Kennywood’s Jack Rabbit goes into winter hibernation
The Jack Rabbit won’t be hopping again ’til spring.
Kennywood maintenance workers disconnected the roller coaster’s cars, removed them from the wooden track with a crane and took off the wheels so the bearings can be replaced.
The cars were then taken to a workshop, where carpenters will replace any worn wood, padding and seat belts. The Jack Rabbit logo on the front of the train will get a touch-up if needed.
“Each car is inspected,” said Gary Miller, Kennywood superintendent. “We are building a new Jack Rabbit car. We do this every year so they don’t all go bad at once.”
The Jack Rabbit was built in 1920. It is known for its 70-foot, double-dip drop and rabbit-like hop. It is one of seven roller coasters at the amusement park.
The track, which is walked and inspected daily during the season, receives additional attention this time of the year.
“I’ve walked all the tracks for our roller coasters,” Miller said. “The Steel Curtain is 220 feet high, but to me they all seem high.”
All of the work is part of the season-ending ritual for rides at the West Mifflin amusement park. Each roller coaster has an average of 10% of its track replaced annually, said Nick Paradise, Kennywood spokesman.
“When you see the park packed on a summer night and people lined up and smiling waiting to ride the Jack Rabbit, this is all worth it,” said Miller. “That’s why this work now is so important.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, [email protected] or via Twitter .