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Published on Jan 17, 2012
The Thunderbolt is a wooden roller coaster located at Kennywood Park in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. Originally built by John A. Miller in 1924, the ride's name was Pippin until 1967, when it changed to Thunderbolt beginning with the 1968 season, coinciding with an expansion of the track headed up by Andy Vettel. The all-wood coaster follows the surrounding terrain with a track length of 2,887 feet (880 m). Its maximum height is 70 feet (21 m), but because of the track layout and the natural ravines on which the ride is set, the maximum drop is 95 feet (29 m). Reaching a maximum speed of 55 mph (88.5 km/h), the ride takes 108 seconds to complete its circuit. An interesting feature of the Thunderbolt is that after departing from the station, the train does not immediately go up the lift hill as on most other coasters. Instead, the lift hill is in the middle of the ride.