Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Original Switchback Railway

The original Switchback Railway of Coney Island was the first roller coaster amusement ride in America designed in 1881 and opened during the summer of 1884. It was designed by LaMarcus Adna Thompson.

Thompson based his design on the coal-mining train Mauch Chuck Switchback Railway (1827).
File:Jefferson plane looking up.jpg
The way the switchback railway worked was that passengers in the ride's cars would be pushed from one tower to coast down track to another tower. On arrival to the other tower the cars were switched to another track to return back to the first tower. "Switched back."
Interestingly the ride's cars were like benches so the passengers would sit sort of side saddle.

To get more P.T.Barnum and American culture into my stand it seems right that I should have a sort of amusement ride that you would find in the later Victorian era and one that was originally American so the Switchback Railway would work. I can create ride cars for it based on transport that Phileas Fogg and Passepartout come across on their adventures and have a bench like seat. I'll have to remember though that historically in this period these rides were made of wood and were not too dangerous.

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