On Monday, ground broke for the construction of a new roller coaster at Coney Island. The Thunderbolt is the first steel custom roller coaster Coney Island will see since the Cyclone debuted in 1927. The new coaster is expected to be open to riders by Memorial Day weekend.
The Thunderbolt will stand 45 feet wide and 800 feet long with three cars, each holding up to nine passengers.
The new roller coaster will be located in Luna Park, offering 2,233 feet of track. Those going along for the ride will experience a 115-foot vertical drop, a 100-foot vertical loop and five inversions.
“For a decade, the City has made investing in Coney Island a priority,” according to New York City Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Kyle E. Kimball. “The Thunderbolt roller coaster will build upon that commitment by providing visitors to Coney Island with a fantastic new attraction, boosting the local economy and helping create jobs in the neighborhood still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.”
The Thunderbolt takes the place of a wooden coaster that was also called the Thunderbolt. The old Thunderbolt was operated from 1925 to 1982 and demolished in 2000 to make way for the Brooklyn Cyclones’ baseball stadium. The new Thunderbolt will stand alongside the baseball stadium.
The thrill ride will cost $10 million to build.
The new roller coaster will be operated by Central Amusement International, which also operates Luna Park.
Coney Island goers this summer can expect a re-energized theme park on top of its other roller coaster – the Cyclone – and many other amusement rides and attractions.
Photo courtesy of New York City Economic Development Corporation.