Megafobia is almost certainly the UK’s best wooden roller coaster. It’s been voted number one, numerous times. It’s been part of any theme park junkie’s diet since 1996, when it was first opened. Built by Custom Coasters International, Inc. of Ohio USA, it reaches speeds of 48mph and carries 24 passengers across six carriages along the near 3,000ft track length. The carriages run on rails made of flattened steel strips mounted onto a laminated wooden track
If you’ve never been on a wooden coaster before, they are the original and for me, still the most thrilling. The world’s first wooden rollercoaster opened to the public in 1804 in Paris, France and whilst the technology built into them has changed dramatically in this time, they still have the feeling of running at breakneck speeds, low down to the track.
Coming off the top of the first lift, the ride drops at a maximum 55 degree angle and produces G Forces of 2.75 for passengers. This offers very little room for error in terms of how well these cars need to run.
We were approached by Oakwood Theme Park to refurbish the cars on this iconic ride and we jumped at the chance.
First came the ‘Silver‘ cars. The running gear was totally stripped down and every bush and bearing tested to ensure it meets the stringent British Standard 13814 that is required for UK Roller Coasters. Within this standard it’s compulsory for them to be non-destructively tested every two years to ensure they are completely safe.
Our brief was to refurbish or replace every part that fell short of the standard to bring it back to ‘as new’ standard, so it would run beautifully AND safely for another two years.
As with much of our work, it’s a mechanical refurbishment, so we stripped, cleaned, painted and rebuilt every piece of the running gear and the locking mechanisms that are underneath the passenger compartment. Whilst it was stripped down, we also replaced all of the upholstery too, so it wasn’t just safe, it was genuinely comfortable for passengers.
As you can see from the workshop images above, every wheel from the ride was inspected individually, before being tested and reassembled by hand, by one of our experienced engineers.
But the acid test for any of our ride refurbishments is what the customers think.
And Megafobia has THE Mega Fan in Mark Lewis. He loves it so much he’s had it tattooed on his arm. This is what he had to say about it.
“Omg guys what have you done to Megafobia train it’s amazing she was doing 54 seconds today that is flying awesome job I take my hat off to you 🎢”
Our work here is done.