The roller coaster at Tivoli, 625 metres long, is one of the world's oldest wooden roller coasters still in operation. It is also one of the only seven tracks in the world that has a driver on board, called a brake man. The roller coaster is also the most popular attraction in Tivoli with 1.3 million guests in 2012 alone. It has been ridden by royalty, presidents and pop icons and all Tivoli guests have a fondness of the ride - it has become an attraction within the attraction.
The new design will consist of two mountain tops of which the largest is 26 metres above the gardens. In addition there will be an artificial waterfall with a total drop of over 20 metres on the roller coaster's side. The waterfall will give the feeling of travelling in the mountains. The reconstruction will contribute to the on-going development of Tivoli and will enhance the guests' experience.
Tivoli's Managing Director Lars Liebst says:
"In 2013 Tivoli celebrates 170 years, and we have a few treats for our guests. It will be something special for us to take the world's oldest ride back to its original concept. We would not be the Tivoli that you know if we didn't add a new twist. It ties in with our new entertainment strategy to focus more on rides and constantly develop ourselves in the same way as we have done with the Merry Corner, where three new rides have opened."
The roller coaster will run as normal in the coming season, but will appear revamped in spring 2014. It was built in 1914 by master carpenter Valdemar Lebech, whose descendants still operate some of Tivoli's many stalls. Now the award-winning architect Søren Robert Lund, whose designs include the Arken art museum south of Copenhagen, along with the gardens' own architects and set designers from the development department have been in charge of taking the roller coaster back to its original appearance and giving the ride a new twist.
Søren Robert Lund says on behalf of the architect team behind him:
"We are dealing with a building design, about which millions of people have an opinion, with great reverence. The prior driving experience is maintained with the rumbling noise, but guests can look forward to new experiences, such as when the track sidles through the mountain peak and into one of the mountains, where an ice cave unfolds. Without revealing everything, it will be a ride which appeals to fans of speed and screams and where the waterfall at the top is the icing on the cake."
The track is 625 metres long. In addition, there are 95 metres of sidings and a workshop.
Read more about the roller coaster here
Tivoli has had a roller coaster ("rutschebane") since 1843. The first Rutschbane (without the 'e') caused both joy and indignation. The guests loved the seven thrilling seconds the ride lasted. There was indignation from those who thought people should use their energy on the political situation and spend their money on more useful things.
Tivoli's wooden roller coaster dates from 1914, and is one of the oldest wooden roller coasters still operating in the world. The track is 625m long, and the cars reach a top speed of around 50 km/h.
The track is designed so that no driver is needed in the cars once they are pulled up to the top of the first slope. In other words, the train of cars is driven by the force of gravity. A train of cars with passengers weighs around 4,000 kg. The cars are braked by the driver on all bends so that the speed does not get too high. The brake consists of two metal wings that press against the sides of the track, so braking requires strength.
Electricity was rationed during World War II. The cars of the Roller Coaster were then hauled up the first slope by strong men turning a capstan that was set up on the roof of the track.
The slide was originally built with snow-capped mountain peaks to create the complete illusion of mountains. They were removed in mid-1920s after demands from Copenhagen Council, which did not consider it appropriate that the first thing visitors saw when they came out of the Central Station was a mountain.
The mountain was also made of wood and concrete slabs covered with plaster and painted grey and green to simulate rocks and moss. Later, fibre glass panels were used instead. The Roller Coaster at Tivoli is one of the world's oldest wooden roller coasters still in operation. It is also one of just seven rides in the world that has a driver on board, called a brake man. All maintenance on the Roller Coaster is carried out by Tivoli's own specialists. They replace boards and rails as required, and throughout the year the cars are painted and oiled, and the winch cable is replaced.
Image of the roller coaster 1914