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Updated 16.05.01

Tilanne 16.10.00
Tilanne 04.07.00
Tilanne 09.02.01
Tilanne 12.04.01
Tilanne 13.05.01

Click here to see how to build up a mobile roller coaster.

Click here to see the operating princible of mobile roller coasters.

Click here for the thumbnailed archive of the Metro's construction images in high resolution (1280 x 1024)

Click here to see fantastic 3D models of Metro on Badnitrus Production's website

Click here for the Linnanmaki's Liquid Coaster construction pages

Update 04.07.00

In 2001 a new roller coaster, Metro, will open in Sarkanniemi amusement park, Tampere. The budget is 50 million marks (approx. $10 million USD), which makes Metro the most expensive ride ever built in Finland.


Train to nowhere

The lift hill is already erected.

The construction is under way at the moment. The first part (lift hill) has already been erected and the station and tunnel are under way as well. Not much is going to happen during the summer season, but the work shall continue after the season ends. It may be possible, that the first test runs will be made at the end of this year.

Metro invades some parts of the current parking lot. There will be some other major changes in the area too. The whole area will be fenced together, including the amusement park itself, dolphinarium, observation tower, water flume, zoo and Metro. This season you can buy a separate ticket for the attractions separately.

Sarkanniemi gives the following details of the ride:

The pictures have been taken 4.7.00.


Lift hill photographed from the base of the observation tower



There will be an underground station.



A big ride like this need massive supports and a solid foundation. The steel frame is erected on the concrete footers. Sarkanniemi, like most of the other parks in Finland, has one major advantage as far as building the roller coasters is concerned: The terrain is solid bedrock.

Update 16.10.00

Work resumed on Metro as soon as the season ended. Practically the whole park is a huge construction site too. Some buildings near the main entrance have been demolished and new buildings are being developed.

Metro's lift hill is still in the same phase as it was in the summer. However, some other sections of the track are already finished. This include the sections leading to station. On the other hand, some parts of the ride have not even foundations yet.

Still it looks like that the ride is on schedule. The park is looking forward to test run the Metro during the winter. My personal opinion is, that it will take at least two or three months, but you never know...

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View from the observation tower

This image shows the sections of the track that are ready. You can actually see where the rest of the track will go.

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The finish section of the ride

This section is practically ready.

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The same from a different angle

There is only a one bend to go after this section. However, the fun is not over at this point if you look at the twist of the track.

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A tunnel through the station

The train goes through the station inverted! I certainly hope that they will install the rest of the track by then.

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First drop

The work has just begun on the first drop. Only a few footers are ready (look at the massive size of these footers). The earthwork is under way.

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The very last bend

The train returns to station after this bend. These supports could probably carry a proper train! Please note how the supports are installed on the footers.

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The station looks like this at the moment. Metro is a suspended coaster, so the track goes just below the ceiling.

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Off you go...

The track intersects inside the station. When the ride begins, the train comes from the left hand side, bends 90 degrees and heads towards the lift hill. At the end of the ride the train comes through the station again (upper left), inverted!!!

Update 09.02.01

It has been more than two months since my last visit. The Tornado is almost finished. As a matter of fact, the cobra roll is the only section of the track yet to be installed. However, the trains have not arrived yet, but it must be just a matter of weeks. The first test runs are scheduled during the winter, without any passenger first. The ride will be tested for 100 hours with water containers on board of the trains. After the testings each and every nut and bolt will be re-investigated. The ride will be opened to public on 12'th of May, two weeks after the park's opening.

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A view from the observation tower

The final parts of the track were ready at the end of the last year, so the work has concentrated on the front sections during the last two months. That is the best part of the ride.

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First drop

This is what to expect after the lift hill.

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The first loop

The first inversion is straight after the first drop. You can bet that there are high speeds and g-forces on this point. Note that the train goes through this loop some seconds later.

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The cobra roll

After the first loop there is the cobra roll. The train makes two vertical and horizontal inversions in rapid succession. This is the only section of the track yet to be constructed.

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Supports for the cobra roll

The other supports are like matches compared to these supports. All the supports are made in Finland by Teraselementti Oy. They weigh between 10 to 30 tons each. The track parts are made in Czech republic. They weigh about 7 tons each. The supports and the track sections do not yield at all, so the casting for the foundations requires real professionals for the task. If the foundations are even slightly in the wrong place, the parts could not be joined. In Tampere everything has gone very well so far.

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Inspecting the bolts

The ride of this caliber requires the contribution by a large number of people. The tasks include the design, constructing the supports, bending the tracks, various installations, electrics, etc. The most notable phase is the erection of the steel parts (supports and the track). Would you believe that a there are just two guys doing this job? These men are employed by the same company responsible for the supports. I wonder how many days it would take to build the Eiffel Tower by these men?

Update 12.04.01

The winter is over and there are two and half weeks for the parks opening. Tornado's steelworks were finished weeks ago, but there have been some problems with the tests. Train was stranded in the middle of the lift hill when these photos were taken. It had to be manually winched to the top of the hill. However, this is only a minor setback if you consider how enormous project Tornado really is. The train clears the rest of the track without problems when pushed in the first drop. This is one advantage with the steel coasters. Wooden roller coasters usually stall in the middle of the circuit during the testing until the track breaks in.

Workmen are installing the service stairs on the lift hill at the moment. In station some control electronics are still installed. The platform itself has made no progress during the last two months but it can be finished very quickly when everything else is ready. The ride is due to open after two weeks of the parks opening date. This is one month away, so it is still possible that the ride will open as planned if the rest of the testing goes fine.

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The first half of the ride

Note the yellow train in the middle of the lift hill. Since the stairs are not yet installed, the workmen had to be lifted by the boom lift.

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The latter half of the ride

The last sections of the ride have been ready since the last autumn.

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This is where you board the train after few weeks. Note the tyre propulsion units under the track.

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The lift motor

Typical roller coaster train has no motor. It is pushed on top of the lift hill by the chain drive. Trains are gravity propelled for the rest of the ride. The lift chain is rotated around big gears. There is one set at the bottom of the hill and another set on top of the hill. The huge lift motor rotates the main gear via transmission.

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One train contains 12 cars with two passengers accross in each car. Two cars from the front will be installed after testing.

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Sandbags are having fun

Passengers are not allowed to ride during the test period so sandbags are attached to cars to simulate the weight of the passengers. Note the complex wheel arrangement of the train.

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The first drop and the first loop

The first drop leads directly into the loop...

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The fastest section of the track

The loop is followed by a small ravine. The track goes very low and gives the illusion that feet are going to touch ground. In reality there are sufficient safety margins. However, there will be a height restriction for this ride.

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Cobra roll

Cobra will be one of the most intense parts of the ride. It is a double loop with two inversions and a 180 degree curve. The track goes through the first loop after the cobra roll.

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Cobra roll, side view

This picture illustrates the vertical and horizontal inversions of the cobra roll. This ensures very smooth ride through the roll.

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Heartroll through the station

The next section of the track is a heartroll through the station. This element has caused lots of buzz in the news groups. The latter part of the track has been ready since the last autumn (see the pictures above).

Update 13.05.01

Two weeks before the season opening Sarkanniemi amusement park looked like a bomb has hit it. However, on 30'th of April everything was ready, including Tornado. The opening of Tornado took place two weeks ahead of the schedule, so you just could not have a better start for the new season! When the ride was initially tested, the train went very slow through the circuit. Luckily this is typical for the brand new roller coasters. More the ride was tested, faster it went. When the park opened its gates, the ride was already a very intense experience. Tornado was rated very high by the passengers, and it is very safe to say that finally there is a world class steelie in Finland.

During the first weeks there have been some technical difficulties with Tornado. One gear of the lift motor failed on 5'th of May. A trainload of passengers was stranded in the middle of the lift hill. There are no stairs by the lift hill, so the passengers were exited by the built-in maintenance lift. Tornado resumed in operation during the following week, but continues to have some additional minor problems. However, for the ride of this caliber it is quite normal to have some difficulties in the beginning.

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After the first loop

After the first drop the train goes through a little ravine. The cobra roll is immediately after the ravine.

Pic: Kimmo Lahti

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On top of the cobra

There is nothing wrong with your vision. The passengers really are upside down!

Pic: Kimmo Lahti

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Exit from the cobra roll

There are several inversions in the cobra section.

Pic: Kimmo Lahti

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After the cobra roll

Your feet almost touch the ground when the train exits the cobra roll.

Pic: Kimmo Lahti

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Return to station

The ride is full of non-stop action. This is just before the brake run!

Pic: Kimmo Lahti

Thanks to Tomi Suominen, Markku Jääskeläinen, Markku Kivelä, Jouko Vainio, Tero Myllyniemi, Kimmo Lahti and Särkanniemi amusement park for the images and details of the ride.