Published: 12:00, 17 October 2016
Repairs to Dreamland’s most iconic attraction have come off the rails.
The Scenic Railway was closed at the end of July and has been undergoing testing for two months.
But the equipment supplied has not passed the tests and the rollercoaster is facing another downhill turn.
Dreamland spokesman Penny Shorricks said: “Dreamland’s Scenic Railway is out of action despite best efforts by the operators of Dreamland, WGH the providers of the ride, and site owners Thanet District Council.
“Unfortunately the new lift hill rope supplied and spliced in September has not passed the testing phase.
“A bespoke rope is now on order and will be spliced by a preferred supplier, who was not available in September.
“Due to the listed nature of the ride, the work is specialised and requires highly-skilled workmen who have not been readily available over the summer period.
“We thank guests for their patience and appreciate their disappointment that the ride has been out of action for longer than anticipated.
“However, we can reassure everyone the ride will be back up running once the right part is available and is fitted by the right supplier.”
The vintage ride has been plagued with problems since Dreamland reopened last summer.
It was not ready for the amusement park’s grand relaunch in June last year, and was finally up and running in October.
The delay then was due to finishing touches being made to the trains and the wooden structure.
Built in 1920, the Scenic Railway was Britain’s oldest surviving rollercoaster, and the project to bring back the ride had its twists and turns.
It fell into disrepair while the attraction was closed and in April 2008 a fire ravaged the structure. In December 2014, it blew down in freak high winds while it was being rebuilt.
And the failure to have the Scenic Railway open in time for the park’s relaunch was cited by administrators as having affected trading.
The company which runs the Margate attraction – and owes creditors £2.9 million – was allowed to continue trading throughout the summer and autumn as long as it paid off what it owed over a fixed period.