Rita - Queen of Speed may not be available for Winter Weekend rides until mid-February.
The ride, introduced for the 2005 season, needs a rather large component replaced, and this work could take some time. The drum that the pulling cable wraps around, which is housed inside the winch room, has developed some issues which mean a new one is needed.
It is not an easy job, either - the roof of the winch shed will need to be lifted off to allow the removal of the current drum and installation of the new one.
This is surely a blow to the park, as the ride has been operating for less than a year, and already the winch cable and drum have needed replacing.
The ride's manufacturer, Intamin, will fabricate a new drum for the park. Also, Alton Towers will not face a hefty bill for the component, as Intamin will be paying for it.
The ride will continue to operate for the remainder of Adrenaline Week. It is then not due to run until January 7th 2006, the first Winter Weekend of next year - however it is expected that the work will take longer than this to complete, and the ride may not run until mid-way through February.
We will keep you posted on developments.