All aboard for a runaway train ride through the mines of Calamity Canyon…
|Theme Park||Chessington World of Adventures|
|Opened||7 June 1987 (as "Runaway Mine Train")|
1998 (as "Runaway Train")
|Closed||2012 (replaced by Scorpion Express)|
Runaway Mine Train opened as Chessington was being converted from Chessington Zoo into Chessington World of Adventures in 1987.
The powered rollercoaster took visitors on a hair-raising trip on an out-of-control mine train as it raced through the rocks and caves around Calamity Canyon.
The ride was extensively themed, and fitted in well with the original Wild Western town theme of the Calamity Canyon area. Although just a simple Mack Powered Coaster, it won many fans over the years thanks in large part to the extra excitement created by racing in and out of the rockwork.
It was renamed to the simpler “Runaway Train” when Rattlesnake was added in 1998, as it didn’t make sense for there to be two mine train type rides so close to each other in the newly rethemed Mexicana area.
Following several years of inadequate investment in maintenance and upkeep, by the end of 2012 the rockwork around the ride was in bad shape. Runaway Train was closed and over the course of the 2013 season almost all the original theming was removed. The ride was “relaunched” as the much inferior Scorpion Express for the 2014 season, with the detailed mine theme replaced by some cheap looking two-dimensional cut outs and a weird robotic scorpion.
Racing out of the mine
Runaway Train station in 2003
The train waits for the passengers to board
Slow ... Dangerous Bends!
Zooming through the station
Emerging from the rocky caves
Returning to the station
On-ride photo collection
Chessington's old Runaway Train closed in 2012 and was re-themed and converted into Scorpion Express over the 2013 season, with the new ride launching in 2014.
Conversion well underway
With the rockwork removed, the fields behind became visible
The entrance bridge and station platform stripped back
Work underway on the track
A panoramic view of the construction site