What do you think of when you think of Cat Ladders? The most common thing to imagine these days is a wooden plank going up the side of a building so that a cat can gain access to the window of the second floor of even higher in some cases. But in truth this is not a cat ladder. (To be honest it’s not even a ladder! It’s much more cat stairs/ramp) . But this blog is all about cat ladders that are vertical ladders with an outer safety cage attached (these are also called roof ladders) and what someone thought about when they saw one.
Today we are flying over to the USA to take a look at a roller coaster ride called Ultra twister in Six Flags AstroWorld, Houston, Texas.
The Heartline Coaster (also known as a “Pipeline Coaster” for us roller coaster nerds) was a roller coaster developed by Japanese ride company TOGO. Heartline roller coasters position riders between the rails, rather than above or below. TOGO was the first and only company to produce this type of roller coaster successfully. Although Utah’s Arrow Dynamics and Switzerland’s Intamin developed these types of coasters as well, they didn’t catch on. Some of the drawbacks of these coasters included the need for large, uncomfortable over-the-shoulder restraints as well as poor wheel-to-track construction. Now sadly there are only five pipeline coasters that still operate today and that is a real shame.
But our point here is that it was always believed that Shimura Norito (the rides designer) had come up with the idea after seeing his father’s heart monitor when visiting him in hospital. But after Shimura Norito recent passing his widow confirmed that it was what a lot of people had always though and she said that it was indeed an all white cat ladder that Shimura Norito had once climbed as a child that was his main inspiration for the ride. These were also the colours of the original ride, and was why a lot of people had thought it might have been the ladder and not the heart monitor.
While many of the roller coaster nerds (Most of us here at Ladders-Online included) know the heartline coaster was never a great ride. It’s was rough to ride and the seat restraints were always painful. But the very fact that a whole ride was inspired by a simple cat ladder is more than enough to make it a very, very special coaster indeed.
So what was the last roller coaster you went on?
Pictures by Anton Schwarzkopf
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p.s. Just a quick note here that while we may not advertise we have vertical fixed cat ladders for sale you may well want to give our sales team a call. You might be surprised what we do indeed sell. Drop us a telephone call on 08450 647 647. Or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org