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Most unique/noteworthy roller coasters

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I agree with everyone on arrow dynamics. I see it as a tragedy of such a amazing company. Atleast they ended in a bang.

I agree. The thing I would talk about concerning Arrow Dynamics is it is a lesson of how being the innovative benchmarker and segment creator can build you up as a company, but if you don't perfect the design before you release it and strive for continuous improvement and refinements, the bad reputation can lead to your downfall.


No matter how you look at it, Arrow's innovations can still be found today (hyper coasters, corkscrew inversions, etc.) and others have been templates to current attractions (Suspended to the Inverted coaster, 4D to the Winged Coaster).

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Such an interesting class. Include Russian Mountains and the Mauch Chuck Railway as well as the Switchback Railway, Loop the Loops or Flip Flap Railway which had an oval loops instead of a teardrop loop, and the Cyclone at Coney Island, as well as the Crystal Beach Cyclone, that ride looked insane and was in fact dangerous. The Racer at Kings Island really started the silver age of coasters in the 1970s and Magnum which changed the coaster wars from how many inversions you could throw in a roller coaster to height and speed. I imagine that this is probably an engineering class as Carnegie Mellon has an amazing program, but you could also include the shift from a more traditional amusement park (1890s-1960s or so) to the theme park which was brought on by Disney.

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Here's the schedule I settled on a while ago. This is only the first half of the class (the history/background part). It already includes a lot of what has been discussed here (which is good, cuz it means I didn't design a crappy class)


Week 1: Origins (1500s – 1920s)

• Intro to Roller Coasters

• Early Origins of Coasters (Up to 1885)

• LA Thompson and beginning of Amusement Parks

• Trolley Parks and Coney Island

• John Miller + His Innovations


Week 2: First Golden Age, Decline, and Revitalization (1920s – 1976)

• The First Golden Age

• The Cyclones (Coney Island and Crystal Beach)

• Riverview Bobs, Airplane Coaster, and Other Notable Rides

• End of the First Golden Age

• Disneyland

• Racer at Kings Island and the Second Golden Age

• Development of Steel Roller Coasters and Inversions


Week 3-4: Manufacturers and Types

• Early Major Manufacturers

o Arrow Dynamics, Schwarzkopf, PTC, Dinn Corp, CCI

• Modern Major Manufacturers

o Intamin AG, B&M, S&S, GCI, TGG

• Other Manufacturers

o Togo, Morgan, Mack, Maurer Söhne, Gerstlauer, Premier Rides


Week 5: More Background

• Additional Roller Coaster Types

• Inversions

o Vertical Loop, Corkscrew, Cobra Roll, Dive Loop, Immelmann, Zero-G Roll, Heartline Roll, Norwegian Loop, Inclined Loop Interlocking Loops/Corkscrew

• Roller Coaster Records


Week 6: Amusement Parks & Roller Coasters Today

• The Amusement Industry

• Amusement Parks in the USA, Europe, and East Asia

• Amusement Park Chains

• Modern Trends

• Future of Roller Coasters


Week 7: Roller Coaster Failures & Review

• Roller Coaster Failures

• Catch-Up on any skipped topics

• Review for Midterm

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