ALPINE COASTERS

a.k.a Mountain Coasters

Smoky Mountain Coaster
Smoky Mountain Coaster in Tennessee, USA.

 

Alpine Coasters (or Mountain Coasters) are similar to, and were inspired by, Bobsled Coasters, but use rails instead of a trough to form the track. The use of rails means the rides can operate all year round, replicating traditional ice formed bobsleds. Alpine Coaster sleds are safely attached to the track in a similar method to roller coaster trains, using side friction and up-stop wheels.
Alpine Coasters either have a double rail system, similar to a roller coaster, or a singular rail like a monorail. Unlike a roller coaster, riders control the speed of the sled using break levers, although anti-collision and other safety systems prevent dangerous riding. Riders feel exposed on an Alpine Coaster which can create a heightened sense of speed and intensity.

The Original

BRANDAUER ALPINE COASTER

Poletno Sankanje Straža Bled
Poletno Sankanje at Straža Bled in Slovenia.

The first Alpine Coaster to open in 1996 was created by German manufacturer Brandauer at the Karkogel Resort in Austria. The ride, Sommerrodelbahn, is 36,512 feet (1,133m) above sea level and travels down 6,496 feet (1,980m) of track into a valley while transversing though fast turns, steep slants and tunnels at a speedy 19 mph (30 km/h).
Brandauer Alpine Coasters are recognised by their singular tube tracks made from aluminium. Brandauer has installed more than 35 Alpine Coasters and are mostly found in Europe.

Variations

WIEGAND ALPINE COASTER

Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster
Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster in Tennessee, USA.

Josef Wiegand, founder of German toboggan company Wiegand, is credited with developing the first Mountain Coaster to use parallel steel tracks. Wiegand’s first installation to open using the trademarked term “Alpine Coaster” was Rhönbob at Ski- und Rodelarena Wasserkuppe in Germany, in 1997. Wiegand Alpine Coasters are by far the most popular with over 170 installations worldwide and can reach speeds up to 25 mph (40 km/h).

Operating examples:

Glenwood Caverns Alpine Coaster, USA
Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster, USA
Coaster at Goats on the Roof, USA
Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster, USA

 

AQUATIC DEVELOPMENT GROUP ALPINE PRODUCTS

Ski Mountain Coaster Ober Gatlinburg
Ski Mountain Coaster at Ober Gatlinburg in Tennessee, USA.

Designed and manufactured in the USA, ADG Alpine Products boast their installations have “more dips, more turns, more zigs and zags, more ups and downs” than any other alpine coaster manufacturer. ADG Alpine Coasters have a parallel rail design similar to Wiegand’s.
ADG was first Alpine Coaster to market with a patent-pending collision avoidance system that delivers all the exhilaration of a rider-controlled experience.