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Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?
http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=32198
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Author:  ted66 [ Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?

Folks,
I am a regular reader of this web site; I consider that rail preservation is my major interest in life.

I do feel that anything under 24" gauge is a park railroad. Some industrial railroads not withstanding.

This discussion does not answer what has value to different people. To me the preservation of common carrier equipment is more valuable than preserving park locomotives. Although there are park locomotives that are over 100 years old. we have several here in California. One of the Overfair (SF in 1915) locomotives is right in the middle of the lobby of California State Railroad Museum. They think it has historical value.

I follow the WW&F Railway Museum; am a life member, and those members, and there a lot of them think that preserving a narrow gauge common carrier is of value.

I will get off the soap box; except to say find an organization that you feel has value and give them money!

Ted Miles

Author:  LVRR2095 [ Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?

Under 24" is a Park Train?
What about the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch that ran armored trains in WW-2?
It is 15" gauge and not only serves tourists but acts as the local school bus.
Or the 15" Ravenglass and Eskdale which has not only carried passengers, but served industries as well.

Keith

Author:  JR May [ Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?

Having owned some park train equipment, the reaction you see from people who have heard that so and so piece has been preserved I find quite interesting. The Jenkinsons Beach Train which ran here in Point Pleasant, NJ is probably a good case in point. A lot of people have taken the time to express fond memories of it via a couple of local facebook pages. In truth I have come across more people with more fond memories of the Beach Train than that of any “common carrier.” Granted the Beach Train was 24” gauge, but was built by National Amusements so certainly a park train, which by the way,probably carried more passengers in a year than 90% of the tourist lines in the US today.

If you look at what is worth preserving only from your stand point, you will soon be out of business. Its not only what interests us in the preservation field, but also what interests our customer base and potentially our funding sources.

And one other minor point. I tend to enjoy British cars and one friend of ours years ago asked me point blank if offered a restored GTO or a Jaguar, which would I’d take. Without hesitation, I said the Jag. I am not sure he ever fully understood how I could feel that way. Bottom line is that we all have our areas of interest.

To each his own,
J.R. May

Author:  John T [ Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?

JR hit the nail on the head with "we all have our arias of interest". If it doesn't interest you why rag on those it does?

Author:  LVRR2095 [ Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?

JR May wrote:
Having owned some park train equipment, the reaction you see from people who have heard that so and so piece has been preserved

And one other minor point. I tend to enjoy British cars and one friend of ours years ago asked me point blank if offered a restored GTO or a Jaguar, which would I’d take. Without hesitation, I said the Jag. I am not sure he ever fully understood how I could feel that way. Bottom line is that we all have our areas of interest.

To each his own,
J.R. May


Depends on what year GTO and what model Jaguar was on offer. If it was a 72 XJ-6 or a 66 GTO....I'd take the Pontiac. Now if the choice was between a 1970 GTO and any XK-E then no hesitation in picking the Jag!]

Keith Taylor

Author:  Steve DeGaetano [ Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?

The article that rekindled this discussion after nearly a year was about the return of the Disneyland trains.

Whatever you think of their operation, in this country Disney operates, regularly, nine steam locomotives. One dates back to 1894; another to 1902. Only two of them were built specifically for a theme park, and those two were built in 1954/55, when steam still operated on some main lines in this country.

I doubt that Amtrak carries more daily passengers than the Disney trains.

To say that the Disney company is one of the best steam preservationists in this country may be an understatement.

Author:  John T [ Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?

As far as I can see the only difference between the Mount Tamalpais and Muir Woods Railway or the Mount Washington Cog Ry and a park train is size. They all were built to haul people for amusement and to make money. It doesn't get realer than that.

Author:  J3a-614 [ Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?

John T wrote:
As far as I can see the only difference between the Mount Tamalpais and Muir Woods Railway or the Mount Washington Cog Ry and a park train is size. They all were built to haul people for amusement and to make money. It doesn't get realer than that.


John's comment tickled my brain cells, and brought to mind another "real" amusement park line, the Fairmount Park Railway that ran entirely within Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pa. It's listed as the only trolley line to run entirely in a park.

As is often the case, it didn't make as much money as it should have, and it was abandoned in 1946, apparently still operating with much of its original equipment and facilities from 1897 or so.

http://friendsofphiladelphiatrolleys.or ... l-2016.pdf

Film footage, 1946:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwOLhY9TBRc|

A very nice map of Fairmount Park from 1938, which shows the trolley line.

https://www.philageohistory.org/rdic-im ... fm/WPA1938

Of course, what's being done now with it is to make it a trail.

https://myphillypark.org/what-we-do/cap ... n-project/

Author:  railfanmag [ Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?

Just stumbled upon this thread, and admittedly I didn't read all 11 pages. I have made my own definition about what's "real" and what isn't, and I acknowledge this is only my opinion and your mileage may vary. I drew my line in the sand (as it were) by whether the engineer rides in the cab or sits on the tender. In the cab is "real." On the tender is where I make the line for "live steam" and is thus more into the modeling end of things. Thus, Crown's larger engines are "real." I do plan to eventually run a feature on Crown in a future issue of Railfan & Railroad; our coverage of the Cedar Point & Lake Erie was very well received.

Author:  Bobharbison [ Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?

railfanmag wrote:
I drew my line in the sand (as it were) by whether the engineer rides in the cab or sits on the tender. In the cab is "real." On the tender is where I make the line for "live steam" and is thus more into the modeling end of things. Thus, Crown's larger engines are "real." I do plan to eventually run a feature on Crown in a future issue of Railfan & Railroad; our coverage of the Cedar Point & Lake Erie was very well received.


Interesting... One of the locomotives that started this discussion has managed to make the jump from "live steam" to "real" during its operating life.

Crown's Little Toot at Idlewild Park in Ligonier PA. Note the engineer rides on the tender.

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The same engine, (front loco is from Idlewild, they're both nearly identical) now at Remlinger Farms, with a new cab built by Bob Moe.

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The engineer is now fully enclosed in the cab. It would not be possible run the engine from the tender. We can easily fit two people in the cab, though admittedly it's a bit of a squeeze if you have a "fireman". (All controls except one injector are on the engineer's side, and even that is in easy reach.)

BTW, we're the only place I know of that routinely runs double headed Crowns. It happens weekends in fall during the "Harvest Festival". It's not for show, we need them both to pull the train up the hill. There could be someplace else that does, but I've not heard of one. Other parks like Busch Gardens run more than one simultaneously, but not double headers that I know of.

On a personal note. This is quite likely the first steam locomotive I ever rode behind. My family, including my great grandfather, took me on it when I was just a young boy visiting Idlewild and Storybook Forest. Back then it was nearly brand new. Now, over 1/2 century later, I've taken my son and then, when the time came, my two grandsons on it, meaning that a total of 6 generations of my family have ridden on this train at some point during its career.

Author:  Bobharbison [ Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?

A better view of the cab. This is on "Hank" rather than "Floyd", which is just ahead on the point, but they're essentially both identical. It's not huge, but cab is nicely done, well organized and certainly comes in handy on cold and wet days. Steve's met me, but if any of the rest of you have ever wondered what I look like, well now you know... (No refunds)

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Author:  John T [ Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?

Can anybody identify the builder of this steamer?

Photograph of 4-4-2 #2526? Lettered SBB&ORR
http://digitalcollections.lib.washingto ... 714/rec/40
http://www.seattlepi.com/local/seattle- ... 736802.php

Author:  J3a-614 [ Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?

Bobharbison wrote:
A better view of the cab. This is on "Hank" rather than "Floyd", which is just ahead on the point, but they're essentially both identical. It's not huge, but cab is nicely done, well organized and certainly comes in handy on cold and wet days. Steve's met me, but if any of the rest of you have ever wondered what I look like, well now you know... (No refunds)


Those cabs look beautiful, far better than what you would normally see in park service.

And I agree, it's nice for a cab--and the cars--to keep the weather off the crew and passengers! I wouldn't expect true all weather protection from a gale, but something to keep drizzle or light rain away would be great!

Author:  J3a-614 [ Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?

Ran into this video that suggests the 30-inch gauge Washington Park & Zoo is more like a real railroad than most. . .

What stands out in this series of video clips are what appear to be operating practices based on "real" railroading. Among them is the sight of the Zooliner (EMD Aerotrain replica) extinguishing its headlight as it enters a siding where another train is waiting, showing it is or is moving into the clear.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_2Q9MvMN58

Author:  John T [ Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?

All of the locomotives (except the steamer) on Portland's Washington Park Zoo RR started life as "real" industrial locomotives. Most from
Weyerhaeuser's Longview, WA mill. This is why the road is 30" gauge.

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