The Ultimate (roller coaster)
|Opening date||July 17, 1991|
|Manufacturer||Big Country Motioneering|
|Lift/launch system||Two chain lift hills|
|Height||107 ft (33 m)|
|Length||7,442 ft (2,268 m)|
|Speed||51 mph (82 km/h)|
|G-force||12-14 (lateral)|
|Height restriction||51 in (130 cm)|
|The Ultimate at RCDB
Pictures of The Ultimate at RCDB
The Ultimate is a Steel/wood hybrid roller coaster at Lightwater Valley amusement park, near the small cathedral city of Ripon, in North Yorkshire England. In 1991 it took the record of longest roller coaster in the world from The Beast at Kings Island. It is currently the second longest roller coaster in the world, after Steel Dragon 2000.
History and design
"The Ultimate" represented an investment of £5.2 million and was the concept of the park's original owner, Robert Staveley. Construction work began in early 1990 and took eighteen months to complete before the opening to the public on 17 July 1991.
While "The Ultimate" was designed by Big Country Motioneering, they were not involved with the completion of the project. Lightwater Valley's owner got engineers from British Rail to oversee the construction. A few sections of track on the second half of the ride were redesigned to change their banking. The track was made by "Tubular Engineering".
Set within 44 acres (178,000 m²) of woodland, "The Ultimate" takes passengers on a 7 minute 34 second ride along 7,442-foot (2.3 km) of tubular steel track (an average of 11.2 mph), with two lift hills of 102 and 107-foot respectively (140 when taking the full gradient into effect) which rest on Canadian redwood trestles. It currently runs two trains on a normal day, each of which can hold a maximum of 38 passengers.
In June 1994, a deer from the nearby forest strayed onto the track, and was hit in a collision with the train. A 12-year-old boy was taken to hospital as a result of the accident.
But the most dramatic incident came when an axle broke and a set of wheels came off the Ultimate as it was carrying 38 passengers at 60mph. It resulted in a £15,000 fine for Lightwater Valley and £10,000 for its maintenance contractor, Serco Ltd, of Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex.
Magistrates heard that months before the mechanical failure in September 1994, engineers found cracks in 16 of its 23 axles. When the axle failed passengers were bumped around, suffering shock, bruising and one minor fracture after the car dropped onto the track, causing half-a-mile of damage before stopping.
The Ultimate in popular culture
- The Ultimate was recreated as "The Storm" in the "Katie's World" scenario in the original RollerCoaster Tycoon PC game.
The Ultimate has two trains: a blue one and a red one. The two trains each have a name: Blue is Ron's Rocket and Red is Tony's Tornado. The trains consist of ten cars with two rows of two seats. The front car has one row so the train can carry a maximum of 38 riders. The front car has a small locomotive modeled on the front car instead of two extra seats.
- "Thrills turn to terror on white-knuckle ride". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
|World's Longest Roller Coaster