My Top 7 Runaway Trains


This post has no context to anything relevant going on in the wider theme park universe, it's more just reflective of my tangental train of thought (pun 100% intended)  and how my brain randomly decides to make favourites lists. I bloody LOVE the humble mine train coaster. An absolute theme park staple, good old-fashioned family fun, a wild coaster ride and great theming to enjoy as you race through the wilderness. Mine trains are actually kind of everywhere if you think about it, so I wanted to take a second to talk about my favs!

You ever get that thing as an enthusiast where you played a park on RCT as a kid, and then years later you suddenly find yourself stood in front of the very same ride you spent hours torturing peeps on? Yh, that's Calamity Mine for me. It always looked like SO much fun in the game, so I was mega excited to finally ride it back in 2014! The theming is incredible - really reflective of when parks in the 90s were doing their best Disney impression, and man am I grateful for it! Waterfalls, rockwork, ridiculously long lift-hill sheds - it's kind of got everything going on and to back it all up the coaster part is so much fun too! A testament to what I mean when I say Vekoma are secretly fab!

As somebody who grew up riding Runaway Train at Chessington and screaming whenever it went through a tunnel, you'd be forgiven for being surprised to see Scorpion Express on this list. It is just a standard figure eight Mack powered thing right? Well to be honest, it kind of does everything a mine train should, but ramps it up with some awesome special effects! For me, a mine train coaster is all about the scenery - and hell, if a giant steampunk scorpion that spouts fire and water isn't excellent scenery then I don't know what it. It's always a must-ride for me when I visit Chessington and I look forward to riding it for many years to come.

Let's face it, it'd be pretty criminal for Silver Dollar City not to have a kickass runaway train. Luckily for them, Thunderation exists. And talk about a coaster using its terrain to it's advantage - this thing absolutely races down the side of that hill and through the trees, and it just keeps going and going. It's the perfect family fun ride, and is actually a lot more intense and thrilling than it lets on. I'd have loved the chance to have tried it backwards when that was a thing!

Everest realises that the theming is what makes the coaster - and pretty much runs with it. To give that real authentic feel of a train running away through the mountains, let's just...build a full sized fucking mountain! It's definitely one of the more intense runaway trains around, and of course the trick track and split track sections really up the ante narrative-wise. The thing I love about Expedition Everest is the pacing of the story - from the minute you enter the queue line you feel totally immersed in the story the Imagineers are painting for you, and everything from the initial meander through the mountainside to the final rush past #DiscoYeti, you'd be hard pressed to find a more original or enjoyable version of the classic.

The most undersung and underappreciated mine train in the world (probably) in Mine Train Ulven at Bakken, the world's oldest amusement park. This thing is absolutely insane, probably one of my favourite first drops on any coaster anywhere. I haven't ridden it since 2009 and that 'oh fuck' moment of the first drop is still firmly etched into my brain. I'd honestly travel to Denmark just for that moment. Honestly, I can't remember loads more after that other than it being a really intense and fun ride, with endless rerideability!

Long-time readers of this blog will be no stranger to my love of this ridiculous ride. It is utterly insane from start to finish and ticks all of the runaway train boxes and then some. Awesome theming?Check! Wild adventurous ride? Check! TUNNELS?! DOUBLE CHECK!!! I love rides where I feel totally out of control, and man does the back row of this coaster deliver on that 'fear of imminent death' feeling. Add on top of that the fact that the theming is spectacular and all of the amazing interactions with Chiapas and the tunnels and surrounding rockwork and you end up with one kickass coaster. Love!

Of course, no mine train list would be complete without at least one of the Big Thunders, but which one? Well duh - the one with the TUNNEL UNDER A GODDAMN LAKE AND ROCK MOUNTAIN ISLAND OF JOY. Ahem. Yh, Big Thunder Mountain at Disneyland Paris is just bloody perfection. The mesa, the tunnel, the bats, the geysers, the water effects (even if some of them don't work anymore boooo!) It's all just so amazing the way it all comes together it literally create the wildest ride in the wilderness, none of the other Big Thunders compare!

Anybody else now have a hankering to don a ten gallon hat and jump on a wild train through the old West? Yeehaw!

Talk later xoxo,

CONVERSATION

1 comments:

  1. Everest blew me away last year. It's the ultimate family coaster experience. Not to mention Asia is the most stunningly themed area I've ever seen in a park. Absolutely top marks Disney

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