MONTREAL – It’s official – Montreal is home to the best roller coaster in North America.
The Monster, the wooden double-track coaster built on Île Ste. Hélène between 1985 and 1986, took the top prize in the Six Flags Tournament of Thrills on Monday. It racked up a stunning 10,565 online votes, trouncing New Jersey’s Nitro coaster, which earned only 4,322 votes.
The Tournament of Thrills pitted 16 nausea-inducing competitors against each other in an effort to find the "holy rail" of coasters, with online votes determining the winners of each round.
Firefighters had to help 28 passengers off the Monster roller coaster at La Ronde amusement park yesterday afternoon after one of its cars stalled on an incline.
Passengers reported rolling backward down part of the ride after the car stalled.
No injuries were reported.
The passengers, wearing safety harnesses provided by firefighters, were escorted along a safety walkway that stretches the length of the 24-year-old wooden coaster, said Michel Bourgeois, a Montreal fire department chief of operations. There was no need for ladders, he said.
The car became stuck about 2 p.m., and firefighters got all the stranded riders off the roller coaster by 3 p.m., La Ronde spokesperson Martin Roy said.
An adjustment problem caused the ride to stop.
"The car didn't pick up enough speed to reach the top, of the incline, so it stalled," Bourgeois explained.
The point at which the stall took place was about midway up the structure, which is 12 storeys tall, he added.
Four seven-tonne trains run on two tracks, two trains at a time. The tracks function simultaneously and the trains cross 18 times, with speeds reaching 95 kilometres an hour.
The trains rely on momentum from their first acceleration to make it to the end of the ride. Roy said he didn't know why the train didn't pick up enough speed.
The ride was being tested last night and is expected to be functioning normally by the time the park reopens Saturday.
The stranded riders were given free food, and a free return visit to the park.