Roller Coaster Timeline

Rahman Period 3

Main

Complete Circuit

1873

Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company
This was the first time that the roller coaster track would be all with one rail.

Switchback Railway

1884

LaMarcus Adna Thompson
This innovation was made to let the riders have a longer ride by switching track types during the ride.

Powered Chainlift

1885

Unknown
The powered chainlift helped roller coasters go up steep hills, leading to a big drop, and extending ride time. It hooks onto the train, and a motor pulls the chainlift and train up.

Side Friction Coaster

1902

Leaps and Dips Park
The Side Friction Coaster existed before underfriction became a realistic addition to a roller coaster. Side friction coasters had plates on the sides of the wheels to keep the cars from derailing. A brakeman had to ride on these coasters because they would derail if they went too fast

Edward VII Crowned King

1902

Lapbar

1907

Unknown
The first lapbar helped keep riders in place during a steep bank. It was very unpopular, and took a long time to catch on.

New Mexico becomes a State

1912

Underfriction Roller Coaster

1912

John Miller
Underfriction wheels are above and below the track, keeping the coaster on the tract during intense movement.

Magnet Propulsion

1996

James Powell & Gordon Danby
Magnets and Electrical currents harness electrical currents within the coaster, which propels it.

The Euro currency begins use

1999

First Full Speed Uphill Launch

1999

Bolliger & Moillard
It uses a set of large generators to propel the roller coaster uphill from 0-40 mph in 2.0 seconds.

Magnetic Braking

2000

Unknown
Magnet brakes vary the flow of current in a small magnetic field, which increases durability and cost effectiveness. Most modern coasters have this mechanism.

Hydraulic Catapult

2002

Intamin
Eight huge hydraulic pumps sit under the launch area, and pressurize the hydraulic fluid, sending the roller coaster out at a very high speed. The fastest roller coasters in the world have hydraulic catapults.