26 Mar 2018
This is the second of my Thunderbolt essays. I took a ride on the N train from Union Square down to Coney Island since it was the day after opening day for Luna Park. Thunderbolt was not open and nowhere near opening. The stark white of the structural supports and the bright orange of the tracks against the gray sky were irresistible.
Coney Island seems to be on the way back. There are a lot of new rides and attractions, the boardwalk is finally repaired. And even though it was not the greatest weather (still some unmelted snow around), there were hundreds of people out walking. Not exactly a summer day, but not bad.
Now, the details on Thunderbolt, courtesy of Wikipedia. The ride has 2200 feet of track, reaches a height of about 115 feet (11 stories, more or less) and a top speed of 58 mph. It has four different types of inversions and that is what gives rise to the corkscrew appearance of some of the tracks.
This new Thunderbolt succeeds an older roller coaster of the same name that was built in 192, operated until 1982, and demolished in 2000.
From the first vertical drop, the ride lasts 38 seconds.
The new Thunderbolt is a bookend of sorts — the old Cyclone roller coaster is at the other side of the boardwalk.