Tidal Wave

Model Roller Coaster

Marriott's Great America

Santa Clara, CA

1977 - 2002

This model is of the Tidal Wave at Marriott's Great America in Santa Clara California (now California's Great America).  It was the first Schwarzkopf shuttle loop I ever rode.  I've always wanted to build a working Schwarzkopf shuttle loop and had to figure out how to launch and stop the train.  My solution was to use a rubber band launch and a rubber band powered brake.  The launch pusher is manually backed up first and then the train is placed into position.  Once released, the pusher (a scale plastic I-beam) rapidly accelerates the train down the launch track through the loop and up the first spike where it loses momentum and coasts backward through the loop and station.  On the front car is a wooden flange that strikes a wooden block on top of a flexible metal band releasing the brake which then goes into the stop position using rubber bands.  The train then is rapidly brought to a stop in the station. 


Category:     Real Life Roller Coaster

Built:           November, 2012

Base Size:     1 foot X 12 feet

Height:         39 inches (156 scale feet) - 99 cm (47.54 scale meters) - front of the train reaches                              108 scale feet or 32.91 scale meters

Length:        18 feet (864 scale feet) - 5.48 meters (263 scale meters)

Duration:     4 seconds

Scale:          O Scale 1:48 (1 inch equals 4 feet)