The second day of October 2016 is a date many Dutch roller coaster fans are looking back to with sadness. It was the last day Thunder Loop was open, its home park Slagharen had decided to say goodbye from their iconic roller coaster and replace it with a newer, more modern and thrilling roller coaster. They found their replacement with Gold Rush!
Maintenance was getting too expensive on Thunder Loop and so Slagharen CEO Wouter Dekkers decided that it was time to replace the old Schwarzkopf roller coaster. A new roller coaster would be cheaper than keeping up with the maintenance costs and it would give Slagharen a great opportunity to open a new roller coaster that is more thrilling and more fitting into modern standards.
In 2017 Slagharen opened proudly their new flagship roller coaster Gold Rush. Gold Rush is an infinity roller coaster constructed by Gerstlauer. It reaches a height of 33m, is about 400m long (but you ride 620m because of the multiple launches) and has a top speed of 90 km per hour. That top speed is reached by a triple launch: first you have a short forwards launch, you roll back into a backwards launch which is yet again followed by a roll back into the station where the third launch, forwards again, launches you over the tophat.
Don’t let the triple launch fool you, each launch isn’t weak at all! As we know from Gerstlauer, they provide their launch coasters with powerful launches. Even with three consecutive launches. After the triple launch you’ll ride over a tophat that provides a good bunch of airtime, followed by a sidewinder inversion. Then there’s an airtime hill, a turn and then a dive coaster which ends up in the brakes.
The back seat is for sure the best seat on Gold Rush. Mostly because of the incredible hang time you get when the train is launched backwards into the dive loop. And in the afternoon, when the coaster is warm, it even goes higher into the dive loop providing even more hang time! If you ride Gold Rush be sure to ride it in the back seat, you’ll also get more airtime there.
Gold Rush may not look that impressive, but it sure made a great impression on me! It proves coasters don’t have to be high or long to be good, Gold Rush provides pure fun packed in a compact track. The lap bars are very comfortable and provide freedom for the rider and a smooth ride.
Gold Rush is a great replacement for Thunder Loop. It is more thrilling and it has a really high repetition value. One ride isn’t enough, you’ll easily want to do multiple rides on it. I give it a well deserved final score of 3,6 / 5. Gold Rush is a great excuse to visit Slagharen, you won’t regret it. For a park like Slagharen a coaster like this is a great investment and we hope that similar parks will also think about getting a coaster like this…