Top Thrill Dragster

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Top Thrill Dragster
Top Thrill Dragster top hat and sign.jpg
Cedar Point
Location Sandusky, Ohio, USA
Status Standing but not operating
Operated May 4, 2003 to August 15, 2021
Cost $25,000,000 USD
Statistics
Manufacturer Intamin
Builder Martin & Vleminckx
Designer / calculations Ing.-Büro Stengel GmbH
Type Steel - Launched - Strata
Product Accelerator Coaster
Riders per train 20
Hourly capacity 1000
Propulsion Hydraulic launch
Height 420 feet
Drop 400 feet
Top speed 120 mph
Length 2800 feet
Inversions 0
Drop angle 90°
Duration 0:30
[1]HELP
Top Thrill Dragster's Logo.png

Top Thrill Dragster is a steel strata roller coaster located at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, USA.[2] It was designed by Intamin, who subcontracted manufacturing to Stakotra Manufacturing.[3] It opened on May 4, 2003 as the first complete circuit roller coaster to exceed 400 feet in height. It is one of only two strata coasters in existence, the other being Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey. Top Thrill Dragster was the second hydraulically-launched roller coaster built by Intamin, opening a year after Xcelerator at Knott's Berry Farm. The train is launched to 120 mph in 4 seconds.

The ride was installed by Martin & Vleminckx.[4]

History

A train entering the brake run

Development of Top Thrill Dragster began in 2000, the same year Millennium Force was built. Concrete footers started to be laid out in 2001. In August 2002, Cedar Point announced that they were building a new roller coaster, and that track was onsite.[5] In 2002, construction of the tower began. Cedar Point had to use a 480-foot crane, one of the four in the United States. Top Thrill Dragster was officially unveiled in January 2003.[6]

On May 4, 2003 the ride was opened to the public,[7] being the fastest and the tallest roller coaster in the world. It suffered from technical issues, reopening on July 16 after a period of downtime.[8] The records for tallest and fastest roller coaster were taken two years later by Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure.

On July 14, 2004 at around 8:20 PM, four people were struck by flying debris while riding the coaster. Reports indicated that its metal cable frayed as the train was being launched. Shards of metal sheared off of it and struck the riders as the train launched. The riders were left with abrasions mainly on their arms and one rider had cuts on his face. The injured ones were treated at the park's first aid station, and two of them later sought further medical attention on their own.

During the 2010 season, the hydraulic systems were overhauled.[9] Top Thrill Dragster was repainted by Baynum Painting for 2016.[10]

Rollbacks

See Rollback.

Occasionally, if the train does not accelerate to the required speed, it will fail to crest the top hat element and fall back onto the launch track again. This is often a sought after occurrence for the riders because it allows them another launch.[11]

Design

Elements

Top Thrill Dragster uses magnetic brakes provided by IntraSys GmbH.

Trains

Top Thrill Dragster has six trains, with five cars each. Riders are arranged two across in two rows, except for the first car which has only one row. Thus each train seats 18 riders. When Top Thrill Dragster opened, the final car of each train only had a single row as there was an engine, spoiler and tires at the back. These theming elements were later removed and seats installed in their place.

Incident

At around 4:30 p.m. on August 15, 2021, an L-shaped bracket fell from a train near the end of the ride and hit the head of Rachel Hawes, a woman standing in the queue line.[12] She was subsequently taken to the hospital, and her condition is not known.[13] Top Thrill Dragster was closed immediately. On August 19, 2021, Cedar Point released a statement stating that Top Thrill Dragster would remain closed for the rest of the 2021 season.[14]

References

  1. Facts - Top Thrill Dragster - Cedar Point (Wayback Archive)
  2. http://www.cedarpoint.com/public/park/rides/coasters/top_thrill_dragster/index.cfm
  3. Top Thrill Dragster - Stakotra
  4. Attraction Installation - Martin & Vleminckx
  5. Cedar Point To Build Major New Thrill Ride For 2003 Season - Ultimate Rollercoaster
  6. Cedar Point unveils 420-foot coaster - Amusement Today (Wayback archive)
  7. Cedar Point's "Top Thrill Dragster" Comes Alive - Coaster Globe (Wayback Archive)
  8. Top Thrill Dragster Up and Running Again - Ultimate Rollercoaster
  9. The thrill is back— thanks to refurbished hydrauilcs - Hydraulics & Pneumatics
  10. Newport company wins contract to paint 2 iconic roller coasters - WCPO Cincinnati
  11. http://www.xtremecoastin.com/videos/misc_videos/ttdstuck_2005.htm
  12. Brase, Victoria. "Broken Bracket on Top Thrill Dragster Blamed for Woman’s Critical Brain Injury". MotorBiscuit. https://www.motorbiscuit.com/broken-bracket-top-thrill-dragster-blamed-womans-critical-brain-injury/. 
  13. Glaser, Susan (2021-08-18). "What we know (and don’t know) about the Top Thrill Dragster accident at Cedar Point". Cleveland.com. https://www.cleveland.com/news/2021/08/what-we-know-and-dont-know-about-the-top-thrill-dragster-accident-at-cedar-point.html. Retrieved 2021-08-20. 
  14. Cross, Ian (2021-08-19). "Cedar Point closes Top Thrill Dragster to investigate how metal object fell, injured guest". News 5 Cleveland. https://www.news5cleveland.com/entertainment/cedar-point/cedar-point-closes-top-thrill-dragster-to-investigate-how-metal-object-fell-injured-guest. Retrieved 2021-08-20. 

External links

The category Top Thrill Dragster contains additional media.
Tallest roller coaster
May 2003 - May 2005
Preceded by
Superman: The Escape
Tallest roller coaster
May 2003 - May 2005
Succeeded by
Kingda Ka
Tallest complete-circuit roller coaster
May 2003 - May 2005
Preceded by
Steel Dragon 2000
Tallest complete-circuit roller coaster
May 2003 - May 2005
Succeeded by
Kingda Ka
Tallest roller coaster drop
May 2003 - May 2005
Preceded by
Tower of Terror
Superman: The Escape
Tallest roller coaster drop
May 2003 - May 2005
Succeeded by
Kingda Ka
Fastest roller coaster
May 2003 - May 2005
Preceded by
Dodonpa
Fastest roller coaster
May 2003 - May 2005
Succeeded by
Kingda Ka