SW1 & SW2 Development
Plans & Concepts
When Tussauds took over at Alton Towers in the early 90s they had ambitious plans to transform the park into the UK's premier theme park. The first major attractions added to the park were Gloomy Wood and Katanga Canyon in 1992 but even before these additions the park were already planning for their first major coaster - their secret weapon.
The site was chosen early on as one of the grass car parks located alongside the Thunder Looper and preparation began before the coaster design had even been finalised. The park knew that they would need to dig down in order to get a decent drop for the coaster if they wanted to avoid the height issues they had experienced elsewhere in the park. And so in the Winter of 1991 the park began blasting the now iconic pit into the area, using the excavated rock to decorate its surroundings.
Arrow Dynamics were chosen to build the new ride and soon plans were under way to build a Pipeline Coaster, a ride which took 'Secret Weapon' as its codename. The plans soon became known as SW1 however when they were shelved and the designers returned to the drawing board creating plans for SW2 - another Arrow Pipeline Coaster. These plans were finalised during 1992 but not long after it was decided that this type of coaster might not be what the park were looking for after all and SW2 was also shelved as the park looked for a coaster type that better suited their needs.
The plans below are dated from Jan 1992 and show the proposed layout for SW1. The station for the ride would have been located in the area where Air would eventually be built and the ride layout would have sprawled across the area, also encroaching into the area now occupied by Nemesis Sub-Terra at the far end of Forbidden Valley.