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Updated 07.04.01

Vuoristorata, Linnanmäki

During the last 12 months there has been a roller coaster boom in Finland. Linnanmaki amusement park opened Space Express, Suomen Tivoli got a portable kiddie coaster and new full size coasters are under construction in Tornado and in Linnanmaki again. In 2001 there will be 10 operating roller coasters in Finland, if you count junior and powered coasters as well. That's not bad for the country whose population is no more than 5 million inhabitants. "But they could be much bigger...", I hear you protesting. True! But what can you expect if the season is hardly 100 days long and the most popular amusement park attracts 1 million annual visitors only

The first roller coaster was built as late as in 1951 in Linnanmaki amusement park, Helsinki. This woodie is still operating and it's by far the most popular ride in the country. The name of the ride is Vuoristorata, which means the "mountain track" in English. As a matter of fact, all the coasters are called mountain tracks in Finnish language rather than roller coasters.

Vuoristorata, Linnanmaki, amusement park, Helsinki

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Built: 1951
Length: 960m (3150ft)
Nominal height: 23m (75ft)
Speed: 60km/h (37mph)
Ride time: 2min
4 cars, 22 passengers per car
Manufactured by the park

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Lift hill

The construction of the track is figure-8. This coaster meets all the requirements for the Coaster Classic status according to ACE.

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North curve

The nominal height of the Vuoristorata is 23 meters (75ft) only. However, the park is located on top of the steep hill and the coaster is is located on the highest point of the park. The track goes fleftening HIGH in the beginning.

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South curve

The speciality of this coaster is an on-board brakeman who stands at the back of the car. This allows higher speeds even though there are no underwheels attached to the cars. If this guy gets a heart attack and the car tips over the north bank, you've got plenty of time to write your will.

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Entering the camel back

You may get some airtime here if you bribe the brakeman!

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Braking system

Note the braking system at the rear of the car!

City Express, Linnanmaki amusent park, Helsinki

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City Express:

Built: 1990
Ride time: 1.30min
1 cars, 38 passengers
Manufactured by Mack
This is a powered coaster, not gravity propelled.

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This is my favourite part of the track.

Space Express, Linnanmaki amusent park, Helsinki

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Space Express

Built: 2000
Ride time: 1min
1 car, 20 passengers
Manufactured by Zierer

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There is quite a long tunnel leading to the station. The tunnel is naturally themed after a space station. Waiting for your ride is almost fun in this ride.

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The ride is built inside a large water tower. It means that the track length is short because of the limited space. The ride itself goes through galaxies in total darkness.

Vonkaputous, Linnanmäki amusement park, Helsinki

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Lift hill
Due to open: 2001
Construction: Steel, non inverted
Length: 320m (1050ft)
Highes point: 24.5m (80ft)
2 trains, 10 passengers / train
Manufacturer: Premier Rides

Click here to see Linnanmaki's new water coaster under construction.

Jet-Star, Sarkanniemi amusement park, Tampere

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Jet Star 1

Length: 540m (1772ft)
Height: 15m (49ft)
Highest drop: 13.5m (44ft)
Maximum speed: 60km/h (37mph)
Ride time: 1.17min
2..4 passengers per car
Manufactured by Anton Schwarzkopf

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Inside the track

The track is short, cars are small but the curves are extremely tight. You may get some bruises on board, but the ride is worth it!

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Lift hill

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Corkscrew, Sarkanniemi, Tampere

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ength: 365m
Height: 19.5m (64ft)
Highest drop: 15m (49ft)
Maximum speed: 60km/h (37mph)
Ride time: 1.15min
1 car, 28 passengers
Manufactured by Vekoma

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Bird's view

The Corkscrew is the only roller coaster in Finland with inversions.

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Tornado, Sarkanniemi amusement park, Tampere

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Lift hill

Due to open: 2001
Construction: Steel, inverted
Length: 700m (2297ft)
Highest drop: 25m (82ft)
Maximum speed: 75km/h (47mph)
Ride time: 2.20min
2 cars, 24 passengers each
Manufactured by Intamin

Click here to see Metro under construction.

Orient express, Tykkimaki amusement park, Kouvola

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Orient Express

Built: 1989
Ride time: 1.30min
1 cars, 38 passengers
Manufactured by Mack

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Tykkimaki's coaster is a powered ride, not a real gravity propelled roller coaster. Still this ride is fast and great, but it's been built too low to be scary. Tykkimaki is the sister park of Linnamaki. City Express was manufactured by the same company than Orient Express but a year later.

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One more for the kids: Speedy Snake, Sarkanniemi amusent park, Tampere

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Speedy Snake

This kiddie roller coaster is Manufactured by Zierer.

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Lost but not forgotten

Five Finnish roller coasters have been removed so far

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Devil's Sledge, Neula's amusement park

Devil's Sledge was a wooden Wild Mouse type roller coaster. Originally it operated in Denmark (Bakken?) until it was purchased by Mr. Leo Lindblom for the Seitera's carnival in the late 60's. When the ride arrived in Finland, there were no blueprints how to construct it. Some wooden parts had Roman numerals to give clue. Some parts of the structure were in bad shape and were replaced.

Pic: Tivoli Seiterä

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Devil's Sledge, Neula's amusement park

In theory, the ride was a portable roller coaster. However, It turned out that Devil's Sledge was not an easy ride to move to another location. It was erected only two times in Turku in the early 70's, when there were major fairs. In 1973 and 1974 it operated in Neula's amusement park in Tampere. This park was a forerunner of the present Sarkanniemi amusement park that was built on it's place. When the season 1974 closed, Devils Sledge was dismantled for the last time.

Pic: Tivoli Seiterä

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Dragon, Suomen Tivoli

This portable roller coaster travelled with Suomen Tivoli in the 80's. Please email me if you know the manufacturer or technical information of this ride.

Pic: Markku Jääskeläinen

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Fanfaari, amusement park, Savio

Fanfaari was the first indoor amusement park in Finland. It was founded in 1990 but the park went bankrupt after two years of operation. It was salvaged by a group of business men which included the movie director Renny Harlin. Some modifications were made and the park re-opened under a new name, Planet FunFun. However, this effort was shortlived too and the park is long gone now. The best ride of the park was an indoor roller coaster that was manufactured by Vekoma. The track was quite short but it went through the ceilings in three different floors.

Pic: Fanfaari brochure


Katapult, Linnanmaki amusement park

Katapult operated in Linnanmaki just for two seasons, 1992 - 1993. It was a good ride, but technically very unreliable. It was replaced by the Top Spin in 1994. Katapult was manufactured by Schwarzkopf.

Pic: Markku Jääskeläinen

lasten vuoristorata

Kiddie roller coaster, Linnanmaki amusement park

Kiddie roller coaster operated in Linnanmaki between 1971 and 1989. It was dismantled when City Express was built on its location

Thanks to Tomi Suominen and Michael Pantenburg for additional details.