The Texas Giant has reopened at Six Flags over Texas, as the cause of the ride's closure was claimed to be a partial derailment of the ride's train.
The rollercoaster reopened following a five-day shutdown on Saturday. The park had previously announced that it had been closed due to a misalignment in the ride's track caused by hot, dry weather. However, a report in the Dallas Morning News throws doubt on that explanation.
The paper quotes Barry Richard, an inspector for PLH & Associates who claims to have inspected the ride on behalf of the park's insurers. Richard claims that an "up-stop wheel" on the train's last car had failed. These are designed to hold the ride's wheels on the track, and the failure resulted in the car partially derailing and being dragged along by the rest of the train until it came to a stop mid-ride.
Guests were on-board at the time, but Richards insists that the incident was relatively minor, since like all coasters the Texas Giant includes redundant safety features that ensure that "the train is not going to fly off the track". No one was injured in the incident.
Richard claims that the derailment caused damage to a part of the track, which has since been replaced. The faulty train remains out of service.
The Texas Giant will shut down again for the entire 2010 season, to undergo a $10 million renovation. The upgraded version will open in 2011, when the park will celebrate its 50th anniversary.
The ride opened in 1990 and was the tallest and fastest wooden rollercoaster in the world at the time, but has gained a reputation for offering a bumpy, violent ride. The park has said it aims to make the coaster "smoother and faster" when it reopens. It will be the second time the ride has been renovated, with a previous renovation taking place nearly ten years ago.
You can keep up-to-date with the latest confirmed and rumored temporary ride closures through Theme Park Tourist's "Rehab Watch".