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2021 Racer Improvements


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BLOG: More than 500 feet of track being replaced on The Racer roller coaster

https://www.visitkingsisland.com/blog/2020/november/more-than-500-feet-of-track-being-replaced-on-the-racer-roller-coaster

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MORE THAN 500 FEET OF TRACK BEING REPLACED ON THE RACER ROLLER COASTER

November 17, 2020
 
Don Helbig

Area Manager Digital Marketing - Kings Island

Twitter: @DonHelbig

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An incredible amount of care goes into The Racer each winter to keep the 48-year-old roller coaster in peak operating condition. Annual work on the ride during the offseason months may include replacing a number of the running rails made of flattened steel strips mounted on the wooden track, replacing support bents and ledgers, or sections of track.

Some years may require more extensive work than others, with this year being one of them. Carpenters are currently busy removing the stacks of wood used for the track from the base of the first drop through the 65-foot tall fourth hill on both sides of the ride. More than 500 feet of the old and mostly original track through this section of the ride will be replaced this winter, which will ensure smoother rides when the park opens for the 2021 season.

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In addition to being considered an important part of the roller coaster renaissance of the 1970’s, The Racer was the site of several world record-riding attempts and is notable for its appearance in the “Cincinnati Kids” episode of The Brady Bunch, filmed at the park in 1972. On May 28, 1982, one side of The Racer became the world’s first full-length, backwards traveling roller coaster. (Both sides now face forward.)

Kings Island officials coaxed the legendary roller coaster designer John Allen of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company out of semi-retirement for the task of designing and building The Racer. He started to design the ride’s blueprints in 1960. Actual construction began in September, 1970. The first trial run came a year later in September, 1971. It worked perfectly the first time, as Allen predicted it would.

The Racer was the first roller coaster built structurally on the ground with prefabricated sections lifted into position and bolted. It was one of the largest roller coasters ever built at the time, and the largest that Allen had built. He considered The Racer to be the finest roller coaster he ever built.

While it has been more than 40 years since The Racer was the tallest, fastest, longest and most thrilling roller coaster at Kings Island, the ride remains popular with our guests, annually ranking among the top five attractions for the most rides given.

Since its debut April 29, 1972, The Racer has given more than 106 million rides – by far the most in park history! Its record year was 1976, when a Kings Island single-season attraction record 3,681,338 rides were given.

 

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BLOG: Photos: Racer roller coaster track work at Kings Island

https://www.visitkingsisland.com/blog/2020/december/photos-racer-roller-coaster-track-work-at-kings-island

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PHOTOS: RACER ROLLER COASTER TRACK WORK AT KINGS ISLAND 

December 3, 2020
 
Don Helbig

Area Manager Digital Marketing - Kings Island

Twitter: @DonHelbig

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Last month on the Kings Island Blog we shared with our readers the news that a significant amount of track work was being done on The Racer, with carpenters replacing more than 500 feet of the old and mostly original track on both sides of the twin-track roller coaster from the base of the first drop through the drop on the 65-foot tall fourth hill.

Here is a latest look at the track work on The Racer.

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Kings Island officials coaxed the legendary roller coaster designer John Allen of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company out of semi-retirement for the task of designing and building The Racer. He started to design the ride’s blueprints in 1960. Actual construction began in September 1970. The first trial run came a year later in September,1971. It worked perfectly the first time, as Allen predicted it would.

The Racer was the first roller coaster built structurally on the ground with prefabricated sections lifted into position and bolted. It was one of the largest roller coasters ever built at the time, and the largest that Allen had built. He considered The Racer to be the finest roller coaster he ever built.

In addition to being considered an important part of the roller coaster renaissance of the 1970’s, The Racer was the site of several world record-riding attempts and is notable for its appearance in the “Cincinnati Kids” episode of The Brady Bunch, filmed at the park in 1972. On May 28, 1982, one side of The Racer became the world’s first full-length, backwards traveling roller coaster. (Both sides now face forward.)

Since its debut April 29, 1972, The Racer has given more than 106 million rides – by far the most in park history! Its record year was 1976, when a Kings Island single-season attraction record 3,681,338 rides were given.

Be sure to keep an eye on the Kings Island Blog as we continue to share updates on The Racer offseason track work progress.

 

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I was a manager across the street at Showcase Cinemas and I despised it so much. I used to stand in the lobby watching them build Son of Beast and often thought about walking over there and asking for a job with the construction company. Then I would walk outside to get in my car or for what ever reason and realized I probably wouldn't last a week being constantly exposed to those winter temperatures. Of course we now know how Son of Beast worked out so I am glad that mess cant be held over my head. 

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BLOG: New track construction begins on The Racer

https://www.visitkingsisland.com/blog/2021/january/new-track-construction-begins-on-the-racer

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NEW TRACK CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON THE RACER 

January 13, 2021
 
Don Helbig

Area Manager Digital Marketing - Kings Island

Twitter: @DonHelbig

racer1400-1.jpg

With the demolition of the old and original track from the base of the first drop to the base of the turnaround completed, new track construction on The Racer roller coaster has begun.

Crews are currently putting steel channels in the valleys and will be installing new intermediate (bolster) bents at these locations. Many of the ledgers are now in place in what we’ll term as “the belly.”

The work going into The Racer this winter is sure to deliver a much smoother and more enjoyable ride experience for our guests this year. I can’t wait to take my first rides of the year on this iconic attraction. It’s going to ride like a baby coach!

Be sure to keep an eye on the Kings Island Blog as we continue to share construction updates on The Racer track work.

racer1400-2.jpg

The Racer has been a mainstay at Kings Island since the park opened in 1972, and with good reason. In addition to being an important part of the roller coaster renaissance of the 1970’s, The Racer was the site of several world record-riding attempts and is notable for its appearance in the “Cincinnati Kids” episode of The Brady Bunch, filmed at the park in 1973.

Since its debut April 29, 1972, The Racer has given more than 106 million rides – by far the most in park history! Its record year was 1976, when a Kings Island single-season attraction record 3,681,338 rides were given.

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BLOG: Kings Island brings back beloved original logo on Racer roller coaster trains

https://www.visitkingsisland.com/blog/2021/may/kings-island-brings-back-beloved-original-logo-on-racer-roller-coaster-trains

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Kings Island brings back beloved original logo on Racer roller coaster trains

Don Helbig May 3, 2021

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With the official opening of the 2021 season less than two weeks away, Kings Island is unveiling a new logo on the front cars of the blue and red trains on the iconic Racer roller coaster.

But it’s also an old one.

The 364-acre amusement and water park is bringing back the original logo that was featured on the  trains from its opening with Kings Island in 1972 until 1992, when the park went through a series of logo changes on the ride.  

In addition to bringing back the original logo on the trains, the park has also gone retro with the ID sign at The Racer entrance.

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Over the winter, a stretch of track from the base of the first drop to the base of the 85-foot tall fourth hill and track from the fifth hill to the base of the turnaround on both the north and south sides was replaced as part of The Racer’s annual offseason maintenance program. The amount of care that goes into The Racer every year is what has preserved the ride and will keep it around for future generations of thrill seekers to enjoy.

The Racer hasn’t been just a mainstay at Kings Island. It played an important part of the roller coaster renaissance of the 1970’s.

Authorities credit the Racer as the inspiration for what has been developed and built since the destructive period from 1945 to 1970, a time when most of the greatest roller coasters ever conceived fell victim to the wrecker’s ball.

Kings Island management, in one of the industry's best moves, got exactly what they needed in the Racer. In one coaster they had: high capacity, graceful aesthetics, and one of the best rides in the country.

In addition to unusual characteristics, such as the spectacular track split at the turnaround and a total of over 1,200 feet of weightlessness (negative G’s), the Racer acted as a catalyst for other potential high-capacity racing coasters including Racer 75 at Kings Dominion and Gemini at Cedar Point.

The Racer was the site of several world-record riding attempts and is notable for its appearance in the “Cincinnati Kids” episode of The Brady Bunch, filmed at the park in 1973. In 1982, one side of The Racer was transformed into the world’s first full-length, backwards traveling roller coaster, offering a unique ride experience that lasted for 26 seasons.

Who can say how many roller coasters would have been built if The Racer had not paved the way?

More than 106 million guests have taken a ride on The Racer through its first 49 seasons of operation, the most in park history. Its record year was 1976, when a single-season park record 3.6 million rides were given.

Kings Island opens for the 2021 season May 15. A Gold and Platinum Passholder Preview Weekend will be held May 8-9.

 

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Didn't I read they were bringing back the original metal logos on the front of the coaster trains as well?  Maybe they had always been there and I am just not Remembering. However, I can picture decal logos on the trains. I don't know for sure... my imagination works better than my memory.

 

Edited by SSR1966
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The trains have been decals for ages, the original metal letters and chevrons have been missing since 1994. They're recreating the original metal with silver metallic paint as seen in the first photo of that post.

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