Just north of Cincinnati, Ohio is the popular amusement park, Kings Island, which debuted in 1972. On opening day, one of the main attractions was the out-and-back racing wooden roller coaster, The Racer.
The coaster is “racing,” in that there are two mirrored tracks where two trains—red and blue—are dispatched simultaneously. The coaster was designed by John C. Allen and built by James L. Martz, both of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. Arguably, Allen was one of the last designers of the “golden age of roller coasters.” Additionally, some credit The Racer with ushering in the 1970’s renaissance of roller coasters. Television’s “The Brady Bunch” famously rode The Racer in a 1973 episode of the show.
Periodically, wooden coasters require re-tracking. Over a period of many seasons, the ride of a wooden coaster can transform from a thrilling rough ride to just plain rough. Perhaps taking advantage of not being open for Winterfest in 2020, construction commenced in November to replace more than 500 feet on each side of the coaster.
The re-tracking starts from the base of the first drop to the base of the turn-around – the “out” of the out-and-back. This covers four hills, and construction is expected to be completed in March.
While no one quite knows how a refurbishment will turn out, I would expect this to result in a much smoother ride through this area, which will go nicely with past re-tracks of recent years. Despite its age, The Racer remains a fan favorite. This investment will help ensure that it will remain a fan favorite at Kings Island for years to come.
|The Racer’s Stats
|Maximum height: 88 feet
|Lift System: Chain
|Tallest Drop: 82 feet
|Maximum Speed: 53 miles per hour
|Length: 3,415 feet (each side)
|Ride Time: 2:00
|Vertical Drop: 45 degrees
|Original Construction Cost: $1,200,000