Six Flags Over Texas has unveiled all-new trains for the Texas Giant rollercoaster, which will reopen in 2011 after a $10 million refurbishment.
The Texas Giant's new Gerstlauer-built trains will be themed around 1961 Cadillac Deville cars, with the park celebrating its 50 years since it opened in 1961. Three distinct trains will operate on the ride, in aqua metallic, black metallic and red metallic colors. Each train will feature a front-mounted "cattle-horn" and authentic-looking grills, headlights and tail lights.
The trains will feature stadium-style seats, which are designed to look like the leather interior of a Cadillac. The ride will use lapbar restraints and no seatbelts, ensuring that load-times will be as short as possible.
The Texas Giant is undergoing a major overhaul ahead of its return, and will receive a completely new steel track as part of the renovation. Although the wooden support structure of the ride will remain in place (and will be extended as part of the renovation), the all-steel track design calls into question the ride's status as a wooden coaster - potentially placing it in a new "hybrid wood-steel" bracket.
Six Flags says that the updated ride will feature the steepest drop of any wooden rollercoaster in the world at 79 degrees (though coaster enthusiasts may dispute this given the unique track design). It will also see height increased by 10 feet to 153 feet, a new top speed of 65mph and a 95-degree banking section.
The Texas Giant opened in 1990 and was the tallest and fastest wooden rollercoaster in the world at the time. However, it has since suffered from frequent complaints by riders that it offers an violent, painful ride. The current re-work is the second time the Texas Giant has been renovated, following a previous update nearly ten years ago. The cost of the latest renovation is greater than the original $5.5 million construction cost for the coaster, even when adjusted for inflation.