Diamond Devil Run
Ratanga Junction, Cape Town, South Africa
When you see Diamond Devil Run for the first time, you wonder if you've stepped into the real-life RollerCoaster Tycoon. Here sits the epitome of the "steel mine train" coaster from that game. The boxy passenger cars, the wooden faux track ties, the helix-laden layout, and that little engine on the front complete with clanging bell!
The ride begins with a lift hill enclosed in a mine shaft. At the top, you negotiate a helix or two, then cross under the lift. Here, the track dives down close to the ground and spirals all around the queue line before going back into the mine for the second lift. This one is also enclosed and runs right next to the first one. When timed just right, both trains will ascend the lifts side-by-side. The second lift is taller and gives a nice view of the park before heading into the slow, swooping turn (see picture below) and another run of speedy helices.
While not the fastest, tallest, or best-themed mine train experience in the world, Diamond Devil Run makes up for it with scenery. Not only do you get the deserted-mine theming, but subsequent views from the lifts also afford lush tropical plants, lakes, and the gorgeous Table Mountain as a backdrop. Sometimes, you get so caught up in the view that you forget about the ride... until you suddenly speed up and the lead car's bell starts clanging, signalling another speedy run.