North Adams, Massachusetts, USA – Skyline Attractions is thrilled to share its involvement in the design and engineering of an operating roller coaster as part of the newest art installation by American visual artist EJ Hill. Brake Run Helix will open on October 30 at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in North Adams, Massachusetts, USA and will mark the first time that a full-circuit roller coaster has been designed and built within a museum space.
The Roller Coaster component of Brake Run Helix showcases the aesthetic of a “backyard roller coaster” (i.e., a small roller coaster built by an amateur in their own backyard) with a modern, sleek twist. The unique ride is supported by a series of wooden A-frame supports and the weld-free track that sits atop them is in the shape of a figure-eight. The track consists of 15 sections and spans a length of 260 feet [79.2 meters].
The Roller Coaster at Brake Run Helix is on display within a two-level gallery at MASS MoCA for a limited two-year period. To activate the installation, one museum patron will ride the attraction every hour. This lucky patron will board the one-person ride vehicle, stylized to match one found on a backyard roller coaster, on the mezzanine level of the gallery. The vehicle will be physically propelled off the mezzanine with the assistance of a museum attendant and will travel down the roller coaster’s first drop. Brake Run Helix is a gravity-driven attraction, and the vehicle will ascend a second hill before concluding with a downward, undulating helix and a rapid S-bend. The vehicle will then slow to a stop, at which time the rider will disembark.
Despite the many efforts to make the attraction look like a backyard roller coaster, it is professionally designed, engineered, and built by the team at Skyline Attractions. The supports, track, and train have all been analyzed and professionally built and assembled, including fabrication assistance from Great Coasters International, Inc. The attraction will also be inspected by Massachusetts’ Department of Public Safety, which regulates amusement rides in the state.
The Roller Coaster’s track is an innovative, weld-free design, the same as found on Skyline’s line-up of children’s roller coasters and similar to those found on Skyline’s larger roller coaster products. Each section consists of a series of steel plates that are custom cut and folded and then assembled into a trapezoidal shape. This allows for reduced fabrication costs, improved quality control, and an incredibly smooth ride experience.
The vehicle on the Roller Coaster is custom-built for the display, but its chassis mimics that of the P’Sghetti Bowl product. Its clever, modular design reduces necessary maintenance and allows for a smooth, comfortable ride for every passenger. Like the track and supports, the Roller Coaster’s vehicle and its associated components were fabricated and assembled in the United States.
To learn more about the Brake Run Helix exhibit, visit MASS MoCA’s website.
To learn more about the P’Sghetti Bowl product, which shares the same track design as the Brake Run Helix roller coaster, visit the P’Sghetti Bowl product page.