Thorpe Park have plans to add what is set to be the UK’s tallest rollercoaster. Opening for the 2024 season, this Mack Rides hyper coaster will be located in the area that has historically been Old Town, principally replacing Logger’s Leap following its closure in 2015.
The wave turn after the future splash down has now gone into place – the train will bank highly to the left before swiftly turning to the right into the final airtime hill and brake run. Work has continued on the brake run with the final section installed just before the station, and associated catwalks which will be used for evacuation of the train when required. The station is being steadily enclosed with cladding, with the front featuring an ornate diagonal design as seen in the original plans. The large footers are now complete immediately in front of the station, awaiting installation of the transfer track. Work has now also begun on the first part of the structure which will support the lift hill, immelmann and dive stall.
The team at Thorpe Park have been hard at work constructing further sections of Hyperia’s layout, with the final turn and airtime hill now in place. On our visit today we saw the brake run installed, featuring retractable and fixed magnetic brake fins that will initially slow down the train, along with friction brakes that can stop the train outside the station when required. Work on the station continues with the roof and platforms now constructed, and the ride’s PLC installed in what will be the lower level control room. Interestingly, the lower level is raised off the floor to prevent any damage occurring should there ever be flood issues.
Stretching from the station structure all the way past the brake run and down to the former Canada Creek Railway maintenance shed, a trench has been dug that may presumably be for power or water lines. The shed itself has been cleared out completely, with its intended purpose currently unknown. The ride maintenance building structure appears to be complete, with the sides now receiving cladding to enclose it. Between this building and the station, the footers for the transfer track are being poured, whilst the foundations for the first turn before the lift hill are now complete. The large triangle anchor footer that the base of the lift hill will rest on is now also ready for ride installation.
Significant vertical construction has continued at the far end of the site. With the two support towers that make up the 165ft outer banked turn and inversion nearing completion, a significant amount of white track has been added and the element is now taking shape. It is expected that this element will be fully completed at some point within the next week.
Work has continued the black metal station structure, and the station is continuing to take shape. The maintenance building has seen a lot of work in the past week with the majority of the steel framework in place.
Since our last update, significant progress has been made with vertical construction – specifically on the two supports towers that make up the 165ft outer banked turn and inversion. This element will see the train climb up, bank to the left, then continue turning into an inversion through the support structure before dropping down to the ground. Iron Gwazi’s ‘Death roll’ inversion is similar.
Over at the station, the black metal structure has been erected, with the ride platform now visible with a clear space in the middle where the train will board riders. The train storage garage foundation is complete, and the building framework has now gone vertical. The garage is long enough to store both trains in for maintenance. The beams which will make up the flooring for both the station and the train storage garage can be found staged on the service road nearby.
It appears that the only remaining footers to be poured are for the transfer track and lift hill. The rebar cages which will make up the core of both of these are now visible, awaiting concrete.
Hyperia went vertical on Monday 9th October 2023! Since then, the first gold supports and track have been installed at the far end of the site. This is the location of the 165ft outer banked turn and inversion. Work has also started on the supports for the elements after the splashdown on the attraction. The pace of vertical construction is very quick, and it is expected to continue at this rate over the coming weeks. Further track and supports have now been moved onto the site daily. Additional progress has also been made to the maintenance garage with the foundation now ready for concrete pouring.
Following the press preview of Fright Nights 2023, Thorpe Park Resort announced via a dramatic video that the name of Project Exodus will be ‘Hyperia’, with a theme based on their Fearless Goddess, and her story being revealed in due course. The ride was originally going to be called ‘Icarus’, hence the wings in the logo, but the trademark was opposed so the name was dropped. Promotional banners were installed at the park exit to entice guests to return to ride the UK’s tallest coaster in 2024.
Approximately 90% of the ride footers are now complete, with the last remaining foundations being poured for the front section of the layout, along with the maintenance building. The gold and white track supports have been moved on to the site from the staging area, with vertical construction ready to commence soon. The ride manufacturer Mack Rides are now in attendance, with one of their vehicles visible.
Since our last update, work continues at pace on the various footers all over the site, with the foundations for the station and first curve leading to the lift hill now clearly visible towards the front of the area. The construction walls have been updated with a new gold colour scheme and an image of the layout showing the height of the ride compared to Colossus. Viewing windows have been installed next to Samurai which is a nice touch for guests to enjoy views of progress.
As part of our Southern Screamer event, we were able to visit the ride steelwork storage area behind The Swarm where many white and gold supports are being staged before vertical construction begins. Along the service road, framework for the ride station is being stored which is likely the first thing to go vertical. A model of the ride and its area is on display in the Thorpe Megastore, providing guests with an indication of what the UK’s tallest roller coaster will look like.
Happy National Rollercoaster Day 2023! Work on the Project Exodus construction site is continuing at a steady rate. Since our last update, work has begun on the station and maintenance area foundations. Progress has also continued on the coaster footers and foundations, meaning we are getting even closer to seeing the ride go vertical.
Thorpe Park have disclosed that some of the gold supports have arrived behind The Swarm. Unfortunately, these are only visible from onboard Stealth and The Swarm. In a video released today, Thorpe Park have also confirmed that Exodus will be the fastest roller coaster in the UK, taking the record from Stealth.
The Project Exodus construction site is a hive of activity, with work focused on building the many footers that the coaster will sit on. The first foundations to be completed appear to be located towards the far end of the site, with the team then working backwards towards the station area from there. The first delivery of ride supports from Mack Rides was made to the resort which are being staged in the park’s expansion area next to The Swarm.
The demolition of the former Old Town area is now complete, other than a small section of the Logger’s Leap trough that stretches from one side of the lake to the other. The portion of lake in the middle of the site has been mostly filled in and the area flattened in preparation for construction of the various foundations that will support the project Exodus ride hardware. A large pile driver has started drilling into the ground which is the first stage in creating the footers for the coaster. In the foreground of the photos, metal rebar is being staged that will insert into the holes that the pile driver is creating, before being filled with concrete.
With the theme park reopening for the 2023 season, observations from the other side of the construction site are now possible in addition to views from Monks Walk. In anticipation of Thorpe Park Resort building the UK’s tallest coaster, new hoardings have been added to the construction walls around the site with the slogan “Taking thrills to new heights”. The lift hill for the second drop of Logger’s Leap has now been demolished, with the stretch of trough that crosses the lake being the only part of the former attraction yet to be removed. Mounds of dirt and rubble fill the centre of the area, which will presumably be used to infill the lake so that the construction of the foundations for the ride can commence.
Since our last update, significant progress has been made in completely clearing the Old Town area. The former Canada Creek Railway train station has been demolished, along with further trees being cut down throughout. The large job of removing Logger’s Leap started in early February, beginning with the trough that leads from the station to the first lift hill, followed by the section from the second drop back to the station. The next stage was to demolish the smaller first lift hill and drop, and at the time of posting this update, the complete large iconic double down drop had been removed, with just the lift hill remaining. Parts of this drop could be seen looking mangled next to the lift hill.
On the service road, the Canada Creek Railway trains have been removed by their new owners – so we look forward to them being given a renewed lease of life at their respective new attractions. The large rocks that surrounded the final section of Logger’s Leap have been removed off the site and stored along the service road. Hopefully these will be integrated into the new project landscaping again.
The start of the new year saw on-site activity significantly pick up with it possible to get clear views of this from Monks Walk. The first step was of course the removal of the structures and attractions in the Old Town area that are not being retained as part of the development. Notably this included the demolition of the Logger’s Leap station, most recently used for Creek Freak Massacre at Fright Nights, as well as the dismantling of Rocky Express, with the Resort confirming that the attraction was being retired. The food kiosks in the area were also removed, along with a number of trees, which altogether opened-up the area significantly.
Still to be removed are the former station of Canada Creek Railway and the flume part of Logger’s Leap, including both lift hills and drops. Effectively only one building on the site is being retained, which will be utilised as the photo collection point / retail unit through which guests exit after riding Project Exodus. Sections of fencing along Monks Walk near the Logger’s Leap lift hill have been replaced for new, which lead to the former Canada Creek Railway maintenance building which is in the process of being cleared out. The train carriages, sleepers and track for the former railway are being stored further along the access road, presumably pending removal from the Resort – a sad sight to see.
Opening weekend gave the first glimpse of the construction site for Project Exodus, with most of the former Old Town / Canada Creek area closed off behind large construction walls. At the time of writing, the planning application has been submitted to the local council and is pending consideration for approval. Until permission is granted, works cannot start on the site other than demolition of fixtures and fittings throughout the area. Peering through the construction fence reveals some new signage attached to the former Mill Grill building, humorously teasing the departure of the residents of the area. A vibrant new decal has been installed on the service gate next to Burger King – it remains to be seen if this is a teaser of the branding for Project Exodus.
Following the completion of the public consultation, and confirmation that a full Environmental Impact Assessment would not be required for the development, the Resort submitted the full planning application for Project Exodus. The layout remained as per that which was put forward during the consultation phase, although the application documents did state that the rollercoaster will feature two inversions at heights of 43m and 50m, as well as another high point of 48m. Details contained in these latest documents also confirmed that the rollercoaster will have a maximum speed of 130km/h (80mph), and have c. 143 supports. Although it was stated that the ride will benefit from a bespoke theming concept, there were no specific theming elements shown in the plans. A rollercoaster train was shown on the plans for the station, confirming that it will have 10 rows, each seating two riders and so giving each train a capacity of 20 riders. The visual appearance of the train shown seemingly confirms that the ride will be manufactured by Mack Rides. The documents stated that construction is anticipated to commence in late 2022 and last an estimated 16 months, putting the ride on track for a 2024 opening.
Shortly following the commencement of the public consultation, the Resort also submitted a request for a formal Environmental Impact Assessment Screening Opinion to the local authority. An applicant is only required to prepare a full EIA where the respective project is likely to have significant effects on the environment. The purpose of this submission was therefore to seek agreement with the Resort’s assessment that an EIA would not be required. Much of the detail included in the submission reflected what had been disclosed as part of the consultation process. However, there was some additional detail in respect of the lake infilling that this would be required for the purposes of construction and part or all of this infill was likely to be retained permanently to house footings for the new rollercoaster – a plan was provided to identify the likely maximum infill required. Zone of Theoretical Visibility modelling of the proposed rollercoaster was also included, along with specific clarification of the structures that would be demolished.
In December 2021, the Resort commenced a four week public consultation on the proposed new rollercoaster, providing a first look at the prospective development. Concept images released show the ambitious scale of the attraction, which is set to reach a maximum height of 236 feet / 72 metres. The initial plans indicated that the station will be situated on the former Canada Creek Railway station building. The layout of the rollercoaster stretches either side of the lake, and features an outward banked curve out of the station, a steep lift hill, steeper first drop, overbanked turns, inversions, airtime hills, and a splashdown element. Although the Resort stated that they were still in discussions with multiple manufacturers, the style of track depicted and elements featured suggest Mack Rides, Gerstlauer or Intamin as likely choices.