Mine train roller coasters have been around for many years. They are defined by simulating an out of control mine cart or Old West locomotive train. They are made of steel and most are tame enough to be classified as family roller coasters. Common elements include: multiple lift hills, short gently slopping curved drops, helices, and tunnels.
The first mine train roller coaster was Runaway Mine Train at Six Flags Over Texas. Built in 1966, it features the distinctive locomotive train-themed front car and the typical Western theming. It was designated an American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) landmark in 2006 because of its influence as many similar mine train coasters followed. The most popular mine train roller coaster would have to be Big Thunder Mountains at Walt Disney World and the Disneylands in Tokyo, Paris, and California.
After building Runaway Mine Train, steel stallwarts Arrow made many of the mine train coasters we’ve known for years at our local Six Flags or Cedar Fair parks. Many parks already have a mine train coaster or something similar. The newest mine train coaster in the States is Iron Horse at Freestyle Music Park. It debuted in 2008 as Eagles Life in the Fast Lane at Hard Rock Park.
Fun for the Whole Family
Mine train roller coasters are great for kids who are transitioning to bigger rides. They’re also crowd pleasers for the less adventurous and can be enjoyed by the whole family due to their relatively low heights and speeds. There are some exceptions to the general tameness of these rides. I remember being pretty surprised by how intense the end of Six Flags Over Georgia’s Dahlonega Mine Train was. My favorite mine train coasters are: Adventure Express at Kings Island, Carolina Goldrusher at Carowinds, and Runaway Mine Train at Six Flags Great Adventure.
Get the lowdown on the many types of coasters including floorless, dive, hyper, water, flying, and more in my Coasterology 101 posts.
What’s Your Take?
Are you a fan of mine train roller coasters? Leave a comment below. Images courtesy of CoasterImage.