Latest details revealed of Alton Towers' new £18m rollercoaster
THE latest 'iconic' ride being built at Alton Towers is costing £18 million.
It is the biggest single investment on a ride at any Merlin Entertainments-owned tourist attraction in the UK.
Building work is continuing on the site of the new ride ahead of its opening to the public on March 16.
Now designers have revealed elements of the new rollercoaster, which officials hope will become as iconic as the existing Air, Oblivion and Rita rides.
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The new ride will have:
A top speed of 85 kilometres-per-hour – 10kph faster than Air;
A highest drop of 30 metres;
A track length of 1,170 metres –three times the length of Oblivion;
A ride time of 165 seconds – three times longer than Rita;
A capacity of 64 passengers on each ride.
Alton Towers opened its latest attraction – Nemesis Sub-Terra – earlier this year.
But officials at the theme park say that next year's rollercoaster is on a different level.
It follows a review to make sure the tourist hotspot offered enough attractions for both adrenaline junkies and families.
An Alton Towers spokesman said: "It is felt Alton Towers is ready for a big investment and ready for a really big iconic ride.
"It has been 14 years since our last really iconic ride.
"Over the past few years we have been trying to strike the balance between being a family attraction and a site for thrill-seekers. We have now reached that balance."
The new ride – codenamed Secret Weapon Seven – will open on the site of the old Black Hole attraction.
Project designer Ben Dowson, who works for Merlin Magic Makers, said: "This ride is the largest investment ever put in to Alton Towers.
"Alton Towers has a good reputation as being a market leader and we are trying to push the limits with our rides.
"It is the biggest rollercoaster we have ever done at Alton Towers and it is not for the faint-hearted."
But theme park officials are still refusing to reveal what will make the ride a 'world's first'.
Alton Towers official Katherine Duckworth said: "Some details of the new ride are still a closely-guarded secret.
"We still cannot reveal the world's-first element."
Alton Towers – which employs 2,000 workers during the peak summer season – does not reveal its annual visitor figures.
But thousands of people were at the attraction over the weekend for the start of the annual Scarefest event.
Dozens more staff have been recruited to work during Scarefest, which includes an attraction known as The Sanctuary.
Scarefest next runs from October 19 to 31. For more information visit www.altontowers.com