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What's the roughest coaster in the UK and why?

Thought this would be a bit of fun to see which coasters give the roughest ride experience. Having visited bpb for the 5th time yesterday I can honestly say the grand national is without doubt the roughest coaster Ive ever ridden. How its deemed safe to operate is beyond me. The structure looks like a strong gust of wind would blow it over, and the way the trains traverse the course is unreal. Corners are agony with a foot of lateral movement left to right, and the drops are no better. The trains bang up and down violently at the bottom of the drops which I can only assume is the timber flexing. Felt like I had been beat with a baseball bat when the ride finally came to a stop 😂
 

Howie

Active Member
You've kinda started and finished your own topic in one post there matey. It's the Grand National. End of.
Why? Because it's an 85 year old knacker that's built on sand and has been pelted by seawater and salty winds since before the War, that's why.
Hate it. Wouldn't bother me a jot of it went the same way as the Mouse.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
I’d have to say it’s a tie between Grand National and Infusion for me. Both were excruciating last time I rode them; Infusion was just relentless head banging from start to finish, and I must admit I was genuinely quite worried about getting a spinal injury at points during my last ride on Grand National.

If I had to pick, I’d probably say I enjoyed Infusion slightly less, but I wouldn’t say I found either to be anything less than excruciatingly rough last time I rode.

I apologise, because I admit I’m probably being too harsh on them, especially Nash as it is 85 years old, but I can only speak for my own experiences and my own personal enjoyment of them.
 

streetmagix

Member
Another vote for The Grand National. On one of my rides it actually winded me at the bottom of the first drop. I don't mind, and quite enjoy, the feel of a classic woodie but more in a Great American Scream Machine at SFoG way than a Grand National way.

Saw: The Ride can be awful too, when it's hot and running fast it's BAD. Worse than Infusion.
 

Jamesss

Member
Haven't been to Blackpool since 2011 but the Grand National wasn't too bad for me back then. Sounds like it has gotten a lot worse since.

Roughest out of the ones in recent memory is probably Saw. It was good when it first opened but went downhill very quickly.
 
Another vote for The Grand National. On one of my rides it actually winded me at the bottom of the first drop. I don't mind, and quite enjoy, the feel of a classic woodie but more in a Great American Scream Machine at SFoG way than a Grand National way.

Saw: The Ride can be awful too, when it's hot and running fast it's BAD. Worse than Infusion.
Saw gave me a headache the last time I rode it. The majority of the ride is ok but there is a misalignment between 2 track joints at the bottom of the drop that makes the front of the car bounce violently. It kicks you in the arse first then slams you back down by the shoulders. That said, I didn't find the back row anywere near as bad as the cars are arse end heavy.
 

streetmagix

Member
Saw gave me a headache the last time I rode it. The majority of the ride is ok but there is a misalignment between 2 track joints at the bottom of the drop that makes the front of the car bounce violently. It kicks you in the arse first then slams you back down by the shoulders. That said, I didn't find the back row anywere near as bad as the cars are arse end heavy.
If they resolved the bottom of the first drop and the final dive loop (maybe trimming across the MCBR) it would be fine. But yeah, those 2 bits are awful.
 
Infusion is also very rough but I think condor at walibi Holland is worse again😂 I agree with what your saying at 85bl years old, but the big dipper is older and yet much smoother, although the mid course turn around was agony as well. The mouse was bearable and more thrilling than either in my opinion
 

witchfinder

Member
Nash is shocking but that's due to poor maintenance. It could be better if they put the effort in. Infusion on the other hand will always be a clanky piece of **** (I'm not even sure the vest restraint trains would help that much)

Surprised nobody's mentioned Tornado at M&Ds yet - the only coaster to ever give me bruises. However I still think Infusion is worse overall.
 
If they resolved the bottom of the first drop and the final dive loop (maybe trimming across the MCBR) it would be fine. But yeah, those 2 bits are awful.
It would depend on what caused the misalignment.
If the foundation was a few mm out resulting in having to pull the track together, then correction would be prohibitively expensive as the foundation would need to be dug out and they go all the way down to the bed rock. If it was a fabrication error then it could be corrected by welding and re-grinding the profile to smooth it out, but this could weaken the steel so again, would it be worth it if only a handful of people complain about it?

Maintenance does play a part in how smooth a coaster is but on older designs, you simply cannot polish a turd no matter how good you are. A train with a 20mm lateral slop will always be as rough as a bears arse.
 

CrashCoaster

Well-Known Member
I agree with all the coasters listed thus far, but I'm going to have to add Odyssey to the list. From my experience on the coaster last year, I found it significantly worse than Kumali and Infusion (Kumali isn't that bad tbh) and therefore it is one of, if not my least favourite coaster. Genuinely gave me a headache, unlike the other SLCs. Maybe I just rode it on a bad day.
 

Dressinggown

New Member
The second half of The Ultimate at Lightwater Valley is bone shakingly violent. As British Rail had a hand in putting the ride together it is no great surprise.

However, the Grand National at BPB is rough from start to finish. So much so that I lost a filling from my teeth and think that it disturbed the fluid in my ears as I spent the rest of the day staggering around. Each time the train hit the bottom of a hill it was like being involved in a serious car crash.

I'm not sure what could be done to improve the ride apart from knocking it down and selling it as overpriced memorabilia. But is it not a listed building ? Is it too far gone for a RMC refurb ?
 
The usual suspects as have been mentioned above.
Infusion, Ultimate (though I still enjoyed this one as it doesn't hurt your face like Infusion does).

Grand National has become a joke in the back I'm afraid to say. Rode it 2 weeks ago, just once.
It is bouncing around like mad where it shouldn't be. The double drop instantly pinned me into the seat with the restraint clicking one further notch down. Awful. I don't think it can be saved and really wouldn't mind if it got scrapped and replaced with a modern day woodie. Something like Troy is FAR more enjoyable. GN has served its purpose and I think it is time to move on.

Disappointingly I have to admit that what once was my favourite coaster: Rock N' Roller coaster at Disney Paris was near unbearable in the corkscrew last year. Even Space Mountain didn't seem much better despite the newer vest type restraints, again in the corkscrew or sidewinder whatever that last element is called. Platform 13 at Walibi seemed more bearable compared to those two.
I think these old school Vekoma inner wheel assembly track coasters don't age well but Disney especially gets tonnes of rides out of them so maybe should have addressed that sooner / replaced the rough parts.
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
Easily The Ultimate for me - whilst the National is rough, it's re-rideable at least. I can give it a few spins on a visit and from my visit last year, Big Dipper was actually rougher and more painful.

The Ultimate was just painful and I wouldn't ride it more than once in a visit, nor do I have a desire to get back on it generally.

Honourable mention for Saw.
 
I think the timber supports are past it, if it had to be RMC'd everything would need replacing. The state of the woodwork is actually unbelievable, the lift hills were wonky. I hit a lamp post at 30 mph a few year back in an old merc and that was nothing compared to the grand national. I'm a relatively healthy 25 year old man and I wouldnt ride again due to risk of injury 🤔. I'd like to see the big dipper with RMC magic instead haha
 

Bentleya

New Member
I can see Saw has been mentioned a few times; for me - there is one particular jolt where the MCBR is.

Even from off ride, you can really see the trains violently shake as the snap in the track profile is horrendous.
 
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