Rocky Mountain Construction Part Recall Closes Coasters
Update: We’ve added some new information about the earlier Joker closure to this post.
A Rocky Mountain Construction part recall has closed two of its newest roller coasters, including Lightning Rod at Dollywood. So if you’re planning to ride a new RMC coaster in the near future, keep reading.
The part in question is RMC’s newly developed lapbar restraint cylinder.
RMC’s website for the new cylinders states:
Custom engineered for new trains or easily replace existing ride cylinders. RMC’s revolutionary new cylinder presents multiple advantages over current models; ultimately, saving you time and most importantly money.
The new cylinders feature 30 percent lower seal drag, meaning less force is required by park employees and guests to raise and lower RMC’s lap bar restraints. Each lap bar is fitted with two cylinders in the event that one of the cylinders fails.
The cylinders also feature a manual relief valve that allows park staff to “override cylinders quickly and efficiently by hand using the externally mounted locking valve.”
“Being the first safety restraint cylinder that has a fully closed hydraulic system, this process won’t contaminate the oil.”
The website also outlines the rigorous testing the cylinders undergo. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear this testing caught the issue causing the closures.
The video below appears to explain in detail the new cylinders that are at the center of the recall:
Coasters Affected by Rocky Mountain Construction Part Recall
- Lightning Rod (Dollywood)
- Wildfire (Kolmården)
Closed but re-Opened:
- Joker (Six Flags Discovery Kingdom)
- Goliath (Six Flags Great America)
- Iron Rattler (Six Flags Fiesta Texas)
- Medusa Steel Coaster (Six Flags Mexico)
- New Texas Giant (Six Flags Over Texas)
- Outlaw Run (Silver Dollar City)
- Storm Chaser (Kentucky Kingdom)
- Twisted Colossus (Six Flags Magic Mountain)
- Wicked Cyclone (Six Flags New England)
Dollywood posted the following alert on the park’s website yesterday:
This doesn’t appear accurate as the majority of RMC’s pre-2016 roller coasters are still in operation.
(Disclaimer: this information has been translated by Google Translate, so there may be some pieces of information lost in translation.)
The park states: “(RMC has) drawn attention to a risk of manufacturing defects on the part sitting in trains.”
We have not detected any fault on our trains, but for us it is a matter of course, follow the instructions from the manufacturers of the track. We are very sorry for those who looked forward to going Wildfire today and the next few days and is working hard to move as quickly as possible to get off track, says Christer Fogelmarck CEO Parks and Resorts.
The Q&A reads:
When will you open Wildfire?
Our supplier Rocky Mountain Construction today announced (June 18) that it takes at least 3-5 days…
What is the problem?
(RMC has) drawn attention to a risk of manufacturing defects on the part sitting in trains (the new cylinders). We have not found any fault on our trains, but for safety’s sake we’ll fix this.
What fills this part of the operation?
It is a cylinder that is in the train bracket system. Each bracket has two independent cylinders for double security. We have not detected any errors on our cylinders, but when we received this information we will always be safe than sorry, and replace them all.
What would happen if you had not discovered the error?
We have not found any fault on our trains, but for us it is a matter of course, follow the instructions from the manufacturer…
Have there been any risk to the passengers who have already gone?
No, we have not found any fault on our trains, but safety is always the most important for us and therefore we are taking this action.
While Dollywood’s website alert would indicate that all RMC coasters are closed due to the recall, Kentucky Kingdom dismissed the rumor that its new-for-2016 Storm Chaser coaster would be closed:
What's your source of info? That is incorrect. According to president of RMC, it does not include StormChaser @TravisCoaster
— Kentucky Kingdom (@KentuckyKingdom) June 19, 2016
That would suggests that Storm Chaser’s two trains do not feature the new style of cylinders.
Joker at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom was also closed for about a week and a half, although it has re-opened with one train operation. Discovery Kingdom wouldn’t confirm if it was the same issue, but they gave us a statement saying, “The Joker is currently operating after successfully undergoing a series of tests and updates to ensure the efficiency and safety of the ride.” They also told us that the green train is running and the purple train should be up soon. Although not full confirmation, it sounds as though the issue may have existed with The Joker as well (unless there was a different issue with it).