Millennium Force cable breaks, shutting down ride

Posted Sunday, September 2, 2001 2:38 PM | Contributed by Jeff

It was bound to happen sooner or later. The lift cable on Millennium Force broke today during test runs, apparently stranding employees on the ride. While traditional lift chains on other coasters at the park are often expected to last two seasons, this will be just under two seasons for the new type of lift system.

Link: Guide to The Point

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Sunday, September 2, 2001 2:39 PM
I give that park a lot of credit. Today was the first day in two seasons that the ride was closed the entire day. That's a heck of a track record for something of that magnitude.

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Sunday, September 2, 2001 2:43 PM
Doesn't Deja Vu have a cable lift system. If so wat if it breaks while riders are on the ride. If that happens its going to be crazy getting all of the riders off while there hanging at a 90 degree angle.
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Sunday, September 2, 2001 2:47 PM
OMG! I can't believe this happened. I'm glad no one was hurt.

This is a shocker to me.

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"Duff Man Says... Ohhh Yeah!"
Current Favorite Coasters:
1)Raging Bull 2)Millennium Force 3)Medusa (SFMW) 4)Vertical Velocity (SFGAm) 5)Dueling Dragons (Ice)

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Sunday, September 2, 2001 2:51 PM
I have a question will Millennium Force be open on the second to the last weekend in October I will be going out there one last time, I hope to ride it does anyone know?
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Sunday, September 2, 2001 2:51 PM
did the cable like SNAP and wip at the station at like a hundred miles an hour. if it did thatd be cool to see but very devastating to the people. i would have loved to have been one of the employees stuck on the lift when it broke that would be COOL.

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Sunday, September 2, 2001 2:54 PM
I'll give the park credit, as Jeff said, but considering the relative down-time of most prototype systems, I consider this lift cable engineering to be a rousing success.  Intamin's lift cable went almost two full seasons without a single hitch, and the worst thing that happened is the ride stranded , and that during testing.  CF will get a replacement cable (hopefully learn a thing or two to increase the expected life-span) and move on with normal operations.  I believe that's a litle better track record than their magnetic braking systems (which after discussing with Jill, should require hydraulics or pneumatics to OPEN the breaks, not close them, shouldn't they?).  Also, WAY better than Vekoma's track record with the Deja Vu prototypes...
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Sunday, September 2, 2001 3:04 PM
Funny how X-Flight breaks down at least once a day, and it's not reported. Guess that shows the expectations for CP. I feel sorry for those who went to the park for once last ride of the season for them.
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Sunday, September 2, 2001 3:04 PM
But on the World's Largest Amusement Park show they said they inspected the cable every day..and test rides came after, so what's up with that?

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Kara
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Sunday, September 2, 2001 3:26 PM
I agree what ST Chick is saying I did record the show on the Discovery Channel about the "Worlds Largest Amusement Park" and I watched it a couple of times again, and they said they do inspect the cable every morning I knew eventualy it would happen I also give the park credit for the first two seasons of operation.
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Sunday, September 2, 2001 3:27 PM
I'm curious about the cause of the cable break.  With proper inspections a cable should never break without warning unless it is improperly wound or has an internal corrosion problem.  Even the corrosion problem can usually be detected by careful inspection.  I have to wonder if something else failed causing the cable to break.

Gatorwoodie:
While I agree that I would have designed the magnetic brakes with a spring return to the closed position, they actaully require pneumatic pressure to open them as well as close them. *** This post was edited by Jim Fisher on 9/2/2001. ***

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Sunday, September 2, 2001 3:30 PM
Jeff, what do you mean chain lifts only lasts two seasons?  Do parks replace chains in the offseason every two years?  I've never heard of this...

Ahh, good ol' Intamin cables and chains.  Which one will break next?!  ;)

Joe, who's glad he rode MF 3 times on Thursday! 

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Sunday, September 2, 2001 3:30 PM
I hope its open Friday...I'm going to MM then.
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Sunday, September 2, 2001 3:37 PM
Yes I would say parks replace the chain lifts. Example a few years back the chain lift on Wild Thing at Valleyfair snapped in the morning I remember it because I was there when it happend it realy made a very loud sound you could have heard it through out the whole park. The train never did rollback thank god for that there were people on it. They had to replace the whole chain lift and it runs much better now! *** This post was edited by VIPER on 9/2/2001. ***
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Sunday, September 2, 2001 3:45 PM
Imagine how fun it must've been to get off that lift hill @ a 45 degree angle oh about 240-300 feet off the ground. I understand that they have a small maintanence elevator that rides up along the right side of the lift hill. Knowing Cedar Point's reputation they should/will have Millennium Force up & running for the start of "Millennium Mania" on thursday
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Sunday, September 2, 2001 4:03 PM
Which train is up on the lift?
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Sunday, September 2, 2001 4:06 PM
They better have it running when I go To Millennium Mania, If They don't, That will not be good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Sunday, September 2, 2001 4:09 PM
I went to Cedar Point for the weekend and got to see this play out first-hand.  While waiting outside the park before the gates opening I saw the employees doing the standard test runs and then a train just parked itself 30 feet or so from the crest of the hill.  Amazingly, around five minutes later they announced to the crowd that the ride would be closed for the day.

Thankfully I was able to get in my MF riding on Saturday (one at night, probably one of the final ten runs of the night.)  Once inside the park today we found a few police officers standing at the entrance to the ride.  Although most people already seemed to know and were filing to different rides I realized the officers probably weren't a bad idea when an upset patron started shouting and exclaimed the ride should be "blown up" after learning about the shutdown.  It's a shame that many people missed out on the opportunity to ride such a great ride, but kudos to Cedar Point for having such a stellar track record.

Finally, we talked to the Vice President of Accommodations for a few moments (he was watching the excursion of the employees from the stranded train) and he explained that this was the first time the elevator “thing” (to take technicians up the hill for inspections) was used for extracting people from the ride.  Also, the cable was "20 times stronger than needed" according to the VP and had the capability to back trains down the hill.  Needless to say, the train was still at the top of the hill at the end of the day. *** This post was edited by eclat on 9/2/2001. ***

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Sunday, September 2, 2001 4:16 PM
First time down the whole day, but it's down a lot of other times maybe only for a while at a time...

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Sunday, September 2, 2001 4:33 PM
Actually, wasn't M. Force down the entire day during the first week of operation last year when it rolled back during testing? I thought it was down all day that day?

As pointed out, chains break as do cables. I think a testament to CP will be how long it takes them to get it back up and running. My guess is that it will be back up and running sometime tomorrow or at the lastest Sunday which is pretty good IMO.

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