American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) recognizes Conneaut Lake Park’s Blue Streak as an ACE Roller Coaster Landmark, a designation reserved for rides of historic significance.
Constructed as part of a major expansion of the property for the 1938 season, Blue Streak replaced the aging 1909 Scenic Railway on the same site. Designed by Edward Vettel Sr. (1885-1952) and builder Charles L. Beares (1902-1958), of the T.M. Harton Co. and Pittsburgh’s famed West View Park, the coaster would quickly become the park’s signature attraction.
Blue Streak’s basic out-and-back design through a wooded area delivers unexpected thrills with a breathtaking first drop, two classic camel-back hills that provide delightful air-time, and a series of short hills after a speedy turnaround. The 77-foot high, 2,900-foot long coaster also features a long, dark, winding tunnel as it approaches the lift hill. One of the historic Vettel trains was refurbished in 2002 and placed back into service. Today, it remains one of only two existing examples of this classic coaster designer’s work, which utilizes a unique track design composed of multiple wood layers separated into two sections by horizontal cross ties.
Blue Streak was one of the first rides to be named an ACE Coaster Classic, which distinguishes those rare coasters that operate in a traditional manner. Beginning in the late 1990s, the future of Conneaut Lake Park was often uncertain. It is through the tireless efforts of community leaders and preservationists that the park continues to exist, while roller coaster enthusiasts hope Blue Streak will continue to thrill future generations of eager riders.
Presented by American Coaster Enthusiasts
During Coaster Con XXXIII
June 24, 2010