Dragster down for rest of season

Tuesday, 11 October 2005


SANDUSKY - The Top Thrill Dragster is officially down for the rest of the Cedar Point season.

After more than one month of repairs, the roller coaster reopened Friday, only to develop mechanical problems again Sunday evening, said park spokesman Bryan Edwards on Monday.

Edwards could not elaborate on the mechanical problems, but said the park won't be able to get the parts needed to repair the roller coaster before the end of the season.

Cedar Point is open on the weekends through Oct. 30 for HalloWeekends.

"It's just unfortunate that it happened, when it happened," Edwards said.

Some people will be disappointed, but the park is also saddened because it's a "fan favorite," Edwards said.

Top Thrill Dragster will reopen for the 2006 season.

Carole Sanderson, president of American Coaster Enthusiasts, said it's disappointing the Dragster won't reopen because people like to ride it.

However, she's not surprised the Top Thrill Dragster has had problems since debuting in May 2003 because of the prototype technology involved in the ride.

Intamin Company, Inc., Switzerland, is the manufacturer of Top Thrill Dragster.

"I think it is very difficult to get parts from a manufacturer who is overseas," Sanderson said. "In my opinion, Cedar Point has done all it can to keep that ride running."

Cedar Point 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.

In May, a larger version of the Top Thrill Dragster called Kingda Ka opened at Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, N.J.

Park spokeswoman Kristin Siebeneicher said the Six Flags roller coaster went down in June and was closed as the park waited two months for custom-made parts.

"Like most new rides, it has experienced short periods of down time," Siebeneicher said.

Intamin is the manufacturer of Kingda Ka, according to industry reports.

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