In 1983, two roller coasters were delivered by Arrow-Huss and the first one was the Corkscrew at Rusutsu Resort. Rusutsu Resort is a well-known skiing mountain in the Hokkaido region of Japan and they opened two roller coasters that year, their firsts. One was a locally designed and fabricated shuttle ride from Meisho Amusement Machines and the second the imported Corkscrew. Interestingly, the Corkscrew inversions went back to the lattice structure seen before 1980 on the Arrow Corkscrews. My theory is that was required by local regulations since both this Corkscrew and the Space Salamander (Expoland in Osaka, Japan) that opened in 1980 feature the Lattice Supports on the Corkscrew. All 1980 and after Arrow looping coasters features Corkscrew inversions that use full sized track and supports.
The loading station of the Corkscrew.
The first drop and like many roller coasters in Japan, the track is followed by a catwalk for maintenance inspections. On the bottom left, you can see the old style Corkscrew support on the inversion.
Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada had started opening amusement rides in the mid 1970’s and the owner had a vision in 1976 of the world’s largest roller coaster for his park. His park was mostly flat, so he had a huge mountain constructed for the ride and Arrow-Huss designed the world’s tallest traditional roller coaster to go on it. A spectacular entrance was constructed for this ride that featured a stone Dragon head and two “Show Scenes” were to have been included: a large volcano that would house the huge double helix and a trip near a reproduction of the famous Niagara Falls after that Helix. Unfortunately, for budget reasons, the steel structure for both was erected, but the Volcano not completed until 2006 and the Falls never appeared.
This incredible entrance leads to a dark cave that take riders to the loading station.
The ride itself features a 186 feet tall lift hill and at the time, no chain lifts had ever been built that big. So Arrow-Huss did not take any chance and split the lift in two with two lift motors installed at the mid-point of the ride and each were connected to a chain. Both ran at the same speed and thus for riders, the transition is smooth and not noticeable when you transition from the “Chain on the Right-Anti-Rollbacks on the Left” to the second “Chain on the Left-Anti-Rollbacks on the Right”.
After exiting the underground station, the custom seven cars train goes up the 186 feet tall lift. What is incredible is that the train is never more than a few feet off the ground, thank to the man made mountain the ride sit on. At the top, the train exits the lift and turn to the left, it drops around 80 feet and goes through two standard Arrow vertical loops. It then rise and turn to the right where it encounters the first of three mid-course brakes. The first is passed without slowing and the train then turns slightly to the left into a second one, where it is also not usually trimmed as well. It turns to the left and head inside the volcano, where it goes around in a double helix. That helix is very long and has a tiny dip in the middle to provide enough clearance for the second lap around.
The two vertical loops on the mountain. Negative-G was lucky enough to go backstage at the park and got those incredible pictures of the ride. www.negative-g.com
The inside of the Volcano. Negative-G was lucky enough to go backstage at the park and got those incredible pictures of the ride. www.negative-g.com
The train going around the Volcano.
A close-up of the bottom track of the Volcano. Negative-G was lucky enough to go backstage at the park and got those incredible pictures of the ride. www.negative-g.com
The train drops out at the end into the first of two long tunnels. It drops a lot along the way and the train pick up a lot of speed as it heads outside and we go where the Niagara Falls show scene should have been.
The train is entering the area where the Niagara Falls effect would have been. Negative-G was lucky enough to go backstage at the park and got those incredible pictures of the ride. www.negative-g.com
The exit of the Volcano tunnel. Negative-G was lucky enough to go backstage at the park and got those incredible pictures of the ride. www.negative-g.com
The train does a long left turn and rises up into the third mid-course brake, where the train is slowed down. It then head to the mountain into a long tunnel that goes through it and as the train pick up incredible velocity, we go outside and hit the world’s only “Bowtie” inversion. It is a double inversion where the train does the same motion as the “Batwing”, but whereas the Batwing serve as a turnaround, the Bowtie send the train forward. It then rise up and turn to the left into the final brakes.
The train is getting slowed down in this shot before entering the ride’s final and long tunnel. Negative-G was lucky enough to go backstage at the park and got those incredible pictures of the ride. www.negative-g.com
In this incredible shot, the train is entering the Bowtie. Negative-G was lucky enough to go backstage at the park and got those incredible pictures of the ride. www.negative-g.com
In this shot taken by us from the waiting line, you can see one of only two parts of the ride visible from the park itself: the Bowtie.
In this shot, you can you can see the other part visible: the loops. Negative-G was lucky enough to go backstage at the park and got those incredible pictures of the ride. www.negative-g.com
The ride is 5500 feet long and it still holds a world record: 1099 feet of it is spent traveling in underground tunnels! The ride 3 trains have elaborate fiberglass work depicting an orange dragon with black horns on the front car and flames going down the sides.
The beautifully themed train kept in immaculate shape. Given that the ride is now over 32 years old, it is remarkable. The ride never had an automatic restraint release installed and ride operators have to use the small pedals on the left to open them.
In this shot, you can see the train garage with a second train waiting. The ride was delivered with 3 trains and the park current operating procedures are to have one train running throughout the season with a second one getting rebuilt car by car throughout the year. The trains are cycled around every year and this gives very low usage for each train compared to another park. Plus, with the long 4 minutes ride cycle, the trains don’t run that much in the first place.