Saturday, July 29, 2017

Catching Up on Alton Towers' New Wood Coaster Progress

It was more than a year ago (believe it or not) when the plans for Alton Towers' new for 2018 wood roller coaster were released, so I think it is a good time to check in on the project.  The coaster has replaced the park's log flume, and will use a hillside to its advantage to meet the strict height requirements that the park has.  If you're not familiar with the coaster's layout, check out the link above to see the plans.

© Towers Times
Since the project was officially signed off on last summer, Alton Towers has been hard at work on building the ride since then.  They cleared out the log flume right away, and got to work on setting footers for the coaster.

Within the past couple months the wood coaster has gone vertical, with a couple decent sized sections of the ride now up.  Above is a photo that Towers Times shared on Facebook, showing the ride's lift hill and a mid-ride turn already standing.  Tower Times also has a great site up for the project, dubbed SW8, available at this link.  Another update from the same site, from a couple weeks ago, shows wonderful aerial photos of the ride's progress.

The coaster appears to be pretty family oriented, based on size and layout.  There is a large steel structure for some sort of big thematic element that's also up, and from the layout it appears the ride will head directly through it.  The ride's station and transfer house are also well underway from the photos.

© Alton Towers
Since there is obvious construction of the new wood roller coaster at the park (and still no news on whether this is a GCI or GG design) the theme park has acknowledged that they have a "ground breaking development" coming next season, but they're not saying much else.  You can sign up for e-mail updates on the project, though.

One other interesting rumor about the ride is that the majority of the lift hill is said to be powered by a LSM launch, though no great speeds will be attained.  In addition to strict height limits, Alton Towers also has noise limits that have made the park seek a quieter lift mechanism than a traditional chain.

No word on when the official announcement of the ride's details, such as statistics and theme, has been released, but hopefully soon!


Unknown said...

Hey! I'm part of the management team for TowersTimes - it's fantastic to see us mentioned on a blog I've been reading for a few years now!

John Wardley confirmed to us during our 15th Anniversary event at the park that the ride was being manufacturered by Great Coasters International. So I just thought I would share that with you. :-)

Kind Regards,

NewsPlusNotes said...

Thanks for the information and the great coverage of the ride! I'm happy to know that the ride manufacturer has been confirmed as GCI!