Sandy spares Cyclone

Thrill Kill? Cyclone fans fear coaster will become kinder, gentler
File photo by Tom Callan

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 [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/WillBredderman