Ultimate roller coaster gets ultimate chain

The second longest roller coaster in the world, and the longest in Europe, has specified replacement chain from Renold for its two huge chain lift hills that take the coaster trains on a long climb to the thrilling heights of 102 and then 107 feet respectively.

The Ultimate coaster, at Lightwater Valley, near Ripon in Yorkshire, was opened in July 1991, by former boxer Frank Bruno, after eighteen months of construction. At the time it was the longest roller coaster in the world, at 7,442 feet, just short of one-and-a-half miles long, providing a whirlwind of a ride that lasts over five minutes.

Ultimate Lift 1 Above 3

It opened with the name, The Ultimate Beast, and the catchphrase, The T-Rex of Roller Coasters, after a naming competition on BBC Radio One. It was also recreated as The Storm within the Katie’s World scenario of the original Roller Coaster Tycoon video game.

The original chain for the Ultimate’s two lift hills was designed and manufactured by Renold, and has operated trouble free from 1991 until 2017 when, during scheduled maintenance, the chain on the smaller of the two lift hills was replaced with Renold’s modern roller coaster chain.

An order to manufacture a replacement for the chain on the larger of the two lift hills was won by Renold in January 2019. The new 559 foot long, 6-inch pitch roller coaster chain, with a breaking load of 90Klb and Renold’s special, protective surface treatment, was manufactured by the same engineers that produced the original chains at Renold’s UK Chain Centre in Bredbury, Stockport, within just eight weeks.

Speaking of the order, Alec Annand, Renold’s UK Chain Centre manager said, ‘We’re delighted to have won this prestigious order to supply replacement chain to The Ultimate coaster, and are delighted that our original chain provided over 27 years of trouble free service. This is due to the excellent maintenance regime at the Lightwater Valley and the high quality of the chain we supplied.’

For more information on Renold's specialist theme park chain - click here!