Alton Towers plans Gerstlauer rollercoaster

Alton Towers has submitted a planning application for a Gerstlauer rollercoaster which will be the elusive Secret Weapon Seven (SW7) project.

The ride will have a maximum height of approximately 22 metres (73 feet) above ground and will be located on the site of the former Black Hole ride in the X Sector area of the park.

The as-yet untitled rollercoaster, believed to be a variant of the Euro-Fighter model, is scheduled to open at the commencement of the park’s main season in March 2013.

Submitted plans show an extremely compact and tight layout, with numerous inversions and sections of interlocking track indicated.

The rollercoaster features sections of track below nominal ground level, and the plans state that “some excavation will be required.”

Full plans were submitted to Staffordshire Moorland’s Council in the week before Christmas, and full documents are now available online.

“Unique in the world”

The ride will be the “only one of its kind in the world” according to Alton Towers, and the plans show a unique custom layout.

The plans suggests that the ride will feature two lift hills and at least eight inversions in its outdoor section.

A large station building could house further elements and a possible “world’s first” feature.

The actual unique element is unlikely to be confirmed by Alton Towers until shortly before the ride’s opening, but the ride’s marketing is likely to heavily focus on that aspect.

In the content of the plans’ noise assessment, the ride is compared to the Saw: The Ride rollercoaster at Thorpe Park and is described as being of the same manufacturer (Gerstlauer) and type (a Euro-Fighter).

No beyond-vertical drop, as per other Euro-Fighter models is indicated on the SW7 drawings.


Aspects of the ride’s theming are reportedly yet to be finalised and will be submitted at a later date, but it is understood to be in keeping with the futuristic theme of the X Sector area.

The planning documents show a central 15-metre cubical object, through which the rollercoaster track passes several times.

The station building is 751 square metres in area and has a height of more than 11 metres, providing considerable space for concealed elements of the ride experience.

The whole project is being referred to as a £20 million investment by Alton Towers.

Last year, the park’s general manager Ian Crabbe was quoted as saying: “We are going to be working extremely hard to make sure this ride is the only one of its kind in the world.

“It will draw people in from across the UK,” he added.