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Chad H

Coaster stuck at Six Flags America, Maryland.

Published: August 11, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Item in the Guardian about The Joker getting stuck part way round

I won't ask if anyone knows "what went wrong", because obviously what was supposed to happen went right - the system detected some anomaly and safely stopped the ride.

But that does beg the question as to why the safety shutdown triggered... Anyone have any ideas?

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Replies (3)

Russell Meyer
Writer

Published: August 11, 2014 at 1:53 PM

It wasn't a shut-down in the purest sense of the word, the coaster valleyed. I was not in the park yesterday (almost went though), but have ridden Joker's Jinx many many times. There are no trims or other brakes on the coaster once you pass through the launch tunnel (unlike clones Flight of Fear (KD and KI) and Poltergeist (SFFT) that have MCBRs before entering the heart of the spaghetti bowl), there's nothing to slow the train until it reaches the final break run.

What likely happened (and this is pure speculation based on the reports and images) is that the train accelerated to the programed speed, and for whatever reason did not achieve that speed. Either there was a "shut down" at the end of the launch that caused the train to slow at the end of the launch track, or a set of LIMS malfunctioned that caused the train to not reach the optimal speed.

Where the train valleyed (after the cobra roll but before where the MCBRs are located on other clones of the coaster) would seem to indicate that it didn't have quite enough speed to get through the course, but too much speed to roll back onto the launch track (at ground level).

This incident reminds me a bit of the famous Top Thrill Dragster incident where a train got stuck at the very top of the tower and stalled on the apex. Cedar Point dispatched maintenance to the top to push the train over the hill, but in this case, the train was on a section of track that is not accessible except using bucket trucks.

It's an unfortunate incident, but it seemed to have been handled well by the park, and an occurrence that is probably close to 1 in a million.

Robert Niles
Editor

Published: August 11, 2014 at 2:10 PM. Edited: August 11, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Of all the things for which to beat those one in a million odds....
Melissa Donahue

Published: August 11, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Would we say, then, that the Joker "jinxed" that ride? (Okay, sorry... I just had to.)

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