State says Son of Beast accident was due to design flaw, loop will be removed

Posted Wednesday, December 13, 2006 7:16 PM | Contributed by supermandl

A roller coaster's wooden support beams were not designed to bear the ride's weight, causing a dip in the track that jolted 27 passengers injured in July, state investigators said Wednesday. The design flaw with the looping, wooden Son of Beast coaster at Paramount's Kings Island caused a vertical support called a bent leg to crack, said the Ohio Department of Agriculture, which regulates the state's amusement parks. The park says removing the loop will allow the use of lighter trains.

Read more from AP via The Akron Beacon Journal.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006 11:17 PM
That Ohio quotes are awesome. But only coaster fanatics and people who actually kept up with the park names will truly understand it. But depending on which part of Ohio you live in, you get a different story. My friend who actually lives in Cincy got the news right off, but it finally trickled down. He said the people who live there only truly care about the drop. The loop is just an added feature. Personally, after the first time on SOB, you know there's a loop, and it's like another inversion. Since the loop is leaving, I hope they have something up their sleeves to compensate for the loop. Hopefully, they don't dumb down the coaster, that's what i'm afraid of.
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Wednesday, December 13, 2006 11:39 PM
New and better trains, YEA! Get rid of the loop. Ok if it means a better ride. I'm game.
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Wednesday, December 13, 2006 11:55 PM
Just throwing this out for the hell of it...it says "lighter" trains...nothing says they'll be "new". Remember, Cedar Fair is looking to cut expenses.
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Wednesday, December 13, 2006 11:58 PM
"I wonder how Cedar Fair will remarket the ride. All the signs, logos teeshirts and everything with SOB on it has an image of the loop."

Don't forget the name of the park. While they haven't officially decided what to do with the Paramount name, it will eventually go away, whether in months or years...

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Thursday, December 14, 2006 1:21 AM
This is bittersweet news. I'm sad to see the loop go but am very happy that there is a chance for the ride to become ridable. I hope that the lighter trains help with the jackhammering. I rode it once the first year it was open and passed it by every other visit. I have been able to tolerate bumpyness from every other wood coaster I've been on. It sucks to not be able to ride SOB, so here's to fixing the ride and maybe making it popular.

I wonder if it will be a little higher in Mitch's poll next year?

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Thursday, December 14, 2006 7:07 AM
OK. Here's another thought:

With the loop gone and new train on the way, anone think there is a possibility for three train operation at the park? I know SOB was origionally intended for 3 trains, but I don't ever recall seeing it run that way. Depending upon what is used to replace the loop, could a block break go in that area before the drop to allow three trains to run?

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Thursday, December 14, 2006 7:49 AM
The track before the drop into the loop is a block break, if I remember correctly.
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Thursday, December 14, 2006 8:14 AM
SteveWOA wrote


The reason for the loop removal is due to the inertia of the trains I assume. The heavier trains at that point in the track have more "oompf" to make it through the loop. With lighter trains, the speed will not be as great at that point in the ride so the loop has to be removed.

My guess is physics and intertia and all that jazz have nothing to do with the weight of the trains (as it relates to the weight shift). I'm think that because there will no longer be a loop, therein no need to rstrain ppl in such a way as to keep the from faling out in the rare case of an upside down stoppage. Since the loop is now gone, they can use a more 'traditional' wood coaster restraint system. As bulky as those Premeir restraints are, I would imagine that replacing them would result in significant weight reduction.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006 8:47 AM
New trains?

No gimmick... I mean No Loop?

Looks like I will have to make a return visit to Kings Island again to try it out.

I might be the only one, but I liked the layout and the design and the drops... but found the trains brutal and that the loop added nothing.

*** This post was edited by SLFAKE 12/14/2006 8:48:43 AM ***

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Thursday, December 14, 2006 9:18 AM
They should keep the loop sitting around next to the ride. It will freak people out when they're riding it and see the loop laying on its side.
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Thursday, December 14, 2006 9:30 AM
If anyone is interested, the links to the final reports are below. Very interesting reading, appears the member failed in shear.

http://www.ohioagriculture.gov/

http://www.ohioagriculture.gov/news/news/2006/amus-121306-kingsisland.pdf

http://www.ohioagriculture.gov/news/news/2006/SEA_145898_Progress_Report.pdf

http://www.ohioagriculture.gov/news/news/2006/SEA_145898_Final_Report.pdf

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Thursday, December 14, 2006 11:22 AM
hey kids it's still the tallest and fastest woodie out there loop or not.
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Thursday, December 14, 2006 12:21 PM
Can someone point me to some statistics about the trains on SOB vs typical PTC trains used on something like Hades? Without some actual data, I refuse to believe that the restraint system is the source of the extra weight on the trains.

At this point in my structural engineering schooling, I have to believe that I fully understand everything in those reports, and I am led to believe that while the structural fix (for the 50+ trouble locations) won't be a quick and easy fix, its a relatively simple fix. With that in mind, the improved structure should have no problem with the existing trains.

Thats not to say that the entire structure isn't poorly designed to begin with, but the only real way to fix that is to tear the whole thing down and start over. King's Island is correct by saying that lighter trains will ensure a safer and more comfortable ride...but I just don't see the need to remove the loop. Unless the new trains are simple chairs on wheels, I just don't see a significant reduction in weight of the trains by using a somehow different restraint system. Maybe they should drop a car from the trains instead, and actually run 3 instead of 2. But thats besides the point, anyway. What does the loop have to do with anything? Lighter trains doesn't mean they won't make it through the loop. Its not like there aren't plenty of other inverting rides out there with lap-bar only restraints.

But those are just my thoughts...

*** This post was edited by Mr Doom 12/14/2006 3:22:09 PM ***
*** This post was edited by Mr Doom 12/14/2006 3:23:07 PM ***

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Thursday, December 14, 2006 12:36 PM
This IS good news for SOB. I hate to see the loop go, but if better trains are on the way, then I'm all for it. Wonder what will go in its' place? I hope they keep it a secret and it's a surprise when I get to ride it.
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Thursday, December 14, 2006 12:52 PM
If lighter trains are the solution to a less-than-stellar structure, why haven't they gone that route with Mean Streak?
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Thursday, December 14, 2006 12:59 PM
It would seem as if Cedar Fair had no choice with SOB. It was either this, or tear the entire thing down. It seems like Cedar Fair tries things out at their other parks, and if they work, they then get sent to Cedar Point (see Xcelerator, then Top Thrill Dragster). Here's hoping that the changes that are made to SOB will inspire CP to do some work on Mean Streak, and then let's hope that the new GCI coaster at Valleyfair will inspire a new wooden coaster at the point. I'd like to see something by the Gravity Group, but hey, I'd take a GCI too!
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Thursday, December 14, 2006 2:24 PM
Our roller coaster world is falling apart...........................................
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Thursday, December 14, 2006 2:24 PM
I thought we decided that Mean Streak runs fine now, it's just a crappy ride with an uninteresting layout.

I don't think anyone will complain if they get the "right" trains.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006 3:57 PM
As long as "lighter trains" doesn't mean "Gerstlauer"...

No reason to think it would, just feeling pessimistic this week :)

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Thursday, December 14, 2006 4:20 PM
I'm fairly certain that SoB was going to have a block right before the loop, but the idea of a rollback in the loop was enough to remove it. Now I don't remember if there is enough real estate up there.
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