Nemesis (roller coaster)

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Nemesis
Nemesis (roller coaster).png
Nemesis (Alton Towers) 01.jpg
The first corkscrew of Nemesis
Alton Towers
Park section Forbidden Valley
Coordinates 52°59′13″N 1°52′58″W / 52.98694°N 1.88278°W / 52.98694; -1.88278Coordinates: 52°59′13″N 1°52′58″W / 52.98694°N 1.88278°W / 52.98694; -1.88278
Status Operating
Soft opening date March 16, 1994 (1994-03-16)[1]
Opening date March 19, 1994 (1994-03-19)[2]
Cost £10 million
General statistics
Type Steel – Inverted
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Designer John Wardley
Stengel Engineering
Model Inverted Coaster – Custom
Track layout Terrain
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 13 m (43 ft)
Drop 31.7 m (104 ft)
Length 716 m (2,349 ft)
Speed 80.5 km/h (50.0 mph)
Inversions 4
Duration 1:20
Capacity 1400 riders per hour
G-force 4[2][1]
Height restriction 140 cm (4 ft 7 in)
Trains 2 trains with 8 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 32 riders per train.
Fastrack available
Single rider line available
Nemesis at RCDB
Pictures of Nemesis at RCDB

Nemesis is an inverted roller coaster located at the Alton Towers amusement park in England. The ride's concept and layout was devised by designer John Wardley. It was manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) and opened in March 1994. It is located in the Forbidden Valley area of the park, adjacent to Air, a flying B&M roller coaster that opened in 2002.

The 716-metre-long (2,349 ft) ride stands 13 metres (43 ft) tall and features a top speed of 80.5 kilometres per hour (50.0 mph). The four-inversion roller coaster was the first Bolliger & Mabillard ride to be installed outside of the United States. The ride has been very well received, consistently ranking highly in industry polls.

History[edit]

Development history[edit]

In 1990, Alton Towers added the Thunder Looper roller coaster, however, the addition was only temporary due to planning restrictions imposed on its installation.[3][4] The park began planning for a new roller coaster which would open prior the closure of the Thunder Looper.[5] They desired a roller coaster that was big, different and exciting, but they were constrained by the tree-level height limit imposed on the park.[6]

One of Nemesis' trains exiting the first corkscrew

Initially Alton Towers approached Arrow Dynamics for the new roller coaster. The Utah-based company was working on a prototype of a pipeline roller coaster, similar to TOGO's Ultratwister design.[6] John Wardley worked on the design of the ride which was originally to be themed around a secret military facility, aptly codenamed Secret Weapon 1 (SW1).[5] Due to the design of the ride and the height restriction imposed on the park, SW1 would only have a track length of 300 metres (980 ft). Development of the project was put on hold a short time into the process, due to both the financial problems being encountered by Arrow at the time and technical problems with the ride's design. The project was revived a year later under the codename Secret Weapon 2, with rock blasting occurring to allow a larger ride to be built.[6] However, the project was again abandoned when Wardley rode the prototype, describing it as slow, boring, cumbersome and energy inefficient. The park began to look for an alternative.[5][6]

Wardley became aware of rumours surrounding a new roller coaster design being installed by Bolliger & Mabillard at Six Flags Great America. He subsequently entered into discussions with Six Flags who agreed to privately disclose information about the new ride, in exchange for a similar favour in reverse at a later date.[6] Jim Wintrode, the general manager of Six Flags Great America at the time, had proposed the concept of an inverted roller coaster which featured inversions. Although Wardley believed this would be impossible, Wintrode worked alongside Bolliger & Mabillard to develop Batman: The Ride.[7][8] Wardley rode Batman: The Ride prior to its May 1992 opening and wanted to add a similar ride to Alton Towers.[6][9]

The inverted roller coaster, then dubbed Secret Weapon 3, was developed throughout 1992. Wardley and Nick Varney, marketing director of Alton Towers, came up with the name Nemesis and pitched a theming concept around an alien creature trapped beneath the park. Tussauds Studios elaborated on this, creating visuals for later promotion.[6] Wardley also worked alongside Stengel Engineering to develop a layout for the ride which was exciting for both riders and non-riders; for example, the final inversion was built at the eye level of an observer.[2][6]

Operational history[edit]

The £10 million Nemesis officially opened to the public on 19 March 1994, following a soft opening three days prior.[2][1] It opened as the first Bolliger & Mabillard ride to be installed outside of the United States.[10]

In August 2004, Nemesis gained the Guinness World Record for the "Most Naked People on a Rollercoaster". The ride set the record at 32 riders – the number of seats on a single Nemesis train.[11] It took the record from Thorpe Park's Nemesis Inferno roller coaster which set the record at 28 just three months prior.[12][13] The ride lost the record in 2010 when 40 naked riders boarded Green Scream Rollercoaster at Adventure Island.[14]

In 2009, Alton Towers received several complaints from nearby residents regarding increased noise levels emitted from the ride. New wheels had to be installed on the two trains before the ride returned to normal operation.[15]

Characteristics[edit]

Some of Nemesis' theming with the ride's first corkscrew in the background

The 716-metre-long (2,349 ft) Nemesis stands 13 metres (43 ft) tall, however, due to the modified terrain, it features a drop height of 31.7 metres (104 ft). With a top speed of 80.5 kilometres per hour (50.0 mph), the ride features four inversions including two corkscrews, a zero-g roll, and a vertical loop.[2] Riders of Nemesis experience between 3 and 4 times the force of gravity on the 1-minute, 20-second ride.[2][1] Nemesis operates with two steel and fiberglass trains, each containing eight cars. Each car seats four riders in a single row for a total of 32 riders per train.[2]

Ride experience[edit]

A Nemesis train travelling around the stall turn immediately after the vertical loop

Once the train is locked and checked the floor beneath it is lowered before the train then departs the station making a 45-degree, right-hand turn towards the lift hill. Once at the top of the 13-metre (43 ft) hill, the train makes a small dip and turns around 180 degrees to the left. The train then descends 31.7 metres (104 ft) down the first drop into the first inversion, a right-handed corkscrew. The train then navigates a right-handed, 270-degree downward helix that features 90 degree banking. Then the train rises up into the second inversion, a zero-g roll, where riders experience the feeling of weightlessness. It then makes a 180-degree right-handed stall turn into the third inversion, a vertical loop. After a left stall turn the train enters the second corkscrew. The train then passes through an underground tunnel, and through one more 180-degree turn, before being stopped by the brake run and returning to the station.[2][16]

Reception[edit]

Nemesis has generally been well received, by park visitors and the industry as a whole. The roller coaster has continuously ranked high in worldwide polls and, as of 2007, featured queues in excess of an hour due to its popularity.[17] More than 50 million people have ridden Nemesis since opening.[18]

In Amusement Today's annual Golden Ticket Awards, Nemesis has consistently ranked highly. It is also one of only seven roller coasters to appear in the top 50 every year since the award's inception in 1998. It debuted at position 10 in 1998,[19] before peaking at position 7 in 2003.[19][20]

Golden Ticket Awards: Top steel Roller Coasters
Year 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Ranking 10[19] 13[21] 14[22] 19[23] 18[24] 7[20] 17[25] 16[26] 16[27] 14[28] 13[29] 20[30] 18[31] 12[32] 16[33] 20[34]
Nemesis Inferno at Thorpe Park

In Mitch Hawker's worldwide Best Roller Coaster Poll, Nemesis entered at position 7 in 1999, before dropping to a low of 12 in 2012. The ride's ranking in subsequent polls is shown in the table below.[35]

Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll: Best steel-Tracked Roller Coaster[35]
Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Ranking 5 No poll 5 9 6 9 4 3 6 6 7 5 No poll 12 9

Due to the success of Nemesis, park owners Merlin Entertainments have created two related rides. The first is Nemesis Inferno at Thorpe Park, another Bolliger & Mabillard inverted roller coaster. The ride opened in 2003.[36] Alton Towers hosts the second related ride, Nemesis: Sub-Terra. The drop tower opened on the former Dynamo site in 2012.[37]

As a result, Nemesis is commonly compared with its Thorpe Park counterpart – Nemesis Inferno – with many citing Nemesis as the superior ride. Nemesis has ranked favourably in Amusement Today's annual Golden Ticket Awards, being one of only seven roller coasters to appear in the top 50 steel roller coasters for all 15 years. Nemesis Inferno, on the other hand, has never made an appearance.[38] In Mitch Hawker's worldwide Best Roller Coaster Poll Nemesis Inferno has an average ranking of 80, while Nemesis' average ranking is 6.[35] In a poll conducted by the Los Angeles Times, Nemesis received 37.93% of the vote for title of best roller coaster in England, while Nemesis Inferno received 0.32%.[39] Jeremy Thompson of Roller Coaster Philosophy describes Nemesis as "a vastly superior ride" to Nemesis Inferno.[40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Nemesis". Alton Towers. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Marden, Duane. "Nemesis  (Alton Towers)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Ralph, Owen (9 August 2010). "John Wardley". Park World Magazine. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  4. ^ Marden, Duane. "Thunderlooper  (Alton Towers)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c "John Wardley Looks Back" (PDF). First Drop 2006 (72): 13. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Wardley, John (15 March 2004). Nemesis 10th Birthday (MP3). Alton Towers Almanac. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Coaster Landmark Award - Batman: The Ride". American Coaster Enthusiasts. 20 June 2005. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  8. ^ O'Brien, Tim (24 March 2003). "In my office: Jim Wintrode". Amusement Business 115 (12). 
  9. ^ Marden, Duane. "Batman The Ride  (Six Flags Great America)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  10. ^ Marden, Duane. "Roller Coaster Search Results  (Bolliger & Mabillard)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  11. ^ "Naked Thrill-Seekers Meet Their Nemesis". Sky News. 27 August 2004. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "Naked rollercoaster record feat". BBC. 21 May 2004. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  13. ^ "Naked Students In Rude Ride Record". Sky News. 23 May 2004. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "New naked rollercoaster record!". Park World Magazine. 10 August 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "Towers says sorry for rumble grumble". The Sentinel. 21 April 2009. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  16. ^ Alvey, Robb (9 December 2011). "Nemesis Roller Coaster POV Front Seat Alton Towers UK England Inverted B&M Onride". Theme Park Review. YouTube. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  17. ^ "UK parks under the spotlight". Park World Magazine. 7 May 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  18. ^ Abbott, Kate (13 March 2012). "How we made: John Wardley and Candy Holland on the Nemesis rollercoaster". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  19. ^ a b c "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. August 1998. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  20. ^ a b "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 14–15B. September 2003. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  21. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. August 1999. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  22. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. August 2000. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  23. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. August 2001. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  24. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. September 2002. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  25. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 18–19B. September 2004. Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  26. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2005. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  27. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2006. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  28. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 11 (6.2): 36–37. September 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  29. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 12 (6.2): 36–37. September 2008. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  30. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 13 (6.2): 32–33. September 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  31. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 14 (6.2): 34–35. September 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  32. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 15 (6.2): 38–39. September 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  33. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 16 (6.2): 36–37. September 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  34. ^ "2013 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 17 (6.2): 34–35. September 2013. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  35. ^ a b c Hawker, Mitch. "Steel Roller Coaster Poll 13 Year Results Table (1999–2013)". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  36. ^ Koranteng, Juliana (27 January 2003). "Tussauds pumps up its park offerings". Amusement Business 115 (4): 5, 10. 
  37. ^ "Nemesis Sub Terra (Alton Towers)". Parkz. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  38. ^ "Issue Archive". Amusement Today. 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  39. ^ MacDonald, Brady (22 July 2012). "Poll: Vote for your favorite in the All-England Coaster Olympics". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  40. ^ Thompson, Jeremy (6 June 2010). "Thorpe Park". Roller Coaster Philosophy. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 

External links[edit]