Each train has room for 20 riders.  The front and back cars are still roughly shaped like vintage automobiles, but their hot-rod racer paint jobs were covered up by muted browns when the Dark Forest theme and Thirteen came to this area in 2010.

The large wheels used on this ride cost about £300.  Each train requires two dozen of these wheels, and they are typically replaced three times each operating season.  One of the reasons they wear out so quickly is that the launch process is actually harder on the wheels than a more typical lift hill system.  The launch is so swift that the wheels don't start rotating until the train has moved a few inches.  This skidding causes the polyurethane coatings on the wheels to degrade over time.  A wide variety of polyurethane compounds have been used on roller coaster wheels.  Softer compounds can provide a smoother ride but tend to wear out quickly.  More durable compounds might help with maintenance requirements but tend to make the ride rough as well as increase noise.  Other factors, such as the type of ride and average air temperatures during the coaster's operating season, all affect the decisions of what wheel coatings should be used.

Polyurethane Wheels on a roller coaster at Alton Towers Home Alton Towers Index        Previous Alton Towers Picture Next Alton Towers Picture

©2019 Joel A. Rogers.