Dollywood’s Lightning Rod gets upgrade
November 30, 2023
47 Read

Lightning Rod, the world's fastest and only launched wooden coaster upon its opening in August 2015, will be refitted for the 2024 season. During the off-peak season in the winter. Located in Tennessee, USA, Dollywood is to install a high-speed chain lift to reduce the downtime that has plagued Lightning Rod in recent times. As part of the refit, a new set of carriages will be introduced to the hybrid coaster, created by Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC). 

The second coming of Lightning Rod will race along at speeds of up to 117km/h, just like its predecessor. Its main feature consists of riders haring down a 165ft (about 50.3m) drop making for a pure adrenaline thrill. Dollywood revealed in a press release that,"to provide guests with a more consistent and efficient ride experience, Lightning Rod was closed for the season on 30 October for crews to install a variable frequency chain lift in place of its linear synchronous motor (LSM) launch system. Despite the removal of the launch system, once the coaster trains reach the first drop, the ride experience will remain the same as it is currently. The ride is scheduled to reopen Spring 2024."