Thunder Road torn down at Carowinds

Thunder Road’s 39 year run came to an end at the hands of heavy equipment this week. I’m not a huge fan of rough wooden coasters, but in the past few years Carowinds had made a lot of improvements in this ride so I’m surprised that they removed it this year. That, and it was 39 years old. Seems like they could have given it another year to reach the 40 year mark.

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Slingshot ride cable snaps during ride

I’ve never ridden one of these, but have always wanted to.  I’m surprised at this news because this is the second ride in the last month that I’ve seen in the news having a snapped cable.  The last one snapped while it was on the ground so no one was injured, but this one snapped while it was in motion causing it to bounce over into a tower and breaking one passengers leg.  They’re lucky it broke at the bottom of its’ bounce because that used up most of it’s momentum.  If it had snapped at the top, gravity would have made it swing much faster.  Below is the video of the accident.

 

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Smiler coaster crashes at Alton Towers

The smiler roller coaster had some kind of a problem that involved a car train loaded with passengers to collide with a stationary empty car.  Four were seriously injured and were picked up by helicopters to take them to the hospital.

From the sound of it, the computer stopped the second train, then was overridden.  (I say this because witnesses reported that the train stopped where passengers could have been offloaded.  This sounds like what normally happens when the computer senses something is wrong and stops the train.)  For it to have started moving again, the operator would have to tell it to go and then it collided with the other car that was in the way.  It’ll be a while before they say what happened officially, but that’s my guess.

More information is available from the BBC at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-32980354

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