Brooklyn, New York
Nearly fifty coasters have operated at the various parks of this
area! Here is a list of some of the most notable Coney Island roller
Switchback Railway (1884-1885) This was the world's first
coaster! It was built by LaMarcus Thompson and was 600 feet long.
Its location is now the site of the New
York Aquarium's parking lot.
Flip Flap Railway (1895-1902) The world's first coaster with
a loop. It was not successful since the circular loop had extremely
Loop The Loop (1901-1910) While the Flip
Flap pulled about 12 G's during its loop, this coaster used an elliptical
loop that made it much easier on the riders. Because most people were
afraid to ride it, the park made money by charging admission just to watch
Giant Racer (1911-1926) This large two-track
racing coaster operated until 1926 when it was removed to make room for Cyclone.
big Dipper (1921-1945) Built on the site of the Switchback
Railway, it was later named Wildcat and then Comet.
Thunderbolt (1925-2000) This coaster was designed by
John Miller. It had a house built right under the track! The beams of
the coaster were actually part of the house's structure. It gained notoriety
when it was featured in the Woody Allen movie "Annie Hall."
The coaster sat abandoned from 1985 until it was demolished in 2000. Recently, a federal jury ruled that the demolition was
illegally executed, citing that several city departments acted with
"deliberate indifference" to the property rights of Thunderbolt owner
Horace Bullard. Bullard is seeking damages of $160 million.
Tornado (1926-1977) Originally known as the Bobs,
this coaster was designed by Frederick Church and Thomas Prior. Like
most Prior & Church coasters, it featured strongly banked, tight
curves. It was destroyed by fire in 1977.
Jumbo Jet (1972-2002) This Schwarzkopf
"Jet Star 3" model was reportedly sold to China in 2003, but I
have yet to see it reappear anywhere.
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