It was like riding on rails for the first 25 or so feet.

Then it all went sideways. Literally.

The cardboard constructed candy-themed train dubbed the Sugar Express veered to the right and toppled over, sending its driver and lone passenger into the snow of the tubing slope at Roundtop Mountain Resort in Warrington Township during the annual Cardboard Derby on Sunday.

Employees of the Springettsbury Township-based York Container figured the colorful train didn't have much of a chance making it down the slope and, instead, laid their hopes at redemption on their second entry, a Nerds candy inspired dragster.

Unfortunately that cardboard creation petered out and ran out of gas before the bottom of the hill.

"We made the dragster longer and more narrow hoping it'll go further," said Derric Dettinger, a graphic designer.

Despite the great looks of the sleds, they both failed to reach the bottom but did better than the chicken-themed sled the employees entered last year and crashed near the midway point.

"We recycled that one," said Ted DeCello, a structural designer. "It became a box to live another day."

Fun in the snow: Despite coming up short, the York Container team laughed and joked around after pulling what remained of the train off the slope.

The laughter and fun are what the race is all about, said a number of people who took part.

This year's derby, which had nearly 70 entrants, featured a "Candy Rush" theme. A wordplay on the popular app Candy Crush, the theme led racers to build sleds — constructed of only tape, string, glue, paper and, of course, cardboard — interpretations of the puzzle game.

Armed with Nerds candy and sporting purple clothing and oversized sunglasses, a team composed partially of York Suburban Middle School teachers, geared up for their run in a bobsled-like cardboard sled designed by Jailyn Adams, a 17-year-old student at the district's high school.

The sled had a Nerds theme, and Jailyn said it took her about eight hours to construct.

"It's a fun candy. We're all nerds in our own way," said Eric Hoffman, a middle school teacher who joined his son, Angel Hoffman-Hursh, 17, on the team.

First timers: It was the first year the team took part in the race.

"We'll just be happy if the sled stays together," said Judy Hershner, Jailyn's mother.

The sled did indeed hold together and made it to the bottom of the slope.

But the ride didn't come without some issues for the team, of which teacher Jamie Evans was also a member.

"We got turned around and went backwards for a little," Angel said. "I thought we were going to flip."

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.