Texas Cyclone

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For the film starring John Wayne, see Texas Cyclone (film).
Texas Cyclone
TexasCycloneSunset640.jpg
A Texas Cyclone train ascending the lift hill
Six Flags Astroworld
Coordinates 29°40′36″N 95°24′35″W / 29.67667°N 95.40972°W / 29.67667; -95.40972Coordinates: 29°40′36″N 95°24′35″W / 29.67667°N 95.40972°W / 29.67667; -95.40972
Status Closed
Opening date June 12, 1976
Closing date October 30, 2005
General statistics
Type Wood
Manufacturer Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters
Designer Don Rosser, William Cobb
Track layout Cyclone
Lift/launch system Chain-lift
Height 100 ft (30 m)
Drop 130 ft (40 m)
Length 3,180 ft (970 m)
Speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
Inversions 6
Duration 2:15
Max vertical angle 53°
G-force 4.2
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Texas Cyclone at RCDB
Pictures of Texas Cyclone at RCDB

The Texas Cyclone was a wooden roller coaster at the defunct Six Flags Astroworld in Houston, Texas, and was known for its airtime, speed, and feeling of being out of control. It was 93 feet (28 m) tall, had 3,180 feet (970 m) of track, and the ride lasted for two minutes and fifteen seconds. It was opened in 1976, after a failed attempt by Astroworld to buy the original Coney Island Cyclone.

History[edit]

In the 1970s the Coney Island Cyclone was in a state of disrepair, and was in danger of being demolished to expand the nearby New York Aquarium. Astroworld did not have a wooden roller coaster at the time, and the owners attempted to buy and move it to Houston. After further study, the owners decided that a move would be prohibitively expensive, and so settled on building a replica of it.

Astroworld hired William Cobb to design the replica of the Cyclone. He created a mirror image of it, which was also larger and faster than the original. During its construction, which was done by the Frontier Construction Company, the north end turnaround was damaged by a tropical storm, which delayed its opening until 1976. When it was opened, it was one of the tallest and fastest wooden coasters in the world, and was considered by many to be the best one in the world. In 1979, the first turn was lowered by two feet to prevent stalling, so that it could operate safely in higher winds.

On July 29th,1983 an accident occurred in which one park employee was killed and several injured during a test run of the coaster. A new train was being added to increase ride capacity due to the large crowds. This process involves moving a section of track (transfer track) and manually moving a train from a storage / work area up into the station. The transfer track is moved back to the running position and the roller coaster capacity is doubled by running 2 trains. In this accident the manager who took charge of the procedure forgot to move the track back into the running position. The train was loaded with employees and dispatched - The train went back through the storage shed, where it careened off the end of the work track killing an employee and injuring 14 others on the train. No one on the ground was injured.

After AstroWorld's closure in 2005, the Texas Cyclones trains were shipped to La Ronde, a Six Flags park in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. A small section of the track was also removed after the ride had closed and sent to the National Roller Coaster Museum in Texas, where it is currently stored.

Demolition[edit]

Texas Cyclone at 4:30pm on October 30, 2005, Astroworld's last day of operation

Six Flags Astroworld closed around 8:00pm on October 30, 2005. The coaster was demolished on March 9, 2006. The cars were sent to La Ronde in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and can be seen in the middle of Le Monstre.

External links[edit]