The latest developments at Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s £16.25m Icon rollercoaster have seen a tunnel open up in the dig site.
New photos taken by The Gazette show a tunnel through which the ride will launch on its way out of the station before it shoots through the lift hill of The Big One.
The coaster will also pass through the tunnel on its return, and the ride’s entrance, exit and retail units will be above the tunnel. Foundations are now coming on a-pace for Icon, which will be the UK’s first double launch rollercoaster, since work began on site in October.
The name was revealed last month, complete with a movie-style trailer giving a taste of what Icon - hailed by Pleasure Beach managing director Amanda Thompson as the park’s ‘biggest investment to date’ - will be like to ride.
The CGI film takes viewers onboard the ride as it powers through, over and around other rides including The Big One and Steeplechase. It also gave a hint to how the ride will look with a red Japanese emblem within the artwork.
The next major step in construction, which will be noticeable to visitors, will be the construction of the ride station and surrounding areas, due to commence later in the summer, according to a Pleasure Beach spokesman.
Steelwork for the ride is expected to begin being installed once the current season ends. So far more than 5,500 tonnes of soil has been excavated and more than 8,000 metres of pre-cast concrete piles and steel tubes have been driven up to 12 metres into the ground.
Speaking last month, following the name reveal, deputy managing director Nick Thompson, who has spearheaded the engineering side of the project, said: “After more than 43,000 hours of planning and with the first phase of construction work complete, we’re thrilled to unveil the name of this incredible new attraction today and to provide rollercoaster enthusiasts with a first-look at Icon.”
Icon is being manufactured by Mack Rides in Waldkirch, Germany, the same firm which built the Avalanche rollercoaster for the park.