The track consists of a thin layer of steel mounted on laminated wood. Supports are made of either wood or steel.
Switchback Railway (1884)
Oldest in Operation
A wooden roller coaster is one that has a track built largely out of wood. The rails typically consist of a thin layer of steel mounted on laminated wood.
Traditionally, wooden roller coasters are manufactured onsite by a carpentry team. However Intamin now offer prefabricated wooden coasters, the first of which opened in 2001. Prefabricated wooden coasters are manufactured in pieces in a factory and assembled onsite, allowing them to be manufactured more precisely and theoretically provide a smoother ride.
In recent years, Rocky Mountain Construction have began manufacturing wooden roller coasters with thicker steel track, blurring the lines between wood and steel roller coasters.
Notable wooden roller coasters
- The Beast - Opened as the longest roller coaster in the world. The ride is now the third longest over all, but is still the longest wooden coaster.
- Son of Beast - The tallest wooden roller coaster ever built, at 218 feet (66.4 meters). It was also the first modern wooden roller coaster with inversions. It was demolished in 2012.
- Leap-the-Dips - Currently the oldest operating roller coaster in the world. The ride opened in 1902.
- El Toro - Winner of the 2013 Mitch Hawker's Poll.
- The Voyage - Voted as the best wooden from 2007-2011. The top speed is 67.4 mph and it provides one of the longest amounts of airtime on a wooden roller coaster at 24.2 seconds.
- Outlaw Run - The first wooden roller coaster with multiple inversions.
- Lightning Rod - The first launched wooden roller coaster and the world's fastest wooden roller coaster at 73 mph.
|Types of roller coaster|
|Track materials||Hybrid • Steel • Wooden|
|Scale||Kiddie • Family • Hyper (200+ feet) • Giga (300+ feet) • Strata (400+ feet)|
|Train configurations||4th Dimension • Bobsled • Flying • Inverted • Motorbike • Pipeline • Side Friction • Spinning • Stand-Up • Suspended • Winged|
|Track layouts||Figure 8 • Out and Back • Wacky Worm (Big Apple) • Wild Mouse|
|Multi-tracked||Number of tracks: 2 (twin, möbius) • 3 (triple) • 4 (quad) • 6 (sextuple)|
|Style||Mine Train • Water (liquid) • Virginia Reel|
|Situation||Enclosed • Indoor|
|Track configurations||Single rail|