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Always innovating

Great Coasters International (GCI) has been the go-to manufacturer of the world’s highest quality wooden roller coasters for over 25 years. Constantly innovating, the company recently introduced Titan Track, its newest advancement in steel tracks for both wooden and steel coasters. Park World editor, Becci Knowles reports.

D GCI co-founder, Clair Hain

escribed as the “first-real” hybrid and “capable of just about anything”, CGI co-founder Clair Hain explains the engineering behind it. Interestingly, this patent pending steel track system has no welds. A full rivet-based system, Clair says “the goal” was to make it with less inspection or any unscheduled maintenance. “The steel track requires less care than traditional wooden track, which makes upkeep of your coaster made easier and more affordable.” The rivets themselves, should never need to be replaced, he says. All of GCI’s trains are compatible with the new Titan Track. “Loops and corkscrews are now fully capable, and the track may now be used to launch trains,” offers Clair. The new track also allows for a variety of high stress elements not possible with wood. “Titan Track may be used to re-track high-stress segments of wooden coaster track, build full ground-up steel track rides or retrack old rides to add inversions or other new features.” While other hybrid attractions may feature either wooden supports with steel track, or steel supports with wooden track, the Titan Track allows a “seamless transition between steel sections of track and wood sections of track, on any style support system,” says Clair. The benefits of the Titan Track are endless, “no NDT testing, galvanized or painted inside and out, easy


installation and broader with our rides,” are just a few. In fact, GCI recently installed Titan Track on a section of the White Lightning ride at Fun Spot America in Orlando, Florida as a test. “I wanted to see how it works and the difficulty of installation. The park loves it. They have no maintenance in this area.”

Coming up

GCI already has four projects underway in 2021: a hybrid steel coaster with wooden track in Dubai and a wooden coaster in Vietnam. The other two projects are in China, one involving a hybrid steel coaster and the other a wooden coaster. “The ride in Dubai is moving along nicely in Dubai, but the other are slow because of Covid,” says Cain. Despite this, Clair is still on course to build 10,000 feet of steel tracks in 2021.

A brief history

The story of Great Coasters International (GCI) dates back to the early nineties. While working together on Outlaw at Adventureland (Altoona, Iowa), coaster designer Mike Boodley and master coaster builder Clair Hain recognised there was potential to introduce the twister style wooden coaster to the industry. In 1994, having wrapped up construction on the


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