Summer toboggan run

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Stainless steel summer toboggan run in the Teichland adventure park

A summer toboggan run is a facility, similar to a very long slide, on which you can toboggan or roll down to the valley with a sledge and which is not dependent on a winter ice or snow underlay. In addition to the tracks in which the toboggan does not run in gutters, track-guided tracks, the so-called Alpine Coaster , are also counted among the summer toboggan runs. With both types of system, the user can determine his own speed using a braking system.

Legal basis

For construction and operation, for example, the standard DIN 33960-1 Summer Toboggan Runs - Part 1: Safety- related requirements and test procedures, or since March 1, 2012 the ÖNORM S 4730-1 of the same name, has been in effect for construction and operation (revised from August 2012) . However, these standards do not regulate any requirements under building law or ropeway law , for example for the legal treatment as a building law system or as temporary structures . These issues still have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis during official approval in accordance with local (e.g. state law ) requirements.

Previously, the guidelines for the construction and operation of summer toboggan runs were used for the assessment . These were drawn up by an international working group made up of representatives from system manufacturers and testing organizations. Among other things, the generally permissible, maximum achievable maximum speed of 40 km / h (+/- 10%) was specified therein.


Summer toboggan run in Ibbenbüren from 1926

The common forerunners of summer toboggan runs and roller coasters emerged in Russia in the 16th century . There artificial mountains made of wood were built, which were first slid down on ice with a sledge and later on a wheeled sledge. Until the advent of modern summer toboggan runs, there were such facilities in Germany too; one in Ibbenbüren is still in operation today. It is the oldest functioning toboggan run in Germany. On it, the toboggan with runners is guided down the slope on a wooden rail.

The first modern summer toboggan runs were developed by ski lift operators who were looking for a way to use their facilities in the snow-free months. The pioneers here were Karl Josef Freiherr von Wendt , who, together with the Mannesmann Fördertechnik company, developed lanes with a channel made of fiber cement , and Josef Wiegand with lanes made of stainless steel.

In 1972 von Wendt opened the first cable car with an associated chairlift in Bestwig . The Fort Fun Adventure Land theme park later developed from this . Due to the asbestos content of the channel, the railways were shut down at the end of 2003. Wiegand opened the first stainless steel run in 1975 in his ski and toboggan arena on the Wasserkuppe . The system, which has since been modified several times, is still in operation today.

Alpine coaster in the Eifelpark

Rail-guided toboggan runs were developed in order to meet the increased safety needs of passengers. The first of its kind was probably the system on the Turracher Höhe , which was replaced by a more modern system at the end of 2006. In the early 1990s, the Alpine Coaster was developed, in which the sledges run on rails and the drivers are secured with belts. Such rail systems have been mass-produced since then. In 1997 the first facility of this type was opened on the Wasserkuppe.

In addition to being operated in ski areas, summer toboggan runs can also often be found as an independent attraction or in amusement parks. The longest toboggan run in the Alps, at 3500 meters, is in Imst . Probably the greatest difference in altitude is overcome by the Serlesbahnen summer toboggan run in Mieders in the Stubai Valley with an altitude of 640 meters over a distance of 2.8 km. This makes it the steepest roller coaster in the Alps. The Alpsee Coaster in Immenstadt im Allgäu and the Hasenhorn Coaster in Todtnau are among the longest summer toboggan runs in Germany . According to their own information, both are all-weather tracks and each almost 3000 meters long. According to the company, the longest all-weather toboggan run in the world is the Tobotronc Alpine Coaster in the Principality of Andorra . The most controversial run is the Loreley summer toboggan run . Since it is located on the Loreley plateau and thus in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley UNESCO World Heritage Site , prior to its construction there were several years of discussions between politics, citizens and environmentalists. In the meantime, UNESCO has requested the dismantling of the railway.


Two fundamentally different constructions can be distinguished

  • With tub toboggan runs , the track has the shape of a tub or channel. In this, the carriage slips or rolls without any further guidance. So that the slide is not carried out of the track in the curves, these are designed as steep curves .
  • Rail toboggan runs are positively driven and cannot leave the rails. Most of the time, the passengers are strapped to the sledge, so that falling out of the track is almost impossible. Since the slide of a similar roller coaster (Engl. Roller Coaster ) run on rails, the name originated Alpine Coaster . The term is a brand name of the Wiegand company, but has also established itself colloquially as a generalized brand name for similar systems from other manufacturers.

The two types can be further distinguished.

Fiber cement or plastic tubs

Plastic track at the Col de la Schlucht

Since the principle of the tracks with fiber cement gutters was not protected, similar tracks are produced by different companies. Today the gutter is usually made of plastic instead of fiber cement. There is also the option of integrating heating so that operation in winter is also possible. The curves of the track are raised to prevent the sled from falling out.

The sledges usually slide on plastic runners . For acceleration, the weight of the slide is shifted from the skids to lowering rollers by pressing a lever, which reduces the frictional resistance. To brake, the lever is pulled towards the body, the rollers are relieved, the skids are loaded and, in addition, rubber brake blocks are pressed onto the track. By sliding, the driving experience of this type of sledge is most comparable to that of a (winter) toboggan.

Stainless steel tubs

The principle is basically the same as for cement and plastic sheets. The production from stainless steel ensures a higher wear resistance of the track. In addition to skid sleds, roller sleds have also been developed. Instead of sliding on runners, the metal frame-based sledge travels on four wheels. Here, too, the brakes are made with rubber blocks that can be pressed onto the road with a lever.

While the runner sledges have to be stopped in wet weather, the roller sledges still have enough grip even in the rain. To increase the braking force, rain brake pads made of a softer rubber compound are also attached.

Bobsleigh track

Bobkart track in Rasti-Land ( Salzhemmendorf , Lower Saxony , Germany )

A related ride is the bob-cart track. The fairway here is also made of stainless steel and is similar to that of the summer toboggan run. The vehicles do not roll down a mountain, but are driven by an electric motor, which is supplied by power rails attached to the track . The driver controls the speed using a lever. Opening is prevented by an electronic control of the drive.

The summer toboggan run is to the bob-kart track like the roller coaster to the powered coaster .

Monorail toboggan runs

Brandau's summer toboggan run in the Stubai Valley

As injuries occurred again and again by falling out of the track or falling from the sled, rail-bound variants were developed. The first serially produced rail-guided summer toboggan run in the world was built in 1996 by the Brandauer company in Abtenau . The facility is still open today. Around 50 Brandauer Mountain Coaster have been built around the world since 1996. For some years now, monorail toboggan runs have been increasingly referred to as mountain coaster, as opposed to tub-guided runs.

The rollers of the carriages grip the elevated tubular rail from above, from the sides and sometimes from below, so that the carriage cannot derail . The advantage of the modern monorail toboggan run is that it can be easily dismantled, so that such systems are particularly suitable for setting up on ski slopes . For safety reasons, such systems usually have to stop operating when there is moisture.

The poly-bob tracks from the former manufacturer Vǒroka can also be counted among the monorails. A plastic rail with a lane-guiding elevation in the middle serves as a guide.

Alpine coaster

Alpine Coaster Trapper Slider in Fort Fun

With this construction, the sledges run on elevated tube rails, similar to those of a modern roller coaster. Systems from the manufacturer Wiegand use four-tube rails, on the two outer tubes of which the rollers run, the two inner tubes are encompassed by the brakes on the inside, top and bottom so that the sleds cannot derail. With the Rolba Bob system from Fun Construct, the sledges also run on two tubes. The brakes also apply to this. The Rollbob system from Hacksteiner also uses two pipe rails, each of which is provided with an inward-facing, integrated brake flange. The passengers are strapped onto the sled with belts on these trains. The brakes are released or applied with the two levers on the side. The braking system of these tracks is also designed for moisture and even snow, so that Alpine Coaster can be operated all year round. This is why these facilities are often called year-round or all-weather toboggan runs.

Forest roller coaster

A type of trolley typically rolls and / or slides downhill between nearby trees at a speed of up to 13 km / h, driven by gravity, along a curved NiRo steel tube suspended from inclined ropes . The person hangs below the trolley by means of a chest seat belt. The connection is made either via two suspension straps next to each other, which automatically orients the passenger, who can also hold himself on a crossbar in these straps above his head, in the direction of travel, or there is a fixed suspension from just one point and one on the trolley The bracket that is mounted in front of it and extends downwards is also grasped with the hands and allows the person a more self-determined orientation. Such monorails have been put into operation in Italy, Germany and Austria (here in April 2017).

Lift systems

Chair lifts and gondola lifts

Sledge transport of the summer toboggan run Serleslifte in Mieders in the gondola
Upward stretch as a lifter in the Bottrop Alpine Center

Various systems are used to transport the vehicles to their departure position on the mountain. The simplest variant is to attach the sledges by hand to the chairs or gondolas of a mountain railway transporting the passengers or to use separate hangers for transporting the sledges between the passenger gondolas or armchairs and to manually unload them again at the mountain station. The sledges can also be transported on trolleys in gondolas by gondolas (alternating with the passengers), loading and unloading are carried out manually, and the empty trolleys are brought back to the valley in the gondolas. The Wiegand company has also developed a system for its systems with which the sledges are automatically attached to the chair or to separate load hangers of a chairlift and removed again from the mountain station, if necessary, put on the rails and made available at the starting point.

Drag lifts

Lift of the summer toboggan run (left, backward drag) and the Alpine Coaster (right, forward drag) on ​​the Wasserkuppe

The use of drag lifts for mountain transport can be found in all systems, mostly ski lifts are used for this. In the valley, towing eyes are attached by hand to a hook mounted on the sledge. The toboggan, occupied by the passenger, is dragged up the mountain on a track (channel or coaster rail). At the top, the track leads sideways under the lift, so that the eye slips off the hook again.

The towing route is driven backwards in some systems, especially on steep driveways. On the mountain, the sledge must then be brought forward onto the downhill run by hand. With other systems, one is dragged forward. At the top, the descent can then follow without interruption after loosening the towing eye, the track then consists of a closed loop of descent and uphill section.


This system also transports the sledges with the passengers in a closed circuit up the mountain. For this purpose, an endless steel cable runs around within the uphill channel or between the coaster rails, similar to a simple rope lift , onto which the sledges in the valley station drive and automatically latch. They also release automatically at the mountain station and the descent can be started without changing trains or changing lanes.

Other uphill transport

In some of the smaller lifts there are no climbing aids at all. The sleds then have to be pulled or pushed up the mountain by hand. This is particularly the case with all railways from Voroka. Some of the facilities have their own transport ropeways for sled transport. The passengers are transported up the mountain in a chairlift or gondola, while the sledges are transported hanging on a parallel lift. The sledges are automatically attached to this lift and then removed again at the top.

Number of summer toboggan runs

  • Andorra 1
  • Belgium 3
  • Germany 131
  • France 51
  • Great Britain 9
  • Italy 17
  • Netherlands 5
  • Switzerland 24
  • Austria 44
  • Poland 8
  • Slovenia 1
  • Czech Republic 4
  • Spain 5

Web links

Commons : Summer toboggan runs without rails  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : Summer toboggan runs on rails  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
  • SoRoDa, summer toboggan run database from M. Spies for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Andorra, France, Great Britain, Spain (new design July 2014, news will last until May 2015)
  • database from E. Lachenmayer about summer toboggan runs in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Slovenia and the Czech Republic (news extends to January 2015)
  • Summer toboggan runs in Austria, with descriptions on the topic
  • Earth map of the toboggan runs

Individual evidence

  1. DIN toys playground equipment
  2. More safety for action-packed summer tobogganing - Austrian Standards International
  3. Summer toboggan runs on the SwissTS website
  4. Guideline for the construction and operation of summer toboggan runs RiLi SRB Rev 1.1 - valid from July 1, 2004 PDF, accessed on July 24, 2012
  5. Alpine Coaster in Imst / Tyrol
  6. Alpsee-Coaster at , accessed on July 8, 2013.
  7. Hasenhorn Coaster at , accessed on July 8, 2013.
  8. Jens Schneider: Controversy over the Middle Rhine Valley and Loreley World Heritage Sites - Unesco vs. Toboggan in: Süddeutsche Zeitung , June 20, 2013. Retrieved on August 21, 2013.
  9. accessed on January 12, 2019
  10. Austria's first “forest roller coaster”, April 24, 2017, accessed April 25, 2017. - 300 m long fly-line on Ossiachersee since April 2017.
  11. Fly-Line Kletterwald Ossiacher See, 2014–2017, accessed April 25, 2017.
  12. Ugo Fracasso: FLY LINE CATINACCIO ROSENGARTEN - official video, (Video 1:08), upload August 26, 2016, accessed April 25, 2017. - Erected in 2015, 1100 m long, for people weighing 20–120 kg . In the Dolomites, Trentino, Italy.
  13. Val Gardena Gröden - Official Fanpage: Fly-Line - Emozion Col de Flam - NEW from Summer 2014 (Video 5:00), upload April 10, 2014, accessed April 25, 2017. - Fly-Line in Val Gardena , Italy from 2014. The pipe is laid with curves and bumps, braced on the overhead straps diagonally upwards towards the trees. The trolley has 4 support rollers, each 2 laterally shielded by two deflector brackets for the suspension straps of the pipe. A friction roller pressed against the pipe from below is connected to two impellers, which brake via air turbulence.
  14. Information under Mountain Transport on the Brandauer website
  15. a b c Exemplary description of various uphill systems on the Wiegand company website