Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s new £16.25m rollercoaster has been pictured rising from the ground for the first time.
More than 100 tonnes of grey steel track have been hoisted into position, reaching heights of up to 27 metres.
The hotly-anticipated ride, called Icon, will be the UK’s first double-launch rollercoaster and has had a team of 50 working on building it since last December.
Ten truckloads have arrived from ride construction company Mack Rides in Germany on a daily basis, while park bosses said around 100,000 hours have been spent on the job.
The Pleasure Beach’s technical director Alex Payne said: “Keeping a build of this scale on track is no easy feat. I’m pleased to say we are, however, with a number of key milestones completed, including the cofferdam installation and station build, making significant progress.”
The cofferdam is a steel and reinforced concrete tunnel, which the attraction promises will ‘house a number of surprises for thrill-seekers just five seconds into the ride after they are catapulted forward at speeds of 50 miles per hour’.
The ride is going to be a huge addition for us and we’re delighted it’s on track for a spring 2018 launch.
Icon will send visitors to the park on a two-and-a-half minute ride across just over 1km of track.
They will experience the same level of acceleration felt by a Formula 1 driver, and reach heights of almost 90ft – with drops of up to 82ft.
Managing director Amanda Thompson said: “Icon is really making its mark on the park. New developments can be spotted daily as the construction is really starting to pick up pace and coming to life before our eyes.
“The ride is going to be a huge addition for us and we’re delighted it’s on track for a spring 2018 launch.”
Earlier this year, the name of the ride was revealed with a touch of Hollywood glitz, with a movie style trailer giving a taste of what it will be like to ride.
The CGI film took viewers on board the ride as it powers through, over, and around other rides including the Big One and Steeplechase.
The footage also gave the first hint of how the ride will be themed, with a red Japanese emblem embedded within the logo.
Mack Rides, which is making Icon, also built the Avalanche rollercoaster. Foundation work began last October, while the station is being built in the bed of what was the Tom Sawyer lake. More than 5,500 tonnes of soil was excavated, and more than 8,000 metres of concrete piles and steel tubes were driven up to 12 metres into the ground.
Last month, the Pleasure Beach unveiled plans to build a £12m 120-bedroom hotel on the site of the Star pub on Ocean Boulevard.
The council has now made a decision on the plans. See page 11.