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A roller coaster wheel assembly. The underfriction wheels are on the bottom. The three sets of wheels clamp onto the track. Roller coaster wheels.jpg
A roller coaster wheel assembly. The underfriction wheels are on the bottom. The three sets of wheels clamp onto the track.

On a roller coaster train, the underfriction, up-lift, or up-stop wheels are a device to keep the train from jumping off the track under intense movement. [1] The design was patented in 1919 by John Miller. [2] [3]

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Roller coaster Ride developed for amusement parks

A roller coaster is a type of amusement ride that employs a form of elevated railroad track designed with tight turns, steep slopes, and sometimes inversions. People ride along the track in open cars, and the rides are often found in amusement parks and theme parks around the world. 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. 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. Two or more cars hooked together are called a train. Some roller coasters, notably Wild Mouse roller coasters, run with single cars.

LaMarcus Adna Thompson

LaMarcus Thompson was an American inventor and businessman most famous for developing a variety of gravity rides.

Vertical loop

The generic roller coaster vertical loop, where a section of track causes the riders to complete a 360 degree turn, is the most basic of roller coaster inversions. At the top of the loop, riders are completely inverted.

Coney Island Cyclone Historic roller coaster in Coney Island, Brooklyn

The Coney Island Cyclone is a wooden roller coaster at Luna Park in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City. Designed by Vernon Keenan, it opened to the public on June 26, 1927. The coaster is on a plot of land at the intersection of Surf Avenue and West 10th Street. The Cyclone reaches a maximum speed of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) and has a total track length of 2,640 feet (800 m), with a maximum height of 85 feet (26 m).

Racer (Kennywood)

The Racer is a wooden racing roller coaster located at Kennywood amusement park near Pittsburgh in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. Built by Charlie Mach and designed by the legendary John A. Miller, the Racer opened to the public in 1927 and is one of the oldest operating roller coasters in the world. It features a Möbius loop layout, in which both of its trains travel along one continuous track. Each train returns to the station on the opposite side of which it began.

4th Dimension roller coaster Type of steel roller coaster

A 4th Dimension roller coaster is a type of steel roller coaster whereby riders are rotated independently of the orientation of the track, generally about a horizontal axis that is perpendicular to the track. The cars do not necessarily need to be fixed to an angle.

Harry Guy Traver was an American engineer and early roller coaster designer. As the founder of the Traver Engineering Company, Traver was responsible for the production of gentle amusement rides like the Tumble Bug and Auto Ride. However, Traver's coasters became legendary for their unique twisted layouts and thrilling, swooped turns. At a time when most coasters were built from wood, Traver was the first coaster builder to utilize steel for the primary structural material.

Storm Chaser (roller coaster)

Storm Chaser is a steel roller coaster at Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Kentucky. Designed by Alan Schilke and built by Rocky Mountain Construction at an estimated cost of $10 million, the ride opened to the public on April 30, 2016. It features three inversions utilizing Rocky Mountain Construction's patented I-Box track technology, a 78-degree drop, and a maximum speed of 52 mph (84 km/h).

John A. Miller was an American roller coaster designer and builder, inventor, and businessman. Having patented over 100 key roller coaster components, he is widely considered the "father of the modern high-speed roller coaster." During his lifetime, he participated in the design of approximately 150 coasters and was a key business partner and mentor to other well-known roller coaster designers, Harry C. Baker and John C. Allen.

Jack Rabbit (Kennywood)

Jack Rabbit is a wooden roller coaster located at Kennywood Park near Pittsburgh in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. Designed and built by John A. Miller and Harry C. Baker, Jack Rabbit opened in 1920, making it one of the oldest roller coasters in the world still in operation, and it's tied with Jack Rabbit at Seabreeze Amusement Park for being the oldest in the United States. The ride's three trains were manufactured by Edward Vettel, Sr. in 1951 and contain three cars of six seats each. The aging cars are considered a part of the ride's nostalgic experience but also lead to some young children being disallowed to enter the ride, due to the use of a small lap bar to hold in riders. A popular early feature of the ride was a tunnel which covered the turnaround section after the first drop, but this was removed in 1947 when the new cars were ordered. In 1991, the tunnel was restored, at a slightly shorter length.

Switchback Railway

The original Switchback Railway was the first roller coaster at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York City, and one of the earliest designed for amusement in the United States. The 1885 patent states the invention relates to the gravity double track switchback railway, which had predicated the inclined plane railway, patented in 1878 by Richard Knudsen. Coney Island's version was designed by LaMarcus Adna Thompson in 1881 and constructed in 1884. It appears Thompson based his design, at least in part, on the Mauch Chunk Switchback Railway which was a coal-mining train that had started carrying passengers as a thrill ride in 1827.

Shuttle Loop Steel roller coaster

Shuttle Loop is a type of steel launched shuttle roller coaster designed by Reinhold Spieldiener of Intamin and manufactured by Anton Schwarzkopf. A total of 12 installations were produced between 1977 and 1982. These 12 installations have been located in a total of 22 different amusement parks.

History of the roller coaster

Roller coaster amusement rides have origins back to ice slides constructed in 18th-century Russia. Early technology featured sleds or wheeled carts that were sent down hills of snow reinforced by wooden supports. The technology evolved in the 19th century to feature railroad track using wheeled cars that were securely locked to the track. Newer innovations emerged in the early 20th century with side friction and underfriction technologies to allow for greater speeds and sharper turns. By the mid-to-late 20th century, these elements intensified with the introduction of steel roller coaster designs and the ability to invert riders.

Rocky Glen Park

Known by a variety of names over its 101-year existence, Rocky Glen Park was a park near Moosic, Pennsylvania. Founded by Arthur Frothingham in 1886 as a picnic park, it was transformed into an amusement park by engineer and entrepreneur Frederick Ingersoll in 1904. The trolley park was a popular Pennsylvania attraction that featured rides, arcades, and restaurants – even as a "wild west" theme park in the 1970s – until its closure in 1987.

Sonoma TrainTown Railroad

The Sonoma TrainTown Railroad is a tourist railroad and 10 acre amusement park in Sonoma, California. Its logo is based on the logo for the New York Central Railroad. Its main feature is a 15 in gauge miniature railway, which closely corresponds to a 1:4 scale model of a 4 ft 8 12 in standard gauge railroad.

Frederick A. Church (1878–1936) was an American engineer and early roller coaster designer. He is most famous for his "Bobs" series of roller coasters that featured severe banking, steep drops, and nonstop action.

National Amusement Devices in Dayton, Ohio was an American construction company founded in 1919 as the Dayton Fun House by Aurel Vaszin. Based on research, they built a 2-foot gauge miniature train that could be either gasoline or electric powered. This resembled a typical standard-gauge center cab electric train as early as 1922. Vaszin was an early environmental idealist and really pushed the idea of electric powered trains, as safer and less polluting.

Harry C. Baker was an American entrepreneur most notable for his involvement with the building of roller coasters. Through partnerships and later, as president of the Harry C. Baker Company, Baker would be involved with notable designs such as the Cyclone at Coney Island, the Blue Streak at Woodcliffe Pleasure Park, and the Kennywood Park Jack Rabbit.

Fury 325

Fury 325 is a steel roller coaster located at Carowinds amusement park in Charlotte, North Carolina. Manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, Fury 325 opened to the public on March 28, 2015. It features a 6,602-foot-long (2,012 m) track that reaches a maximum height of 325 feet (99 m), making it the fifth-tallest roller coaster in the world and the tallest overall among roller coasters that use a traditional chain lift hill. Riders experience speeds of up to 95 miles per hour (153 km/h), winding through high-speed curves and passing over and under the park's main entrance. Fury 325 has also been voted the world's best steel coaster in Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Awards for four consecutive years beginning in 2016, ending Millennium Force's six-year streak.

The Joker (Six Flags Discovery Kingdom)

The Joker is a steel roller coaster at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California. The ride opened on May 29, 2016, as a rebuild of former wooden roller coaster Roar, adding a new steel track on top of Roar's wooden support structure. This hybrid configuration was implemented by Rocky Mountain Construction and is themed to the Joker, a comic book character villain featured in DC Comics publications. The original Roar roller coaster was constructed by Great Coasters International and opened in 1999.


  1. Witter, Bret (2003). Carnival Undercover. Plume. p. 113. ISBN   978-0-452-28428-9.
  2. USpatent 1319888, John Miller,"Pleasure railway structure",issued 1919-10-28
  3. Cartmell, Robert (1987). The Incredible Scream Machine: A History of the Roller Coaster. Popular Press. p. 117. ISBN   978-0-87972-342-2.