New York New York’s Big Apple Coaster adds Premier Rides trains

AT: Pam Sherborne

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — In just over two weeks, thousands of visitors had already taken a ride on the bright new trains on the 200-plus-foot tall Big Apple Coaster at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino. Premier Rides manufactured the new trains that are themed to look like a New York taxi cab. 

And, according to Premier Rides, social media reports were pouring in during the second week of February saying the ride was incredibly smooth. 

“New York-New York reported that they were selling a record percentage of all day ride passes, which confirms the comments about how guests and coaster enthusiasts can now ride the coaster over and over,” said Premier’s Jim Seay. “Tickets have been selling out with an impressive queue.”

Premier Rides was commissioned by New York-New York Las Vegas to provide a fleet of new trains for the Big Apple Coaster. This project has proved to be one of the largest service contracts in the history of Premier. 

“Premier Rides very much appreciates the trust placed in us by the New York-NewYork Casino team and we very much appreciate the excellent teamwork which has successfully delivered such a transformational result,” Seay said. 

The New York-New York coaster engineers and the Premier Rides engineers jointly performed all of the integration work and upgrades necessary to allow the new generation trains to operate successfully on The Big Apple Coaster.  The integration work included upgrades to the lift, track and station, the latter which is themed to a New York City subway station.

“The trains are based on the award winning, industry-proven Sky Rocket style trains,” Seay said. “The new trains utilize Premier’s award-winning individual lap bar restraint system and feature the comfort collar system (seen on West Coast Racers, Tempesto, Tigris and Electric Eel) to deliver a transformational ride experience.”  

The new trains consist of more open-air seating and can hold up to 18 riders, thus increasing the coaster’s capacity.

Rigorous testing, inspections and certifications started up in December 2020, but was halted in the late part of that month due to a repair that needed to be made to the track. Once repaired, the testing began again.

The ride was slated for reopening on February 1. Premier Rides beat its own completion date by a couple of days, allowing the ride to reopen in late January.

This is not the first work Premier has done on this coaster, which was manufactured by TOGO. It opened in 1997 as the Manhattan Express. 

Premier Rides installed magnetic brakes in 2004. In 2006, Premier replaced the original TOGO trains. 

The Big Apple Coaster, measures 203 feet tall with a track length of more than 4,000 feet. The ride begins with a 180-foot lift and a 76-foot drop, followed by a hill and a 144-foot drop. The train then traverses two inversions, a standard vertical loop and a dive loop (twist and dive element), where the train performs a 180-degree twist and then performs a half-loop maneuver. 

The rest of the ride is executed on the roof of the casino, and features small hills and a helix into the brakes. 

Currently, the ride costs $15 per individual ticket ($20 with virtual reality) and $8 for a re-ride. A combination regular/VR ride ticket costs $28 and an all-day pass can be bought for $26. 

The Big Apple Coaster  is the only roller coaster by TOGO that still operates in North America.

This article appears in the  MARCH 2021 issue of Amusement Today.
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