New York New York’s Big Apple Coaster Suffers Derailment Testing New Cars
Over the last few weeks, the Big Apple Coaster at famed New York New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas was closed to make way for the addition of new trains. The latest trains, made by Premier Rides INC, were a modified version of their “SkyRocket II” cars.Testing of the new cars started in early December.
Unfortunately, testing has stopped abruptly due to the ride suffering a severe derailment. Photos quickly spread around social media, showing the three car train stuck on the lift hill, with the middle car leaning off the track.
Deformation in the structure of the lift hill can be seen in this close up image from fan group coasterhub. The catwalks are visibly tilted and askew. No passengers were on-board as the ride was closed for testing.
Today, we stopped by and took some photos. Looking from underneath the car we could see that the chassis of the second car sheared off of the track and entangled in the chassis for the first car. It appears that the chassis somehow disconnected, which caused the train to roll down the lift hill until it was stopped. The force of stopping the two cars and fishtailing third car likely resulted in the visible deformations seen on the lift hill structure.
Many might be wondering, what will happen next? First, the ride has to be inspected to check the structural integrity of the ride and conduct an investigation.
Should the structural integrity of the ride be impacted, it is possible that this accident could mean the end of the coaster. The force of the impact may have caused a severe oscillation in the structure, weakening much of the supports and track. If this were to have happened, it is likely the ride would have to be removed, granted an extensive rehabilitation of the structure is something that the parent company, MGM Resorts, likely would not fund with the current pandemic.
If the ride suffered minimal damage, then the ride would be repaired. Whether that is from onsite work on the damaged pieces of track or fabrication of new track and supports, it is yet to be seen.
The ride originally opened in 1997 as the Manhattan Express. Built by TOGO, the ride stands 203 feet tall, has speeds in excess of 60 MPH and is over 4000 feet long. Magnetic brakes were added in 2004, while a new train was installed in 2006.
Stay tuned as we will post more updates as things develop in Vegas.
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