Dragster season may end early

Wednesday, 07 September 2005

Cedar Point open for weekends only through end of October, but Top Thrill is sidelined with mechanical problems.


SANDUSKY - Cedar Point's Top Thrill Dragster is closed indefinitely because of mechanical problems.

Park spokesman Robin Innes said Tuesday the roller coaster went down on Friday evening and has been closed since.

Innes didn't know if anyone was on the ride at the time it went down, and would not elaborate beyond "mechanical problems."

"It's having mechanical problems, and (the park) doesn't know when it will reopen," he said.

Cedar Point ended its daily season Monday. The park will reopen Friday for Bonus Weekends and Halloweekends through Oct. 30.

Since debuting in May 2003, the Top Thrill Dragster has operated sporadically. However, this season, it only went down a few times, Innes said.

"It has (run) much better and improved a lot since last year, and improved considerably (from) the first season," Innes said.

Cedar Point has experienced trouble with the ride's prototype hydraulic oil system and launching cables in 2003-04, and four riders were injured on the ride in July 2004 when a cable frayed.

With hydraulics, energy is compressed and then used to push the coaster train to the top of the hill. In the Dragster's case, the hydraulic oil is pumped into storage cylinders where it compresses nitrogen gas and launches the train up 420 feet at 120 mph.

Up until 2005, Top Thrill Dragster was the tallest and fastest coaster in the world. It was dethroned by Kindga Ka, a 128-mph and 456-feet-tall coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure, in Jackson, N.J.

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