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Blue Streak Roller Coaster

Posted by LOTGK on October 19, 2007

Conneaut Lake Amusement Park, located on the shore of lake Conneaut in Western Pennsylvania has closed the Blue Streak, the parks main attraction. Enough funds were not raised to insure the ride for the upcoming 2007 season.

Conneaut Lake Park first opened in 1892, (And no, I wasn’t the first visitor) and became a popular gathering place for boating enthusiasts and leisure time activities. It wasn’t until 1938 when the Blue Streak roller coaster was erected that the park turned the corner for profitability and recognition. 1939 brought thousands to the park just to ride the coaster.

The Blue Streak coaster is 77 feet high, (By no means close in comparison to the 400 plus foot coasters of the modern era) had a maximum speed of 50 MPH, carried 24 passengers over 2900 feet of track in just over 2 minutes time. The seat harness, (If you could call them that) was a leather strap attached to each end of the car seat. It did not fit snugly on the passengers and one could easily stand up and lean way out or over the car as it was moving. (Yes, I am guilty of all the above)

As you can see from the above 1989 video, of which I filmed with my Magnavox camcorder, in the front car with my wife Patty adding some hilarious screams and yells, (Yes, the full size camcorder) the coaster was in disrepair even then. Notice the broken wood planks on the ride to the top and the broken guard rails on the turns. The actual steel rails that the coaster traveled was crooked in some places and let me tell you, you could feel and hear where they were. And, as the video will also attest to, they only painted the parts that could be seen from inside the park and left the rest of the track to merely peel and fade away the color. (Side note. The original color of the Blue Streak was yellow but was painted blue afterward as I’m sure blue paint was cheaper than yellow.

For years, it was an annual event to go to Conneaut Park and ride the rides especially the Blue Streak. Rides like the Turtle, Hell Hole, Pirate Ship, Paratrooper, Spider, the Ferris wheel, (I stay away from all Ferris Wheels, another entry some day)and many more. The park had a natural covering of old tree’s that lined the parkway and main drag that provided much needed shade for visiting park patrons. The parkway had old time carnival style games, (Hit the kitty, water gun fights, pop the balloon, skee ball, and the ring toss) We introduced the park to our son Patrick in 1989, the same year I took the video of the blue Streak ride, and he loved the park and continues to go there several times a year to this day. I’d tell you about the park food, but that will be another entry in the lunch menu later on this summer.

Earlier this year, the park announced that the Blue Streak will not operate this season. The Blue Streak has been closed before, 1995-96 seasons being the last time and reopened in 1997 with a ride the Streak contest and promo to rededicate the roller coaster. The Blue Streak is one of the oldest surviving roller coasters in the country and it would be a shame to see it fall by the wayside as so many others in the past.

Lets hope that the city of Conneaut, Pennsylvania can raise enough money this season to re-open the Blue Streak in 200.

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6 Responses to “Blue Streak Roller Coaster”

  1. Slub said

    omigosh, Pat! It was so great to read about your memories of Conneaut! This post made me think about when my family used to stay there on vacation…I was about 10 years old. My cousins and I used to ride the Blue Streak ALL DAY long. I think we were trying to break the “record”! We sat in the last car, not even IN the car, but on the back of the seat. You didn’t mention the sign with lights that lit up according to where the coaster was on the track, remember that? IF they dismantled it, THAT would be a great keepsake. I also remember that there were pony rides in kiddieland. I think this is where I fell in love with horses. When not on The Blue Streak I would stand on that fence watching people take their turn riding. The price for a ride was like, $6 so I only got to ride once a week. And the Hell Hole? wow. That GIANT devil?! I have to say, I was in Conneaut a few years ago and that thing took upon a whole different persona for me. Now I know why women were always standing under it, looking up. haha. (I wonder if there are any pictures of it online…) Catholic school interfering with, (oops I meant influencing) my life again and that ride scared me to death. Because of that I felt the guilt of even entering the viewing platform, and would NEVER ride it…lol. oh, and one more thing…the bathrooms. There were coin slots on the doors, you had to pay .10 to use the bathroom. I always crawled under the door. Thanks for that post, you always have such interesting (and silly) stories to tell! I’m lurking. Hope everything is well! slub

  2. Mike said

    It was great to see the video from the N.A.D. car. I seem to prefer that car because it goes faster than the car they are using now.(Vettel car). The Blue Streak in my opinion is the best coaster I have been on. And I have been on a lot of them! We will be at Conneaut July 1 for a fun day. I am bringing a girl who has never been on the Blue Streak. I cant wait. I hope Conneaut will be around for a long time. i love that place and everything around it. Thanks again!!! Mike from Pittsburgh

  3. Donna said

    Great Video! Thank you! Been on the Blue Streak dozens of time. Living 30 minutes away, Conneaut Lake Park is/was an annual summer trip. I used to visit many times a summer, usually just to ride the Blue Streak. The only years I didn’t regularly visit was when you had to pay before you could even walk into the park. For me… it was a treat to just walk around and buy a few tickets…ride the blue streak, the ultimate trip, the hell hole, have a beer and leave. Great site!

  4. Diana said

    I am sad about the park not opening this year. The Blue Streak was my son’s 1st. rollercoaster. I hope there is a way to get the coaster going again or if the park doesn’t open, move it to another park such as Geauga Lake in Aurora, Ohio where more people in the next 70 years can enjoy the one of a kind of ride the Blue Streak gives!

  5. LOTGK said

    Oh yea, the lighted sign showing the location of the coaster. Yes, that was cool. I believe you can see it for a quick second at the end of my video. I know I have pictures of Conneaut, but where, who knows. As well as Idoar Park. I have an old video I took with my dads 8mm camera of me riding the Wild Cat. I need to find that one.
    Thanks for commenting and reading….

  6. Brad said

    I was one of the volunteers that got to paint the coaster back around 2002. Just stopped there last week to check out the ballroom (burnt thanks to an arsonist with nothing better to do) and the sad state of the indoor scrambler building that collapsed. Rest of the park looked like it just closed. I hope something can be done. I’m tired of losing parks! Poor Geauga Lake….

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