In January 2022, Alton Towers submitted an application to confirm the lawfulness of maintenance works to Nemesis, with the intention of increasing the rollercoaster’s lifespan. It is proposed that the majority of the roller coaster’s track sections will be replaced, including 89 of the 117 supports, along with work to strengthen and improve the foundations. In September 2022, it was confirmed that upon Nemesis closing at the end of the season it would undergo the planned refurbishment and reopen in 2024.
Follow the latest developments in the Nemesis track replacement project here on our dedicated page!
A full run down of the work proposed as follows:
- Replacement of coaster track from the crest of the lift hill, to the start of the brake run.
- Replacement of 89 of the 117 supports in these areas.
- Removal of 636 bolts which will be replaced and re-grouted.
- Localised maintenance undertaken to the theming and buildings as required.
- The tunnel section below the maintenance building will be retained as existing, and the coaster track which runs through the tunnel replaced alongside the structural beam.
- Footers will be strengthened in limited locations, and an additional foundation installed for a support on the downwards helix, which has received modifications in the past.
- The replacement track and supports will follow the existing layout and design, and will have the same appearance externally.
In addition to the works ensuring safety standards are maintained while keeping within the existing overall design, an additional benefit is that the coaster track will be sand filled, which will reduce noise levels to the benefit of the site and local area. The current track does not have this feature as the method was not widely used when the ride was first constructed. Early B&M roller coasters are famous for their loud roar when in operation, which is produced when the train travels over the track causing an echo in the hollow spine interior. Although the signature roar that Nemesis is known for will be sad to lose, Alton Towers are committed to being good neighbours to the surrounding area, and must make efforts to reduce noise produced from the Resort when opportunities arise.
What’s not affected?
The following will be unaffected by the proposed maintenance work:
- The 28 supports located below the station building (6 pairs of columns), the station exit (6 columns) and the ride lift hill (5 pairs of columns) do not need to be replaced and will be retained.
- There are 112 rock anchors in some of the foundations below the supports which effectively fix the structure to the rock. These are steel bars approximately 9-10 metres in length. The rock anchors have been tested, and all 112 rock anchors will be retained. There are 43 other steel bars which are of a different design which also support columns. These will also be retained.
- The station building will be retained and so too will the theming – as noted above, localised maintenance to the theming will be undertaken as required.
- The maintenance and emergency access steps alongside the lift hill, track and supports.
- Retaining walls will be unaffected by the proposed maintenance works and will be retained as existing.
- The tunnels themselves within the development.
- The maintenance building and plant room.
- The photography building.
- The queue line, pathways and fencing.
- No trees will be removed as a result of the proposed works.
- Once the maintenance works are complete there will be no change to levels on site.
What about the trains?
The new-look trains for Nemesis were revealed by the Resort in September 2023. Although new B&M rides can be purchased with an updated train design featuring vest restraints, the classic B&M Invert design has been retained. It has also been confirmed that the new-look trains incorporate recycled technical components from the former trains.
When will the work be completed?
Nemesis will be closed throughout 2023, after operating for the final time in its original form on the last day of the 2022 season. The refurbished ride will then reopen in 2024, when Nemesis will be 30 years old.
- 5th November 2023
- 3rd November 2023 – Nemesis is back with a vengeance
- 29th October 2023
- 22nd October 2023
- 15th October 2023
- 26th September 2023 – Trains Revealed
- 10th September 2023
- 29th August 2023
- 20th August 2023
- 17th August 2023
- 16th August 2023
- 13th August 2023
- 26th July 2023
- 24th July 2023
- 21st July 2023
- 20th July 2023
- 7th July 2023
- 27th June 2023
- 28th May 2023
- 27th May 2023 – Sub-Terra Reopens
- 21st May 2023
- 17th May 2023 – Sub-Terra Announcement
- 11th May 2023
- 29th April 2023
- 27th April 2023 – Track Reveal
- 25th April 2023 – Leaked Footage
- 13th April 2023
- 2nd April 2023
- 19th March 2023
- 5th March 2023
- 20th February 2023
- 22nd January 2023
- 7th January 2023
- 31st December 2022
- 23rd December 2022
- 25th November 2022
- 13th November 2022
- 6th November 2022 – Phalanx Investigation
- 6th November 2022 – Final Day
- October 2022 – Phalanx Uniforms
- September 2022 – Closure Announcement
- January 2022 – Plans
- Reference Photos
In dramatic footage published by Alton Towers, the Nemesis creature escaped containment after a secret experiment from the Phalanx organisation spiralled out of control, and sadly a few casualties came with it. The following day at the construction site it was evident that the perimeter walls had been breached, with visible damage to them and the Phalanx stood guard. Thanks to Sam from Coastertog for the photos.
There has not been much in the way of visible progress on-site since last weekend. However, notable developments include the addition of a ‘Containment Unit’ banner to the scaffolding surrounding Nemesis’ pre-lift track and the application of the red vein paintwork to the retained lift hill track – the outline for which could be seen in last week’s update. With the removal of a small amount of scaffolding from around the front of the station, it is now even clearer how much of the outer theming has been removed, with it stripped back to the underlying wood.
With the majority of the top of the station building theming now painted, the last week saw the front of the alien and tail completely removed for what appears to be more extensive repairs and replacement. Where this took place to the front left leg, rebar has now been formed into the shape for this to be rebuilt. At the base of the lift hill, drive tyres have been reinstalled on the track, and on the brake run, magnetic brakes have been installed which replace the first set of friction brakes. Riders will enjoy a smoother and less abrupt deceleration, while the costs to maintain the ride for the resort will decrease.
Over at the entrance to the ride, scaffolding has been erected around it to facilitate the repaint in the black colour scheme. The bus at the exit of the final inversion is also undergoing work, with the previous paint removed and a new white primer added. The new ride supports are being ‘grouted’ to the footers with concrete, which ensures a rigid connection to the foundations.
Following their delivery to the Resort, Stoke Sentinel revealed a sneak peek of Nemesis’ new-look trains, featuring black seats and red restraints. These trains retained the classic B&M Invert design, and it was subsequently confirmed that they incorporate recycled technical components from the former trains.
Scenic painting of the station theming continues at pace, with new darker shades being added to the top of the alien, giving it a more lifelike appearance. The lift hill and brake run have now been painted in black to match the new track, with just a few supports to finish off. The queue line which leads up the hill from the entrance has been fully removed.
The installation of the new track is now nearing completion, with just a few more sections of the first drop left to install – the supports already in place and visible through the trees from outside the theme park. Thanks to Eye Coaster for the photos.
Following the completion of the corkscrew, a few more supports for the first descent were installed, along with a couple of further track sections. The station building theming continues to be repaired, primed and painted, and some of the track running rails are being ground down to ensure the transition between sections is completely smooth. These will be touched up in due course.
What an iconic moment in the Nemesis construction timeline! The first corkscrew inversion has now been installed in place, along with some further supports for the descent from the lift hill. Thanks to Adam Bysouth for the photos.
Thank you to Sam from Coastertog for the additional photos.
On National Rollercoaster Day 2023, the first sections of track for Nemesis’ iconic corkscrew (i.e. the exit from the inversion) were installed along with additional supports. Thank you to Sam from Coastertog for the photos.
Since our last update, the track sections completing the entrance to the Zero-G were installed, along with the full downwards helix. The first drop and corkscrew inversion are now the only sections awaiting installation. As shown in the initial plans, the helix supports and foundations are notably stronger in design, with one footer and support completely redesigned to ensure the ride can sustain the intense forces in this area for years to come.
The lift hill continues to be primed ready for the new colour scheme, and at the base, the alien’s left eye and claw have been removed, following the legs on this side also. Visible under a black cover, a temporary wooden circular structure has been erected at the front of the station, with its purpose currently unclear.
Over at the station, parts of the rear have started to be painted in grey, including the tail of the alien, and the veins along it painted red, which begs the question – will we be seeing a new colour scheme using a grey, black and red palette to better complement the new track? We’ll find out soon enough!
The Nemesis station theming has started to receive a significant overhaul. Following a jet wash, damage to the structure has been filled before what appears to be acrypol or a similar waterproof coating applied. The front left eye of the creature has been removed and is currently being stored on the nearby access road.
Today saw the installation of the remaining sections of the Zero-G roll, with the Observation Platform providing a unique perspective of the curves of this inversion which crosses over the Nemesis creature. Thank you to Sam from Coastertog for the photos.
Another day, another inversion! Following completion of the vertical loop, the construction team quickly progressed to the installation of the Zero-G roll, with the exit track sections visible in these photos. Scaffolding has been erected all around the lift hill track in preparation for painting it. Following a jet wash, white primer is being applied to the spine, and grey primer to the running rails in advance of the black paint to match the new track.
As part of the ongoing promotion of the project, #SeekTheTruth t-shirts can be won in a grabber machine in the area’s arcade. Over in the car park, further track and supports continue to arrive, including those for the helix. These supports are notably larger than the previous, and will be partially sunken into the ground and then attached to the ground level anchor bolts where the paint changes from light grey to dark grey.
Today saw an important milestone completed – the installation of the vertical loop! The construction team started by installing the exit of the loop, followed by the entrance, and then the top section to complete the iconic inversion. It is interesting to note that some supports around the track layout are being updated to a larger and stronger design, including the ones for the vertical loop. To accommodate these, the inversion now consists of three main track sections instead of two, as seen on the original ride.
Three supports for the Zero-G roll are now also visible, including the centre one which now features a rigid track connection instead of a ball and socket joint. We expect this inversion to be installed next. Thank you to Sam from Coastertog for the photos.
In an industrial estate about 9 miles from Alton Towers Resort, the last remaining pieces of the old track and a couple of supports are being stored there. It will remain to be seen if they are reused in Forbidden Valley again – we hope so! Interestingly, one of the old track sections was painted in the new black colour scheme with three different red pattern designs painted on. This may have been used as a test section to visualise how the new colour scheme will look, before the final design was chosen. This location is also where some new ride hardware is being stored before its transportation to the resort.
Work on the Nemesis site is focused on installation of the new track and supports which will make up the coaster now that the footers and foundations have all been poured. Since our last update, the final corkscrew was completed, along with the sweeping turn beforehand which will follow the vertical loop. Elsewhere on the site, the stall turn has been erected, and we assume next on the agenda is the vertical loop which will then connect all currently installed track.
Where the sections of track are being connected, the ends of the rails in certain areas have been sanded down to ensure the train can smoothly pass over them. We would expect these areas to be touched up at a later date. Scaffolding has been installed over the transfer track to work on the theming above, and a construction worker was observed knocking a hole into one of the alien’s legs, presumably in preparation for more substantial work to commence on the station structure itself. Over in the car park, newly delivered track is now being stored towards the top of the area instead of adjacent to Galactica’s final turnaround, now that the latter half of the ride’s layout is complete.
Further sections of track and supports continue to arrive at the Resort. Based on current progress on-site, these appear to be for the remainder of the final inversion and the preceding stall turn. The distinctive track for the zero-g roll over the station also looks to have been delivered, along with supports for the vertical loop.
On the site itself, the most recent progress has seen the latter part of the final inversion installed. This section of track could be seen being temporarily supported by a jack, awaiting the next section of the layout – this was being stored nearby, on the site itself. From the Observation Platform, other visible points of note included the supports for the stall turn in front of the station and progress on the footers in the area between the zero-g roll and vertical loop. A closer look in this area also revealed a face staring back at those on the platform…
From ground level, it was evident that while progress on some of the footers for the helix following the first corkscrew were at an advanced stage, there was still much work to be done on many of the others. Elsewhere, after being notably damaged, it could be seen that the rear left leg of the Nemesis creature had been removed from the station building, and had been placed on the ground within the site. The I-box support beam for the track running underneath the exit ramp of the station was also staged near to where it would shortly be installed. There was little change at the Galactica end of the site, with this part of the layout having been the first to be installed. However, spotted on the ground inside the compound was a support attachment plate, seemingly sawn-off from a section of the new track – it was not clear which section this was from or the reason the reason for its removal.
Following the announcement earlier in May that the attraction was set to reopen, a statement was issued by The Phalanx on the afternoon of Thursday 25th May advising that the newly recommissioned Phalanx Research Facility would begin to be officially reopened from 9:30am on Saturday 27th May. The opening ceremony featured an in-person appearance from the Head of The Phalanx that had previously only appeared in videos, flanked by Phalanx operatives and scientists. He started by assuring the gathered crowds that Nemesis posed no danger to the public, despite the ‘false information’ that had been shared, and explained that the facility was being reopened to allow guests to view The Phalanx’s latest discovery for themselves. Unfortunately the opening ceremony was momentarily interrupted by operatives emerging from the facility in a cloud of smoke, looking somewhat worse for wear and needing to be carried back inside. Nonetheless, he returned to cut the ribbon and declare the facility open, insisting that everything was “completely under control”. Guests were then invited into the queue line to see for themselves…
With the installation of track and supports on-site having slowed down, this was only a small update of what was visible from the Observation Platform. Most notably, two supports for the left-hand stall turn had been erected, while a sign reading ‘Phalanx Aerial Support Unit’ had been added to the crane servicing the site. Elsewhere, #SeekTheTruth and the unknown symbol had been graffitied onto the nearby hoarding, while final preparations were underway at Nemesis Sub-Terra ahead of its opening on Saturday 27th May.
After months of speculation, and email communications being sent out in the week before teasing the attraction’s return, the Resort confirmed that Nemesis Sub-Terra would reopen on Saturday 27th May. On their visit to the ‘Phalanx Research Facility’, civilians were set to journey deep beneath the Nemesis site to discover the secretive research of The Phalanx, where they would be shown exciting glimpses of a Nemesis egg. Although it was said to be controlled and contained, very little was known about the origins of the egg. However, it was reportedly showing life signs and a team of Phalanx operatives are investigating – could they keep control? As part of the announcement, the Resort revealed a new look logo for the attraction which was similar in appearance to the new Nemesis track. An updated visual for the attraction was also released, with the same black and red colour scheme. The new visual also saw the addition of Phalanx logos.
This was our first update following the installation of the first sections of the new track and supports. Track had been installed between the last tunnel and brake run, with the latter seeing the meeting of the old and new track. At the newly opened Observation Platform, various Phalanx related signage had been added, including a large sign above the entrance and exit way. On the platform itself, there was a singular screen displaying a message from the Phalanx, with periodic audio announcements also playing out. The platform provided clear views of the Nemesis creature and the area where the majority of the layout is located, although it wasn’t possible to see the sections of track installed so far. Following the delivery earlier in the week, only one track section remained stored in the car park, along with the pieces for two supports.
A full reveal of the new look track was provided by photos released by the Resort which showed a section of track for the final bend prior to the brake run being lifted into position the prior night, overseen by the Phalanx. A further drone photo also provided an aerial view of the supports and a total of three sections of track installed in the final part of the layout. With vertical construction commencing, the Phalanx also opened an Observation Platform overlooking the Nemesis site, encouraging those intrigued by the investigation to come and see for themselves, with the platform accessible by up to 30 guests at a time.
Footage mysteriously ‘leaked’ via the Resort’s official social media channels revealing a new look for Nemesis’ track – black, with what appeared to be red veins snaking along its length. Despite the message that accompanied the footage suggesting that everything may not be as it seemed, with the posts including the hashtag #SeekTheTruth, the Phalanx reported that all was well as the convoy began its journey to the Resort.
Work continued on the foundations for the helix, as well as the first drop and corkscrew that proceeds this section of the layout, whilst the Nemesis creature watched on. Nearby, there were signs of work taking place on Nemesis Sub-Terra, including touch-ups to the paintwork on the building’s exterior, adding to the speculation that the ride would reopen.
A few weeks after the start of the season, some of the construction walls that had formed a second fence line around Nemesis were removed. This allowed guests to get closer to the construction area and provided some new ground-level views into the site, as well as access along the upper pathway through Forbidden Valley. The work that was underway on the foundations for the helix – one of the ride’s most forceful sections – could now be seen up close.
The start of the 2023 season marked the first season without Nemesis in 30 years. Signage had been added to the black hoarding around the site to inform guests of Nemesis’ closure and the ongoing investigation by the Phalanx. Work on rebuilding the foundations and footers was continuing towards the end of the layout, with the new bolts to which the new supports will be attached in-situ. From Galactica’s lift hill, it was possible to see that a large hole had been excavated in this area, where the old pilings which anchor the footers to the ground had been removed. A member of the Phalanx could be found on duty outside the entrance to the apparent temporary viewing platform that overlooks the Nemesis site. This now appeared to be structurally complete, with a truss in place above the entrance, ready for signage to be installed. From outside of the theme park, it was possible to see Nemesis’ lift to nowhere through the trees. In the site compound, lots more fixings for the footers could be seen, ready to be installed on-site. Also of note was two sections of track rail, removed from the main body of track, and a few cut-up sections of support being stored in a skip.
The Kids Pass event provided a first opportunity to view the status of the works taking place to Nemesis from within the theme park. It was certainly strange to neither see nor hear Nemesis whilst in Forbidden Valley, with the area instead dominated by the presence of a large crane. Black hoarding had been installed around the ride perimeter, to which Phalanx related signage had started to be attached. Towards the end of the layout, work had already begun on rebuilding the foundations and footers. It also appeared that the brake run had been painted with a primer coat of paint. In an area of Nemesis Sub-Terra’s queue line, a temporary scaffold structure had been erected, appearing to be a viewing platform into the Nemesis construction site.
The reopening of Rollercoaster Restaurant provided a limited view of the deconstruction of Nemesis, with the layout other than the brake run, station and lift hill now fully removed. In the site compound, the last remaining track sections were awaiting removal off site, and the footer pins and rebar cages were visible that are used to create the new foundations for the ride.
Although most track and supports have been removed from the Resort, being taken to a local scrapyard, with the vertical loop being the last section of the layout to be dismantled, some of the supports for this track remain in the car parks. Some of the sections were cut up to enable their removal from the ride area.
With the start of the Christmas season, deconstruction of Nemesis’ layout quickly began, with various sections of track initially stored in the car parks before being transported elsewhere. Visible from outside of the theme park were two large cranes working on the ride, with work focused on what appeared to be the removal of the latter portion of the layout.
The weekend after the end of the season, the theme park opened for the RunThrough Alton Towers event. It could be seen that fencing had gone up around Nemesis, denoting it as a construction site. Although the trains remained on-site, housed in the maintenance building, work appeared to begin on stripping them down, with the wheel covers and other fibreglass components discarded into a pile outside of the maintenance building.
Following the evening’s Fireworks spectacular, the Phalanx made an announcement that an investigation was underway into Nemesis’ abnormal behaviour. This saw Forbidden Valley overrun with Phalanx operatives and hazmats who had begun to conduct experiments with biohazardous material. Those who rode Nemesis in its final few hours were given ‘test specimen’ wristbands and interviewed by the Phalanx about their ride experience afterwards. In the preceding weeks, a ballot had been held to win a place on the very last ride. Therefore, the night ended with these 30 lucky ‘final test specimens’ riding alongside John Wardley, the ride’s creator, and John Burton, the Creative Lead for the refurbishment project.
The last day of the 2022 season brought with it the final time that Nemesis would operate in its original form. To mark this milestone in the ride’s history, we asked fellow enthusiasts ‘what Nemesis means to you?’ as part of a video published on the Attraction Source YouTube channel. We also organised a group photo at 4pm for everyone who wished to join which achieved an incredible turnout!
On 21st September 2022, Alton Towers announced on their social media channels and website that Nemesis would close “By Order of the Phalanx” at the end of the main theme park season on 6th November 2022. Alongside the announcement, a series of posters appeared all throughout the theme park, including outside the ride itself. Although not noted in these announcements, the accompanying press release confirmed that Nemesis would return in 2024, following the refurbishment works.
With Nemesis getting ever closer to its 30th birthday, the whispers and rumours around a possible retrack had begun to circulate, although such plans were only officially confirmed when an application was submitted by the Resort in early 2022. These showed that the vast majority of the track and supports would be replaced as part of the planned work, with the main exceptions being the infrastructure for the brake run, station and lift hill, since these areas had understandably not been exposed to the same stresses as the rest of the layout over the ride’s lifetime.