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Ever been on a coaster when it broke down (got stuck, etc.)?


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I was on Thunderbolt at Riverside Park in Massachusetts back in June 1995 when the trains collided at the bottom of the lift. The ride was manually operated with air brakes and the operator lost focus for a moment and didn't begin slowing the train in time to stop it at the station. It flew around the turn and hit the other train that had been stopped at the bottom of the lift. I always thought that if the operator had just let the first train keep climbing that the collision might have been prevented but, nonetheless, that was the last time that Thunderbolt ran two trains.

 

During 1994-1995 Riverside had a beautiful two train operation on this coaster on weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day. In fact, it was right on par with how Knoebels operates their coasters but with a bit more attitude (customer service was never a strength of this park!) The train in the station would be loaded and ready to go by the time the other train reached the top of the lift, long before the dispatch bell would ring, and dispatches were right on time--every time. I always found it a bit odd that they would operate this ride so beautifully while Cyclone, on the other side of the park, would have a 3+ hour line on a weekend with a single train that was loaded as slowly as humanly possible. The end of two train operation on Thunderbolt made visiting the park on summer weekends very undesirable to me when wait times grew from 5-10 minutes to 45-60 minutes regularly on weekends. The lines have been creeping along ever since.

 

I will always miss Riverside (even with its imperfections). I spent a lot of days there growing up and sure had some really great times.

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I was stuck on Green Lantern's final brakes for about 20 minutes during its opening year. The other two trains were stuck at the top of the lift and the MCBR. Then, when they were able to get our train moving into the station every couple feet it slammed to a stop. Very uncomfortable. The ride reopened for a couple minutes after that before braking down again, but that time riders had to be evacuated.

 

I was stuck at the top of Rolling Thunder's lift for a couple minutes last year, nothing major.

 

The worst was on Batman this year. We sat on the final brakes, in that awful, unbearably hot room for about half an hour. The employees were fantastic though, and brought up water a couple of times. It was at least 100 degrees outside that day, so it had to have been far more where we were stuck.

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I was on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in August of 2012. 5 minute wait, no biggie, get on... and JUST as we start to go up the first lift hill, the power goes out, and it was at night, so there were absolutely no lights on at all, aside from some phone lights and the occasional lightning from the storm outside. It was so creepy, hearing mechanical noises and the thunder echoing in the dark, and seeing all the limp bat animatronics hanging lifelessly on their strings, but that fastpass they gave us was worth it!

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Most of my memorable ones are from Disney. There's been plenty of other times of stopping on the lift or brakes though.

* I have two from Space Mountain at Disneyland. The first was that as our train exited the station, we turned left into the maintenance area (so dusty), instead of right to go up the lift. We were quickly offloaded and put onto one of the next trains.

* Another time, shortly after Space Mountain went through its long refurbishment, I got stuck on a midcourse brake. The lights got turned on, and after some waiting we completed the rest of the ride with the lights on (I was impressed by how it still seemed to be going full speed at the end).

* At Disneyland Paris on Big Thunder Mountain we stopped just as we were making the final dive under the water on the way back to the station. We were unloaded (which involved a sizable jump to the ground) then walked back to the station and got ride passes for later.

* During the 2012 Europe Trip, we got stuck at the top of the Winja's elevator, just before the drop. That was unnerving, since it seemed like it could drop at any time. Eventually I think we got lowered back down.

* During WCB at SFMM a couple years ago, we launched on S:EFK, but the train never got up to speed, and just barely went up the tower. We came back down, got stuck on the brakes for a while, and eventually they winched us in part of the way.

* As for non-coaster, once we went around the Wonder Wheel at DCA about a dozen times before we were let off. We were in a swinging car, so it got to be a little nauseating.

IMG_9514.thumb.JPG.986e2e6a7f0fa3be26f3213193fec7ce.JPG

Ken and I being evacuated from Big Thunder Mountain in Paris

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Stuck on Disneyland's Space Mountain with the lights on.

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^It's funny how just yesterday I was wondering if big thunder mountain had ever stalled on the tunnels and how cool it would be to get evacuated from there.

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I've never truly been "stuck" on a coaster, but one time I did get E-stopped on Manta's MCBR for about a minute. I don't know why though. Maybe to prevent a block violation? Getting E-stopped there made the rest of the ride a snooze fest.

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Back when me and some friends went to BGW this past June, we got stuck on Verbolten's second launch after the drop track. We were waiting for the ride to launch but after sitting for a while the lights came on, which was a very cool experience. I got to partially see the inside of the ride through some of the black curtains. Two ride ops came up and said there was problems with the yellow train and that we'd either be evacuated there, or the ride would continue. About 5 minutes later it continued, but unfortunately that left us out on the brake run burning up in the sun for 15 minutes before they had to manually pull our train in, then manually release everyone's restraints. I was in the last car and my two friends were in front of me. After trying desperately to unlock my friend's restraints, they couldn't and ended up coming over to open mine, sure enough I got out and had to wait another 10 minutes for them to free my friends from the ride. Definitely a memorable experience.

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I wish I would get stuck on a coaster at the top of a lift. Say Millie, or TTD ( I know, no lift) or even diamondback for about 15 minutes then go through the ride course. It sounds pretty cool.

 

Would a brake run work? Goliath at SFMM has this strange habit of sometimes stopping for a full 10-15 seconds at the block brakes mid course. Great view (you can see much of the front of the park from there), but definitely a maintenance concern.

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A few years back, a train was stopped on the lift hill on Whizzer at Six Flags Great America. I had just finished my lap and we were sitting on the brake run. With the train broken down on the hill, our train was not cleared to enter the station yet. We were stuck there for a good 45 minutes before a maintenance worker was able to get the train on the lift going.

 

For safety purposes, we could not exit the train despite there being a platform next to us. We had to wait to be in the station. All in all, wasn't a big deal to me. It's a comfortable coaster to breakdown on so I ended up taking a nap. Once in and we exited, we received a free drink voucher and free, front-of-the-line pass for a single ride. So we went and grabbed a soda pop and headed to Raging Bull to use our pass.

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I can only think of one incident back in 2005 on Wild Train at what was then called Erlebnispark Strasswalchen, now Fantasiana. I got to experience the classic RCT breakdown "Restraints stuck closed". They had to call the mechanic and open the restraints manually from below the car. It didn't create any noteworthy downtime though.

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  • 6 months later...

Today I got stuck on the Hollywood Tower @ Movieland Park in Italy! It got stuck on the top because mr. Wheelie was too tired to push the car front, so we were sitting up there. There was something said, but we didn't understood it because we can't speak Italian! After about 5-10min a worker came up and opend the restraint and we had do walk down! But the best thing about this is, it happend when I was filming a POV, so I have every second in 1080p and 60fps!!

So, I've ridden a Intamin 1st generation Drop Tower, but never experienced the ker-chunk part!!

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March 1996. We stopped just before the station at Colossus in SFMM,

and sat there for a near 20 minutes. The other coaster in the mean time,

was stuck up on one of the points where a (more primitive?) brake was

used, back then. Then ever so slowly, we rolled into the coasters' station...

 

And we were let out. And that was it. And the other coaster arrived

back, just as we were let out.

 

Fun times.

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I've been on a number of rides when they have stopped in the middle of the course. The only time I ever had to get off was when Twisted Twins broke down once while I was on the lift hill and they ended up making us walk back down and around into the station.

 

The big story however....

 

In 2001, I was on Face/Off at PKI. I was seated so that I rode it backward first and then forward. Well, as the train rolled up the second lift, I naturally fell forward on the restraint. When that happened, the restraint popped open. Aside from the incredible terror that overcame me, this was quite surprising because I'm not that big of a person. At the time, I was 5'10'' weighing in at about 160 lbs. Anyway, the safety belt of course prevented the harness from going all the way up, and in all reality, there is no way that I could have slipped out because the openings just weren't big enough, but I was definately no longer sitting in my seat. I was scared to death. The train went all the way up the lift and released. As the train went through the loop. I was able to push myself back into the seat and my harness then popped back into place. When we got back in the station, I informed the ride ops and they then shut the ride down for an hour (I was waiting in line for quite some time to ride DZ following the incident). My life was never in serious danger, but it still goes down as one of the scariest things I've ever experienced.

Heard of this happening at La Ronde on their boomerang a few years ago.

 

As for my own story, it too happened at la ronde, but thankfully was nowhere near as terrifying or potentially dangerous.

 

Was waiting to ride Goliath(park's b&m hyper). Ride was closed as soon as I reached the station for cleaning after someone got sick. Came back about an hour later, and managed to get on. Immediately after getting off, the next train that went out immediately after got stuck on the lift. Walking through the park, I could see that EVERY other ride was stuck, apparently due to a city wide power outage.

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In 2010, Thunder River at Waldameer E-stopped while we were halfway through the ride and we were evacuated from the bottom of the second lift. That's about it.

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I'm sure that if anyone of you have been to Disneyland and gone on Buzz Lightyear, you have probably gotten stuck. A

Though most of the time when you get stuck on a ride, it is an unpleasant experience, A shooting dark ride is the complete opposite.

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  • 4 months later...

Riding Cheetah at Wild Adventures, around 10pm nearing the last ride of the night we were stranded on the lift hill. Instead of trying to get us moving again or taking hours before making the call to evac, they evacuated us down the lift hill after just a few minutes.

 

I was geeking out.

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