OAKWOOD THEME PARK has announced online that it is investing a significant sum in upgrading its famous wooden coaster, Megafobia.
American rollercoaster design and construction company ‘The Gravity Group’ is undertaking the works, having been appointed to the project in the summer of 2002, the park confirmed.
Oakwood said: “Work started offsite in September, at the Gravity Group factory in Cincinnati, Ohio and in recent weeks the team have arrived onsite at Oakwood Theme Park to commence the next phase of the project.
“This exciting project will see work carried out on approximately 40% of the coaster, including the first and second drops, where a complete retrack of these areas will see Gravity Group’s award winning Vertical Engineered Track installed in both locations. Both drops will also be reprofiled, with the first drop being made steeper as part of this ambitious project.
“Elsewhere on the ride, removal of track steels and laminates is well underway, with the tightest bend on the ride now stripped in preparation for the laying of replacement track in the coming weeks, along with the notorious penultimate bend which will also be reprofiled to add to the exciting and improved design of our much loved coaster.
Oakwood added: “We recently welcomed a couple of Mega fans to see the works, and we’ll be continuing to share updates including photos and videos on our website and social media channels over the coming weeks and months.”
The park said: “We currently expect works to be completed in early May, although this remains reliant on the delivery of materials from both Europe and the USA, which is being both shipped and flown into the UK.
In response to the news, The Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain said: “The fantastic work being carried out on Megafobia will ensure that it is not only as good as new, but even better than when it opened in 1996! The re-tracking work is using the latest on wooden coaster technology will make this classic ride more exciting and thrilling than ever”!
European Coaster Club added: “It’s fantastic news that the much loved Megafobia is being given such a significant upgrade to become an even more thrilling and exciting wooden coaster that our members are already hyped to ride this summer on our annual club visit! The Gravity Group have a global reputation for upgrading wooden coasters and are well known for making the best even better. You can bet families and of course us coaster enthusiasts will love Megafobia 2.0”
Last year following after video of Megafobia flexing from to side to side emerged on social media, Oakwood was forced to release a statement. The park said: “Megafobia is a wooden rollercoaster, which by design allows lateral movement of the track and structure to flex as the train passes over the track.
“The ride is inspected on a daily basis, and is certified for operation under the ADIPS scheme. The ride has always flexed in this manner, and the footage is representative of how the ride operates and in accordance with the design.
“The safety and wellbeing of all our visitors and staff is of paramount importance, and we appreciate those that have contacted us to seek clarification.”