Specific Type: Wooden, Racing
All of the coasters at Kennywood are unique and special in some way. Jack Rabbit, Phantom’s Revenge, and Thunderbolt used the park’s natural ravines to great use to produce thrilling rides, whether it’s Jack Rabbit’s double dip, Phantom’s Revenge’s huge second drop that was once the largest in the world, or Thunderbolt’s last biggest drop. 1927’s Racer is unique, but does not use terrain. Instead, Racer uses a Mobius track design. This means that instead of two separate tracks, like most racing coasters, Racer uses one continuous track, with trains switching sides for each load. A benefit of this is that they must race the tracks instead of staggering dispatches or running just one side. Other racing coasters that are much newer only run one side now because of poor maintenance. Racer stands at 76 feet tall, with a drop of 50 feet. The length of the whole track is 4500, but each ride the train will travel 2,250 feet in a 1 minute 32 second course. The top speed is 40 MPH.
Racer is the third oldest operating coaster at Kennywood, opening in 1927 after both Jack Rabbit and Thunderbolt, which opened in 1920 and 1924 respectively. Thunderbolt did undergo a renovation during the ’67-’68 off season which lengthened the layout and gave the whole ride a brand new look.
Today’s Racer was not Kennywood’s first, however. The first Kennywood Racer was built in 1910, but was much tamer because of its side-friction track. It also was not a Mobius single track racing coaster like the second version of the ride. The original was closed in 1926 to make way for Kiddieland, and a new racer was built for 1927.
A ride on Racer starts with a left or right hand turn to face the ride to the lift. The two trains align to the two parallel lifts and travel 76 feet up to the top. A 50 foot drop gets the ride going at a speed of 40 MPH. After rising up, a slow, left-handed U-turn points the two trains back towards the station before dropping and turning into a floater airtime hill. The train climbs over top the station building before making another U-turn to the right. After a quick straightaway, the trains dive again, go over another airtime hill, and turn to the left before making another right-hand U-turn directly underneath the first. After a drop and a turn, the train finally rises up into the final brake run on the opposite side of the station.
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