Hurricane Sandy didn’t damage iconic thrill ride, operators say

Operator: Cyclone roller coaster wasn’t damaged in storm

The Brooklyn Paper
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The cyclone didn’t hurt the Cyclone!

The legendary Coney Island roller coaster was covered with some ocean muck, but the city-owned ride survived Hurricane Sandy’s wrath unscathed, according to operator Central Amusements.

“There wasn’t any significant damage, just a lot of clean-up,” said Chloe Gallo, spokeswoman for Central Amusements, which also runs Coney Island’s Luna Park.

Coney’s thrill-ride faithful feared the storm surge destabilized the 85-year-old landmark — leaving the ride unusable.

“If the foundations were affected, they would have to close it down,” said Coney Island historian Jay Singer, who explained that the ride sits on pilings that once supported the Switchback Railway — American’s first roller coaster — which was constructed on the Cyclone site at W. 10th Street and Surf Avenue in 1884, but closed a few years later.

Luna Park inspectors say the violent tide Hurricane Sandy brought with it when it touched down in Brooklyn had no effect on the Cyclone’s foundations or hairpin turns that have been famous since the ride opened in 1927, Gallo explained.

“The Cyclone didn’t suffer any damage like that,” Gallo said.

The Cyclone is in the midst of a major overhaul that promises a safer, smoother, and less rickety experience — a move some ride enthusiasts say will take the thrill out of the thrill ride.

The coaster’s last major upgrade came in the mid-1970s, when the city saved the ride from demolition.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at (718) 260–4507 or e-mail him at Follow him on Twitter at
Updated 5:37 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Jay Singer from Coney Island says:
That is an incredible misquote Will. I never said the Cyclone sat on the pilings of the Switchback Railway. Switchback Railway did not run along W10th street, it ran along what today is the Surf avenue sidewalk. The ocean was much closer then.

The Cyclone was built on the pilings from the Giant Racer, which was constructed in the winter of 1910 for the (ill fated) 1911 Dreamland season. The Giant Racer was over twice the length of the Cyclone, and to this very day it's pilings stretch from Surf Avenue under the Cyclone all the way out under the boadwalk and under the current beach.

The proof is in the sand. Go underneath the boardwalk at W10th street. The storm sucked the sand out and you can walk under there. Wherever there are no concrete boardwalk supports, there are giant racer pilings a mere 3 feet down.
Nov. 12, 2012, 6:08 pm
Ronnie Sesso from West 16 Street says:
Wow, my mom (90) and my aunt (99) were removed from their homes with 11 feet of water damage. My sister and her husband lost all there3 stores on Neptune ave. Coney islanders assisted each other with food, helping the elderly My Mom and Aunt are first generation Italians born and raise in Coney Island
Nov. 12, 2012, 10:42 pm

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