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June 10th, 2009

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12:18 pm
Learned this week that the back half of the Lincoln Park Comet collapsed early in May. The collapsed section was the far turnaround that you went into right after the first drop, and I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did. Every time I visited the ruins the bottom of that first drop was always in standing water. That's hell on the wood.

The Comet closed in 1987 when Lincoln Park shut down for good. The coaster's remained standing, left to the elements, for over 20 years now. The lift hill collapsed several years ago and the trains were taken out of the coaster structure for use at another park (which I thought had plans to resurrect the entire Comet design at one point, but it never came to be.)

I last visited the coaster site back in August with Joye and it was pretty clear then that coaster structure didn't have much longer to live on its own, anyway. Shame nobody stepped up to take care of it back when it could've been saved, but back then this whole coaster preservation thing was new and unfamiliar territory (Knoebels and the former Wild World had both moved existing wooden coasters by 1987, at least, but those were the major exceptions.)

Ah well. In a way I'm glad nature's doing the job on the Comet and not a developer's bulldozer making way for crappy condos or something.

(6 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:June 10th, 2009 04:52 pm (UTC)
i think there is a wood coaster @ quassy in CT, which is pretty damn scary to ride on!
[User Picture]
Date:June 11th, 2009 01:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, man, Quassy is nuts. I remember they had this insane Mad Mouse ride that zorndeslammes got me on back in 2003 or so. It had square tracks and looked very much like something a coaster nut would throw together in their backyard, only a coaster nut would try to make the thing look like it wasn't about to topple over at any moment. It was metal and the structure was painted white, which only made it look thinner.

There was also the kiddie coaster that the operator stopped by stepping in front of the train and holding it like freakin' Superman when it came into the station. That was an interesting experience.

They're actually getting an actual factual wood coaster at Quassy for next year or 2011, depending on the neighbors' complaints. It won't be higher than 50 feet, I don't think, but it's being designed by a group that makes fun coasters no matter how big or small. I believe sure do hope the safety considerations for that ride will be a bit more, shall we say, stringent...
[User Picture]
Date:June 10th, 2009 09:38 pm (UTC)
Ah, quite possibly my favorite set on flickr.


And not just because I let my free account expire and it deleted everything else.
[User Picture]
Date:June 11th, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC)

lookin good thar, pizza lady

Your shots of the flywheel and the other indoor stuff are just awesome. I'm glad Flickr didn't nuke that set arbitrarily.
[User Picture]
Date:June 11th, 2009 12:05 pm (UTC)

if it makes you feel better...

I had heard the trains were moved to Little Amerricka in Wisconsin for a future project, though that seems to be put off for some time into the future. I know they have expressed interest in building a copy of the ride there, but who knows. At least they saved the junior wood at Hillcrest in Chicago.
[User Picture]
Date:June 11th, 2009 01:55 pm (UTC)

Re: if it makes you feel better...

I remember the Little A-Merrick-A (or however they call it) project but never heard anything about it past the train removal stage. IIRC at the time they stepped in, there was one perfectly good train left on the platform (well, minus some padded seat cushions I DON'T KNOW HOW I ENDED UP WITH ONE) and the weathered train that they left hanging off the brake run in '87.

I seem to also recall something in the transfer shed when I visited in 99, but the Comet had no midcourse brake so I'm not sure what they'd have done with three trains. Unless one was for parts or something.

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