Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Switchback Wooden Coaster Headed to ZDT's Amusement Park

The IAAPA Trade Show featured the announcement of a brand new "classic" ride by The Gravity Group - the Switchback at ZDT's Amusement Park in Seguin, Texas.

The information card, seen above, that was handed out at the announcement gives a fitting representation of the idea behind the ride, as it will be a modern day switchback railway - only with the thrills needed to keep 2015 audiences interested. 

If you haven't heard of ZDT's Amusement Park, that's probably because they're a family entertainment center that just recently started adding rides and water slides, transforming them into a full amusement park.  They're on quite a roll though, and the addition of Switchback will certainly get their name out there!  Scott was able to interview the park's owners:

Above is a layout of the new coaster.  The ride will start with a traditional lift hill to a height of 63.5 feet, then a 180 degree turn and a plunging first drop.  The coaster will then zoom along several tight curves and air-time hills, the furthest turn will be banked beyond 90 degrees.

After the train covers the 1,175 feet of track it will fly up the 64.5 foot tall Grand Spire, a tower that will deplete the train's momentum while it slowly banks to the left.  When gravity eventually wins the battle, the train will plunge down backwards, and head through the course once more.  This will make the total track length that the trains cover 1,980 feet.

Here is a virtual rendering of the Switchback:

The Gravity Group has released this drawing of the Switchback's over banked turn at the far end of the ride, which maxes out at an impressive 104 degrees.  The ride will be designed to have a total of 8 moments of air-time, five when the trains are moving forward, and three backwards.

Speaking of the trains, there will be two eight-seater Timberliner trains running the course.  This will be possible due to a switch track that is expected to be located on the straight track after the first drop.

Here is a photo of the coaster's train being revealed at the IAAPA Trade Show.  The front car features some great looking custom locomotive theming.

One more photo from the ride's announcement, with eager crowds gathered around to check out what will definitely be one of 2015's most unique new coasters.