Racer (Kennywood)

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40°23′13″N 79°51′43″W / 40.38694°N 79.86194°W / 40.38694; -79.86194Coordinates: 40°23′13″N 79°51′43″W / 40.38694°N 79.86194°W / 40.38694; -79.86194

Designated 1995[1]
Status Operating
Opening date 1927
Cost $75,000
General statistics
Type Wood – Racing
Manufacturer Charlie Mach
Designer John A. Miller
Model Racing
Track layout Moebius Loop
Lift/launch system Chain lift
Height 72.5 ft (22.1 m)
Drop 50 ft (15 m)
Length 2,250 ft (690 m)
Speed 35 mph (56 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 1:32
Capacity 1400 riders per hour
Height restriction 46 in (117 cm)
Racer at RCDB
Pictures of Racer at RCDB

The Racer is a wooden roller coaster located at Kennywood Park, in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. It is a racing, moebius loop coaster; one of only three in the world.


The first Kennywood Racer was first built in 1910 as a side friction roller coaster by Frederick Ingersoll. It was a twin-track racing coaster designed by John Miller that cost nearly $50,000. When it was built, it was the largest racing coaster in the world. The original Racer had two trains racing side by side on two separate tracks, but it didn't have wheels under the track, so dips and curves were gentle. The trains consisted of three-seat cars with a seating capacity of 18. The Racer was torn down in 1926 and replaced by Kiddieland.


Racer's trains run close enough together such that riders may hand-slap with riders on the other train

The second Racer was designed by John Miller in 1927 and built by Charile Mach. Because they liked John Miller's previous work, Kennywood hired him to build a new twin or racing coaster. Brady McSwigan wanted a "snappy ride that wasn't too much for mothers and children to ride." It cost more than $75,000, because Miller didn't use the topography as effectively as he had with the Jack Rabbit and Pippin. The highest hill of the Racer was built in a ravine and much more lumber was required. The moebius layout is caused by the setup of the station, where the trains turn away from each other upon dispatch. When the trains meet again at the lift hill, they are already on opposite sides than they were in the station, and the tracks do not split for the remainder of the ride. The new Racer's trains were locked onto the tracks, which permitted banked curves as well as curves on the dips. Andy Vettel took the final hill out of the coaster in 1949. The loading platform's facade was redesigned in 1946 by Hindenach and in 1960 by architect Bernard Liff of Liff, Justh and Chetlin. The original front was restored in 1990.


Racer was designated as an "ACE Roller Coaster Landmark" by American Coaster Enthusiasts in June, 2010

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Historic Landmark Plaques 1968-2009 (PDF). Pittsburgh, PA: Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation. 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 

External links[edit]