If your looking for an amazing thrust of power, speed, a ride where you have no control over your screams, a twist, a climb and a feeling of weightlessness then this one is for you!
Storm Runner is a steal launched roller coaster based at Hersheypark, located at Hershey, Pennsylvania. It was built in 2004 and was the third Intamin Accelerator Coaster. It reaches a decent height of 150 ft (46 m) and shoots riders from 0 – 72 mph (116 km/h) in only 2 seconds. This coaster features a top hat and three inversions, a dual loading station and also a magnetic braking system (always good to know!). It was built to interact alongside three other Hersheypark rides: the Dry Gulch Railroad, the Monorail, and the Trailblazer.
Storm Runner believe it or not is the first accelerator coaster to utilize over-the-shoulder restraints and from my personal view I always feel a lot more safer secured in this way. The coaster was also the first to have a dual-loading station with switch tracks and the first accelerator to feature the exciting inversions; Kanonen at Lisberg was the second.
In 2004 when Storm Runner opened, the queue line had to be extended because of the rides popularity so in 2005, the park added an overflow queue line which sat next to the Trailblazer’s first drop.
Being a steel launched rollercoaster Storm Runner has to utilize a system that was invited by Intamin. This system launches trains using hydraulics.The system works quite like blowing up a balloon (and we all know how hard that can be sometimes) and releasing the air but instead of air, they use liquids. On the track there is a catch car that would hook up to the train. Once the launch happens, the catch car pulls the train all the way down the track. When the train reaches the end of the launch track, it releases and the ride continues by itself. The launch track features magnetic brake fins. These slow down the car if the launch is unsuccessful (also known as a rollback which we covered on the ride Stealth). Storm Runner does not have a very tall top hat and usually does not have a problem clearing it. After a successful, although slightly rocky first season, the ride’s launch system is generally considered reliable, (another thing that’s good to know!).
So after all that dreaded queuing and watching all the other riders have their screams of excitement, it’s your go. The train moves slowly as it leaves the station and onto the launch platform. When rolling to its launch a pre-recorded sound of a heartbeat is heard, shortly after a few seconds. The train rolls back and the magnetic brakes drop, this is when the riders hear a voice saying “Now get ready, here we go”. On the word “go”, the train launches from 0-72 mph in 2 seconds. A short way down the launch track is when you get the opportunity to try and pull a straight or silly face to the on-ride camera. After flying down the take-off runway while hitting a speed of 72 mph the train climbs straight up the 150-foot-tall “top hat” providing some airtime and then off back down you go, 180 feet reaching a top speed of 75 mph down the side of the hill downward toward Spring Creek. Just when you think it’s over the train climbs and rolls left through the first-ever “Cobra Loop”. Again the train speeds up and into a straight-line barrel roll then leads onto the first-ever “Flying Snake Dive”. The “Flying Snake Dive” consists of a Heartline roll, this is a 360 degrees roll and can commonly be confused with inline twists. After the rider has experienced an adrenaline overdose from the “Flying Snake Dive” it is followed by a half Immelman roll that makes a vertical plunge back down to Spring Creek. The train then shoots back up, quickly twists to the left and then to the right, back above the treetops for one final dose of airtime and then the train hit’s the magnetic brakes at a very fast speed, thrusting the riders forward, then slowly back into the station. When reading this back it seems the ride goes on forever but in real-time the duration is a total of 34 seconds from launch to brakes.
Assuming your as much of a Roller Coaster freak like myself then this coaster is available for construction (no, not in your back garden) but on the video game Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 with the Soakedexpansion pack.
Current Coaster Name: Storm Runner Current Park Name: Pioneer Frontier Previous Ride Name(s): N/A Location: Hersheypark Status: Operating Links: http://www.hersheypark.com/ Cost: $12,500,000
Type: Steel Rocket Opened: May 8th 2004 Designer: Werner Stengel Features: Hydraulic Launch, Terrain, Vertical Drop Height: 150 feet Max Drop: 180 feet Max Speed: 75 mph Length: 2600 feet Acceleration: 0 − 72 mph (116 km/h) in 2 seconds Inversions: 3 Duration: 1.00 Trains: 2 Capacity: 1200 per hour