In 1972 Houston got
its first "Big" metal rollercoaster. Dexter Frebish Electric Roller Ride opened
with a huge celebration in the Parks County Fair section. Houston and
Rollercoaster's haven't been the same since.
Up until this time most of the rollercoaster's manufactured by Arrow Dynamics were built low to the ground with multiple lifts. This Mine Train was going to be different. Built higher than previous models, Dexter Frebish utilized high-unbanked broad turns and a sweeping spiral that reminded me of older, wooden coasters. It is my belief that Dexter was an early stepping stone to Arrow's newer 200-foot plus Hyper coasters such as Magnum XL-200 at Cedar Point.
To be honest, Dexter was a 3-element coaster, (The Dip, The Spiral, and The Pit Curve) but something about those elements made this coaster magic for me. Dexter Frebish was the first full sized coaster I rode. I remember being terrified by that first drop and hiding in my Dad's lap.
Later, the area was re-themed as
Nottingham, and the name was changed to Excalibur. I was fortunate to spend two
summers working on this ride and it was one of the best experiences I had.
Running three trains, we could put almost 2,000 people an hour on the ride
something I wish parks did more of today. Driving while running three trains
was always an adventure. A constant juggling act of dispatching and bringing in
trains. Only two trains could be in the station at one time so if anything
went wrong, the third train would stop at brake 3 causing a shutdown.
Video from Front seat Courtesy of Shane's Amusement Attic
This was the 1982 crew. That's me, in the middle in the back row.
Before and after