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Rail Fanning and Preservation- Amusement and Theme Parks and Their Trains

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Rail Fanning and Preservation- Amusement and Theme Parks and Their Trains
Posted by samfp1943 on Saturday, September 10, 2022 8:40 PM

Saturday, 10 September 2022...Slow day, with a little rain, sporatically falling, and my over the fence neighbor has not run a train since early this morning...Boored, pretty well covers it ! Sigh

I got to 'surfing' around, and thnking aout a recent trip to Missouri's, 'Silver Dollar City'; They have a pretty extensive railroad equipment collection, and train rides.  I then found the following website:

Train Chasers.com   [linked here; https://www.trainchasers.com ]

In the past, at various times; I've chased UPRR's3985,844(8444)-re-numbered:844... Riden behind the L&N's 'General', around Memphis; SR's #4501 & a short ride on the "Best Friend of Charleston' when it was in Memphis for the 100th Anniversary fo the M&C Railroad station @ Memphis; D&S RR in Colo,. also, Trains @ Silver Dollar City(Mo.), and Dollywood(Tn.).

Most of that steam power has been reported on in TRAINS Magazine; at one time or another.

  The Amusement/Theme park railroads, and their equipment;not so much(?) ... Particularly, in the larger gauges (36"-24" and so on) sizes.          The section on Theme and Amusement park trains has a number of sites that have those sizes of equpment, or possibly larger.     As well scattered aout are any number of 'riding' trains in the smaller gauges, in zoo's, and amusement parks; not to forget to mention, the "live steamer's" that offer rides, in both public places, and back yards.

All in all,a pretty interesting read. Whistling

 

 

 


 

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Posted by Backshop on Sunday, September 11, 2022 7:36 AM

Personally, I don't consider amusement park trains as being "real".

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Sunday, September 11, 2022 9:54 AM

Backshop

Personally, I don't consider amusement park trains as being "real".

 
Yes
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by samfp1943 on Sunday, September 11, 2022 12:25 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

 Backshop

Personally, I don't consider amusement park trains as being "real".

 Yes
 

Both of you make some valid points.   But as 'rail-fans' and hobbiests' ';   I   Won't argue the point about the amusement park or zoo railroads; they come in all shapes and sizes. 

    Our hobby interest has to start at some age, and interest level.  Whether one starts with a career in the rail industry, or at the model or toy train level; the interest either builds, or dies out. Depending on the individual's circumstances ?

  Mine started with a Christmas train set (American Flyer passenger train, and a 4x8 board -1952-). Thru various other iterations of Lionel, and smaller hobbiest gauges.          As an adult, i was able to see some foreign railroading,and as my career in trucking lasted for 20+ years. I liked think olf myself as travlimg tourist, with a real interest in many things, and in particular, Trains, and railroading, while traveling around...

Now retired, and unable work on models, I use what is available to enjoy 'My Hobby".  Smile, Wink & Grin   

 

 


 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, September 11, 2022 1:34 PM

samfp1943
Both of you make some valid points.   But as 'rail-fans' and hobbiests' ';   I   Won't argue the point about the amusement park or zoo railroads; they come in all shapes and sizes.      Our hobby interest has to start at some age, and interest level. 

Well said Sam!  My rail interest most likely started after a ride on a live-steam railroad when I was a little boy.  It was at a now long-gone small amusement part in Fair Lawn NJ and the interest has come and gone over the years and then finally came back for keeps 30 years ago. 

Who knows how many kids both male and female will catch the "bug" from a simple train ride at a zoo or amusement park?  Quite a few I'd guess. And that's a good thing! 

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, September 11, 2022 5:33 PM

There are two broad classes of 'park train steam locomotives'.  One of them is the steam-outline propelled by a small gas or diesel motor -- these are novelty rides for children of all ages.  But there were also steam-powered engines, and these are at least as legitimate as comparable 'live steam' locomotives.

I freely confess this isn't much of a field of interest to me.

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Posted by Backshop on Sunday, September 11, 2022 6:50 PM

I got my interest in trains in three concurrent ways.  As a kid in the late 60's, my father would take us down to "the foot of the Boulevard" by the mailboat to watch Great Lakes freighters go by. I noticed after awhile that I was spending just as much time watching N&W locomotives at the nearby ferry yard as to the boats.  We lived on the west side of Detroit, and from my upstairs bedroom window had a clear view (except when there were leaves on the trees) of a PC industrial track.  Then, in 1970, we visited my aunt and uncle in New Brunswick, NJ.  It turned out that their house was only 4-5 houses from the NEC.  That solidified it for me!

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Posted by pennytrains on Sunday, September 11, 2022 7:06 PM

Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Knott's Berry Farm and Cedar Point come to mind as the biggest users of real narrow gauge live steam trains.  Cedar Point is above the others because the railroad was originally installed to transport coal from barges to Cedar Point's power station.  It also ferried guests from the steamship dock on the end of the peninsula to the amusement area in a time before automobiles.  The C. P. & L. E. is a passenger only railroad these days but it is also used to train college students about boiler mechanics.  These 4 parks are also known to swap power.  Most notably Cedar Point's "Maud L." became Disneyland's "Ward Kimball" when one of the Disney engines proved unable to handle the load.

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Sunday, September 11, 2022 8:03 PM

pennytrains

These 4 parks are also known to swap power.  Most notably Cedar Point's "Maud L." became Disneyland's "Ward Kimball" when one of the Disney engines proved unable to handle the load.

I remember riding behind the "Ward Kimball" circa 19 years ago and mentioning to the engine crew that I got meet Ward a few times in 1992 as well as seeing his house in Altadena. He was an interesting character.

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Posted by pennytrains on Monday, September 12, 2022 5:17 PM

Somewhere around here I have some photos of the C.P. & L.E. operation circa 1988-91.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, September 12, 2022 5:59 PM

pennytrains
Walt Disney World,

Myself and a good friend went to WDW back in 1975.  Needless to say we HAD to ride the live-steam railroad!  I don't remember the name of the engine that pulled us (It was beautiful!) but it was a fun ride.  MUCH more fun than "Space Mountain!"  Ick!

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Monday, September 12, 2022 10:08 PM

Wayne,

The first and only time I've been to WDW was 6 1/2 years ago. Went there with the family and an older couple, George and Judy, that we knew from church. One of the highlights for George and I was going on the tour of the shops for the WDW Railroad. Part of the tour involved watching the morning test of the safety valves - the fire was turned up to boost steam pressure, and the engineer logged the pressue when the pops opened.

The gal leading the tour mentioned that firing the locomotives was a bit tricky as they didn't want the pops going off around park visitors, but still maintaining an adequate pressure.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 7:41 AM

Erik_Mag
The gal leading the tour mentioned that firing the locomotives was a bit tricky as they didn't want the pops going off around park visitors, but still maintaining an adequate pressure.

Understandable.  I've been by a steam engine when the safety valve lifted and the roar can scare the hell out of people if they don't know what's going on.  

It's also a good illustration of the origin of the old saying "He's blowing his top!" 

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Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 10:45 AM

I've been in the workshop at Cedar Point about 3 years ago and like all the shops I've visited on heritage railways in the U.K, it's a grimy place but the people know where everything is and it's organised in its own way. It also has what seems to be a requirement, a lounge area with old ratty furniture, table and the essential refrigerator. Some may think that an amusement park railroad is just toy trains, but the CP is a working steam shop with all the machinery and knowledge that is required to maintain them. 

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Posted by groundeffects on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 5:22 PM

My grandpa (Howard Sr. From Pasadena) told me years ago that he knew Ward Kimball as well and also went to Ward's place to run trains.  After my grandpa died I was going through some of his pictures and found one with my grandparents along with Mr. Kimball.  The photo was taken in Arcadia at the park opposite Santa Anita racetrack.  I wished I had made a print of it so I could've got Mr. Kimball autograph before he passed on.

Jeff B.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 5:36 PM

As long as we're on the subject of amusement parks I have to ask:

Do roller coasters count as "Rare milage?"  Wink

They're steel wheels on rails after all.

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Posted by pennytrains on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 6:39 PM

Flintlock76

 

 
Erik_Mag
The gal leading the tour mentioned that firing the locomotives was a bit tricky as they didn't want the pops going off around park visitors, but still maintaining an adequate pressure.

 

Understandable.  I've been by a steam engine when the safety valve lifted and the roar can scare the hell out of people if they don't know what's going on.  

It's also a good illustration of the origin of the old saying "He's blowing his top!" 

 

Or when a Fort Wayne engineer decides to lay on the whistle while you're standing beside the 765!  (There's no emoji here for having the crap scared out of you!)

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Posted by pennytrains on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 6:42 PM

54light15

I've been in the workshop at Cedar Point about 3 years ago and like all the shops I've visited on heritage railways in the U.K, it's a grimy place but the people know where everything is and it's organised in its own way. It also has what seems to be a requirement, a lounge area with old ratty furniture, table and the essential refrigerator. Some may think that an amusement park railroad is just toy trains, but the CP is a working steam shop with all the machinery and knowledge that is required to maintain them. 

 

I remember seeing several locomotives brought in late at night on lowboys for restoration over the winter.  Next year they'd be broken in throughout the season. Most stayed, but one or two went elsewhere after rehab.

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Posted by pennytrains on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 6:46 PM

Flintlock76

As long as we're on the subject of amusement parks I have to ask:

Do roller coasters count as "Rare milage?"  Wink

They're steel wheels on rails after all.

 

Soitainly!  If you're a member of ACE, the American Coaster Enthusiasts.  Wink

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 10:44 PM

pennytrains

Or when a Fort Wayne engineer decides to lay on the whistle while you're standing beside the 765!  (There's no emoji here for having the crap scared out of you!)

A Gary Larson cartoon comes to mind: Two spiders ad the caption was something to the effect of "Hey Bob, did I scare you or what?".

Also reminds me of Ward Kimball dancing a jig when Ventura County #2 blew its whistle.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, September 14, 2022 6:25 AM

Flintlock76
As long as we're on the subject of amusement parks I have to ask:

Do roller coasters count as "Rare mileage?"

The problem is that even if you ride them more than once it isn't much mileage.

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Posted by pennytrains on Thursday, September 15, 2022 6:47 PM

Well, not nowadays.  In the past they used to let you stay on the cars and ride again at a lower rate.  Wink  Of course if you're like me and loved big coasters and happened to work at a park then you got to play crash test dummy and ride them while they were being tested!  Laugh  Like poling a train car, using employees to test roller coasters is illegal these days.  Smile, Wink & Grin

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, September 16, 2022 10:06 AM

I can remember that some of the coasters at Riverview (world's largest amusement park!) had a sign saying "Let's go again" and showed a lower rate.  Except for the "Flying Turns", I wasn't much of a coaster rider so I never paid up for a second ride.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, September 16, 2022 10:12 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH
I wasn't much of a coaster rider

Me neither.  Getting the hell scared out of me was never my idea of fun.  It still isn't.   

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, September 16, 2022 12:20 PM

I'm not too fond of those tubular upside-down-and-backward-in-the-dark coasters.  They are sort of like the 35,000 Scoville unit sauce of the ride world.

But strangely even the steepest of the Cyclone-style conventional coasters never really got me upset... because I thought of them as they were originally designed, a more thrilling version of elevated railroads.  Just with more gradients and sharper curve negotiation...

https://www.comicstriplibrary.org/display/957

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Posted by pennytrains on Friday, September 16, 2022 6:47 PM

Wood coasters.  Back seat.  Big Smile

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Friday, September 16, 2022 11:52 PM

The Cyclone at what used to be Belmont Park in San Diegois my favorite wood roller coaster for nostalgic reasons. First rode it in 1967 with my dad and siblings, last time was circa 2014 with my kids. I told my kids that more time had passed between the first time I rode it and when I rode it with them then had passed between when it was built in 1924/25 and my first time riding it.

RR conection: Belmont Park was one of the last "Electric Parks" built - it was intended to create traffic for the SDERy La Jolla line, which also carried a bit of freight.

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Posted by pennytrains on Saturday, September 17, 2022 6:19 PM

I've seen photos of Cedar Point's Cyclone.  It lived up to the name.  Although "Nightmare" would probably have been more fitting!  Tongue Tied

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, September 17, 2022 11:31 PM

pennytrains
I've seen photos of Cedar Point's Cyclone.  It lived up to the name.  Although "Nightmare" would probably have been more fitting!  Tongue Tied

Haven't been back to Cedar Point since the late 70's.  Wanted to get the entire family back there last year for a reunion, however, one of my brother-in-laws died unexpectedly.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, September 22, 2022 9:55 AM

I'd argue - since I'm old and argumentative - that a roller coaster wouldn't count as riding a train, since it's not self-powered. But riding an amusement park train with an engine of some type and cars would. Just think of it as very-narrow gauge!

Stix

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