With the closed season now well under way it’s that time of the year when the park performs maintenance on many of its rides, in preparation for next year. Here we take a look at what has been happening around the park over the last few weeks.
Rumours were recently circulating to suggest that Enterprise, one of the flat rides located in the X-Sector area of the park, was due to receive essential maintenance and a major overhaul, presumably to prolong the life of the attraction. TowersStreet sources previously confirmed these rumours, and now also informed us that Submission, X-Sectors other flat ride, is joining Enterprise as part of this program of maintenance.
Submission first opened in 2001, produced by Chance Rides. The attraction originally used two arms on either side to invert riders and flip them head over heels. In recent years though the ride has suffered from various problems, resulting in only one side of the ride running at once, while the second lies dormant. There have been many theories over the years as to why this is, though it is believed to be down to wear and ageing of the ride.
However, TowersStreet sources have now confirmed that the ride is currently undergoing an extensive restoration operation, with the intention of having both arms running in unison once more for the 2013 season When the park is busy. Assuming the work is successful this will mean that Submissions throughput shall increase significantly, hopefully resulting in shorter queues for riders.
In 2013 Alton Towers shall open its new roller coaster, Secret Weapon 7, in X-Sector which is expected to bring many more guests to the area. In order to ensure that the new ride is able to cope with demand it is therefore important that the other attractions in the area are able to handle more guests than usual. This move by the park to improve the older attractions looks set to have a positive impact on the area, both aesthetically and in terms of operation.
To discuss X-Sector and the new improvements being made why not visit our X-Sector developments topic on our TowersStreet Talk forums?
Skyride manufacturer Poma are currently on site, and have removed the running wheels from the ride, presumably to replace and update them. In 2008 the company were on site, replacing the original gondolas with the new colourful ones we see today. It seems they are now back again to give the rest of the system some attention behind the scenes. In the image here you can see a rather bare looking support which has had its running wheels removed.
Hex, which will be celebrating its 13th year of operation next season, has been experiencing issues throughout 2012, including loud banging and groaning sounds, and also issues with the audio visual systems within the vault and the cinema. The ride manufacturer, Vekoma, are believed to be at the park, and are performing extensive work to try and rectify the problems. This shall include replacing some major components, which it is hoped will correct the unusual sounds and jerking felt during the ride. This fix is not intended to solve the parking issues at the end of the ride, though it may have some effect on it.
Alton Towers technicians are also working on the AV systems, in an attempt to improve the quality of the audio and video throughout the attraction. This should mean that the volume issues in the vault, where the audio has on occasions been incredibly quiet, should be back to normal. Also, the video projector in the cinema should also be replaced, to improve the video quality after many months of issues.
In other news, Rita is in the process of receiving an upgrade from Intamin. This involves installing a new catch tray beneath the track. It was decided the modification was required following the incident earlier this year, where one of the cables used to catapult the train forwards snapped, falling onto the pathway underneath it. This improvement has allowed the scaffold tunnels under the launch to be removed, improving the appearance of Dark Forest, and also speeding up the throughput of Rita.
As always TowersSteet shall be on hand to bring you all the latest news and updates from around the Resort both throughout the closed season and into 2013.