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Karaoke Mine Train plans scrapped

Park News
Sunday, 17th December 2006 By Dan Ketteringham

Plans to re-theme the popular Runaway Mine Train ride for 2007 appear to have been dropped.

The ride hit the headlines in July this year when an accident injured several people, though none seriously.

Following an investigation, the ride was given the all-clear by the Health and Safety Executive, and the accident was deemed an "isolated incident".

At first it appeared that the ride would reopen before the end of the season, but the decision was then taken to keep the ride closed until 2007, allowing the train to be fully refurbished.

Rumour has it that Tussaud's, the owners of Alton Towers, were keen to market the ride as a new/improved attraction next year. It would help boost sales in a season where otherwise there will be no new rides, for the first time in several years, due to the planned heavy investment in 2008.

The suggested idea was to make the ride interactive, something the park has done before - retro-fitting the Haunted House for 2003 with laser guns and marketing it as a new ride, Duel. The Runaway Mine Train was planned to have microphones on board to create a "karaoke coaster", in a deal with SingStar.

When asked about the idea a few weeks ago by the Staffordshire newspaper The Sentinel, the park said: "There is some debate about whether or not we change the theme of the ride, but this is yet to be resolved."

It appears now that the plans have been dropped altogether, which will be a big relief for fans of the park and enthusiasts in general.

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