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Turbine Achterbahn © Walibi Belgium
© Walibi Belgium

Thursday, April 19, 2012 | This article is listed in the sections Magazine and Amusement parks.

The Return of a Classic

Most amusement park enthusiasts were horrified about the announcement of Walibi Belgium to close "Turbine", the only Schwarzkopf shuttle loop coaster in Europe, in 2009. "Turbine" was opened in the early 1980's as "Sirocco" and got nation-wide attention in 1998 when the train got stuck at the top of the looping leaving the passengers in a very uncomfortable situation. Although there were no injuries, photos of the passengers' evacuation were published in Belgian newspapers and were shown in television. So Walibi decided to rename the rollercoaster into "Turbine" and to hide the looping in a tall building to avoid negative associations of the parks's visitors.

Turbine Achterbahn © Walibi Belgium
© Walibi Belgium
The coaster called "Sirocco"
What makes "Turbine" so special is the acceleration from zero to more than 85 km/h using a flywheel, which not only was very loud but also caused high maintenance costs. These may be the main reasons why Walibi Belgium wanted to get rid off the rollercoaster in 2009. Rumors say there was a buyer back at those days and that "Turbine" should have been replaced by a spinning coaster using the existing buildings. But the sale obviously failed and Walibi Belgium just announced that "Turbine" will be reopened in 2013 – probably completely indoor.

This leaves much room for speculation. All Walibi parks got rebranded last year, and a Vekoma boomerang rollercoaster at Walibi Holland was rethemed 2011 focussing on the music battle of the established bands "The Skunx" and "W.A.B.". It is quite possible that Walibi is just planning something similar for "Turbine" using a new onbard sound system for the trains and multimedia effects in the possible indoor section. But all of this is only theoretical potential, because Walibi Belgium has not given any details about the upcoming reopening so far. Anyway it's good news that the great Schwarzkopf classic rollercoaster remains in Europe and could be saved from demolition.

© parkscout/MV

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