In the seaside town Margate in Kent, MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME has provided the perfect combination of strength, durability and a stunning aesthetic during the careful restoration of the Scenic Railway – Britain’s oldest roller coaster and the main attraction at the recently re-opened Dreamland theme park.
Originally opened as a park in 1920, but with amusement rides on the site from as early as 1880, Dreamland has been attracting thrill seekers and holidaymakers for decades. Following the park’s closure in 2005, its iconic Grade II* listed wooden roller coaster was partially destroyed by fire with 25% of the structure damaged beyond repair.
With £18 million of public funding, a £3 million Heritage Lottery grant and £4 million of additional council investment, the theme park underwent a huge redevelopment. A key part of an ongoing regeneration of Margate town centre by Thanet Council, the amusement park’s rejuvenation included the sensitive restoration of the Scenic Railway – one of only eight scenic railways in the world.
Working closely with contractor TopBond Group, WGH Ltd was appointed to rebuild the railway’s two three-carriage trains and restore the ride's mechanical operation. With inherent strength, weather resistance and a sympathetic aesthetic to the original design the key requirements, WGH turned to the proven performance of MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME for the carriages’ seating and flooring.
“As a major supplier of rides to the leisure industry, we traditionally work with aluminium and steel in the design and manufacture of both carriages and mechanical engineering elements,” said Tony Brown, Director at WGH. “It’s the first time we have used timber and we turned to the lightweight and weather resistance of MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME to create seating areas for 28 people in six carriages across two trains.”
He added: “We also used Medite Tricoya Extreme panels for the carriage floors. Painted and finished with a slip resistant coating, this ensured we not only achieved excellent health and safety standards but a fast, efficient installation.”
Due to the proprietary acetylation treatment process used to treat the wood elements,MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME has a naturally altered unique chemical structure. This process greatly reduces the ability of the panels to absorb water, creating a dimensionally stable and extremely durable product with a 50 year guarantee, backed by independent British Board of Agrément (BBA) assessment.
Opening to the general public on 16th October 2015, the new-look Scenic Railway met the demands of both the theme park owners and their visitors – combining a nostalgic 1920s design with modern regulatory and safety standards. The specification of MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME for the carriages proved ideal in the restoration of a wooden roller coaster that remains true to its past, whilst proving fit for the future.