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Great American Scream Machine (Six Flags Over Georgia) facts for kids

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Great American Scream Machine
Great American Scream Machine hill.jpg
The lift hill
Six Flags Over Georgia
Coordinates 33°45′57″N 84°33′05″W / 33.76583°N 84.55139°W / 33.76583; -84.55139
Status Operating
Opening date March 31, 1973 (1973-03-31)
General statistics
Type Wood
Manufacturer Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters
Designer Don Rosser, John C. Allen, William Cobb
Track layout Out-and-back
Lift/launch system Chain Lift
Height 105 ft (32 m)
Drop 89 ft (27 m)
Length 3,800 ft (1,200 m)
Speed 57 mph (92 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 2:00
Max vertical angle 45°
Capacity 1200 riders per hour
G-force 3.7
Height restriction 42 in (107 cm)
Trains 2 trains with 6 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 24 riders per train.
Flash Pass Available
Great American Scream Machine at RCDB
Pictures of Great American Scream Machine at RCDB

Great American Scream Machine is a wooden roller coaster located at Six Flags Over Georgia. The 105-foot (32 m)-tall ride reaches a top speed of 57 miles per hour (92 km/h). GASM, as it is known to park workers, was built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters in 1973 with Marvin M. Black & Sons as the contractor. When it opened, it was the tallest, longest and fastest roller coaster in the world, and riders were given a "Red Badge of Courage" button for riding the coaster. Recently, on May 21, 2017, Great American Scream Machine received an ACE (American Coaster Enthusiasts) landmark for it being the first wooden roller coaster built by Six Flags and for being at the park for a substantial amount of time while being well maintained.


Great American Scream Machine officially opened to guests on March 31, 1973.

In the spring of 1993, Great American Scream Machine ran backwards for its 20th anniversary. The same thing would occur for its 45th anniversary in 2018.

Operational Information

A computerized block system is used to prevent trains from contacting each other. Great American Scream Machine has 5 blocks: Station, Transfer Table, Lift, Main Brake and Ready Brake. Normal operation uses two trains; however, it can be operated with only one. During two-train operation, if the train in the station has not fully exited the loading platform, the inbound train will stop abruptly in the Main Brakes. A combination of proximity switches, mechanical switches, photoelectric sensors and timers are all used by the controller to track train movements.

Each train consists of four cars with three rows per car, two riders per row, holding 24 total riders. Each row has a lap bar and a seat belt. Until the 2018 season, the lap bar itself was locked and unlocked by an electrical current that activates solenoids on the train, resulting in a "buzzing" electrical sound. They could be troublesome, sometimes requiring the operating crew to manually unlock the lap bar for a rider. For the 2018 season, the former Georgia Cyclone trains were added, which allowed for more reliable and safe lap bars to be installed on this ride. Each train consists of six cars with two rows per car, two riders per row, holding 24 riders total. The trains ride on steel wheels with guide wheels and upstops attached. The track is plank wood stacked 7 planks high, with steel running surfaces on the top, bottom and sides (locations where the running, guide and upstop wheels contact the track).

Before computerized control existed, operators used a lever to operate the brake system and dispatch trains. The operator near the end of the station controlled the main brakes at the end of the circuit; the operator at the front of the station operated the brakes at the station platform only and worked to dispatch trains to the lift.


Golden Ticket Awards: Top wood Roller Coasters
Year 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Ranking 42 (tie) 41 40 44 49 (tie) 48 43

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