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Tivoli Kopenhagen © Tivoli Kopenhagen
© Tivoli Kopenhagen

Friday, May 31, 2013 | This article is listed in the sections Amusement parks and Magazine.

New mountain massif for Rutschebanen

Rutschebanen bei der Eröffnung 2014 © Tivoli Kopenhagen
© Tivoli Kopenhagen
Rutschebanen and its original surroundings
Over the past few decades, there has been a mystical aura around Tivoli Gardens. A rare mixture of culture, old and new turns the Danish city park into something special – it is not by chance that this is the place where Wald Disney found inspiration for his own theme park, as he once said. The park looks forward to celebrating a special birthday next year: Its venerable, classic roller coaster "Rutschebanen" will reach its centenary.

Manufactured by the 'Father of Gravity Ride' LaMarcus Adna Thompson, the wooden coaster is a nostalgic reminder of days long gone. Owing to missing wheels underneath the track, the train is merely kept on the 175 metre long track by sidewise attached wheels. That calls for an operator on board who controls the ride by braking down the hills so it won't gain too much speed and, thus, making sure that the trains won't derail. That is exactly what makes "Rutschebanen” so special – this ride has been in operation for 99 years already and remains, even today, as popular as ever.

Higher than required

Just in time for its 100th birthday, the ride will go back to its roots next year. It should be noted that "Rutschebanen" was initially standing on a high mountain massif – this was a thorn in the city fathers' side as visitors to Copenhagen saw that construction from afar once they left the central station. The respective employees of Denmark's capital seemed to believe that visitors from all over the world would prefer seeing the city's historic buildings at first glance, rather than an artificial rock mass in the heart of the city centre. This was the reason why it had been removed sometime in the 20s.

Since changing minds in the course of the years has always been common practice, the City of Copenhagen decided to give "Rutschenbanen” its original surroundings back as birthday present. In time for the 2014 season, the trains should start to thunder through a mountainous terrain again, and will be leaving room for imagination on how the first impression of "Rutschebanen” might have been 100 years ago. Tivoli Gardens is spending around 4 million EUR in this reconstruction. As the nearby amusement park Bakken furnished its wooden coaster, launched in 1932, with new trains that don't need an operator who takes control on board anymore, it is all the more gratifying that Tivoli keeps the nostalgic level.

Onride video before the reconstruction

© parkscout/AF

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