Trains.com

1964 Worlds Fair

1556 views
19 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    January 2014
  • 217 posts
1964 Worlds Fair
Posted by thesiding on Friday, August 20, 2021 11:50 AM

Recently found a documentary about the 1964 Worlds Fair                "After The Fair"  In addition to the memories home movies etc there were still photos            One pic  advertised      The Worlds Largest Model Railroad .        A small pavilion with the admission price of fifty cents.   I was born AFTER the fair but know and met many who WERE there Does anyone remember it?   The pic is about twenty minutes into the documantary which also shows the Long Island Railroad Ride on train now at Riverhead rail museum

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • 6,996 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Friday, August 20, 2021 3:24 PM

I went to the Fair.  For whatever reason, I didn't see a train layout.  And I would have, if I'd known about it.

I saw the Long Island Railroad display, and was underawed.

At the GM pavillion, there was a GP35 (IIRC) out back in orange and white.  Inside the building they had a cutaway prime mover.

Not any other railroad presence that I recall.

The classiest pavillion was the Spanish.  They had great food, too.

It was, indeed, fun.

 

Ed

  • Member since
    June 2013
  • 225 posts
Posted by smokey1 on Friday, August 20, 2021 5:42 PM

I was 9 when we went in 1964 and I do not remember any train layout. I would of remembered

  • Member since
    July 2020
  • 552 posts
Posted by pennytrains on Friday, August 20, 2021 6:39 PM

There was a model of the fair itself that measured 54 by 21 feet at the American Express pavilion: http://www.nywf64.com/amex01.shtml

There was a small layout in the Japan Pavillion: http://www.nywf64.com/amex01.shtml

From the official guide:

JAPAN

"Rockets for space research, model trains and tea ceremonies, and an array of consumer products are part of a presentation which emphasizes the differences between the new Japan and the old."

and:

"Symbols of industry include a replica of the world's largest tanker, the Nissho Maru (132,200 tons), and a scale model of the world's fastest express train (160 miles per hour). An elaborate miniature railroad system emphasizes Japan's railroading skills."

http://www.nywf64.com/japan02.shtml

Scroll down on this page to see it on the diagram of the pavilion (in red): http://www.nywf64.com/japan12.shtml

And in blue from the 1965 brochure: http://www.nywf64.com/japan13.shtml

(Also see #30 on that page for descriptions of the trains being operated.)

In case you hadn't guessed, this is THE site: http://www.nywf64.com/index.html

But what you're probably referring to was at the "Better Living Center": http://www.nywf64.com/betliv01.shtml

From the guide: "MODEL RAILROAD. The rolling stock includes 400 locomotives and 600 cars. Paris, Vienna and other cities around the world are along the right-of-way, as well as representations of Mars and a City of the Future. There is a 30-minute commentary."

And here's a Photo! https://www.worldsfairphotos.com/nywf64/blc.htm

It was called "SPECTRACKULAR".  Scroll down to just above the blue box and click on World's Greatest Spectrackular News to see and download a pdf "news paper" with the whole story!

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

  • Member since
    January 2014
  • 217 posts
Posted by thesiding on Friday, August 20, 2021 6:45 PM

The documentary is onyou tube As I stated the picture of the front it's about twenty minuies in or so

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • 6,996 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Friday, August 20, 2021 7:20 PM

I will speculate that all the exhibits at the Fair were not available ALL the time.

Some exhibits were not patronized very much (Long Island being one of them).  If you have to pay staff to keep an exhibit open, and few people are paying admittance, then.......

 

Ed

  • Member since
    January 2002
  • 4,324 posts
Posted by M636C on Saturday, August 21, 2021 6:16 AM

Having checked out the first layout photo in the the "newspaper" linked above, most of the trains visible are British "Triang" OO scale, including a "Blue Pullman" and a "Princess" class locomotive with locomotive hauled Pullman cars. Next to the Blue Pullman is a set of German "Rail Buses", possibly Fleischmann HO models since the track is two rail.

I used to think that this mixing of prototypes from different countries was non prototypical and to be avoided.

However, in 1994 I was visiting Norway, and travelled by train from Oslo to Bergen (well actually to Myrdal, where I took the Flam line and caught a catamaran ferry the rest of the way to Bergen.)

The train was made up of the latest air conditioned passenger cars, but was hauled by a Swiss class 460, possibly loaned for demonstration, and we passed the opposite express hauled by a Swedish class Rc5, leased for the extra traffic expected for that year's winter Olympics. On the Flam line, our NSB electric multiple unit passed a Swedish unit working the opposing service.

I'm not so concerned about mixed prototypes now. I even saw the original EMD G8 prototype 7707, painted in its original demonstrator colours switching at the NSB workshops in Oslo.

Peter

  • Member since
    April 2014
  • 116 posts
Posted by dlagrua on Saturday, August 21, 2021 9:35 AM

I was too young to remember the 1964 NY Worlds fair but from doing research the 1934 Worlds fair had a building called Railroads on Paraade and the layout was quite large. Back in the day the railroads were a key part of our manufacturing and shipping base. Nearly everyone traveled long distance by train. By the 1960's things were beginning to radically change and today there are only 5 large cross country railroads and only one national passenger network left Today trains carry Intermodal freight, oil/chemicals and some grain. The days of shipping freight into the smaller towns are over and many model railroads are based on that.

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • 6,996 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, August 21, 2021 3:12 PM

Here's a picture of the GP35.  It was out back, behind the building:

 

 

Here's the Long Island Railroad's prototype offering:

 

 

Here's a link to the Long Island exhibit:

http://www.worldsfairphotos.com/nywf64/lirr.htm

 

I see a note that there was a 1' x 50' HO layout.  I don't think we need to discuss minimum radius.  It was not memorable.

The Alco cab was disappointing.  Where's the power and majesty of a locomotive?  It's just a place to get your picture taken.

 

Notably missing was the AAR.  Penn Central being just 4 years away, "now isn't a good time."  I guess.

 

Ed

  • Member since
    September 2010
  • 34 posts
Posted by bobhwalker on Saturday, August 21, 2021 4:50 PM

The 1964 World' Fair was the proving ground for my company's (Motorola) very first VHF citiwide paging system. We supplied 100 units which were used by Fair personnel. The test was a complete success.

 

  • Member since
    February 2014
  • 178 posts
Posted by Leverettrailfan on Sunday, August 22, 2021 12:52 AM

dlagrua

I was too young to remember the 1964 NY Worlds fair but from doing research the 1934 Worlds fair had a building called Railroads on Paraade and the layout was quite large.  



I believe that the 1934 layout was done in O gauge- and that it was intended to be miniature portrayal of prototypical operations- as if you were watching a real railroad, hard at work, rather than a few trains running endlessly in their respective loops. This 1964 layout seems like it was significanlty less well advertised, strange considering how massive an operation it sounds like it supposedly was. I remember visiting a museum on Cape Cod which had on display a few trains that iirc, they claimed were some of the original equipment used on the 1934 world's fair layout. Some of them looked like slightly modified Lionel prewar scale cars, so either my memory is wrong or they weren't actually from the layout- far as I know the Lionel scale/semi-scale stuff didn't come until the late '30s or early '40s.

"Unless bought from a known and trusted dealer who can vouch otherwise, assume every train for sale requires servicing before use"

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Media, PA
  • 599 posts
Posted by Joe Hohmann on Sunday, August 22, 2021 9:53 AM
The only thing I recall about that fair was the introduction of the Ford Mustang. I was 22 at the time.
  • Member since
    July 2020
  • 552 posts
Posted by pennytrains on Sunday, August 22, 2021 5:16 PM

https://www.1939nyworldsfair.com/worlds_fair/wf_tour/zone-6/Railroads_on_Parade.htm

https://www.1939nyworldsfair.com/worlds_fair/wf_tour/zone-6/railroads.htm

https://www.1939nyworldsfair.com/worlds_fair/wf_tour/zone-6/railroads_at_work.htm

"A diorama 160-feet wide and 40-feet deep contained miniature railroads with more than 500 rolling stock in all. The trains traveled through cities, towns, and villages, across bridges, through tunnels, and past farms and factories. The display consisted of more than 3,800 feet of "O" gauge track, 1,000 miniature buildings, 6,000 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, and 300,000 feet of wire for the control system."

https://www.1939nyworldsfair.com/worlds_fair/wf_tour/zone-6/trains_of_the_day_1.htm

https://www.1939nyworldsfair.com/index.htm

 

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

  • Member since
    July 2020
  • 552 posts
Posted by pennytrains on Sunday, August 22, 2021 5:26 PM

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • 6,996 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, August 29, 2021 4:06 PM

I found this old photo from my family's visit to the Fair.  That's me up on the deck, studying the air compressor.

 

 

Ed

  • Member since
    January 2002
  • 4,324 posts
Posted by M636C on Monday, August 30, 2021 11:31 PM

7j43k

I found this old photo from my family's visit to the Fair.  That's me up on the deck, studying the air compressor.

 

 

Ed

 

 

I seem to recall that for at least part of the time in 1964, EMD also displayed a Seaboard E4 that had been displayed at the 1939 and/or 1940 World's Fair. It was traded in at the appropriate time, so was displayed, then moved to La Grange and scrapped, sadly.

Peter

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • 6,996 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 10:41 AM

M636C

 

I seem to recall that for at least part of the time in 1964, EMD also displayed a Seaboard E4 that had been displayed at the 1939 and/or 1940 World's Fair. It was traded in at the appropriate time, so was displayed, then moved to La Grange and scrapped, sadly.

Peter

 

 

Retirements of the Seaboard E4A's started in August of 1964.

That's when the GP35 photo was taken.  So the E4A would have had to have been delivered after that.  Considering that it would have been gutted and fully repainted, it surely wouldn't have gotten there much before the end of the year.

I have very strong doubts that such a thing happened.  A photo would certainly be convincing proof.

 

Here's a discussion from a different sub-forum:

 

http://cs.trains.com/ctr/f/3/t/274233.aspx

 

I found no one favoring the idea in the first of the four pages of discussion.  The forum is being exceptionally slow today, so I stopped there.

 

Ed

 

 

 

  • Member since
    July 2020
  • 552 posts
Posted by pennytrains on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 5:50 PM

Map of exhibit space: http://www.nywf64.com/gm11.shtml

Unfortunately this one's from the wrong side of the building: http://www.nywf64.com/Image/fair_air/aerial05.jpg

The official map appears to show only the GP-35: http://www.nywf64.com/maps05.shtml

 

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

  • Member since
    January 2014
  • 217 posts
Posted by thesiding on Sunday, September 5, 2021 1:38 PM

After some questioning  I was told the 1964 "layout" was near the NY pavilion    It was HO 

 

 

  • Member since
    January 2014
  • 217 posts
Posted by thesiding on Sunday, September 5, 2021 1:59 PM

I pose a     What If?                          What if the layout was the 1957 Super O one?   (I know it's been lost to time)

 

 

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Get the Classic Toy Trains newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month