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rec.roller-coaster FAQ, part 2/3: Coaster info, orgs, and refs

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Archive-name: roller-coaster-faq/part2
Last-modified: Thu Oct 05, 1995; 14:48:42 MDT

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
This is part 2 of the rec.roller-coaster FAQ....

2.1: Common abbreviations

A lot of things discussed on rec.roller-coaster are in acronym form.  This
is because writing out "Six Flags Over Texas" several times in a posting is
tedious, at best; ``SFoT'' is much easier to write.  Here are some
abbreviations you're likely to see in discussions on rec.roller-coaster.
Some entries are hypertext links, which can take you to explanations of the
terms or organizations mentioned here. In the plain-text version, these
items are enclosed in angle brackets <<like this>> to let you know to look
for an explanation elsewhere.

    ACE - <<American Coaster Enthusiasts>>
    BGT - Busch Gardens Tampa, Tampa, FL
    BGW - Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Williamsburg, VA
    BTW - By the way
    CI - Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY
    CP - Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH
    DL - Disneyland, Anaheim, CA
    ERT - <<Exclusive Ride Time>>
    FYI - For your information
    GASM - Great American Scream Machine (roller coaster at SFGA, Jackson,
    GP - <<General Public>>
    IAAPA - International Assoc. of Amusement Parks and Attractions
    IMHO - In my humble opinion
    IT - Inside Track magazine
    MACC - <<Mid-Atlantic Coaster Club>>
    NAPHA - <<National Amusement Park Historical Association>>
    PCW - Paramount's Canada's Wonderland, Vaughn, Ontario, Canada (note
    that many people think PCW is Paramount's Carowinds, but I don't think
    we've settled on an acronym for it yet)
    PGA - Paramount's Great America, Santa Clara, CA
    PKD - Kings Dominion, Doswell, VA
    PKI - Kings Island, Kings Mills, OH
    POP - <<Pay One Price>>
    POV - <<Point of View>>
    RC - Roller Coaster
    SBNO - <<Standing But Not Operating>>
    SCBB - Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, CA
    SFGAd - Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ
    SFGAm - Six Flags Great America, Gurnee, IL
    SFAW - Six Flags Astroworld, Houston, TX
    SFMM - Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, CA
    SFoG - Six Flags over Georgia, Atlanta, GA
    SFoMA - Six Flags over Mid-America, Eureka, MO
    SFoT - Six Flags over Texas, Arlington, TX
    TC - Texas Cyclone, Astroworld, Houston, TX
    TPM - <<Theme Park Mentality>>
    WDW - Walt Disney World, Orange County, FL
    WNYCC - Western New York Coaster Club
    WoF - Worlds of Fun, Kansas City, MO

2.2: Definitions of Roller-Coaster terms

Discussions among coaster enthusiasts can soon become awash in jargon.
Below is a list of coaster terms used by enthusiasts when discussing their
favorite subject.  This should help in following along with the discussions
live and in rec.roller-coaster.  It'll also help you impress friends and
relatives with your knowledge of roller coasters.  Cross-references to other
definitions in the list are enclosed in angle brackets <<like this>> in the
plain-text version, and are working hypertext links in the World Wide Web

References to images at the ftp site,, which do a good job
of illustrating the point being defined are listed in square brackets, like
[Images: WHATEVER.GIF].  In the hypertext version, many of the image
references have a hyperlink; in these cases, the image displayed is a
modified (often smaller) version of the actual photo.  This is not an
exhaustive list of all images that show a "whatever," but indicates those
images which do the best job of illustrating the definition.

    Describes the sensation of coming out of your seat when riding a
    coaster.  This effect is usually felt while riding in a front seat when
    cresting a hill or in a back seat when descending.

Banked Turn
    A turn in which the tracks are tilted laterally to allow trains to turn
    at high speeds without undue discomfort to the riders due to <<lateral
    gravity>>.  Note, of course, that enthusiasts _like_ lateral gravity.
    [Images: CB_CYC01.GIF, GA_CYC01.GIF]

    Arrow's name for an element just like a <<Boomerang>>, but a mirror
    image of Vekoma's design.

    B&M's version of a Batwing differs greatly from Arrow's.  It features
    two inversions as well, but it consists of two loops, both angled at 45
    degrees and which face each other in a mirror-image arrangement.

    A section of track which is divided from other sections by brakes, chain
    lift, or some other mean of preventing forward progress of the
    <<train>>.  The safety system prevents two trains from occupying a block
    at the same time.

    There are two different meanings for this term.

     1. A type of coaster manufactured by Vekoma.  It is a variation of the
        <<shuttle loop>> where you are hoisted up an incline, released and
        sent through the loading station into a semi-loop arrangement (as in
        definition 2 below) that inverts you twice, then into a <<vertical
        loop>>.  After this the train heads up another incline and stops.
        The train is then pulled further up the second incline and released
        backwards, goes back through the loop and semi-loop and returns to
        the station.
     2. An element used in a looping steel coaster that inverts you twice
        and also acts as a turnaround.  You enter going up and to the left,
        then the train twists upside down and follows through in an upright
        U-shape, you twist upside down and to the left again, exiting
        upright heading back in the direction you came from.

    [Images:  DRACHEN2.GIF]

Booster Wheels
    The rotating wheels used to move the train near the station, pushing it
    along on flat track.

    An element similar to a <<boomerang>>, but which you exit in the same
    direction entered, rather than making a 180 turn as in a Boomerang.

    Every coasteraholic's nightmare! ...used to slow the train, they are
    located strategically in the circuit to control speeds in areas where
    excessive speed may be undesirable (note that "undesirable" and "unsafe"
    are not necessarily synonymous in this case, see also <<Theme Park
    Mentality>>). Brakes are usually located in the center of the trackwork,
    and not on the cars themselves. There are several different types of
    brakes used on a coaster, they are:

    Check Brake
        A safety device that allows more than two trains to be on the same
        circuit, as part of the "block" safety system. These are usually
        brakes on a ride which don't necessarily slow down the train, but
        separate one block from another. Should a train try to enter another
        block when it is occupied, the safety system will <<set-up>> the

    Scarf Brake
        Used only to slow down a train, and are usually pre-set. The
        difference between a Scarf brake and a Trim Brake is that a Trim
        Brake can stop a train if needed, while a Scarf brake can only slow
        one down.

    Trim Brake
        A brake used to slow the train running the track. This is used when
        the coaster exceeds recommended operating margins.  It is also used
        when the train is causing too much wear on the track from excessive

Brake Run
    A flat stretch of track, usually two to three train lengths, at the
    station approach, where in-bound trains are halted. Since it is very
    difficult to stop a train with wet brakes, this area is usually covered
    to keep the brakes dry during a rainstorm.

Camel Back
    A series of two or more hills, each slightly smaller than the preceding

    Also, B&M's reference to an "in-line" inversion element which can be
    found on their Sit-down and Stand-up roller coasters.

    A unit or part of a coaster train, it usually carries between two and
    eight passengers.

Chain Dogs
    A catch or pawl device beneath the train cars which engages into the
    chain lift.

Chain Lift
    The rolling chain that carries the train to the crest of the lift hill.

Check Brake
    A safety device that allows more than two trains to be on the same
    course. If there is a problem in one "block" of track, the check brake
    will not allow the following train(s) to continue the trackwork.

    A completed journey on a coaster track.

Classic Coaster
    A term used to describe a coaster which is operated and maintained in a
    "classic" sense. These coasters usually run traditional trains, void of
    ratcheting lap bars, seat dividers, head rests, side bars, and other
    modern restraint/safety devices. "Classic Coaster" is also an official
    status given by the American Coaster Enthusiasts to coasters operating
    in the above manner. (The <<list of ACE's Classic Coasters>> appears
    later in this FAQ.)
    [Images: JKRABT_C.GIF]

Cobra Roll
    B&M's version of a <<boomerang>> element, slightly altered to
    accommodate B&M 4-across trains. B&M has slightly different versions of
    the Cobra Roll for their sit-down and <<inverted>> coasters.

    A coaster configuration that includes a horizontal spiral or helix in
    which riders are turned upside down one or more times.

    An Arrow-designed element which consists of a single inversion in a
    180-degree turnaround.

Diving Loop
    A B&M designed element whose inspiration was taken from a stunt plane
    maneuver.  Riders enter the loop in a forward motion as the trains turn
    to the side in a constant arc motion.  Eventually the track inverts
    before riders continue their parabolic curve back towards the ground.
    The Diving Loop can be found on B&M's Stand-up and Sit-Down roller
    coasters, but which is referred to as the "Immelman" Loop when used on
    their <<Inverted>> coasters.

Dog Leg
    A left or right jog or offset in the otherwise straight, flat portion or

Double Dip
    A hill that has been divided into two separate drops by a flattening out
    of the drop midway down the hill.

Elevated Curve
    A type of curve, usually found on an Out-and-Back, where the curve
    descends in height as it curves. These curves are normally banked as
    well (See <<Banked Turn>>).
    [Images: WILDONE4.GIF]

Exclusive Ride Time
    Usually part of an organized Coaster Club's event.  An "ERT" consists of
    a block of time, usually before and/or after a park is available to the
    <<general public>>, in which only the members of the coaster club are
    allowed to ride. This allows the hard-core enthusiast more rides in less
    time. Parks usually make sure their coaster(s) are running better for
    such events, making them even more appealing.

Fan Curve
    There are two somewhat different meanings of "fan curve" floating about.
    A curved called a "fan curve" could actually meet definition 1 below, or
    definition 2, or both.  Confused?  Good. ;^)

     1. A curve with spoke reinforcements radiating from a central point to
        the circumference of the track.

            [Images: RUSA.GIF]

     2. A curve that enters the turn while ascending, and exits the turn
        while descending. These are usually more thrilling than a flat turn
        (See <<Elevated Curve>>).

            [Images: CB_CYC02.GIF]

Figure Eight
    Layout of a coaster resembling the numeral eight, thus allowing both
    right and left turns.

Fine' Del Capo
    A portion of track that quickly ducks under an overhead support in such
    a way as to give the rider a feeling of imminent decapitation. Can also
    refer to the portion of track that first enters a tunnel or covered
    brake run. Those of you who've studied music or Italian may recognize
    the term as Latin for "end of the head." :^)
    [Images: WILDONE2.GIF]

First Drop
    Usually the highest and most exciting drop on a coaster, most often
    following immediately after the chain lift. First drops are usually
    angled at about 50 degrees.

Flat Spin
    B&M's reference for a highly banked, high speed helix.  This element can
    be found on their Sit-down, Stand-up and <<Inverted>> roller coasters.

Flat Turn
    A turn in which the trackwork remains virtually flat (i.e. the opposite
    of a <<banked turn>>). It usually gives the riders the feeling that the
    coaster may tip over, due to <<lateral gravity>>.
    [Images: RUSA.GIF]

Flying Turns
    A term from the original trackless coaster design. This coaster
    resembles a bobsled run with the trains running in a U shaped trough.
    The flying turns from the 1920s and 30s used Cypress wood for its trough
    and maintenance was high. Newer versions of this type use steel for the

General Public
    Literally refers to the non-enthusiasts who attend a park. The term is
    used to connote those park patrons who like their roller coasters a
    little (or a lot) less wild than the average enthusiast does.

Gully Coaster
    A coaster that makes use of the natural terrain and gives an added
    feeling of speed by keeping the track close to the ground through the
    ups and downs.
    [Images: BEASTPC.GIF]

Heartline Coaster
    TOGO's steel coaster in which the center of gravity is designed around
    the riders "Heartline".  Formerly referred to as the "MEGA Coaster",
    TOGO's Heartline Coaster contains drops and inversions very similar to
    Arrow's <<Pipeline>> coaster, but its trains ride on top of the rails as
    opposed to between them.

Heartline Flip
    An element on B&M <<Inverted>> coasters which rotates the train in a
    very small diameter corkscrew, producing a rotation about the rider's
    "heartline".  This is very similar to a barrel roll or B&M's "Camel
    Back" inversion.

    Corkscrew-shaped loops on either a vertical or horizontal plane.  The
    usual meaning is of spiral turns either descending (like going down the
    bathtub drain) or ascending.
    [Images: WILDONE5.GIF]

    Sometimes used in reference to a coaster hill.

Immelman Loop
    B&M's term for their "Diving Loop" as used on their <<Inverted>>
    coasters.  This new element is named after the German stunt pilot whos
    famous air acrobatics inspired this coaster maneuver.

Incline Loop
    B&M's new twist on a vertical loop, which is angled at a 45 degree
    elevation.  This is one-half of B & M's "Batwing" element.

    Any part of a steel roller coaster <<circuit>> that turns you upside
    [Images: DRACHEN3.GIF and many others]

    A coaster that rides below the track rather than on the track.  The cars
    on this type of coaster are rigidly connected to their wheel assembly
    (Compare with <<Suspended>>).
    [Images: BATMAN01-05.GIF, GADVBAT1-6.GIF, TOPGUN01-03.GIF]

Interlocking Loop
    Two <<vertical loops>> that intertwine like two links on a chain. An
    example would be the two loops on the Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens
    in Williamsburg, Virginia.
    [Images: NESSC01.GIF]

Lateral Gravity
    Those forces which pull you to the side of the car (or slam you, as the
    case may be), often found on <<flat turns>>, and often eliminated with
    <<banked turns>> (especially on newer roller coasters).

Loading Platform
    Portion of the station where passengers board the coaster trains.
    [Images: CYCSTAT.GIF]

Long Line
    3600 people waiting in front of you to ride a coaster!

    Term sometimes used in reference to a roller coaster.

Manual Brake
    A hand-operated <<station brake>>, where the train is stopped by the
    muscle power of the operator. Most often found on <<classic coasters>>.
    Sometimes, the operator may not apply enough force and the train will
    overshoot the station. If you're on board when this happens, you'll be
    one of the lucky ones getting a free ride!

Negative G's
    (Short for "Negative Gravity") See <<Airtime>>.

Out and Back
    A style of roller coaster. The name describes the general configuration
    of the ride, basically an elongated oval in which the train goes out to
    a turnaround and then returns to the station. The truest form of this
    would have no other curves besides the turnaround. Another way to do
    this would be to put a couple of 90 degree turns (see <<dog leg>>) in
    the ride giving it a L-shape. In general out and backs have higher
    speeds than designs with more tight turns.

    A coaster hill that has an almost continuous curve and very little, if
    any, straight track.

Pay One Price
    An amusement park admission which includes all rides and shows. The
    alternative is for every ride to require a separate ticket (or tickets,
    as the case may be).

Point of View
    A view of a roller coaster as seen from the rider's point of view. This
    is often done from the front seat, but can be from any seat on the
    train. Both still and moving pictures can be "Point of View." Roller
    coaster designers often create Point of View animations of roller
    coasters that haven't been built yet, to give parks an idea of what the
    ride will be like.
    A coaster design by Arrow Dynamics in which the cars ride between the
    rails, allowing such maneuvers as "barrel rolls" to be performed.  No
    pipeline coasters have been built yet, but similar designs are the TOGO
    Ultra Twister and <<Heartline Coaster>>.  B&M's <<Inverted>> coasters
    feature a <<"heartline">> flip, which is similar to a barrel roll,
    though not exactly the same.

Positive G's
    Those forces which pull you downward, often appearing at the bottom of
    hills, and in steel looping elements.

    Any coaster that runs two trains that leave the station at the same time
    and "race" other, most often on parallel tracks.

    A claw-toothed steel bar running on certain inclines that prevents a
    train from rolling backwards. The ratchet causes the clanking sound
    associated with the chain lift (also referred to as the "anti-rollback"
    device or "Ratchet Dogs"). The ratchet itself does not stop the train.
    This is done by a device affixed to the bottom of the car which catches
    in the ratchet.

    Any occurrence which causes trains to stop outside of the station. This
    may include shutdowns initiated by the safety system, the operator, or
    some other cause.

Shuttle Loop
    A type of coaster where the train travels forward out of the station
    through a vertical loop then up an incline of track that ascends high
    into the air. The train then plummets backwards through the loop and
    through the station, usually to another steep incline, which returns the
    train to the brake run.
    [Images: PYTHON1.GIF]

Side Friction
    A coaster with guide rails located above and on the outside edge of the
    running rails, instead of using guide <<wheels>>.

    One half of Arrow's version of a <<boomerang>> element, which makes a
    90-degree turn.

    A very abrupt, rough drop that sometimes occurs after a major hill (an
    extreme example of <<Airtime>>).

Speed Dip
    A small hill taken at high speeds usually lifting riders off their seats
    (see <<Airtime>>).

Speed Run
    A series of speed dips, usually on the way back from the turnaround on
    an <<Out and Back>> coaster.

    A 360-degree turn.

Standing But Not Operating
    A roller coaster which is no longer operating but has not been
    destroyed. Preservation efforts by the American Coaster Enthusiasts, and
    others, often will focus on these coasters because of their status. They
    could be torn down at any time, and the lack of maintenance will cause
    their condition to deteriorate rapidly.
    [Images: CI_TBOLT.GIF]

    A steel roller coaster, often with one or more inversions, where cars
    are designed for the riders to ride standing up instead of sitting down.
    [Images: SHOCK.GIF]

    A building that houses: ride operators, brake and chain lift controls,
    brake run, loading and unloading platforms, train storage area, and
    often, the train maintenance workshop.

Station Brake
    Standard gear on EVERY coaster. Used for deceleration on return to the
    station (See <<Brake Run>>).

Steel Coaster
    Generally, any coaster with tubular steel rails supported with steel
    framing. Some coasters classified as steel actually have wooden framing.
    Cars usually have nylon wheels that impart a smooth, quiet ride.
    [Images: GASM01A.GIF and many others]

    A coaster that rides below the track rather than on the track.  The cars
    on this type of coaster are designed such that they are free to swing
    relative to their wheel assembly (Compare with <<Inverted>>).
    [Images: BBWOLFC.GIF]

Suspended Looping Coaster
    Vekoma's version of B&M's popular <<Inverted>> coaster. The major
    differences are two-across seating vs. B&M's 4-across, and the track
    fabrication is similar to that found on sit-down Vekoma or Arrow looping

    To date, Vekoma's Suspended Looping Coaster (SLC) are only available as
    production model rides, and not available in custom configurations,
    although two models are available: a SLC "Boomerang" coaster, and a
    5-inversion SLC (which appears to be Vekoma's take on B&M's "Batman"
    <<Inverted>> coaster.

Swoop Turn
    A fast turn that incorporates a dip and a return to the crest of the
    next hill while turning.

Theme Park
    A park, usually of large size, which has one or more "themed" areas,
    with Rides and Attractions keyed to the theme of their location within
    the park. Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Fiesta Texas are all
    excellent examples of theme parks.

Theme Park Mentality
    A derogatory (but sometimes applicable) term which implies a set of
    overly strict, safety conscious rules and operation procedures.

    These policies are there to please the <<general public>> and the park's
    insurance company, not the hard-core enthusiast. :^)

    Note that a park does not have to be a <<theme park>> to suffer from
    "Theme Park Mentality."  There are traditional parks which suffer from a
    lot of TPM, and there are theme parks which suffer from little or no

Traditional Amusement Park
    A park which still holds aspects of its origins in today's modern
    society. Most Traditional Parks grew out of "Picnic Parks" which were
    located at the end of trolley lines.  Kennywood, Whalom Park, and
    Lakeside are all excellent examples of Traditional Parks.

    A series of two to seven cars hooked together to make a circuit of the
    coaster track.
    [Images: RACER2.GIF]

    Usually the turn located farthest from the station (usually on an
    <<Out-and-Back>> style coaster) after which the trains begin their

    Just like it sounds. The configuration of this type of coaster is varied
    and has multiple turns, often in a Figure 8 layout. The Coney Island
    Cyclone, the Riverside Cyclone, Mr. Twister, and the Texas Giant are
    good examples of a twister. You can expect the unexpected. A good
    twister will disorient you!

Unloading Platform
    Portion of the station where passengers unload from the coaster train.
    Modern coasters have combined the loading and unloading platforms into
    one quick-moving operation.

Vertical Loop
    A nearly closed vertical turn of 360 degrees in which riders are turned
    upside down in a transitional curve in a near-vertical plane.
    [Images: PHANTOM3.GIF]

    A coaster car uses 3 different types of wheels:

      * Guide Wheel - A set of wheels which guide the train so that it does
        not leave the track sideways (also known as Side-Friction wheels).

      * Road Wheel - A wheel that actually rides on the top of the track.

      * Upstop wheel - A set of wheels which ride underneath the track to
        keep the train from jumping off or leaving the trackwork (also
        referred to as "Undershot" or "Underside" Friction wheels).

Wild Mouse
    A small steel coaster featuring small cars (big enough for two adults);
    sharp, unbanked turns; quick, steep drops (heavy on the airtime); and,
    in general, a very rough and wild ride.

    An element on B&M coasters similar to a <<corkscrew>>, but more like an
    extended <<vertical loop>>.

Wooden Coaster
    Generally, any coaster with laminated wooden rails, to which flat steel
    rails are attached. Supporting members are usually wooden, however, some
    coasters classified as wooden actually have steel framing (e.g. Crystal
    Beach Cyclone, Coney Island Cyclone, and Frontier City's Wildcat!).
    [Images: CYCLONE1.GIF]

2.3: American Coaster Enthusiasts - ACE

The American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) is a non-profit organization that was
established to promote roller coasters, and their preservation,
documentation, and information.  The annual fee is $50 for an individual.
The rate for a couple is $65. (ACE has a very loose definition of couple --
two people living at the same address.) Additional family members can be
added for $5 each.  Membership includes four high-quality magazines a year
and newsletters approximately every six to eight weeks.

Get-togethers include an annual convention and usually two or three
conferences.  In many cases these events coincide with the opening of a new
roller coaster and they almost always will feature some Exclusive Ride Time.

Several parks provide free or discounted admission to ACE members.  Parks
providing free admission are Frontier City, Oklahoma City, OK; Magic
Springs, Hot Springs, AR; and Worlds of Fun, Kansas City, MO.

The ACE application is available from a few places on the internet.  You can
get it from:

  * (The home page of
    former ACE Membership director Gary Aulfinger.)
  * email to current ACE Membership director Brian Peters at
  * email to Bill Buckley, ACE Regional Representative for the New England
    region at

The slowest way is to write to:

	American Coaster Enthusiasts
	P.O. Box 8226
	Chicago, IL  60680

If you don't have a postscript printer, you'll have to contact one of the
ACE representatives listed above or write directly to ACE to get a hard-copy
version of the application.

Remember that all of this work is done on a volunteer basis, so if you don't
hear from them right away, be patient.

2.4: Mid-Atlantic Coaster Club - MACC
The Mid-Atlantic Coaster Club is a fairly good-sized regional club.  It is
based out of the Virginia area, but members are welcomed from any state.
There is a monthly newsletter called The Front Seat which keeps members up
to date on club activities, etc.

Among these activities is the annual Screamfest convention, usually held in
early Spring, as well as a late Summer event of some sort.  As usual, the
highlight of this event is the exclusive ride time available only to club

The annual membership fee is only $15 for an individual, and $20 for a
couple (family rates may be available, but you'd have to inquire).  For
membership, please send a check (payable to Steve Thompson) to the following

	Steve Thompson
	7532 Murillo Street
	Springfield, Virginia  22151


2.5: Western New York Coaster Club - WNYCC

The Western New York Coaster Club (WNYCC) is a fairly good-sized regional
club.  It is based in the Buffalo/Rochester area, but there are many members
from just about every state.

Meetings are held in various areas of western NY state.  There is a monthly
newsletter called the Gravity Gazette that keeps members up to date on club
activities.  The Gravity Gazette centers around articles written by the
members themselves, giving a very intimate, inclusive feeling to the

Among these activities are an annual Coasterfest (usually on Memorial Day
weekend).  As with events of other clubs, you can expect to get in some
exclusive ride time.  Most of the time there is *at least* one dinner
included in the registration fee.

The annual membership fee is only $15 for an individual and $20 for a

The membership address is:

        Mr. Rick Taylor
	WNYCC Membership Director
	4731 Forest Grove
	Ft. Wayne, IN  46835

2.6: Great Ohio Coaster Club - GOCC

The Great Ohio Coaster Club is a non-profit, social organization for the
simple enjoyment of the roller coaster and amusement parks.  It is based
around the Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown area but members are from all over
Ohio plus Pennsylvannia, Michigan and Texas.  To keep gatherings and events
friendly the membership is limited to 200 members. Currently there are about
50 members.

The club plans four or five trips each year plus a Christmas Party.
Membership dues are $20.00 individual, $30.00 couple.  The club's newsletter
The Streak is published six times a year.

The address to write for membership is:

    Jeffrey L. Seifert
    9600 Cove Dr #4
    North Royalton, Ohio  44133-2769

    e-mail: Jeffrey263@AOL.COM

2.7: First Drop - U.K. Coaster Club

Coaster clubs are not confined to the U.S.! There is a club in the United
Kingdom with a bi-monthly newsletter, which keep tabs on all the coasters
across ``the pond''. There has actually been quite a bit going on in the

The address is:

	First Drop
	Coaster House
	16 Charles Street
	UB10 0SY

The membership rate, payable in check, postal order, or International money
order to FIRST DROP is:

	U.K.:              15 pounds
	Europe:            17.50 pounds
	USA and Canada:    20 pounds
	Rest of the world: 22.50 pounds
	Corporate:         35 pounds (UK and Europe)
	                   40 pounds (Rest of the World)
	Additional family members (at same address) are 2.50 pounds

	If you pay in U.S. funds, add $3.00 for bank handling fees.

2.8: National Amusement Park Historical Association -

NAPHA Is a non-profit organization formed in 1978 to preserve and display
items of amusement park memorabilia (past and present), document park
history, enable people with common interest in parks to meet and exchange
ideas, and in the future, to open the Amusement Park Historical Society.

Membership per year is $30.00/individual, $40.00 for Family or corporate
membership (USA). International rates are $40.00 individual, and $50 for
family and corporate memberships. Check or money order can be made payable
to ``N.A.P.H.A.'' Membership includes 6 newsletters/year, park discount
tickets, and an annual convention, usually held in IL.

For membership, write to:

	National Amusement Park Historical Association
	P.O. Box 83,
	Mt. Prospect, IL  60056

More information on NAPHA, including a membership application, is available
at or via email to

2.9: National Carousel Association - NCA

The National Carousel Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to
the appreciation and conservation of the hand-carved wooden carousels. This
group is not really coaster-related, but an item of nostalgia which may be
of interest to readers.

The NCA's annual membership fee is $30.00 (at least $5 of this goes directly
to carousel preservation), and the club offers a magazine/ newsletter
arrangement similar to the ACE schedule: 4 magazines/year
(Merry-go-Roundup), and 6 newsletters/year. A yearly convention is also
standard fare.

Inquires for more information on the organization, or for membership
requests, should be sent to:

	National Carousel Association
	P.O. Box 4333
	Evansville, IN 47724-0333

2.10: Books on Roller Coasters and Amusement Parks

    Published by ACE in 1991.  Lists the _major_ roller coasters located in
    North America. Features photos of most rides, and a full description of

    Ordering info:

    	$17.95 US and Canada
    	$21.95 all other countries
    	American Coaster Enthusiasts
    	c/o John Page
    	6108 Sherman Drive
    	Woodridge, IL  60517

    Written by Tim O'Brien.  Lists nearly every amusement park on this
    continent! Lists parks alphabetically by state then Canada and Mexico.
    Published mid-1991 but includes some rides to open in 1992.

    Ordering info:

    	Cost: $12.95
    	The Globe Pequot Press
    	"A Voyager Book"
    	ISBN 0-87106-300-x

    Published by AAA. Lists selected Amusement and Theme parks.  Not all
    parks in either category are listed.  Parks are listed by region.  Lists
    all rides and attractions by name including description.  Published
    Spring 1990.  Available in most book stores in the TRAVEL section.

    Written by Judith A. Adams, this traces the history of amusement parks
    from Bartholemew's Fair in 1614 to current.  Covers the rise and decline
    of trolley parks, offers an in-depth critical look at the Disney Parks,
    and covers the current success of theme parks.  Often viewed from a
    socio-economic perspective, it can be a trifle dry at times, but
    contains a lot of historical data.

    	Twayne's Evolution of Business Series
    	Twayne Publishers
    	ISBN 0-8057-9833-6

_THE INCREDIBLE SCREAM MACHINE: A History of the Roller Coaster_
    by Robert Cartmell. This book traces the roller-coaster from its origins
    in Russia and Paris to America.  It discusses the early rides, and how
    John Miller revolutionized coasters.  It goes on to talk about Traver
    and Theme Parks in general.  This book is illustrated with many
    photographs, including photos of Miller's rides, Traver's twisted (some
    might say ``demented'') metal coasters with wooden tracks, and the old
    switchback railways.

    	Bowling Green State University Popular Press
    	(419) 372-7865
    	Price: $42.95 (hardback)  $25.95 (paperback)

    by Gary Kyriazi.  Published in 1976 by Castle Books.  This is an older
    book with loads of facts and photos (somewhat dated, of course, but
    reportedly worth it if you can find a copy).  I don't have any other
    info on this book.  Feel free to contribute!

_ROLLER COASTERS: an illustrated guide to the rides in the United States and
Canada, with a history_
    by Todd H. Throgmorton, published 1993 by McFarland & Co., Jefferson,

    I don't have nay more info about this book, but thanks to Martin I
    Lewison ( for providing this much.
_Kennywood: Roller Coaster Capital of the World_
    by Charles J. Jacques, Jr. (1994) published by Amusement Park Journal,
    is available from the publisher (for about $20) at:

    	Amusement Park Journal
    	P.O. Box 157
    	Natrona Heights, PA  15065

_Cedar Point: The Queen of American Watering Places_
    by David Francis and Diane Francis (1988) published by Summertime
    Publications, P.O. Box 16, Wadsworth, Ohio, 44281. This book is
    apparently sold at Cedar Point.

A place to try for ordering some of these books if your local bookstore
doesn't have them or can't get them in, is:

	Gunther Hall, Limited
	P.O. Box 140
	Alton Bay, New Hampshire 03810
	(603) 875-2248

Call or write and ask for their list of coaster products. You also might try
bookstores specializing in out of print books and/or used bookstores for
some of the older books mentioned here.

2.11: Magazines

    is the quarterly magazine of the American Coaster Enthusiasts and is
    included with ACE membership.  See the section on <<ACE>> above for
    further info.

_ACE News_
    is the newsletter that is included with ACE membership.  This is where
    you'll read about the latest happenings in the coaster industry.  ACE
    News comes out about every 6 weeks.

    ACE News can be reached on the Internet at ""

_Inside Track_
    is a magazine that is worthwhile for new information on roller coasters
    and amusement parks in general.  It is a newspaper format, published
    monthly, and very professionally done.

    Along with news on new coasters, there is info on park closings, coaster
    designers and amusement ride innovations, and a section called APtv
    (Amusement Park Television) that'll give you info on videos and feature
    movies with coasters and parks in them.  Inside Track is highly
    recommend for those that want to keep tabs on what's happening in the
    Amusement Park Industry.

    For a subscription in the US send your address and $20 to:

    	Mark Wyatt, Editor & Publisher
    	Inside Track
    	P.O. Box 7956
    	Newark, DE  19714-7956

    	The subscription rate for those outside the US is $30.

    	Inside Track can be reached on the Internet at ""

_The Ride_
    is a newsletter magazine, published quarterly, which maintains an
    international focus on amusement parks, roller coasters, and the latest
    industry technology. _The Ride_ is acquiring a reputation for breaking
    the latest/hottest news in the Amusement Park industry.  The newsletter
    mirrors the look, layout and laid-back feel of the original _Inside
    Track_. The magazine's "Hit List" publication annually generates quite a
    buzz in the industry -- a survey like no other, one has to read it to
    appreciate its unique approach to what's hot and what's not!

    For subscription information, please contact:

    	Steve Urbanowicz
    	THE RIDE  
    	P.O. Box 8345
    	Jersey City, NJ  07306  

    	THE RIDE can be reached on the Internet at ""

_First Drop_
    is the magazine of the <<First Drop Roller Coaster Club>>.  It's a very
    well-done magazine that is something of a combination of newsletter and
    glossy magazine.  It also has a wonderfully informal, "you're among
    friends here" feel.

_At the Park_
    is published by Yellow Dot Publishing, and is by-and-large the
    brainstorm of long-time ACE corporate member Allen Ambrosini.  This is
    more a journal for the amusement park industry than for the average
    coaster enthusiast; however, the magazine is TOP NOTCH in design and
    format (contains excellent 4-color photographs of today's top coasters
    and parks!), with very well-written articles, and a sensible, enjoyable
    layout.  You'll learn much more about the industry as a whole.  It's a
    highly recommended as an addition to ACE News or Inside Track. A one
    year subscription (5 issues) costs:

    	USA:                   $24.95 
    	Canada and Mexico:     $31.95 
    	Outside North America: (Please inquire with publisher)

    Send your name and address to:

    	At The Park Magazine
    	P.O. BOX  597783
    	Chicago, IL  60659-7783

_E Ticket_
    is published two or three times per year, and features stories focused
    primarily on the Disneyland of the 50s and 60s.  (The full title of the
    magazine is ``The `E' Ticket -- Collecting Theme Park Memories.'')
    Though Disneyland is the primary focus, the magazine covers other
    California parks as well, such as Pacific Ocean Park and Knott's Berry
    Farm.  Each issue is about 35 pages long.  For a sample issue, send $6

    	The ``E'' Ticket
    	20560 Alaminos Drive
    	Saugus, CA  91350

    If anyone has info about ordering from outside the US, I'd be happy to
    add it.

_Amusement Business_
    a weekly publication which covers ALL aspects of the entertainment
    industry: water parks, amusement parks, theme parks, traveling
    carnivals, state fairs, concerts, sporting events, trade shows, ANYTHING
    to do with public supplied entertainment!

    AB is always on the ball about the latest and hottest news!! AB is a bit
    pricey, though.  There are a large variety of prices, but here are a few

    	Subscription  --         pre-paid     billed
    	USA, 6 month  --             $75         $85
    	USA, 1 year  --              $99        $119
    	Canada, 1 yr, airmail --    $169        $189
    	Canada, 1 yr, surface --    $115        $135
    	(and too many other options to mention here...)

    Inquiries, information, and subscriptions can be sent to:

    	Amusement Business
    	Subscription Dept.
    	P.O. Box 5022
    	Brentwood, TN  37024-9771
    	Subscriptions: (800) 999-3322
    	Other info: (615) 321-4250
    	FAX: (615) 327-1575

    	Amusement Business can be reached on the Internet at ""

2.12: FTP site

The ``official'' ftp site for rec.roller-coaster is  The
good stuff is in directory /pub/Coasters.  You'll find all sorts of goodies,
including images (in JPG and GIF formats), descriptions/reviews of parks and
coasters, track definition files for Disney's "Coaster" program, and this
FAQ.  Check the file Coasters.lis, which is an index of what's available.

Please limit your ftp usage to after hours, Eastern Time.

If you have anything to contribute to the FTP archive, send it to Ken

2.13: Other stuff of interest

This section lists some other things available "out there" that you may find
of interest. No guarantee is implied by their mention here, but you may want
to check them out.

Windows screen saver

There is a screen saver for Microsoft Windows that runs a simulation of a
roller coaster.  It's available by anonymous ftp from
as /pub/pc/win3/desktop/


A Roller Coaster Calendar is published by Moor Publishing.  For ordering
info contact:

	Moor Publishing
	1209 Hill Road North
	Suite 127
	Pickerington OH  43147-8600

	Cost: $11.95 + Shipping and handling

The 1995 calendar features the following coasters:

    Jan     Great American Scream Machine, Six Flags over Georgia (daytime)
    Feb     Batman The Ride, Six Flags Magic Mountain (daytime)
    Mar     Hurler, Paramount's Carowinds (daytime)
    April   The Bat, Paramount Canada's Wonderland (daytime)
    May     Thunderbolt, Kennywood (daytime)
    June    Desperado, Buffalo Bill's (daytime)
    July    American Eagle, Six Flags Great America (daytime)
    Aug     Nemesis, Alton Towers (daytime)
    Sep     Le Monstre, Le Ronde (daytime)
    Oct     King Cobra, Paramount's Kings Island (daytime)
    Nov     Top Gun, Paramount's Great America (daytime)
    Dec     Vortex, Paramount's Carowinds (night)

Special thanks to Bill Buckley for these descriptions!

2.14: Amusement Industry Jobs

A lot of us would love to be a roller coaster designer.  We often see posts
from people asking how to get such a job.  Here are some
comments/advice/etc. on coaster-designing jobs, mostly from people who don't
have such jobs, so take it all with a few grains of salt.

  * A lot more people want to design roller coasters than can find jobs
    doing it.  Be aware of that before setting your hopes too high.  Don't
    quit your day job, as they say. For example, Arrow Dynamics employs
    about a dozen engineers, and has low turnover.  The other coaster
    designers are probably similar.
  * Mechanical and electrical engineering are the most used disciplines.
    Arrow also has two civil engineers.
  * Get some industry design experience first. Remember these companies are
    small, and don't have the ability to train new-hires like a Boeing or
    IBM would.
  * If you _do_ get a job with an amusement design company, recognize that
    you're probably not going to start off designing the next big bad roller
    coaster.  You may design a spinning kiddie ride.  Or an insignificant
    component of a spinning kiddie ride.
  * You can get company addresses from the ACE Directory, phone books, the
    Thomas Register of Suppliers, and no doubt other sources. Make friends
    with your local librarian.  They like looking things up --that's why
    they're librarians.  It'll cost you $0.32 + paper and time to send a
  * Do as much research as you can before you fire off resumes!  Join ACE.
    Go to the ACE conventions.  Talk to people. Go to the IAAPA Convention
    (but be forewarned that this is a *business* convention, and if you go
    barging in with your resume in hand you may not make too good an
    impression; talk to people and see if you can make appointments; do this
    *before* going to the convention).  Subscribe to Amusement Business.
  * If you're still in school, get a summer job at an amusement park.  Try
    for operations or maintenance (sorry, experience in food service won't
    do you too much good ;^) ). Learn everything you can about the rides and
    how they're operated and maintained.

Still want to do it?  Good luck!  We look forward to riding your creations.

Geoff Allen, Washington State Univ, School of EE & CS, sysadmin support guy
( || &&
Please remain seated and keep your hands and arms above your head
	       at all times.  Enjoy your ride.

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