The roller coaster builders from the company "Maurer Rides" from Kirchheim are among the most innovative in the industry.
This is proven by their latest milestone: a roller coaster on a cruise ship.
- The Oktoberfest is a history book of roller coasters.
The "Toboggan" from 1933, today a primitive wooden slide with a conveyor belt, is not far from the "SkyFall", the highest mobile free-fall tower in the world.
In between is the “Wilde Maus” roller coaster.
They were built by engineers from Maurer Rides in Kirchheim, and that was in 1994. In the meantime, the “Wilde Maus” has also become a thing of the past, the company's new roller coasters should promise what every passenger demands: the ultimate kick.
It's now also available on giant cruise ships.
A world premiere, made in Kirchheim.
57 meters above sea level, 220 meters long, 1.2 g acceleration: the new roller coaster from Maurer Rides accelerates as fast as Formula 1 cars - in the middle of the Mediterranean, Pacific or Atlantic.
"Bolt" is the name of the system, "Blitz".
Soon there will be three cruise ships in the world with the technology from Kirchheim.
“Cruise lines asked us twelve years ago,” says developer Torsten Schmidt, 41. According to the calculations at the time, a roller coaster was not possible on a ship, says the engineer.
Because of the movement of the ship and the wind.
Then there is the salty air that gnaws at the parts of the roller coaster.
Schmidt: "It's a sick idea."
Dream job roller coaster engineer: Torsten Schmidt in front of a test facility in the assembly hall in Kirchheim.
© Robert Brouczek
However, the technical possibilities have evolved.
After many tests and a test drive on a site in Kirchheim, Maurer Rides installed the world's first roller coaster on a ship at the end of 2020.
The completion came at an inconvenient time, most cruises have been canceled due to the coronavirus.
The ship with the roller coaster from Kirchheim is now waiting for the crossing from Europe to Miami.
The roller coaster cars look like motorcycles.
Visitors can also operate them like this: In a certain speed range, visitors can control the pace themselves using the throttle and a boost button on the handlebars.
According to Maurer Rides, the self-steering roller coaster is unique in the world.
A touchscreen on the car shows the speed and lap time, and at the same time makes videos of the drivers.
With an app, visitors can download the video for a fee after the trip and share it on social media.
"Interactivity and multimedia are all the rage," explains Schmidt.
The fairing parts for the "Spike" vehicles in Skyline Park.
© Robert Brouczek
The fun is possible because of "Spike", the roller coaster system of the 40-strong company.
The cars are self-sufficient, they have their own power supply and their own electric motor.
The company keeps individual components and prototypes secret, photos are not allowed.
The gear system promises 100 percent traction.
It works without lubrication, says Schmidt: "We are proud of that."
This knowledge costs: from three million euros there is a roller coaster from Maurer Rides.
“There is no upper limit,” says Schmidt.
It takes one and a half to three years from the idea to the finished roller coaster.
The company develops ideas, produces a large part of the systems itself and puts them into operation on site.
The company has already built 77 attractions in 22 countries, in China, Mexico and the USA.
The Kirchheim-based company has to constantly overhaul the systems - for the safety of visitors.
“These days roller coasters are the safest thing there is,” says Schmidt.
The systems are redundant, which means: the components are doubly protected.
Amusement parks rely on the safety of the facilities - they charge high entrance fees.
"The organizers' marketing is always looking for new attractions." Ecology also plays a role in this.
For the first time, the cars' braking energy can be fed back into the power grid.
"Compared to other roller coasters, our system only needs a few kilowatt hours."
Despite efficiency and safety: paid videos, self-steering cars, roller coasters on ships - do people really need these attractions?
“You don't really need a lot of things, but everyone is looking for fun,” says Schmidt.
Without roller coasters, something would be lost in this world.
The engineer seeks his kick while riding a motorcycle.
Not on a cruise ship, but on the road.
You can find more news from Kirchheim and the district of Munich here.