Vuoristorata

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Vuoristorata
Linnanmäki Vuoristorata.jpg
Linnanmäki
Coordinates 60°11′19″N 24°56′30″E / 60.18861°N 24.94167°E / 60.18861; 24.94167Coordinates: 60°11′19″N 24°56′30″E / 60.18861°N 24.94167°E / 60.18861; 24.94167
Status Operating
Opening date July 13, 1951 (1951-07-13)
Cost 48,000,000 FIM (1951)
General statistics
Type Wood
Manufacturer Svend Jarlström
Designer Valdemar Lebech
Model Side friction
Lift/launch system Cable lift hill
Height 75.2 ft (22.9 m)
Drop 75 ft (23 m)
Length 3,149.7 ft (960.0 m)
Speed 37.3 mph (60.0 km/h)
Inversions 0
Capacity 1500 riders per hour
Vuoristorata at RCDB
Pictures of Vuoristorata at RCDB

Vuoristorata is a roller coaster in the Finnish amusement park Linnanmäki. It opened on July 13, 1951 and was designed as a temporary attraction for the Linnanmäki park, opened in 1950. One of the main reasons for its construction was to attract tourists of the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. Since then, its temporary status was renewed for extended periods, until eventually it was regarded as a permanent structure. It is the most legendary amusement ride in Finland, and a symbol of the Linnanmäki park; even the old park logo has a shape representing the lifts of Vuoristorata. "Vuoristorata" is simply "roller coaster" in Finnish (literally: vuoristo = mountain range, rata = track; mountain range track). Vuoristorata has never had a name differing from the general word used for roller coaster rides.

Vuoristorata seen from the Panorama Tower

Vuoristorata is also notable for its features. It is actually a copy of another roller coaster, Rutschebanen opened in 1932, in Dyrehavsbakken, Denmark. Valdemar Lebeck, the man who designed both of these tracks (and a few others), simply took the original blueprints of Rutschebanen, which had been downscaled due to changes in location, and designed Vuoristorata. Back in the 1950s, Rutschebanen and Vuoristorata were the two tallest roller coasters in Europe. Furthermore, Vuoristorata is the last built roller coaster in the world to use side friction technology.

Vuoristorata has been carefully maintained through the years. Apart from the cars, nothing remains of the original structure. All the wooden parts have been replaced at least five times. The subsequent restorations have been done while carefully maintaining the original layout; all the wooden parts are replacements but are consistent with the coaster's original design and character. Since 1951, Vuoristorata has been the most popular ride at Linnanmäki every year.

Vuoristorata is among the few roller coasters in the world to have been given the classic status by the American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) club.

It is also operated by a brakeman - as Rutschebanen on Dyrehavsbakken was until the end of the 2009 season, as well as a handful of other rollercosters around Europe and one in Australia.

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