Runaway Train

All the work was carried out in the UK using the skills and services Amusement Technical.

Mellors Runaway Train, Saudi Arabia Winter Wonderland in Rijad

Mellors Group was awarded a five-year contract by the General Entertainment Authority in Saudi Arabia to organise and create the world’s largest touring entertainment event. The travelling fair is part of Prince Mohammed bin Salman's £46bn investment in the country's entertainment industry. Saudi Arabia Winter Wonderland operates from October to January in Rijad. Further events will then take place in Damman and Jeddah with these three events scheduled each year for the next five years – subject to Covid.

The contract has resulted in the "biggest touring event in the world", taking up an area of 200,000 square metres to accommodate 40,000 visitors. Mellors is responsible for getting rides on to 700 trailers and moving them up to 900 miles from city to city with 400 staff at each site.

Mellors sourced the largest touring rides in Europe and commissioned mobile roller coasters to create the entertainment park. One of the main attractions is the Runaway Train. At 80m by 35m, the Runaway Train is a high capacity, powered roller coaster.

The ride was originally a permanent theme park attraction at the American Adventure and was initially converted into a fully mobile attraction for Dubai Global Village, where it operated for three seasons. 

When Mellors made the decision to relocate the Runaway Train to Saudia Arabia, it became subject to TUV standards and certification. This involved the strict adoption of the EN 13814 standard. Amusement Technical, as Mellors’ encumbent technical services and engineering partner, was commissioned to inspect the ride and create a list of remediations to meet the standard. The scope of works was to be delivered as a turnkey solution. 

All the work was carried out in the UK using the skills and services Amusement Technical.

Key elements of the project included: 

  • The ride car bodies looked tired following years of high capacity operation. As such Amusement Technical manufactured a completely new set of nine car (34 seats) in GRP which were subsequently painted.
  • The motors were replaced in each car and the gearboxes were rebuilt. This included a revised and unique belt drive arrangement to provide enhanced reliability. 
  • Amusement Technical completed a rebuild of the entire ride chassis
  • Lap bar monitoring was installed so that the operator now has an easy visualisation of lap bar status in support of mandatory manual checks.
  • Lap bar restraints were converted from antiquated single position bars that covered both passengers to individual bars. These are continuously adjustable operating on a hydraulic locking mechanism. This is a safer and more robust, low maintenance solution.
  • A new control system was designed and fitted by Amusement Technical. This consists of a compliant PLC control and touch screen display providing operating and diagnostic information as well as remote diagnostics via the Amusement Technical cloud server. 
  • The ride is monitored by Amusement Technical with the ability for software modifications to be made remotely.


The Runaway Train, the largest mobile ride ever built in the United Kingdom has proven to consistently be a top three favourite at Winter Wonderland. Its performance to date has seen 100% uptime.

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