Texas Giant

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New Texas Giant
New Texas Giant logo.png
The NEW Texas Giant.jpg
The New Texas Giant features steel track and overbanked turns
Previously known as Texas Giant
Six Flags Over Texas
Park section Texas
Coordinates 32°45′23″N 97°4′23″W / 32.75639°N 97.07306°W / 32.75639; -97.07306Coordinates: 32°45′23″N 97°4′23″W / 32.75639°N 97.07306°W / 32.75639; -97.07306
Status Operating
Opening date April 22, 2011 (2011-04-22)
Cost US$10 million
General statistics
Manufacturer Rocky Mountain Construction
Designer Alan Schilke
Model I-Box – Custom
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 153 ft (47 m)
Drop 147 ft (45 m)
Length 4,200 ft (1,300 m)
Speed 65 mph (105 km/h)
Inversions 0
Max vertical angle 79°
Capacity 1600 riders per hour
G-force 4.2
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Trains 3 trains with 6 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 24 riders per train.
New Texas Giant at RCDB
Pictures of New Texas Giant at RCDB

The New Texas Giant is a steel roller coaster located at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Texas. The ride opened in 2011 after an 18-month refurbishment of the former Texas Giant wooden roller coaster. Manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction, the New Texas Giant stands 153 ft (47 m) tall and features a 79° drop stretching 147 ft (45 m). The ride also features multiple turns banked up to 115° and over 4,506 feet (1,373 m) of track.

The original Texas Giant was manufactured by Dinn Corporation and designed by Curtis D. Summers. For more than a decade after its opening in 1990, the Texas Giant remained popular, ranking in the Golden Ticket Awards as the number one wooden roller coaster in 1998 and 1999. However, throughout the 2000s the ride's popularity declined as a result of the ride becoming rougher. Despite maintenance attempts by the park, Six Flags Over Texas announced the ride's closure in 2009. Much of the original wooden structure was kept, with the track being replaced with steel.

After the ride's relaunch in 2011 as the New Texas Giant, its popularity returned, winning Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Award for Best New Ride of 2011 and ranking highly in industry polls. On July 19, 2013, a woman died after falling from the ride, resulting in modifications and additions to the ride's restraint system.

History[edit]

The Texas Giant was originally constructed by Dinn Corporation, with Curtis D. Summers as the designer.[1] The ride was made up of over 900,000 board feet (2,100 m3) of wood.[2] The trains were manufactured by Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters.[1] The Texas Giant officially opened on March 17, 1990.[1] At opening, the ride was the world's tallest wooden roller coaster, standing 143 feet (44 m) high.[3]

Following the ride's opening the ride had several modifications and renovations. This included reprofiling parts of the ride, shortening the seven-car trains to six-car trains, and performing maintenance on the wooden track.[4] Six Flags Over Texas performed over 1,200 feet (370 m) of trackwork on the ride in the 2008-2009 offseason, with the ultimate aim of improving the ride's smoothness. Although the maintenance did improve the ride, park officials needed a more permanent solution. Initial speculation indicated the ride would be removed entirely from the park; however, Six Flags Over Texas denied any intention or consideration to do so.[5] In March 2009, the park announced the closure of Texas Giant prior to a $10 million renovation.[3] Following Fright Fest for that year, the ride closed on November 1, 2009.[5][6]

Texas Giant during its renovation

Renovations began almost immediately and involved the removal of the all of the wooden track and modifications to some of the support structure.[5] On March 3, 2010, Six Flags Over Texas and Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) unveiled the steel I-Box track which would be used on the refurbished ride. The track was developed over the course of three years by RMC owner Fred Grubb, and Ride Centerline, LLC engineers Alan Schilke and Dody Bachtar.[7][8] The steel track was designed to be a replacement for any existing wooden track structure, with the rail shape, approximate weight, and dimensions remaining the same.[7][9] Schilke designed the layout for the New Texas Giant, giving specifications to Grubb for manufacturing at RMC's Idaho plant. There, two-dimensional plates of steel were machine welded to form the three-dimensional track parts.[7] The redevelopment saw much of the track get reprofiled; the lift hill was increased by 10 feet (3.0 m), the first drop was steepened to 79 degrees, and several overbanked turns (ranging from 90° to 115°) were added.[5][9] The renovated ride, dubbed the New Texas Giant, reopened on April 4, 2011.[6]

2013 Accident[edit]

On July 19, 2013, a 52-year-old woman fell to her death while riding the New Texas Giant. A park official released a statement saying, "We are committed to determining the cause of this tragic accident and will utilize every resource throughout this process...When we have new information to provide, we will do so. Our thoughts, prayers and full support remain with the family." The ride was closed indefinitely pending further investigation.[10][11][12] On September 10, 2013, Six Flags Over Texas released a statement stating that the park has finished its investigation on the recent incident, with several parties ruling out mechanical failure. The New Texas Giant reopened on September 14, 2013 with all three trains featuring re-designed restraint bar pads and seat belts.[13][14] The incident saw Six Flags introduce seat belts as secondary restraints on other roller coasters within their chain.[15]

Characteristics[edit]

The original Texas Giant
The New Texas Giant
The Texas Giant before and after its renovation, showcasing the profile of the first drop and a turnaround. The renovated ride features a steeper and longer first drop, as well as several overbanked turns up to 115° (pictured).

As the name suggests, New Texas Giant is located within the Texas section of Six Flags Over Texas.[16] It was Rocky Mountain Construction's first installation of I-Box track.[7] New Texas Giant operates with three trains manufactured by Gerstlauer.[6][7] The trains are themed to 1961 Cadillac Sevilles.[17] Each train is made up of six cars, each seating riders in two rows of two.[6] Riders are restrained through the use of an individual hydraulic lap bar and a seat belt.[6][13]

The table below compares the original Texas Giant, with the updated New Texas Giant ride. The original ride by Dinn Corporation was 10 feet (3.0 m) smaller than its Rocky Mountain Construction counterpart. As a result, the refurbished ride features a steeper and longer first drop, and thus achieves a faster speed.[1][6] Additionally, a 540° helix after the mid-course brake run was converted into a 180° turnaround resulting in the track length of the ride being shortened by approximately 400 feet (120 m).[1][18][19][20]

Statistic Texas Giant[1] New Texas Giant[6][18]
Years 1990–2009 2011–present
Manufacturer Dinn Corporation Rocky Mountain Construction
Designer Curtis D. Summers Alan Schilke
Track Wood Steel
Height 143 ft or 44 m 153 ft or 47 m
Drop 137 ft or 42 m 147 ft or 45 m
Length 4,920 ft or 1,500 m 4,506 ft or 1,373 m
Speed 62 mph or 100 km/h 65 mph or 105 km/h
Max vertical angle 53° 79°
Trains Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters (PTC) Gerstlauer

Ride experience[edit]

An overview of part of the New Texas Giant's layout including the double up, 90° overbanked turn, and final tunnel

The New Texas Giant begins with a right turn out of the station. This leads directly to a 153-foot-tall (47 m) chain lift hill. Once at the top, riders drop 147 feet (45 m) at an angle of 78°. A double up leads into a 90° overbanked turn, a dip and a 95° overbanked turn. Another dip and rise leads the train into a 115° overbanked turn. The exit from the overbanked turn leads into a small air-time hill, which delivers the greatest negative g-force on the ride, before ascending up into the mid-course brake run. The train drops from the brake run and continues through a series of low-to-the-ground air-time hills and directional changes. This runs through three separate tunnels, finishing with the final brake run and short path back to the station.[18][19]

Reception[edit]

The original Texas Giant was well received, though its popularity had declined towards the end of its operation. Following its 2010 renovation, the ride's popularity returned.

In Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Awards Texas Giant ranked as the number one wooden roller coaster for 1998 and 1999.[21][22] Its ranking slowly declined to position 32 in 2009, its final year of operation as a wooden roller coaster.[23] Following its 2010 renovation, the New Texas Giant again ranked highly in the Golden Ticket Awards (this time amongst steel roller coasters), achieving ranks of 6 and 5 in 2011 and 2012, respectively.[24][25] The ride also won a Golden Ticket Award for being the Best New Ride of 2011.[24]

Golden Ticket Awards: Top wood Roller Coasters
Year 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Ranking 1[21] 1[22] 3[26] 8[27] 8[28] 10[29] 9[30] 12[31] 14[32] 20[33] 28[34] 32[23]
Golden Ticket Awards: Top steel Roller Coasters
Year 2011 2012 2013 2014
Ranking 6[24] 5[25] 6[35] 8[36]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Marden, Duane. "Texas Giant (Six Flags Over Texas)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Archived from the original on August 25, 2010. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ Marden, Duane. "Texas Giant - Six Flags Over Texas". Roller Coaster DataBase. Archived from the original on December 5, 2004. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Moiser, Jeff (March 16, 2009). "Six Flags Over Texas to close Texas Giant for renovations in 2010". Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on April 20, 2009. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  4. ^ Stooksbury Guier, Cindy (April 24, 2000). "Parks Hope State's Tourism Increase Is Just The Ticket". Amusement Business 112 (17): 15–18. 
  5. ^ a b c d Baldwin, Tim (May 2011). "The New Texas Giant - an old legend reborn". Amusement Today 15 (2): 1, 5–6. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Marden, Duane. "New Texas Giant  (Six Flags Over Texas)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved December 6, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Slade, Gary (April 2010). "Fred Grubb discusses new Texas Giant". Amusement Today 14 (1): 9–10. 
  8. ^ US application 2011146528, Schilke, Alan; Grubb, Fred; Bachtar, Dody, "Rolling Vehicle Track" 
  9. ^ a b "Innovative new track design introduced for Texas Giant". Amusement Today 14 (1): 9. April 2010. 
  10. ^ Wilonsky, Robert (July 19, 2013). "Breaking: Woman dies on Six Flags' Texas Giant roller coaster". dallasnews.com. Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
  11. ^ Kretz, Chelsea; Collins, Calvert (July 19, 2013). "Six Flags: Woman died while riding Texas Giant". KDFW FOX 4. Retrieved July 20, 2013. 
  12. ^ James, Michael; Shaw, Alexis (July 20, 2013). "Witnesses on Six Flags Over Texas Roller Coaster Death: 'That Could Have Been Me'". ABC News. Retrieved July 20, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "The Texas Giant to Re-Open Following Implementation of Incremental Safety Measures" (Press release). Six Flags Over Texas. September 10, 2013. Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved September 11, 2013. 
  14. ^ Shoichet, Catherine E.; Sutton, Joe (September 11, 2013). "Texas roller coaster set to reopen after woman's death". CNN. Retrieved September 11, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Six Flags Fiesta Texas adds seat belts to Iron Rattler after deadly fall in Arlington". WFAA. August 15, 2013. Retrieved December 6, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Thrill Rides". Six Flags Over Texas. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  17. ^ Sandy, Adam (May 2011). "Six Flags turns to Gerstlauer to deliver themed trains". Amusement Today: 8. 
  18. ^ a b c "Fast Facts". Amusement Today 15 (2): 5. May 2011. 
  19. ^ a b Alvey, Robb (April 21, 2011). "New Texas Giant REAL POV Six Flags Over Texas Roller Coaster Media Day 2011". Theme Park Review. YouTube. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  20. ^ Alvey, Robb (December 10, 2011). "Original Texas Giant Wooden Roller Coaster Front Seat POV Six Flags Over Texas". Theme Park Review. YouTube. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  21. ^ a b "Top 25 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 6B. August 1998. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  22. ^ a b "Top 25 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 6B. August 1999. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  23. ^ a b "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 13 (6.2): 38–39. September 2009. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b c "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 15 (6.2): 38–39. September 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  25. ^ a b "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 16 (6.2): 36–37. September 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Top 25 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. August 2000. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Top 25 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 6B. August 2001. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Top 25 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 6B. September 2002. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 10–11B. September 2003. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 14–15B. September 2004. Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 22–23B. September 2005. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 30–31B. September 2006. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 11 (6.2): 42–43. September 2007. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Top 50 wood roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 12 (6.2): 42–43. September 2008. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  35. ^ "2013 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 17 (6.2): 34–35. September 2013. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  36. ^ "2014 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 18 (6.2): 46–47. September 2014. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  37. ^ McLean, Mike (January 19, 2012). "North Idaho roller coaster maker expands to accommodate innovations". Spokane Journal of Business. Retrieved January 23, 2012. 
  38. ^ "Iron Rattler | New for 2013". Six Flags. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 

External links[edit]