introduced tubular steel , a before and after in the industry.
How to build a roller coaster
For all those who have ever wondered how these mega-constructions are built, these are the 4 steps to follow. As for the approximate time, it takes 4 to 8 months to design the structure and 6 to 8 months to install it.
First, the amusement park contacts the construction company to address the following issues: the space available, the type of attraction and its materials, and its size . Items such as wagon capacity or elevation can also be specified.
2. Design of the sketch
Based on these specifications, the designer makes the first sketches. The first step is to locate the station (space where passengers get on the train) and the lift (initial ramp). Then the elements that will connect with the station are designed, forming a closed circuit.
3. Definitive design
It is the turn of the computer designers, who have just defined the geometry of the track and calculate aspects such as the speed that the train will reach or the forces that act on the passengers along the route. This is an essential step for the proper functioning of the roller coaster.
4. Engineering calculations
Before starting construction, a team of mechanical engineers calculates the size and weight of the elementsfor the structure to be stable. Variables such as load tremor or wind must be taken into account.
Some attractions are susceptible to gusts of wind and use them to their advantage. The so-called rollback effect occurs when the train is unable to counteract the wind at the top of a ramp or loop and reverses its course. This effect is highly sought after among hardcore roller coaster fans.
Large concrete blocks are installed on the ground to support the loading tubes. On top of these tubes , the pieces that make up the route are installed until everything is completed. As an example, we bring you this video of the construction of Red Force, in the Spanish park of Ferrari Land.
The 8 best roller coasters in the world
If your thing is to have a really bad time or you are looking for an extreme experience, we present a list of the best roller coasters in the world.
8. Shambala: Expedition to the Himalayas (Spain)
The route of this rollercoaster is unique, with several hills or camelbacks that will give you the feeling of touching the sky . As if that were not enough, the support only covers the legs. Heart attack!
7. Fury 325 (United States)
Experts in the field agree that the Fury 325 is quite an experience. Not only is it one of the longest and fastest roller coasters, but it has a unique design that has earned it several awards.
6. Steel Dragon 2000 (Japan)
This huge steel colossus is located in the city of Kuwana, in Japan. An imposing construction that appears in the ranking of longest, tallest and fastest attractions in the world.
5. Superman: Escape From Kypton (United States)
The third highest roller coaster in the world with 126 meters high and reaches 160 kilometers per hour in a few seconds. The best: the passengers do the tour on their backs .
4. Red Force (Spain)
Have you ever experienced the sensation of going full throttle with a Ferrari
? Now you can thanks to this gigacoaster that goes from 0 to 180 kilometers per hour in 5 seconds, just before going up and down vertically.
3. Top Thrill Dragster (USA)
The Top Thrill Dragster is not only one of the highest and fastest roller coasters , but its vertical drop makes a corkscrew that will delight the bravest.
2. Kingda Ka (United States)
The previous two have not been able to snatch the position in the ranking from Kingda Ka, the attraction with the most brutal vertical fall in the world (127 meters with corkscrew included).
1. Formula Rossa (United Arab Emirates)
This steel beast accelerates to 240 kilometers per hour in just 5 seconds . Without a doubt, it is the closest thing to driving a single-seater that you will experience in your life. We leave you with this video of his tour in 360 degrees.