Roller Coasters

By: Nicole Kopacz

How Roller Coasters Work

There are mainly two types of roller coasters. The chain lift and the catapult lift.

The traditional chain lifted roller coaster has a long section of chain running up the track. The stops at the top of the hill and restarts at the bottom.

The second type of roller coasters is the catapult-lifted coaster. There are multiple different kinds of catapult coasters but they all piratically work the same way. They work by creating a lot of kinetic energy in a small amount of time weather then dragging the train up a hill. For example the more popular one is known as the linear-induction motor. It has two electromagnets that causes the car to move on it's own.

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First Roller Coaster In America

On June 16, 1884 the first official roller coaster in America opened at Coney Island. It was called Switchback Railway. Created by Le Marcus Thompson, It only went 6 miles per hour and it only cost a nickle. The train would be taken to the to of a tower and left to coast 600 feet.
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Steel Coaster

Roller coasters have been around since the 1400's. The first roller coasters were wooden. It wasn't til the 1900's that steel coasters were introduced. But it still took 50 more years to make it to the U.S. One of the first U.S. steel roller coasters was the Little Dipper. It was created by the Allen Herschell Company in April 1952, Which makes it the oldest steel North American coaster that operates in it's original spot.
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Why are Steel coasters Better?

There are many reasons why steel roller coasters are better. One of the reasons is they ride smoother than the wooden coasters.

For thrill seekers there better because steel is more complex and strong then the wood is. Witch means they can have faster turns and more twist. In fact most of the coasters with tallest, fastest, and steepest coasters happen to have world records.

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World Record Holder

Steel Coaster

The Kinda Ka has the biggest drop, is the tallest and is the second fastest. It drops 418 feet at a 90 degree angle, It is 456 feet tall, and goes 128mph.


Wooden coaster.

The fastest, tallest, and steepest. The ride opened in 2014 at Six Flags Great America. It is the fastest going 72mph. The steepest dropping at 80-degrees. Finally the tallest at 180 feet.