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ZDT's Introduces Switchback

The only new wooden coaster to be built in North America in 2015 had its grand opening the weekend of October 17. Switchback is a project of The Gravity Group and Gravitykraft, and is the world's only modern-day wooden shuttle roller coaster. The unusual course of this coaster takes some explaining: a 63-foot-tall lift turns into a steep 54-foot drop, which is followed by a low-lying bouncy speed run through two buildings, around a 104-degree-banked turn, and up a dead-end spike. This near-vertical high point then sends the train down a record 87-degree drop into a backwards retracing of the trip, to part-way up the first drop in reverse. The four-car, eight-passenger Gravitykraft train then rolls forward again into brakes placed at the bottom of the first drop, then a switch-track reroutes the train into the station. A second train loads in the station as the first is zipping around the 1175-foot-long track.

ZDT's Amusement Park is located in Seguin, Texas, an hour south of Austin and a half-hour east of San Antonio. It's the first coaster for the family-owned facility, and has immediately received raves from ACE members at the opening and in preview runs.

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* Lee Ann Draud
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* Rus Ozana
ACE News Now Editor

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