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February 24, 2023

Rare thrill ride — that speeds up to 70 mph — set to make debut at Knoebels amusement park this spring

The Bayern Kurve, first manufactured in 1963, zips passengers around a banked, circular track

Entertainment Amusement Parks
Knoebels Bayern Kurve Knoebels Amusement Resort/Facebook

Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pennsylvania is refurbing the vintage Bayern Kurve ride for a planned debut at the end of April 2023.

Knoebels Amusement Resort, the nearly century-old park that's a 2 1/2-hour drive from Philly, will debut a vintage thrill ride this spring, joining a short list of places in the world where the ride remains in use.

Crews at the amusement park in Elysburg, Northumberland County, are completing work refurbishing Knoebels' Bayern Kurve, using parts from two different rides that had been taken out of operation. It is scheduled to be ready for the opening of  Knoebels' upcoming season that begins the weekend of April 29.

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Created by German manufacturer Schwartzkopf Industries in 1963, the Bayern Kurve travels on a banked, circular track and reaches a top speed of around 70 mph within seconds. It seats up to 32 people on 16 passenger cars.

In a Facebook post, Knoebels said there are only three operating examples of the ride still in existence. One of them, the Beserker, is at California's Great America in Santa Clara. The others are in France and Belgium. Kennywood, the amusement park just outside Pittsburgh, had one that permanently was shut down in 2020.

We checked out progress on the Bayern Kurve today! For those wondering, “What in the world is a Bayern Kurve?”: It’s a...

Posted by Knoebels Amusement Resort on Monday, February 20, 2023

This YouTube video gives a good look at how the Bayern Curve works.

At Knoebels, the ride will be at the former location of the 1001 Nacht attraction, which is next to the Skloosh splashdown, at the front of the park.

Knoebels is about 150 miles northwest of Philadelphia. Admission and parking at the amusement park are free. Visitors buy days passes to ride the rides, or they can pay as they go. Knoebels has consistently been rated among the best amusement parks in the United States, including by the Travel Channel and the National Amusement Park Historical Association. In a USA Today poll in 2019, riders ranked Knoebels' roller coaster Phoenix the second-best in the country.