Texas Giant roller coaster reopens with steel track at Six Flags Over Texas

Posted Friday, April 22, 2011 11:49 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The renovated Texas Giant roller coaster opens to the public today at Six Flags Over Texas. The Arlington theme park invested $10 million in redesigning the ride, which has a new track layout and new cars modeled after the 1961 Cadillac DeVille. The new ride, which lasts about two minutes, includes a 79-degree first drop and a bank of 95 degrees.

Read more from The Star-Telegram.

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Friday, April 22, 2011 4:48 PM

Contrary to the article they are not the first with a wood/steel combination...Gemini at Cedar Point was one of it not the first it opened in 1978. I have admit though it looks more fun than Gemini and less painful.

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Friday, April 22, 2011 5:13 PM

Only the structure of Gemini is wooden, so it counts strictly as a steel coaster. It's the track that matters.

In this case, SF commissioned a very new-fangled type of steel track that exactly replicates the wooden track it replaces. It's in that sense this coaster is a hybrid, and thus the first of its kind.


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Friday, April 22, 2011 6:02 PM
Rihard's avatar

Not to mention that the Mine Ride wood/steel hybrid opened at CP 9yrs. prior to Gemini. If your using Gemini as the wood/steel standard, then Runaway Mine Train at Six Flags Over Texas (1966) would have been the first of it's kind.

How did the Six Flags PR team overlook their own 1966 wood/steel hybrid? ; )


- R.A

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Friday, April 22, 2011 6:19 PM
Jeff's avatar

The only distinction this coaster has over dozens of Arrow mine trains is that the track rails are square shaped instead of round, and they are tied directly to the structure instead of a common spine. Unique? Probably. First of its kind? That seems like a stretch


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Friday, April 22, 2011 7:40 PM

Steven-LA said:
Contrary to the article they are not the first with a wood/steel combination...Gemini at Cedar Point was one of it not the first it opened in 1978.

Contrary to popular belief, the amusement world history does not revolve around Cedar Point. There were steel support wooden tracked coasters almost from the beginning, including the infamous Crystal Beach Cyclone, Coney Island Thunderbolt (Annie Hall Coaster) and the Revere Beach Lightning, all from the mid-late 20's.

As noted above, the Arrow mine train rides were the first tubular steel coasters with wooden frames.

Dexter Frebish's Electric Roller Ride (later Excalibur) at Astroworld was (I think) the first of the Mine Train style rides (arrow mine train cars, tubular steel track, polyurethane wheels) to mimic the dimensions and ride experience of the traditional wooden coaster in 1972. 6 full years before Gemini.

History, it's cool

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Friday, April 22, 2011 7:45 PM
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Saturday, April 23, 2011 10:59 AM

CreditWh0re said:

Contrary to popular belief, the amusement world history does not revolve around Cedar Point.

Just so you know, I was not suggesting that the amusement world history revolved around Cedar Point...I was using it as a point of reference because Gemini is the only wood/steel coaster I have personally ridden.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011 6:59 PM

I usually don't complain (and I really am not in a sense), but those plastic side guards just look really tacky. I know they serve a purpose but couldn't they have figured something else out?

Otherwise, the ride looks great. I hope they do this in the future to other large scale wooden coasters that haven't aged well.


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Saturday, April 23, 2011 8:29 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

They actually don't impede the ride at all. They are a little tacky and out of place, but once you're in the train, you don't notice them at all.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Sunday, April 24, 2011 1:37 AM

Contrary to popular belief, the amusement world history does not revolve around Cedar Point.

Wait, what? It doesn't? Well that explains everything now doesn't it. A park that is only open like what four months of the year cannot be the center of the amusement industry, it all makes sense now. Maybe those few parks that have castles in the middle of them are the ones that would be closer to the center and after all they only close for the night and bring in a much larger number of guests. Plus pretty much everyone around the world knows and has heard of them. Cedar Point is not really well known outside Ohio and coaster geek circles.
So those "window" guards are there to protect your hands and arms from possible injury? Then that itself is bad design. Plus has anyone noticed that they look like Six Flags ripped off WDI's Rock 'n' Rollercoaster stretch limo train designs?
I am not sure about the wood or steel debate. Personally I think it is neither or both. Gemini: steel, Hades: wood, “New” Texas Giant: ? …hybrid? This is truly is the first "hybrid" wooden/steel coaster. Either way you look at it and decide it is a win for Six Flags Parks, Six Flags Over Texas and the industry in general. It looks like a great ride with a great layout. In the end that is all that matters, not whether or not it is (or is not) wooden or steel. Now parks that may have always wanted a wooden coaster but knew they could not keep up with the cost of maintenance of a one can now look to utilizing this technology.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011 10:32 AM
rollergator's avatar

IMO - this is no more a hybrid than Gemini is. It's a steel coaster, as they are typically identified by the track type. Steel track -> steel coaster. An awesome-looking steel coaster to be sure...

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Sunday, April 24, 2011 10:44 AM

I'm not so sure. The track may be steel, but it's still box track, so in that sense the ride experience ought to be like a woodie, but with more of the smoothness of steel.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Sunday, April 24, 2011 1:26 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

On my one ride, I thought it rode just like tubular steel. There's really no difference at all.

I call it steel.

The primary reason for the hand shields I would imagine is the 112* overbank (or whatever it is...the third one). There's not a whole lot of clearance on the left side of the train there and I've heard stories of MF needing to be modified from a very similar situation.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Sunday, April 24, 2011 3:22 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

MF definitely got modified, there are pix. The Giant side windows look better than the horrible things on El Toro.


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Sunday, April 24, 2011 3:51 PM

Take it from a steel worker, if it is round or rectangular, if it is enclosed it is all tubular.

Seems the wheels are in constant contact with the track and there is no wood in the track system at all. How this can be construed as anything other then steel blows my mind.


-Brent Kneebush

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Monday, April 25, 2011 12:18 AM

It is confusing because this is a more extreme, more obvious version of what Six Flags Parks has been doing to their wooden coasters for years. Colossus uses steel I beams for most the ride except the the turns and I think the lift. They also were doing the same thing to Psyclone little by little before they put it out of its misery. I also heard that Six Flags Great America does this their wooden coasters. The only difference it isn't done to the entire ride and laminated wood is placesd around the I beams. So the question is are they also steel or they still wood? If Six Flags over Texas goes back adds laminated wood around the Giant's rails and finishes the catwalks in the when the park closes for the winter, is it then a wooden coaster because it is just like the rest of Six Flags' wooden coasters now?

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Monday, April 25, 2011 7:00 AM

Isn't this similar to El Toro then? I don't see the difference.


cyberdman

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Monday, April 25, 2011 10:08 AM
Pete's avatar

Jeff said:
The only distinction this coaster has over dozens of Arrow mine trains is that the track rails are square shaped instead of round, and they are tied directly to the structure instead of a common spine.

Actually, the Arrow coasters that have a wood structure do not have the common spine, the track is actually tied directly to the wooden structure with feet that are fastened to the wood crossbeam. Cedar Creek Mine Ride, Adventure Express and Gemini are all built like that. Here is a picture of Mine Ride at CP that illustrates this if you look at the track carefully.


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Monday, April 25, 2011 11:23 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

cyberdman said:
Isn't this similar to El Toro then? I don't see the difference.

No. El Toro has wooden track like any wooden coaster. Texas Giant has square tubular steel track. Not at all the same.


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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Monday, April 25, 2011 2:34 PM

...Although it's not exactly fair to say that El Toro's wooden track is just like any other woodie's.


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