Specific Type: LSM Coaster
In the year 2000, the park currently known as Walibi Holland was at a turning point. The Walibi chain has been purchased by Premier Parks, who turned it around and called it Six Flags Holland, since Six Flags is a more recognizable brand name. Six Flags looked at the park and its two coasters and decided it needed a serious upgrade for the branding switch. The park contacted Vekoma, who were responsible for the prototype-SLC El Condor already located within the park. They ordered three new coasters from Vekoma, the wooden coaster Robin Hood, the Boomerang La Via Volta (Now Speed of Sound), and the centerpiece of the park, Superman The Ride.
With a layout similar to the Rock 'N' Roller Coaster Disney attractions, Xpress's 3,280 feet of blue track twists through three inversions - a double-inverting sidewinder and more traditional corkscrew as well as dozens of other curves throughout the two and a half minutes that riders are tossed and turned in the coaster's maze of tubular steel track. To start the ride off with a bang and plenty of momentum to spare, the train is fired out of the station for Xpress with an initial Linear Induction Motor launch propelling it from a dead standstill to 56 miles per hour, all achieved in 2.8 seconds. Upon opening, the red and blue superhero coaster became Six Flags Holland's sixth roller coaster track and fourth coaster from Vekoma, others including rides likeLa Via Volta and the very first Suspended Looping Coaster model from the company, El Condor.
Boarding the train, riders blast off down the LIM-driven launch and immediately speed up into the sea serpent loop combo, flipping over with a half vertical loop, two half-corkscrew-type inversions, and then a final half-loop. The train full of passengers speeds up into a steep curve turning the course around and swooping down towards water below. Climbing again and continuing to curve to the right, Superman enters a brief straightaway and then dive back down to curve in the opposite direction. After a 180-degree curve, thrill seekers enter Xpress’s third inversion, the corkscrew, and through 450 degrees of rightwards curvature encircling the corkscrew. After another brief straightaway, the track dives in a left-handed banked curve and then curves around, completing several hops en route to the final brake run.
In 2004, Six Flags sold Six Flags Holland (As well as their other European property, Six Flags Begium), and the newly-renamed Walibi Holland lost naming rights to DC Comics characters. So, to get around this, they renamed the ride Xpress, after a European travel agency, and the ride has operated in this state without incident ever since. So if you want one of the best thrills that the Netherlands has to offer, head to Walibi Holland for one of the best launch coasters on the European continent.
©1998-2016 COASTER-net.com, All Rights Reserved.