Dragster Cable

HeyIsntThatRob? said:

I'm no expert,


Greatest statement ever on this website. Wish more people would admit to it. ;)

June 11th, 2001 - Gemini 100
VertiGo Rides - 82
R.I.P. Fright Zone, and Cyrus along with it.

TTD 120mph, that's a great photo; you can literally see everything there, and the setup is pretty much exactly as it is on Dragster. You are looking towards the launch point, you can see the plastic lining on the bottom of the sled track, and you can see how the haul rope is fully contained within the launch sled track. If you're riding Dragster in the front seat of the second train, you get another good view of how all of this is set up. When the train ahead of you launches, you can see the return rope running down the center of the sled track. The system rewinds the catch car back to the launch point, and you can see the open launch sled track as seen in the reverse view here.

In operation, all three ropes are attached to the same winding drum. That insures that everything moves at the same speed, although when you have ropes that are that long, and subject to that amount of force, you are going to have some stretch in the ropes. That's why the return rope goes over a tensioner at the end of the launch track. The winding drum is a similar arrangement to the hoist on Millennium Force, except that there are three ropes instead of two.

You may notice my use of the word "rope" to describe the hardware involved here. The industry term is "wire rope" and refers to ropes which are made up of wires bundled into strands, strands bundled into a rope. It is a semantic point, one which some people are very particular about: a bundle of wires that conduct current or carry signal is a "cable" while a bundle of wires that carry a mechanical load is a "wire rope". Personally, I am less particular about this than I am about the distinction between a "lectern"* and a "podium"**.

I have not heard much about Sunday's incident, but at least one person has suggested that a rollback may have been involved. I wonder if the mechanism on the bottom of the train might have failed to hold the engagement clutch in the 'up' position as the train raced backwards down the hill and back towards the station. If the clutch dropped, say, as the train was coming through the vertical curve at the base of the hill, and failed to retract before the train met the launch sled, the clutch could have caught the launch sled and taken it for a ride, putting an unanticipated load on the haul ropes and potentially causing a rope failure. Such a failure would be caused by an equipment failure on the train, and would subject the haul ropes to a load far in excess of their anticipated load, and could result in a premature rope failure without any warning offered by the usual predictors of age or condition.

I do not know that this is what happened, but it seems like one possible cause for a haul rope failure.

--Dave Althoff, Jr. (who happens not to be an expert...)

* A lectern is a stand used to hold a speaker's notes. A presenter may stand behind a lectern.

**A podium is a raised platform on which a presenter may stand. A lectern is often placed in front of or on top of a podium. In the amusement industry, a broader, more stage-like podium is sometimes called a "bally".


Last edited by RideMan,

/X\ *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _____

Around park opening this morning it at least appeared that the cables were still in place going into the equipment shed. That is why I didn't think anything had snapped, other than a few people when they were told TTD would not open today.

The only thing I do know about this is that CP maintenance has been working on getting things fixed all day, they were still there when we exited the park close to midnight.

Whats up everyone! First post here lol

So I was at the TTD when the incident happened. My family was in line and I was waiting near the fence line next to operator booth. During the rollback about halfway between launch area and where the track goes up, a giant piece of metal came flying off the line. It was square and about 9 inches to foot long on each side. It landed between the grandstand area and operator booth. As far as I can tell it was the only thing that flew off( no debri or shavings) As soon as it happened, the TTD ride workers ran out and snatched up the piece of metal/ quickly asked if anyone was hurt, and then ran back into the ride area.

I have always been amazed by the strength of a wire rope. (Thanks for clarifying Dave). From a winch, TTD, to a suspension bridge. Amazing.

jscll said:

I am lost to how an act of negligence by the Soviet Union, and a cable fraying, have anything to do with each other.

If that is in reference to my post, the answer, of course, is that the Chernobyl disaster has absolutely nothing to do with Dragster's cable.

My comment was an analogy, which literarydevices.net defines as "a comparison in which an idea or thing is compared to another thing that is quite different from it. It aims at explaining that idea or thing by comparing it to something that is familiar."

Specifically, the analogy I was drawing was the concept of uncontained failures with the potential for catastrophic results, the inability to ensure future failures will not occur, and the perils of relying on prevention of a failure to ensure safety, as opposed to mitigating the effects of a failure, or abandoning a design if such mitigation is not possible or practical.

I hope this clarifies my point for you.

The comparison still does not feel appropriate. You are comparing a disaster caused by a bad design by people who placed little value on human life, to a roller coaster that has gone through many risk assessments.

You say you are trying to explain your idea by comparing it to something familiar, but how many people are familiar with the details of Chernobyl? (The question is rhetorical.) Yes, most people know this is a worst case scenario for an old design nuclear power plant built without a containment chamber. But how does this give us any information regarding the safety of a launch system?

We get it, you think Dragster is unduly dangerous and should be torn down, but the only data that you provided was that of previous incidents, and implied those could have been much worse.

Any activity over at Dragster? I know it was reported that it would be open today but it sounds like that's yet to happen.

HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

Red Garter Rob said:

HeyIsntThatRob? said:

I'm no expert,


Greatest statement ever on this website. Wish more people would admit to it. ;)

Calm down, Rob. Just because we aren't experts doesn't mean we won't recommend what you should be doing ;)

^^ I think that statement was released prior to the inspections being completed. About the time the new cable showed up park staff was saying it'd be down a few days. I wasn't sure if was under promising and over delivering, but they were saying it in a matter of fact way when people were inquiring as to the status of the ride.

They were working on it non-stop so there's no doubt they're trying to get it back up and running as soon as possible.

Dragster is back up and running!

CP Coaster Top 10: 1. Steel Vengeance (40 rides to date) 2. Top Thrill Dragster (191 launches to date, 4 rollbacks) 3. Magnum XL 200 4. Millennium Force 5. Maverick 6. Raptor 7. GateKeeper 8. Valravn 9. Rougarou 10. Gemini

Gotta give credit to the CP maintenance folks for that one, great job to get it back in operation.

They are a most impressive lot, to be sure. I'm sure when a ride is down for an extended period of time, it grates on each and every one of them.

My author website: mgrantroberts.com.

Pete's avatar

That is why the Cleveland road facility is called The Amazement Shop.

I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks,
than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

Thabto's avatar

Never underestimate the Cedar Point maintenance team.

Valravn Rides: 24| Steel Vengeance Rides: 27| Dragster Rollbacks: 1

So I'm still unclear if anybody was hurt.

TTD 120mph's avatar


After the incident, two guests were taken to first aid for evaluation. They were released and then returned to the park.

Last edited by TTD 120mph,

-Adam G- The OG Dragster nut

Why does that make it sound like the First Aid team is fishing? Catch-and-release, of course.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

/X\ *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _____

TTD 120mph's avatar

It helps keep the population healthy for future generations of First Aid responders to enjoy.

-Adam G- The OG Dragster nut

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