Specific Type: Mine Train
Opening on March 31, 1973, Carowind’s opening day, theCarolina Goldrusher was the only roller coaster to open with the park, and is one of only three original attractions in still in operation at the park, along with the Skytower and Scrambler. Though the family-oriented mine train remains one of Arrow Dynamics smallest creations, it became famous as the first roller coaster to cross state lines, bounding between North Carolina and South Carolina along its short journey. In its heyday, as many as four trains were in operation, however there are only two remaining (red and blue), as the others (green) have likely become spare parts with the disappearance of Arrow Dynamcis.
The ride starts with a small dip and 90-degree turn to the right, at which point the train dips again, turns 180-degree to the right, goes by the transfer tracks, dips, and turns 180-degrees to the left to line the train up with the first lift hill. After rising up approximately 40 feet, the train then drops slightly and glides forward on a brief section of straight track before dropping and diving through a right-hand turnaround. Skimming down along the ground, the train flies by the open area now occupied byNighthawk to its left, which was previously the small lake which the Sternwheeler traversed. The train then rises slightly and turns into a partially-enclosed trench in a tightening, 540-degree, downward helix. Here the rider experiences some great head-choppers with cross beams flying by overhead, as well as some classic Arrow bumps as a result of the hand-bent rails, before rising out in a lateral-force inducing turn to the trains second lift hill.
Again the train rises about 40 feet up before dipping down slightly into an elongated straight section of track. At the end, the train takes a similar dive to that experienced after the first hill, only this time, the train continues in a rightward helix, through one-and-a-half spirals, again providing fantastic head-choppers to anyone riding. This portion of the track used to take place over the old War Canoes, and the leftover lake once they were removed, but the area has since been filled in. Dropping slightly out of the helix, the train rises over a small hill before plummeting into a tunnel finale. Once in the tunnel, the train pulls up and banks hard to the right, leveling out into a partially-enclosed brake-run, ending the 2400 foot long run.
The ride is short, but sweet, and a perfect coaster for younger riders, families, and those transitioning their way up to larger coasters.
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