Questions... All help very much appreciated!!!!!

Monday, January 15, 2001 2:11 PM
First of all, a big Coaster-hello to my coaster buds Ryan and Lauren, high five! You guys are so cool. You defy cool, you are just the coolest. Thanks for holding my hand when I was afraid of riding a coaster. Thanks to you I'm over my fear and ready to ride every coaster in the world! Has anyone done that before in history? Maybe that will be my new year's resolution! Anyhoo, I was wondering if anyone knew a couple of statistics I need for a paper I'm writing. Here are the questions: 1. What is the first coaster ever built? (name, location) 2. Who invented the roller coaster? 3. Where is and what are the highest, the steepest, the fastest, and the longest roller coasters in the world? 4. And just a personal question, is there software I can buy to make my own roller coasters? Sorry this post is so long, but this is the coolest sight I've ever been to, I didn't know there were other coaster fans like me! That is just so cool. You guys are so cool! Have a coaster-ful day!
Monday, January 15, 2001 2:16 PM
There is a great roller coaster computer game called Roller Coaster Tycoon. There are 2 expanisions of this game to. Sorry for not answering any of the other questions. To know more on roller coaster tycoon there is a forum for it on this site
Monday, January 15, 2001 2:18 PM
Thanks Flying Force! You are the coolest! You defy cool! Thanks again! I'm going out shopping to get the computer game next time I go out!
Monday, January 15, 2001 2:24 PM
No one really knows who invented the Roller Coaster. The tallest, and Longest, and Fastest coaster is Steel Dragon 2000 in Japan, 318 feet tall, 95 MPH., over 8,000 feet long. Millenium Force is the tallest in the States, 310 feet tall, 300 foot 80 degree, 93 MPH drop.

Get wrapped in the coils of Viper at SFGAm. *** This post was edited by geicu on 1/15/2001. ***
Monday, January 15, 2001 2:26 PM
My details are sketchy, sorry, but here goes:

First coaster? I believe the Russians had "ice slides" back in the 1600's... they're often considered to be the forerunner or today's creations. Pennsylvania's "Mauch Chuck Railway" is probably the first modern coaster. People would sit in old ore carts and ride down a hill, reaching speeds of 60 MPH, if I remember correctly.

Inventor: No clue, sorry.

Highest: Here's a debate that can go numerous directions. If you consider Superman: The Escape at Six Flags Magic Mountain a "roller coaster" (which I do), then it's the tallest at 415'. If you don't, then Steel Dragon 2000 in Japan is the tallest at 318'. However, there's still more directions to take that. I've heard stories of the Pepsi Max Big One being the "highest" coaster in the world due to its location above sea level. Also, there's a coaster at the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas that's over 1000' off the ground. (Oy, I need help with this question. Can somebody help?)

Steepest: Right now, Oblivion at Alton Towers in the UK has the steepest at 87.5. (There's another B&M Dive Machine in Japan which ties Oblivion, I think.) Next year, Hypersonic XLC at Paramount's Kings Dominion will have a full 90 degree drop, not to mention a 90 degree vertical climb.

Fastest: Again, if you consider S:TE to be a coaster, then it gets the record at 100 MPH. If not, Steel Dragon 2000 smokes along at 95 MPH.

Longest: I'm not exactly sure... I know The Ultimate and Steel Dragon 2000 are up there...

Coaster Software: Roller Coaster Tycoon (and its two expansion packs, Corkscrew Follies and Loopy Landscapes) is the only one I've used. There's a ton more, though.

Hope I helped! Please, everyone, check my stats. I'm bound to be wrong on something here...

Matt Lynch
Co-Webmaster, Kennywood Boulevard
Monday, January 15, 2001 2:28 PM
Hey Geicu! Thanks for the info! That really helps me out! Wow, those people in Japan are really lucky! That's interesting that no one knows who invented the roller coaster. Whoever did was a genius! Think about a world with no roller coasters in it! It would be awful!
Monday, January 15, 2001 2:34 PM
Awesome, Lynch! Thank you so much for taking the time! Wow, you are like the coaster expert! I learned something new today! :) That's amazing about the roller coasters, I would love to go on the Steel Dragon in japan, maybe I'll take a trip there this summer so I can ride it. I'll let you all know how it goes. :) Thank goodness we get to ride on real coasters these days and not ore carts. You said that some rides are debated on whether they're coasters or not. So, what IS the definition of a roller coaster? And what makes some rides debatable if they are a coaster or not?
Thanks again for the info, you've been so helpful! You guys are the coolest!
Monday, January 15, 2001 2:43 PM
I consider Superman The Escape a coaster but I consider it a Shuttle coaster but in a diffrent class than other coasters, also there are 2 Super Invertigo coaster's coming out at SFGAm and SFMM that have 90 Degree drop's, and X at SFMM is going to have a 88.5 Degree drop.

Get wrapped in the coils of Viper at SFGAm.
Monday, January 15, 2001 3:01 PM
roller coaster (rlr kstr)
1. A steep, sharply curving elevated railway with small open passenger cars that is operated at high speeds as a ride, especially in an amusement park.
2. Something, such as an action, event, or experience, that is marked by abrupt, extreme changes in circumstance, quality, or behavior: “the demographic roller coaster caused by the baby boom” (American Demographics).
If you go by that first definiton then Superman: The Escape is a roller coaster.

Jack, who can't wait for Opening Day 2001...
Monday, January 15, 2001 3:05 PM

coasterhater said:
"Wow, you are like the coaster expert! I learned something new today!

Thank goodness we get to ride on real coasters these days and not ore carts.

You said that some rides are debated on whether they're coasters or not. So, what IS the definition of a roller coaster? And what makes some rides debatable if they are a coaster or not?"

Haha! Thanks for the compliment, but I'm nothing near "the coaster expert." I've just got a pretty good memory. ;)

They say the carts on the Mauch Chuck Railway were nothing but a car with some benches in it... no lap bars, no over-the-shoulder restraints, no seat belts, nothing! Sure seems weird, doesn't it?

Superman: The Escape doesn't complete a full circuit. It's launched out of the station by linear induction motors (LIMs) and shoots up its 415' spike. Since it doesn't complete a full circuit, many people don't think it's a "roller coaster." Thus, the great coaster debate.

I really don't know what the definition of a roller coaster is. Everybody has their own opinions... if you ask me, S:TE is a roller coaster, but when I think of "the tallest coaster in the world," Steel Dragon comes to mind. I'm wacky like that. ;)

geicu: You know, you're right! Those completely slipped my mind. I guess we're going to have numerous new coasters with vertical (or near-vertical) drops this year. Awesome.

Matt Lynch
Co-Webmaster, Kennywood Boulevard *** This post was edited by Lynch on 1/15/2001. ***
Monday, January 15, 2001 3:31 PM
I heard The Maunch Chuck Railway travled up to speed's of nearly 100 MPH, that's crazy considering the lack of restraints, and the fact it never had a reported accident.

Get wrapped in the coils of Viper at SFGAm.
Tuesday, January 16, 2001 4:50 AM
THe Maunch Chuck Railway reached speeds of a whopping 6 mph!

coasterhater, I'll give you some info once I get home. I just did a big research paper on the history and evolution of roller coasters. I even know the origin of the name. I'll post it later tonight.
Tuesday, January 16, 2001 5:26 AM
I think that the L.A. Thompson Scenic Railway is usually considered the first true coaster. Built by L.A. Thompson (imagine that) at NY's Coney Island. Sorry but I don't remember the year. Do some web searches, most of this info is easily found on various sites.

Tuesday, January 16, 2001 5:30 AM
The Maunch Chunk Railway traveled at 6 mph for most of its journey, which I believe was around 18 miles. However, the reason people rode this thing was because the last mile or so of its journey was completely downhill, and this is where the rumored 100 mph speeds occured. Do I believe the cars actually traveled 100 mph??? Well, not really, but I bet it was still pretty darn fast!

As for the first REAL coaster, La Marcus Adna Thompson invented the first machine we would call a coaster at Coney Island, called the Switchback Railway. The year of the invention escapes me, but I would like to say the 1870's or 1880's.

All of this has been pulled from my memory, so if I'm wrong, would somebody please let me know!


Coasters...the best natural buzz available.
Tuesday, January 16, 2001 6:54 AM
Let's try to narrow this down a bit, shall we?

The roller coaster is generally thought to have its origins in the Russian ice slides, and on with the French revision with the wheeled sleds; apparently there is some evidence that the Russians also used wheeled sleds, and that Catherine the Great was in fact a coaster enthusiast herself.

Then there is the Mauch Chunk Switchback Railroad which was first a coal train, then an excursion train, and it fits in a discussion of roller coasters because it used unpowered cars pulled up a lift hill and then travelled by gravity back down the mountain.

The actual origin of the roller coaster is therefore a bit muddy because it seems that many people at many times came up with the same basic idea: that it is fun to ride a wheeled cart down an undulating track powered only by gravity.

But we can simplify a little bit. These early examples probably qualify as early roller coasters. The Russian and French rides were actually purpose built as ... well, as roller coasters. But to get a simple answer, something we can point to as an inventor and builder of the first modern roller coaster, I think the obvious example is LaMarcus Thompson's Switchback Railway built on Coney Island in 1884. Thompson was the first both receive a United States patent (meaning some authority credits him as the "inventor") AND to actually build a ride. It was not an adaptation of another device (sliding board), it was purpose built as an amusement device (unlike the Mauch Chunk Switchback) and it was constructed as a concession at an amusement center (the beach at Coney Island). So while it isn't strictly accurate to call Thompson's Switchback Railway the first roller coaster, it is, in my opinion, sufficiently accurate for all but the most scholarly of applications.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Tuesday, January 16, 2001 9:00 AM

There have been a couple of coasters with 90º vertical drops already. The two Mr. Freeze coasters come to mind. Ultra Twister was also 88º (or is it 87.5º) long ago. I'm drawing a blank for any others though, there may be more.

Side note: Millennium Force has the steepest straight first drop at 80º for a *full train*, none of this one car schtuff. ;) X will put a stop to that this year, however.

In the future, packages will be sent to distant worlds by BEAMS OF LIGHT! - Space Mountain WDW exit
Tuesday, January 16, 2001 12:56 PM
If you want to be technical about it...

Any coaster which features a vertical loop contains a segment of track with a vertical drop...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Tuesday, January 16, 2001 4:45 PM
The beginning of the roller coaster dates back to late sixteenth and early seventh century Russia. The Russians called these examples of roller coasters ice slides. These ice slides were quite simple. A seventy-foot tower would act as the lift hill. From this tower, a two-foot sled would careen down an ice-covered ramp, and stop at another seventy-foot ramp. This process was repeated for the return trip home. To prevent accidents, an experienced guide would steer the sled. It doesn’t sound really exciting, but it was over four hundred years ago. Sometimes, if it was cold enough, the two-foot sleds were replaced by a giant blocks of ice. I would prefer the sled to an ice block any day. Once this addictive experience was let loose, it spread like wildfire.

During the late eighteenth century, a French traveler discovered this fascinating and unique Russian source of entertainment. He took this knowledge home and created a similar track with closely spaced rollers. Sleds, similar to the ones used in Russia, would then coast on these rollers. Hence the name "roller coaster" was born. After the rollers had been used for a few years, they were replaced with wheels. Despite this change, the name roller coaster has persevered through the centuries.

This is just the history section of my research paper. Most of it is devoted to the question "Do roller coasters harm people?"

If anybody wants to read the whole thing, they could email me. My e-mail is of course under my info button. :)
Tuesday, January 16, 2001 5:12 PM
Ultra Twister at Six Flags Astroworld in Texas is the steepest coaster in the US...for now. 3rd steepest in the World.

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