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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Riverside Park SFNE Thunderbolt

Riverside Park SFNE Thunderbolt

Posted: 9/20/10 at 9:10:06 PM
Views: 3455

IS anyone here old enough to remember when the Thunderbolt was run backwards?

I swear I remember as a kid riding this backwards.
It had to be around 82-83.

I also remember the station brakes failing and sliding through the station for another go around because it started to mist and lightly rain..
The guy was like, OOPS, see ya next time around, and this happened 3 or 4 times on different occasions.
If I remember well they had an old lever to lift the brakes? I can't remember too much since I was high on cotton candy and nightly races most of the time..

OH and one more Thunderbolt question.
I saw an old Pic online of the Kennedy's Teddy and others circa 1976, and they had him and 2 kids in one row for a 3 wide ride..
The train looked like it was just out of the it had to be on it's way for a circuit..
I don't recall 3 wide seating..or the ability to do so, unless they had undivided seats..

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Re: Riverside Park SFNE Thunderbolt by dkanter69 at 9/20/10 9:57:09 PM

Thanks for your info on the thunderbolt. Unlike the cyclone I did ride the Thunderbolt and loved it on a recent visit to SFNE. Thanks for your comments on the Cyclone as well. I plan to ride that on my next visit there. I dont remember the Thunderbolt backwards but I doubt i would enjoy that.

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Re: Riverside Park SFNE Thunderbolt by 4kidsAndACoaster at 9/21/10 5:31:17 PM

There is a Facebook page by a person who has old pics circa 1970's of Riverside..

All the rides I remember like yesterday.
The flying boats:)

Re: Riverside Park SFNE Thunderbolt by bruceturner01 at 9/27/10 1:29:25 PM

It was the early 80's when Thunderbolt was running backwards, around 1984 and 1985. There are 2 coasters that I liked that they ran backwards for a time, Thunderbolt at Riverside, and Rebel Yell at Kings Dominion. I had the pleasure of riding both.


Re: Riverside Park SFNE Thunderbolt by sparky sparky Profile at 9/27/10 3:32:09 PM

When did T'bolt last run as a two train operation?

Re: Riverside Park SFNE Thunderbolt by MABrider MABrider Profile at 9/27/10 8:37:08 PM

> When did T'bolt last run as a two train operation?

Boy, I'd like to know that!
I probably should remember even seeing two train ops on it, but I don't. And I believe the second train is not even on the transfer track any longer, perhaps going back a couple years when they changed from buzz bars to individual restraints (?) like they only did one train (?).

Another older/milder woodie that never runs two trains is Yankee Cannonball at Canobie. But its second trains sits "right there!" in the station under a (dust collecting) tarp.

Both could sure use a second train to improve wait times when busy. Which those coasters usually are, even if the parks they are in are not.

Same goes for Funtown's Excali...oh, wait, it never had a second train. But that's a different story.

Mike B.

Re: Riverside Park SFNE Thunderbolt by Absimilliard Absimilliard Profile at 9/27/10 9:47:29 PM

Thunderbolt and Yankee Cannonball both stopped running two trains after accidents where the trains hit each others. Unless the brakes are changed to fin, they will never run 2 again.

Thunderbolt accident was in the mid 80's and Yankee Cannonball in 2002.

Re: Riverside Park SFNE Thunderbolt by MountainFlyer at 10/3/10 8:29:43 AM

Thanks for bringing back a great memory. Thunderbolt with backwards trains was great fun. Since it took place around the time of the opening of Cyclone, I assume it was done to give Thunderbolt a new "edge". As far as seating goes, through the 1970's Thunderbolt (just like the Mountain Flyer at nearby Mountain Park) had no seat dividers, so you could pack in three people on one bench as long as they fit.

Re: Riverside Park SFNE Thunderbolt by 4kidsAndACoaster at 10/11/10 7:10:36 PM

Thank you..

yes I do remember riding this backwards, but I was 15 or 16 years old at the time.
I specifically remember other times as well when the brakes would not stop you and you slid through the station.

When Cyclone was put in, I remember the line for Black Widow would not be the 5 flights of stairs you had to climb and wait, but you could pretty much get right on it..
Boy have times and coasters changed since then..

Re: Riverside Park SFNE Thunderbolt by musikitten at 5/14/17 1:08:58 AM
To answer your questions, yes, there used to be two cars. One red and one blue. And yes, the ride went backwards. There were no seat dividers back then, so you could fit up to three people in a seat. Also, there were no seat belts and no lap bar, so when I was eight and very small for my age, I had to reach way forward to hold onto the silver bar in front of me. That silver bar is still there.

Does anybody else remember an accident around 1975? The rumor was that the attendant had been drinking, but I never saw a news article or anything factual about it. I was in line for the ride, my first night-time roller coaster, and the train started going around a second time. The attendant put on the emergency brake, which stopped only the front of the car. The back of the train went over the front. I could hear screaming and crying, but my big sister pulled me from the line and took me away, so I didn't see anything once I watched the back of the train go over the front. Please, if anybody can find a newspaper article about this, post the link. It may have been 1974, but definitely no earlier than 1973, which was the year I first rode the Thunderbolt. Thank you.

Re: Riverside Park SFNE Thunderbolt by SirWillow SirWillow Profile at 5/15/17 10:29:20 AM
sadly the site that used to have all the ride accident information is no longer active and is just a parked domain. That would have been where I would tell you to look.

though your description of what you think you saw sounds a bit sketchy. I've never heard of the back of a train going over the front, and I don't think it's even possible since there are "upstops" on the car that keep them from leaving the tracks. Even if there was a failure on one set (unlikely) it wouldn't happen on other cards, and the linkage between cars wouldn't break, meaning there is a lot of resistance keeping the cars from doing that. I wonder if it might be a mixture of youth at the time, darkness making it hard to see, and the years adding to the memory. I could find no record of any accident at all at the park during those years, and if there was something serious that would have happened it would have been reported somewhere.

Re: Riverside Park SFNE Thunderbolt by musikitten at 5/15/17 10:38:14 AM
Thanks for your reply. Yes, I was very young and it was many years ago. I remember wondering why the car was going around a second time, then it stopped, then there was a lot of screaming. Those things I'm sure of. The rest I'm vague about, primarily because my sister knew there was a problem and pulled me away before I could see too much. It probably appeared as an article in local newspapers at the time, but since I can't recall the exact date, it would difficult to go back and find the accident. Thanks again.