Time to get excited: An alpine-style roller coaster in West Belfast is almost ready to ride, and the first photos have just been revealed.
In what has been described as an innovative first, a toboggan run/roller coaster is being installed in Colin Glen Forest Park in West Belfast. Yes, you read that correctly—there will soon be a roller coaster in Northern Ireland’s capital.
The project got the green light from Belfast City Hall earlier this year, and just this week, BBC presenter Barra Best posted photos of the coaster on Facebook and Twitter, saying it’s “almost ready”. We have to say it looks amazing!
Scroll on for the new photos and all the latest information about the ride, including when you will be able to get yourself on board.
The roller coaster
These Alpine-style types of roller coasters are incredibly popular—and most commonly found—at ski resorts. Now, we know what you’re thinking: Ireland is cold, but it’s not that cold. Fair enough. The 565-metre long white-knuckle-causing track is designed to replicate those exact “Alpine coaster” rides often found at ski lodges.
The roller coaster in West Belfast is designed to run on a rail, and the toboggan itself will be driven by a single rider. It will be a brilliant addition to an already exciting forest park that currently includes: 200 acres of scenic woodland, a Skytrek adventure centre, waterfalls, and a Gruffalo adventure trail.
Amazingly, around £800,000 is being invested in the project. In early April 2019, the Belfast City Council sent out a Tweet confirming that the Planning Committee had granted permission for the roller coaster in West Belfast.
The new toboggan run is part of a wider development at Colin Glen Forest Park. It comes after the Northern Ireland Environment Agency handed ownership of the complex over to Colin Glenn Trust on a 999-year lease.
Some concerns were raised
Understandably, there were some concerns raised by local environmentalists regarding the impact the project could have on wildlife in the Colin Glen area.
According to Sinn Fein councillor Sèanna Walsh, the effect on local butterfly and moth populations became an issue as the project’s work progressed.
Walsh said that the developers of the roller coaster are “confident, however, that the necessary protection of flora and fauna” will occur as work is “carried out in a sensitive and considered fashion.”
Walsh added: “This is an amazing project for this part of the city. It’s incredible to think of one of these Alpine-style rides like you would see at ski resorts in Europe appearing at Colin Glen Park, but it’s got the go-ahead. It’ll add to the already fantastic facilities at the park that attracts a huge number of people to the area.”
When can you ride it
Right now we expect that the roller coaster in West Belfast will be up and running at some point in 2020. However, nothing is confirmed yet.
It’s so far believed that the track consists of a 324m descent and a 241m straight section where you will reach speeds of 200 miles-per-hour*.
*You probably won’t reach speeds of 200mph.
Alright, seriously, all joking aside—this sounds like a really fun development, and we’re so looking forward to seeing it in action.