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Amusement Parks : Sarner gives Alton Towers’ Monorail a Creative Facelift


Commissioned by The Alton Towers Resort to revamp its monorail trains, Sarner has transformed a mere method of transportation into an exciting escape to the UK’s favourite Theme Park Resort.

The eight monorail trains used throughout the Resort to transport guests between the Theme Park’s main entrance and two Hotels have always been seen as invaluable to visitors, as each train carries 100 passengers on an 8 minute closed loop circuit.  Sarner’s monorail makeover is a 360° redesign, with a different creative theme for each train, incorporating a complete visual wrap on the exterior with a co-ordinating coloured interior.  This has been complemented with carefully themed audio playing throughout each ride.

Commenting on the project, Sarner’s Art Director, Matthew Ringland, says, "Guests arriving at the Alton Towers Resort are full of excitement about the myriad rides and experiences awaiting them. However, the monorail had become a little tired over the years and it needed a facelift to make it more than just a mode of transport". Ringland continues, "The brief was to transform it into a fun and memorable attraction in itself as it not only welcomes guests into the park, it’s also their last ‘ride’ at the end of an exciting day.  The emphasis needed to be on bold, large scale motifs that could be viewed from a distance, but also had levels of detail that were fun to view close up, and it was important that the visual message didn’t get lost when the trains were travelling throughout the Resort."

Sarner worked closely with the Creative Director for Merlin Themeparks and the Marketing department at the Alton Towers Resort to create themes that best represented their positioning as ‘Britain’s most Fantastical Experience’.  Some of the themes for the trains were inspired by the Resort itself and others were inspired by nature.  Whatever their inspiration, all of the trains are now eye catching, colourful and fun to ride and are a spectacular sight that can be seen throughout the Resort, blending in with the exciting attractions and rides that make up Britain’s favourite Theme Park Resort.

1) Carribean –The design of the first train is based on the Alton Towers Resort Waterpark.  This totally tropical Carribean paradise will warm you up, even on a cold day;

2) Pirates – Ahoy there me hearties!  Skull & crossbones and oversized treasure chests make up the design of this train (right) which is based on the new ‘Mutiny Bay’ area that opened at the Alton Towers Theme Park in 2008;

 3) Explorer – The ficticous eccentric aristocrat ‘Sir Algenon Alton’ travelled the world in a flying machine to collect artefacts for his home, the Alton Towers Hotel, and it is believed that he transported them home on this train (above);

4) Moo-Norail – Gertrude the Cow, proudly sporting her ‘best in show’ rosette, is a real moover and groover.  This was the first of the designs that utilised the shape of the train and created more impact from a distance ;

5) Celebration – Get the party started on this train for a fun day out.  With bright streamers, balloons, disco balls and fireworks, this party train never stops celebrating;

6) The Daisy Train – Blooming marvellous!  Nature at its best, this train  blends in beautifully with the flora around the Alton Towers Resort and leaves guests buzzing with excitement;

7) Strawberry Fields – Strawberries and cream may be synonymous with Wimbledon but, after a trip to the Alton Towers Resort, you’ll never forget your first ride in an enormous punnet of Summer fresh berries;

8) Jelly Bean – The most suitable train for those with a sweet tooth, each jelly bean on this rainbow coloured train was enhanced to ensure it looked good enough to eat.

 Sarner’s reputation has been built on it’s ability to deliver creative and highly technical theme park and visitor attraction designs and installations but this project has been the company’s first pure design commission and certainly won’t be its last.  Morwenna Angove, Sales and Marketing Director at the Alton Towers Resort said, "We initially looked at redesigning only a handful of the monorails but once we saw how amazing the first one looked we felt that it was a necessity to revamp the entire fleet.  Sarner’s creative talents have surpassed all of our expectations and we will hopefully be working with them again in the future."

The Alton Towers Resort Monorail facts:

 * The Monorail at Alton Towers was first opened by William Shatner in 1987

 * Originally called ‘The Silver Ride’, each train was named after a planet in the Solar system

 * There is a VIP car at the front and a car for disabled guests at the rear

* The trains are 40 metres long and travel at approximately 26km per hour along the 3.2 km track

* At the height of the season the trains transport 4800 people every hour

 * Each train required 31 individual pieces of artwork for the redesign

* The new ‘Explorer’ train features artefacts which make reference to some of the myths and stories that surround the Alton Towers Resort

* The new designs have created great interest on the internet among theme park enthusiasts and amateur videos of the trains posted on You Tube get thousands of hits

For further information
please contact:

 Charlotte Myer
Direct line: 020 8481 0614
Main office: 020 8481 0600

See also:
Sarner makeover for Shakespeare
Alton Towers’ Food Scores high with "Which?"
Merlin sues London Attraction
Merlin Entertainments Group continues Aggressive Growth Strategy
Merlin Entertainments wins Prestigious "Best Management team" Award

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