GIANT CYCLONE SAFETY COASTERS / “TRAVER’S TWISTING TRIPLETS”
Theme park pioneer Harry Guy Travers set out to revolutionize rollercoasters in the late twenties with a set of three nearly-identical coasters of hybrid wood and steel construction, incorporating all the newest features of roller-coaster design: high-angle banked turns, twisting “trick-track” segments, and terrifying runs through enclosed areas full of “headchoppers.”
More than any single feature, however, Traver’s rollercoasters were known for running at 110% and over-stressing the track and support structure, with the Ontario-based “Cyclone” frequently having to shut down for repairs after a few runs. Revere, Massachusetts’ “Lightning” had a better maintenance record, but passengers were thrown from side to side so violently that the phrase “take her on the Lightning” became Boston-area slang for a back-alley abortion.
After two fatalities and the termination of an unknown number of zygotes, the Cyclone and Lightning were finally shut down; the third of the “Traver Trio” was never opened to the public for (understandable) safety reasons.