Could the Oblivion rollercoaster ever stall?

Oblivion / courtesy of M WellsBy all sensible definitions, it is the steepest rollercoaster in UK – and also has the fastest drop – but could Alton Towers’ Oblivion ever realistically stall?

With a 180 foot (55 metre) drop and a track length of 375 metres, it is difficult to imagine the ride stalling.

The ride’s trains enter the brake run at considerable speed, and there is a large runoff area to allow for deceleration before entering the station.

However, freak events do occur and something like a windswept poncho could catch in a wheel assembly – but even then…

“Of all the coasters I’ve worked on, Oblivion was the one least likely to stall on its test run,” says the ride’s designer John Wardley.

Speaking to us following the release of his autobiography earlier this year, John said that it was almost impossible for the ride’s trains to run out of steam.

“The vehicles had so much surplus energy coming out of the first drop that if we’d fitted square wheels and covered them in Evostik I’m pretty certain they would have got back into the brakes,” he said.

However, a good ride engineer plans for the worst case scenario.

“An evacuation walkway is built into the tunnel to cover for all eventualities. But it has never been used for anything other than maintenance purposes,” John went on.

“And, after all, Oblivion is a B&M ride, so that’s what you would expect anyway!”