Storm Runner

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Storm Runner
Park section Pioneer Frontier
Coordinates 40°17′23″N 76°39′13″W / 40.28972°N 76.65361°W / 40.28972; -76.65361Coordinates: 40°17′23″N 76°39′13″W / 40.28972°N 76.65361°W / 40.28972; -76.65361
Status Operating
Opening date May 8, 2004 (2004-05-08)
Cost $12,500,000
General statistics
Type Steel – Launched
Manufacturer Intamin
Designer Werner Stengel
Model Accelerator Coaster
Lift/launch system Hydraulic Launch
Height 150 ft (46 m)
Drop 180 ft (55 m)
Length 2,600 ft (790 m)
Speed 75 mph (121 km/h)
Inversions 3
Duration 0:50
Max vertical angle 90°
Capacity 1200 riders per hour
Acceleration 0 to 72 mph (0 to 116 km/h) in 2 seconds
Height restriction 54 in (137 cm)
Trains 2 trains with 5 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 20 riders per train.
Website Official website
Storm Runner at RCDB
Pictures of Storm Runner at RCDB

Storm Runner is a launched roller coaster located at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Manufactured by Intamin and situated in the Pioneer Frontier section of the park, the Accelerator Coaster opened to the public on May 8, 2004. It reaches a height of 150 feet (46 m) and catapults riders from 0 to 72 mph (116 km/h) in two seconds. Storm Runner features a top hat element, three inversions, a dual loading station and a magnetic braking system. In addition, it was designed to interact with three other Hersheypark rides: Dry Gulch Railroad, the Monorail, and Trailblazer.[1]

Storm Runner is the first accelerator coaster to utilize over-the-shoulder restraints and the first to have a dual-loading station with switch tracks. Likewise, it was also the first accelerator coaster to feature inversions; Kanonen at Liseberg was the second.

When Storm Runner first opened in 2004, the queue line would often be extended with ropes due to the ride's popularity. In 2005, the park added an overflow queue line located next to Trailblazer's first drop.

In October, when Hersheypark is decorated in a Halloween theme (Hersheypark in the Dark), Stormrunner is dubbed Ghost Runner.

Ride experience[edit]

As the train leaves the station, it moves slowly onto the launch platform. As it is rolling to its launch, a pre-recorded sound of a heartbeat is heard along with a voice announcing "All right, riders, sit up right with your head back, hold on tight to the grab handles at all times and keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times", followed by the whinny of a stallion. After a few seconds, the trains rolls back as the magnetic brakes drop and riders hear a voice saying "Now get ready, here we go", then the train suddenly launches from 0–72 mph in 2 seconds (just when the voice says the word "go"). Riders are then photographed by the on-ride camera a short way down the launch track. In 2004 during the wait, riders would listen to a heartbeat then a countdown from five before hearing the voice. After traveling down the take-off runway and hitting a speed of 72 mph, the train climbs straight up the 150-foot-tall "top hat" element providing some airtime, and back down again, dropping 180 feet, reaching the top speed of 75 mph down the side of a hill leading down toward Spring Creek. The train next climbs and rolls left through the first-ever "Cobra Loop". The train then speeds up and into a straight-line barrel roll which then leads to the first-ever "Flying Snake Dive" which consists of a heartline roll followed by a half Immelman roll that makes a vertical plunge back down toward Spring Creek. The train shoots back up and to within 10 feet under the park's Monorail track, over a portion of the TrailBlazer, quickly twists to the left and to the right, then back above the treetops for one last dose of airtime. The train hits the magnetic brakes at fast speed, jerking riders forward, and then slowly glides back into the station. The duration of the ride is 28 seconds from launch to the brakes.

Launch system[edit]

To launch the trains, Storm Runner utilizes a system invented by Intamin that launches the trains using hydraulics. This system is similar to the propulsion on a locomotive wheel except it doesn't spin completely. The inner diameter of the wheel is attached to the hydraulic actuator and the outer radius of the wheel is then attached to the launch mechanism. The outer diameter of the wheel amplifies the energy output from the slow actuator stroke creating a high speed launch in a matter of seconds. A pusher car is attached to the launch mechanism and the train attaches to this pusher car prior to launch. Once the train reaches the end of the launch area, the pusher car disengages and gravity does the rest.

The launch track features magnetic brake fins. These slow down the car if the launch is unsuccessful (also known as a rollback). Storm Runner does not have a very tall top hat like Top Thrill Dragster and Kingda Ka, 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.

Storm Runner is also a coaster available for construction in the video game RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 with the Soaked! expansion pack.



  1. ^ Marden, Duane. "Storm Runner  (Hersheypark)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved April 11, 2017.