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Pepsi Max - The Big One
Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool, Lancashire
associated engineer
Arrow Dynamics
Allot & Lomax
date  1992 - 1994
era  Modern  |  category  Amusement Structure  |  reference  SD305330
Blackpool Pleasure Beach's market research in the early 1990s revealed that the people preferred higher and faster roller-coasters to other types of rides. This was the spur for building what was then the world's tallest and fastest roller-coaster, Pepsi Max The Big One. Its tight bends and abrupt descents give passengers the sensation of dropping vertically.
One problem was where to build a new ride on the congested funfair site. A fire had destroyed the Fun House, which created space for part of it. Construction began in 1992 and in 1993, The Space Tower was dismantled and re-erected at Morecambe Frontierland owned by the same company which provided the rest. Even so, the roller-coaster weaves in and out of existing attractions, adding to the thrill.
The Big One cost more than 11m. It is 1.675km long with a maximum height of 71.6m, and reaches a top speed of 140km per hour. It also has two tunnels and a maximum drop of 63.7m. Passengers ride in trains of four cars, with Teflon-coated wheels. Each car carries up to four people.
The steel superstructure consists of lattice trestles and tubular monopods mounted on 299 piled foundations. Sections were prefabricated on land at Blackpool Airport and lifted into place by a 400 tonne crane. All steelwork was pre-painted a total surface area of 35,000 sq m and retouched in situ by abseilers from CAN. The track was produced by CHB Fabrications to a tolerance of 0.5mm at the joints.
American company Arrow Dynamics used the market research data to develop the conceptual design. The general design was by Allott & Lomax, who modelled the ride using SuperSTRESS software. Contractor Watson Steel had a 5m contract to supply and fit 2,000 tonnes of steel before 5th March 1994, when the Pleasure Beach was due to re-open. They were working to a tight 10-week programme, which at one stage was 14 days behind schedule owing to the gales of December 1993.
Manufacturer: British Steel Tubes and Pipes, Corby
Supply and Construction: Watson Steel
Track prefabrication: CHB Fabrications
Research: PD
"Blackpool Thrill Tests Steel Skills" by Avril Newman
Construction Weekly, 12th January 1994, pp16-17

Pepsi Max - The Big One