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Roller Coasters


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Wood-Track Structure

A wooden coasters track is supported by a complex maze of trestlework utilizing "bents." These upright members are usually comprised of a pair of tall 4 x 6-inch posts set atop concrete pilings approximately nine feet part. The posts are connected to cross members and bracing. (This bracing varies according to each designer's building style). When the required height of the ride exceeds the available length of timbers, they are spliced together, one atop other, until the necessary elevation is achieved.

The bents are laced together and reinforced by a system of internal and external bracing. On high sections such as the lift hill, tall climbs and on turns, angled batter bracing helps support the structure and absorb the lateral forces generated by the heavy trains. Sometimes chains, steel cables, or other measures are used to maintain structural integrity.

Coasters that utilize galvanized steel for their support structure are constructed in much the same manner as their all-wood cousins. A few woodies even sport a combination of both materials, as stated previously, it is the laminated wood track that classifies a roller coaster as wooden instead of steel.

Taken from:

ROLLER COASTERS by Scott Rutherford

Published in 2003 by Lowe & B. Hould Publishers

Previously published in 2000 by MBI Publishing Company.

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