UPDATE August 11 - This is the news we have all been waiting for, Fury 325 at Carowinds has now reopened having been shuttered since June 30 due to a large crack in one of the support beams. The second crack which was discovered during the safety inspection has now been repaired, Fury 325 has completed its vigorous testing and the North Carolina Department of Labor has given this headlining roller coaster the green light to operate again.
Here is the official statement which was released by Carowinds:
"Carowinds today announced that Fury 325 has reopened following the completion of the repair and testing process, and a final inspection by the North Carolina Department of Labor's Elevator and Amusement Device Bureau (the Bureau). The return to operation marks the end of a comprehensive plan dedicated to ensuring the safety and operational readiness of the coaster.
Over the past several weeks, crews installed a new steel column fabricated by Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M), the ride manufacturer, ensuring precise alignment and fastening of the track/column connection. Working closely with B&M and our consultants, the team initiated a series of detailed tests to ensure the coaster's safety and integrity. These included an accelerometer test that uses sensors to measure any variation in the ride experience. After that, we operated the ride for 500+ full cycles, performing tests and inspections to ensure the ride’s integrity throughout that period. B&M and a third-party testing firm then conducted a final inspection to ensure the ride surpassed all required specifications.
Earlier today, August 10, the Bureau conducted a final inspection and formally approved reopening of the ride.
We extend our sincere thanks to all those who worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to repair and prepare Fury 325 for reopening. We are excited to welcome back our guests to one of Carowinds’ most popular rides."
This is certainly excellent news for Carowinds and for fans of Fury 325 and we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Carowinds and Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) for their commitment to getting Fury 325 fixed, tested and reopened as quickly as possible.
August 10 - It has been a long time since Fury 325 shut down on June 30, after the first large crack was found in the support. Thanks to a new update from Theme Park Predictions we now know that the second "weld indication" was a minor crack on the first high-speed turn of the ride. This has now been fixed and the testing has been completed meaning Carowinds is waiting for the North Carolina Department of Labor to complete the safety inspection and give Fury 325 the green light to operate once again.
It is expected that once this has been done, since Fury 325 has been down for over a month that the ride operators will have a day of training before Fury 325 reopens to guests.
We are expecting Fury 325 to reopen quickly after the final safety inspection has been completed. We will update you when further information on the reopening of Fury 325 is confirmed.
August 1 - We can now update you with the official statement released by Carowinds regarding the second "weld indication," which "could be either a break or a crack." This has appeared on the press release page of the Carowinds website:
"Carowinds continues to conduct a comprehensive series of detailed tests and inspections in preparation for the reopening of Fury 325. Each step of the process is under careful monitoring, with remedial action taken to ensure the structure's safety and integrity. Upon completion of this phase, the ride will undergo final inspections by the ride manufacturer, a third-party testing firm, and the North Carolina Department of Labor's Elevator and Amusement Device Bureau, all aimed at preparing Fury 325 for its reopening.
We are conducting a full maintenance review of Fury 325 during this testing process. This maintenance review – which is consistent with routine off-season procedures – includes a review of the steel superstructure, the trains, and the ride control system. During such reviews, it is not uncommon to discover slight weld indications in various locations of a steel superstructure. It is important to note that these indications do not compromise the structural integrity or safety of the ride. When such indications are found, we conduct non-destructive testing to determine the appropriate remedy. Once a repair is completed, it undergoes inspection and approval before the ride is deemed operational. Additionally, as is customary, we conduct test cycles to ensure its smooth operation before guests are allowed on the ride."
From this statement we learn that a "full maintenance review" is being conducted and Carowinds appears to be playing down the news of the 2nd break or crack saying it is "not uncommon to discover slight weld indications in various locations of a steel superstructure." The key point is that these weld indications "do not compromise the structural integrity or safety of the ride."
We are currently unsure exactly how Carowinds will repair this newly discovered "weld indication" and when Fury 325 will be able to reopen but trust that it will be repaired as quickly as possible and testing will then resume by the North Carolina Department of Labor to ensure the full safety inspection is passed and Fury 325 can then operate again as soon as possible.
Rumors of a mid-August reopening could come to fruition but it really is too soon to speculate on a reopening date when limited information is known regarding how this second weld indication will be repaired and how much testing will then be needed following the repair.
We know that Fury 325 had to complete 500 cycles after the installation of the new support column but so far have not been given details of exactly how many more cycles of testing Fury 325 will have to go through before it reopens. We will keep you posted on further updates on the reopening of Fury 325 as soon as they are announced.
July 29 - There is very bad news for fans of Fury 325 as it was confirmed on Friday July 28 by the North Carolina Department of Labor that it has been informed of a second "weld indication," which "could be either a break or a crack."
Meredith Watson, a spokesperson for the North Carolina Department of Labor, said in a statement that "No certificate of operation has been issued nor do we have a timeline of when the certificate of operation will be issued for the Fury 325."
According to the video posted to Queen City News on July 29, this new crack or break was discovered when Carowinds workers were testing Fury 325 after the new support beam had been installed. Currently, there has not been any confirmation of exactly where or how large this crack or break is.
This news certainly explains why Carowinds has not announced an official reopening date for Fury 325 as the state will not be able to recertify Fury 325 to operate until this new crack or break is fixed.
Now, as it currently stands, it is impossible to predict exactly when Fury 325 will reopen as this second crack or break may be able to be fixed quite quickly or we could see an extended downtime if it is indeed in another support column which the inspectors deem that is needed to be replaced.
What we do know is that our initial hopes for Fury 325 to be up and running this weekend will certainly not be the case and those rumors that Fury 325 won't reopen until mid August may well come to fruition.
We expect Carowinds to issue an official statement very soon to inform guests of what is happening and we will keep you up to date with all the latest developments regarding Fury 325 here at Theme park Tourist.
July 28 - Well, we had been hoping to bring you an update today that Carowinds had announced a reopening date for Fury 325 but unfortunately that is not the case at the current time of writing. Four weeks ago (June 30), a large crack on one of the support beams on Fury 325 was seen by a park-goer and the roller coaster was shut down.
Right from the start, Carowinds had a huge sense of urgency to get Fury 325 reopened again as quickly as possible but in the last week it appears to have all gone quiet. It has been reported that investigators and inspectors from the North Carolina Department for Labor have been onsite and are continuing to carry out the safety inspection. We hope that this testing is just taking slightly longer than was originally expected and there is not an unexpected issue with the roller coaster.
With the 500 cycles of necessary testing having been completed on the nights of July 17 and 18, we expected to have heard an official statement from Carowinds by now to confirm when Fury 325 will reopen and to reassure fans that Fury 325 has been fully tested and is safe to ride.
All we can do is patiently wait and we are expecting to hear an update of some sort today ahead of the weekend. We will inform you of the reopening date for Fury 325 as soon as it is released.
July 25 - In an update video posted to YouTube by WCNC, it is confirmed by Carowinds that Fury 325 is still currently closed to the public despite some rumors online stating that the roller coaster had reopened.
July 24 - Well unfortunately our prediction that Fury 325 would reopen over the weekend at Carowinds has not come to fruition.
There was a real sense of urgency to get the new support column delivered to Carowinds and replaced on Thursday July 13 with the 500 cycles of testing being completed Monday and Tuesday nights. We expected to see investigators and inspectors from the North Carolina Department for Labor at Carowinds on Friday to begin the necessary checks that are needed in order to sign Fury 325 off as being safe to operate again.
According to the video posted to YouTube by Theme Park Predictions on July 22 which has subsequently been deleted, all was quiet on site at Fury 325 on Friday July 21. The barricades still surround the roller coaster and maintenance equipment is still scattered.
Some coaster fans online are predicting a mid-August reopening for Fury 325 which to us doesn't make any sense at all. Carowinds has pushed forward with urgency for the last three weeks to get their top roller coaster reopen as soon as possible. There would have been no point in doing this if mid-August was the planned reopening schedule.
Attendance at Carowinds is understandably lower than usual and with Night Hawk and Vortex also currently closed, with Night Hawk expected to have a lengthy downtime, it is even more imperative that Carowinds gets Fury 325 as soon as possible.
July 21 - Although things have appeared to go quiet regarding Fury 325 in the last couple of days, we know that hundreds of cycles of testing has been completed at Carowinds this week. Today was the earliest day we were led to believe that the investigators and inspectors from the North Carolina Department for Labor were expected at Carowinds to begin the necessary checks that are needed in order to sign Fury 325 off as being safe to operate again.
Today marks the three week anniversary of Fury 325 being shut down after a park-goer noticed the large crack in the support column. The video posted by Jeremy Wagner went viral and an investigation continues regarding the cause and the length of time the crack had been there unnoticed before splitting on June 30.
We are expecting to see inspectors on site in the next couple of days to carry out the necessary safety inspections and we will update you as soon as there is news of a reopening date for this very popular giga coaster at Carowinds.
July 19 - It has been confirmed by Queen City News that testing continued on Fury 325 at Carowinds last night (July 18). It seems as if testing is going well and we assume it will have completed it's 500 cycles over the last two nights. We await to see if further testing will take place tonight.
The next step is for a third party to do a final inspection on site to sign Fury 325 off as being safe to operate again. Carowinds has certainly put everything into getting Fury 325 back up and running in the quickest time and we await confirmation of an official reopening date.
In the video posted yesterday, Brandon suggests that we could see Fury 325 reopening on Thursday or Friday. However, previous information led us to believe that the team of investigators and inspectors from the North Carolina Department for Labor were expected on site at Carowinds at the earliest Friday July 21. We therefore predict a reopening at some point this weekend. We will keep you posted of all further developments on Fury 325 this week.
July 18 - This is the news that Fury 325 fans have all been waiting for. At 11PM on Monday July 17, Fury 325 at Carowinds officially started testing. This is the first time we have seen Fury 325 running since it was shut down after the large crack was spotted in one of its support columns by a park-goer on Friday June 30.
The most recent video posted to YouTube by Theme Park Predictions shows the testing which took place last night. Two trains were being tested from 11PM to approximately 8AM this morning (July 18). Each train was loaded with water dummies and it appears so far that the testing is going very well and the trains appear to be running very smoothly.
Testing is expected again tonight from 11AM to approximately 8AM (July 19) . This should complete the 500 runs which is required before inspections are carried out to determine when Fury 325 is safe to resume operation. We expect any finishing touches to be done on Wednesday ready for the inspections to be carried out.
July 14 - The breaking news regarding Fury 325 is that the new support column to replace the affected cracked one arrived at Carowinds yesterday and has now been put in place.
In the video posted to YouTube by Queen City News, you get to see the new support column being raised. This is indeed quite an accomplishment from Carowinds and B&M that in less than 2 weeks since the roller coaster was officially closed, after the alarm was raised when the extensive crack was spotted by a park-goer, that a new support column is in place.
For those of you who are interested in getting a more detailed look at how the process of installing this new support column on Fury 325 took place, you can check out the latest video from Theme Park Predictions which is embedded below.
Testing is expected to begin early next week and with the team of investigators and inspectors from the North Carolina Department for Labor expected on site at Carowinds at the earliest Friday July 21, it looks like there is still hope that we could see Fury 325 reopening before the end of July.
The reopening of Fury 325 is inevitably highly dependant on the testing and inspecting process going smoothly which we hope will be the case. We still await news of an official reopening date but it is certainly a fantastic step forward to see the new support column for Fury 325 now in place. We will continue to update you on details of the investigation as it unfolds.
July 13 - It is the news we have all been waiting for, the cracked support beam has been removed from Fury 325 has been removed in preparation for the new beam to be installed. The new support column is expected to arrive at Carowinds today.
In the newly posted video to YouTube from Queen City News we get to see footage of this process happening which is certainly exciting to see for all Fury 325 fans.
The investigation continues regarding the cause as well as how long the crack had been visible for prior to it completely opening up on July 1. We find out that the affected beam had been welded a few weeks prior to the crack forming and according to an Industry expert the likely cause is that the steel beam weakened and begun to give out over a period of time.
As you can see from the video the part of the roller coaster which was supported by the support column which is being removed, is now held up by hydraulic jacks whilst the process of installing the new support column takes place.
When the support column has been successfully installed, Fury 325 will go through vigorous safety testing including an "accelerometer test that uses sensors to measure any variation in the ride experience" as well as operating Fury 325 for 500 full cycles.
North Carolina Department for Labor says that the earliest their team of investigators and inspectors will be able to get on site at Carowinds will be Friday July 21.
Although we still don't have a confirmed timeline for when Fury 325 will reopen, what we do know is that the old support column has been removed and the new one is expected to arrive today (July 13). Progress is certainly being made on getting Fury 325 operating again as soon as possible. We will continue to update you on our news and Facebook page.
Continue reading to see previous updates regarding the ongoing investigation into the likely cause of the crack in the support column and why it wasn't seen earlier...