Lightning and Steel Coasters

Monday, July 2, 2001 7:05 PM
With the abundance of thunderstorms in my area lately, a question popped into my mind.

What happens when lightning strikes a steel coaster?

Or any steel structured ride for that matter. Now I've heard of a time or two when lightning struck wooden coasters, but I've never heard of lightning striking steel coasters. I'm sure that in places like CP where MF, PT, and Magnum tower over all other nearby landmarks that lightning stirkes would be inevitable, but what happens when there is a strike? Do the control electronics get fried? Is the track damaged?

I thought for sure someone here would know the answer to this question I've been pondering for some time now. *cough*Rideman*cough*

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Monday, July 2, 2001 7:13 PM
When I was at PKI a couple of years ago lightning struck the eiffel tower.

I'd walk through hell in a gasoline suit to keep riding roller coasters
Monday, July 2, 2001 7:20 PM
I know MF was struck. Wasn't it down for a few weeks?

"Bathroom 1 looks too intense for me"-Ed Markey
Monday, July 2, 2001 7:24 PM
Um.. The 'Force was down for a day. They had to fly a replacement computer in from somewhere.
Monday, July 2, 2001 7:31 PM
When coasters get struck...and they do all the time....the computers are reset and stuff....and occasionally something has to be replaced.

Batman at SFO usually will go down for a portion of a day if it is struck.

Last Saturday, Superman and X-Flight at SFO both were struck, and were down for about an hour after the rest of the park started to open up again.
Tuesday, July 3, 2001 8:45 PM
Lightning strikes can cause control problems for any coaster, wood or steel. The material of the coaster makes no difference as far as control damage. Newer steel coasters with more sophisticated control systems are more vulnerable to lightning due to the nature of the controls, not the material of the coaster. Some ACE classics don't have to worry about control damage due to lightning since the big wood brake lever works just fine after a lightning strike.

Actually, the structure of a wood coaster is more likely to be damaged by ligntning than the structure of a steel coaster.
Wednesday, July 4, 2001 1:13 AM
what if you riding the coaster and it get struck or the train get struck by lightning.. hmmm.. lol
Wednesday, July 4, 2001 1:18 AM said:
"what if you riding the coaster and it get struck or the train get struck by lightning.. hmmm.. lol"

You shouldnt have to worry about that because parks are supposed to shut rides down when they see lightning off in the distance.

Chitowns 6 year old daughter says "Daddy, Dippin Dots are nasty!!" I must say that I agree!!
Wednesday, July 4, 2001 7:19 AM
I noticed that V2 at SFGAm has grounding straps on EVERY single support. I thought it was interesting. It just happened that there was lightning in the distance and my partner in crime for the day asked me what would happen if it got hit by lightning. I told her just pray that you are not on it at the time it does...LOL! And then showed her the grounding straps. She seemed content when she saw them and since I dont know much more about what would happen myself I shutup after that.

Welcome to Deja Vu...home of the world wide wait.
Saturday, July 7, 2001 7:20 PM
I'm wondering if lightning will hit Power Tower at Valleyfair hasn't yet.
Saturday, July 7, 2001 8:02 PM
In Drop Zone`s (PKI) first season, it was struck by lightning, which fried the lift motors. It was down for two or three weeks as a replacement had to be flown in from Intamin`s manufacturing facilities. As a side note, the motors blew out on Drop Zone last July, and was down for another two weeks. Incidently it stranded some guests halfway up the tower for about half an hour before they dropped them from that point.

------------- I`ve riden Son of Beast 38 times!

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