How Do Roller Coasters STAY On The Track?


How Do Roller Coasters STAY On The Track?

Have you ever sat down on a roller coaster, strapped yourself in and experienced that sweeping moment of anxiety as you suddenly think the unthinkable – what if this train flies off the track?

Well, relax! The chance of that EVER actually happening is rarer than rocking horse poo (and then some).

Okay yes, there have been instances of this happening, we’re not going to deny that and in most cases this is usually a direct result of severe human error and a complete and total lack of maintenance on the ride itself.

So many things would have to happen for something as horrific as this to ACTUALLY take place, but how DO the trains stay on the track?

All roller coaster trains feature 3 sets of different wheels which enable to the train to stay firmly clamped to the track and safe to ride at all times;

  • Upstop or under-friction wheels as they’re known sit under the rails & stop the train from lifting off the track.
  • Side friction or guide wheels sit on the side of the track and enable the train to navigate tight twists and turns without separating from the track.
  • Running or road wheels (the mains wheels which sit atop the track) enable to the train to run along the top of the rails themselves and stop it from jumping off the track.

All 3 sets of wheels are attached to bogies which in turn attach to the running rails on the track and are clamped on tightly to ensure they stay connected at all times.

So next time you have experience that dreaded ‘what if’ moment you can safely rest assured you are perfectly safe and sound and are not going anywhere!

If you still require further assurance of your safety then why not check out the below diagram (shared by Attractions Near Me) which demonstrates perfectly the different types of wheels and how the bogie attaches to the track?;

The above image shared by Attractions Near Me demonstrates perfectly the different types of wheels and their location within the bogie as well as how the bogie attaches to the track!