Back in 1985 before the likes of Shockwave, Apocalypse and Maelstrom was an unassuming yet forceful coaster in Drayton Manors early line up known as The Python; A Pinfari Zyklon ZL42 which would later in 1995 be refurbished and reopened under a new name The Klondike Goldmine to fit in with Shockwave’s new mining area theme. But as thrills expanded and so did Drayton Manor it’s days were now numbered and it was removed to be transferred to Hayling Island (The same park that took the Pepsi Max Drop from Trocadero Centre) for their 2005 season, But Klondike’s grave was not cold for long with a new coaster ready to take its place, A Maurer Söhne XCar with a gimmick that no one saw coming.
The XCar coaster which at the time was due to be called Barnstorm would feature an inverting lift hill loop known as a “Vertical Humpty Bump Lift” among other elements, Notably, a sharp air time hill and something called a “Bent Cuban 8” Clearly Drayton Manor wanted something unique. Barnstorm would not be the final name though and abandoning the mining /bay themes of the area the ride was seated and G-Force was created under the pseudonym Project X. It’s hard to say what the theme of G-Force was other than Modern/Generic/Night Club maybe but never the less it’s striking red track and silver supports just seem to work and compliment the area.
G-Force was not without its teething problems, from the train stalling with guest to increased downtime in its final years but nevertheless, the ride opened to public acclaim “being the first X-Car in the UK” in July 2005 and had celebrities at the time G4 as the VIPs to send G-Force on its way. One other problem was its very very limited capacity running one train with only 12 riders at a time and although the coaster was short in its duration this did lead to some very uncomfortable queueing in busier months. This is not to say that no effort had been made to rectify this. As said before when noting the theme of Modern/Generic/Night Club this is mainly down its queue line “experience” if you can call it that. With the station being raised high up this gave space for a large cattle pen underneath which featured large projection screens, loud trance music which was made for the ride and strangely a rooftop Van der Graaff generator like that of Th13teens upper queue line but on a much larger scale which at random intervals would send an ear-piercing electric arc that could be heard from outside the building. In fact, it should be noted before entering this metal box room there was a corridor leading to it and the sound of the generator going off was actually quite intimidating to some first-time riders. Sadly this was the only point of excitement before heading up a set of long metal stairs and into the stuffy bland station, It seemed clear where a lot of the budget had gone..Not in the station.
Once boarding the train you were met with (in my opinion) the very comfortable Maurer “Big Boy Seats” with the iconic wrap around waist restraint although not all shared the sentiment of comfort. Once pinned in place G-Force began its short but interesting layout with a drop straight from the station into the Lift Loop. This was maybe one of the 2 main take-away features from the experience, There was something quite surreal hanging from the hip being slowly hoisted into position for the inverted slant track into the half loop. Following this element you were then thrown into a very abrupt and tight airtime hill that if in the back row really did throw you out your seat and straight after into the “Bent Cuban 8” which essentially consisted of 2 Immelmann inversions which exited in the way that it was entered completing a 180 motion, which still to this day is an inversion only found on one other coaster. Sadly this where the excitement ended with an overbank back in the direction you came and one more turn up to the break run. And that was it G-Force was done.
G-Force kept its place in the park thrilling guests up to 2018 but after years of technical problems, it became a rare moment when a ride was guaranteed. And so in 2018 after trains were sent for modifications but the maintenance costs to keep G Force operating efficiently would prove too high, the decision was made to remove G-Force from the line-up. The coaster remained on park SBNO”Standing but not operating” for the 2019 season and was eventually dismantled for its removal to a storage site in Slagharen in The Netherlands. What will come of G-Forces space is still a mystery. With Looping Group now owning the site whether or not a compact thrilling coaster will take its place is unknown but I wouldn’t be surprised if the area is used for another flat ride as the footprint is limited.
Will we see G-Force reopen across the waters is still unknown too but there is Attractiepark Slagharen in the area so we shall have to wait and see.
And so this little history chapter comes to an end.
Thank you for reading
PSG Signing out.