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Park News

Texas Switchback Introducing the world's first wooden shuttle coaster

Maurer X-Train 62ft Ever

heard of ZDT's Amusement Park in Texas? After the installation of new coaster this coming season, something tells us a lot more of you will. The park's largest attraction to date, Switchback from the Gravity Group will be the world's only wooden shuttle coaster, and will allow riders to run the entire course of the ride twice without sacrificing the initial over-hill drop. A track switch at the end of the ride will shift the riders back to where they started. The new attraction is inspired by America's

first-ever rollercoaster, the Switchback Railway at Coney Island, New York. This 1884-built construction took riders back and forth on a straight wooden track at just 6mph (yes, six miles an hour) and set the path for a revolution in rides that is still being felt today. Many other Switchbacks were built around the world, with a handful still remaining.

The 21st Century Switchback takes an initial

A pre-show on a funfair?

The Norwegian fairground operator Lund’s Tivoli is to take delivery this spring of a 35m- tall High Swing ride from KMG, named Dragens Nest. To elevate the attraction to a theme park style level rarely seen on a travelling fair, operator Aasmund Lund is committing more than half his total budget to a pre and post-show experience. Before riders take their seats on the 24- passenger swing ride, which will feature new inline elevated seating, they will be greeted by an animated smoke-breathing dragon as they pass through the pre-show queuing area (by Gosetto). After hopping off the attraction, they will enter a gift shop, where they can join their non-riding friends upstairs for a drink or a snack in the viewing area. In 2016, the attraction will be expanded further with the addition of a “train your dragon” style show. The total budget, when complete, will be around €3 million.

The Lund family is a major force in the Norwegian amusement industry, with roots in the business going back over 120 years. As

10 JANUARY 2015

(19m) plunge, flies through buildings and then heads straight up a

dead-end spire only to fall backward and run the whole track again in reverse. The track length is 1,175ft (358m), but the ride experience will be almost double that at 1,980ft (604m). A nod the past will come in the shape of a custom-designed Timberliner train featuring a steam locomotive style front car.

Since opening in the city of Seguin in 2007, ZDT's Amusement Park has grown rapidly and is now a popular destination for families in central Texas. Starting with a single building and five attractions, this family owned park has now grown outside its walls to include a total of 13 indoor and outdoor attractions. Throughout its expansion, ZDT's has maintained much of the original architecture of the grounds, incorporating a medley of grain storage silos and processing mills along with cattle and wholesale grocery centres.

well as the travelling show, it also operates the Kongeparken theme park near Stavanger, a summer music festival in Bergen, and has recently taken control of an animal park in the south of Sweden.

“In 2013 we bought a Speed ride from

KMG called Go-2-Gate, complete with a nice airport theme,” Aasmund Lund tells Park World. “Then, after picking up two Thea Awards for theming of attractions at Kongeparken, we decided we should take things to the next level with the travelling show. Dragens Nest is a big gamble for us, but we hope that our customers will embrace the concept.”

launches in China Now in soft opening phase at Romon World in Ningbo, China, Dragon Flight, is the first rollercoaster from Maurer Söhne to use the German maunfacturer’s new X-Train. Based on the award winning X-seat , the ergonomic seat shell and lap bar design offers riders the highest level of comfort and safety. Individual cars are connected in a “rickshaw” formation with single axis cars joined to the front twin axis vehicle via spherical bearings. The seats are positioned in a V-shape formation on a single level, keeping the centre- of-gravity low while offering each rider a perfect, unobstructed view. The king pin steering is combined with a side wheel suspension which also increases the ride comfort and reduces the load on the components for outstanding durability. Dragon Flight, seen here with water-filled dummies during testing, is set for an official launch (excuse the pun) in time for Chinese New Year in February. The launch coaster takes its passengers along more than 1km (1,100m) of track and combines breathtaking speed and acceleration with spectacular ride elements. Maurer’s “Flying Launch“ makes it possible to eliminate the station brakes. Instead of the abrupt stop before the station the train roars through and is accelerated again to full speed for a second round, catching the riders by surprise. Braking energy is recovered by supercaps and then used for the next launch sequence.

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