So far, I’ve been very quiet on the hot topic of discussion in coaster enthusiast circles – “RITA – Queen Of Speed” – this is the new-for-2005 ride being built at Alton Towers.
However, now that the trackwork is complete and a few cars of the trains have arrived on site for the pull-through tests, it’s time for me to join the comments. Firstly, what is clearly fact and visible from the construction photos on Ugland Development
It’s an Intamin Hydraulic Launched coaster, using a launcher system very similar to that on the gigantic “Rocket Coasters” (like Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point and Xcelerator at Knotts Berry Farm). The car designs are very similar to those on Xcelerator, however, they have the “overhead” style of restraint (hopefully more like that of StormRunner than those awful awful restrints retrofitted onto Colossus at Thorpe Park last year), rather than the lap-bar system which has been used on a lot of Intamin coasters.
the layout, although not particularly extreme in size, is quite interesting – mostly fast, flat corners, with a “crossover dive” that looks very reminiscent of the “rollover turn” on the Stengel designed Expedition Ge-Force at HolidayPark in Germany – and that’s a really well designed transition – very abrubt, but perfectly smooth with it.
I’m certainly looking forward to getting the chance to “Ride Rita” (as the official website so delicately puts in) when the ride opens later this year and will hopefully get a look at the ride for myself during the ECC’s AGM trip these this weekend.