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S&S Worldwide Offers A New Single-Rail Coaster
Rides 4U - New & Used Rides

For theme and amusement parks with a modest budget to work from, S&S Worldwide has an innovative solution: a new single-rail coaster called RailRyder.

The new coaster is an outgrowth of an earlier coaster, the Steeplechase, a classic legacy ride from Arrow. S&S owns the drawings and assets for the ride, and the company's initial plan was to create a new prototype from them.

However, according to S&S CEO Jason Mons, “current codes, current manufacturing and current costs” proved that recreating the Steeplechase as it was originally conceived was now cost prohibitive. Still, Mons says because it was “such an amazing ride,” the company knew that they couldn't just drop the concept altogether. One Steeplechase ride manufactured in 1977 still operates in the U.K. at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and it remains a popular attraction. With all of this in mind, S&S came up with a new concept:  RailRyder.

S&S global marketing director Trevor Dyer terms the result “more of an evolution and less of a prototype.”

The ride's train system was designed after a re-examination of the company's single-rail track and the vehicles that could sit on top. Where the original Steeplchase is positioned some 18 inches off the track, the RailRyder vehicle sits at 4 inches off the track.

Mons believed this would be a successful adaptation. “That's going to give it an amazing sensation of speed riding right on top of the rail — hence the name RailRyder,” he explains.

The new vehicle is available in two different style configurations, a toboggan, and a jet ski. The jet ski style makes the vehicle's track straddling more accentuated, while the toboggan style lets riders lean back in a more relaxed position. Regardless of seating style, rides are positioned in pairs, with twelve riders for each train.  The ride is designed as an open vehicle that affords passengers the sensation of being unrestrained. Speaking of restraint: vehicle restraint styles can be customized by the purchasing park during design.

As to theming, the sky is pretty much the limit. Additionally, the track intertwines, allowing an interaction with other trains.

RailRyder also offers a choice of three different layouts, with the choice dependent upon the size of the ride's installation. Capacity ranges from 400 to 1000 riders per hour depending on layout. A rolling station assists with keeping ridership at the ride's maximum capability.

The largest RailRyder iteration features two lift hills: a 60-foot lift and a 45-foot lift. This model comes with 4 trains and a cost of approximately $5 million. Smaller models are priced less, making them affordable for some Family Entertainment Center venues. The smallest version of the ride is just 900 feet in length, and is designed to accommodate 400 people per hour, at an approximate cost of $2.5 million.

Designing the ride to match the desired capacity at an affordable price was the challenging goal for S&S, but the company has risen to it. In fact, the success of the design has surprised potential buyers with the excitement that can be packaged into such a small and reasonably priced footprint.

The company is well known for its thrilling and distinctive rides, but RailRyder fits a niche that was a gap for S&S in terms of price range and appeal. With a 39-inch height requirement, the ride can accommodate virtually all family members.

“We're really trying to help parks bring more families into their park,”

Mons says. He describes RailRyder as a gateway coaster, similar to the S&S inverted coaster. In other words, RailRyder could easily be the first roller coaster that kids ride along with their parents.

For parks, Mons says the price range will allow those who could not otherwise “really afford to put in a coaster” to be able to do so and “reinvigorate their parks.” S&S considers itself to be a partner and a collaborator in growth for parks.

Mons says that the ride is as cost effective as it is due to a simpler and quicker manufacturing process. The low height plays into this simpler process. Installation is also more economical Mons says, which is important due to ever-rising installation expenses. RailRyder allows parks to use a smaller installation team as well as employing smaller equipment, both of which will save parks on installation costs. With the vehicles positioned just four inches off the rail and the ride being a gravity-driven one, RailRyder is simply a different, but still exciting, coaster experience both for riders and for the parks that install it.

As Mons notes, the ride is completely unique. “It gets you right down to the rail…we're not looking at this to be high thrill. We are looking at a fun, family-friendly thrill.” And an affordable one for parks, at that.

S&S was founded in 1994, with the creation of the first pneumatic launch tower, called Space Shot. Highlights over the years include the downward launch tower Turbo Drop; upward and downward launch of the Double Shot; and in 2001, the company applied the vertical pneumatic launch system to a launched roller coaster. In 2019, the company brought the Golden Ticket recipient Steel Curtain roller coaster to Kennywood Park. The company is also known for its ability to create exciting coaster design, such as its air launch coasters, the 4D FreeSpin, and the new Axis coaster, which offers rotating thrills.

As S&S Worldwide's latest innovation, RailRyder seems poised for success both in terms of its design and its economics.

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