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 Post subject: Rails toTrails in miniature
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
Posts: 705
Gillette's Castle State Park has converted the grade of the builder's miniature railroad to a trail. the park has salvaged two of the original locomotives.

https://abandonedwonders.com/2017/09/11 ... -railroad/

https://connecticuthistory.org/video-wi ... -railroad/

https://www.bing.com/images/search?view ... ajaxhist=0


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 Post subject: Re: Rails toTrails in miniature
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:11 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2525
Rumor has it that the same thing will soon happen to the portion of the Portland Zoo railroad that runs to the rose gardens.


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 Post subject: Re: Rails toTrails in miniature
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:22 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
Posts: 705
In 1927, Fox Movietone News traveled to Hadlyme, Connecticut to film a unique miniature railroad. The Seventh Sister Shortline RR was designed by and built for the famous stage actor William H. Gillette. Located on his 184 acre estate, it was a 3.2 mile loop of 18-inch gauge track, with trestles, a swing bridge,a tunnel, and several wooden and stone bridges. Mr. Gillette also designed and had built locally two locomotives, one steam-powered, the other battery-powered, as well as several small passenger cars. William Gillette died in 1937, and the railroad was sold in 1943 to Lake Compounce Amusement Park in Bristol, CT. There, the power units were removed and well-muffled Dodge automobile engines were substituted. By 1997 they were worn out and Lake Compounce donated the trains back to the State of Connecticut for static display at the park. Enter the Friends of Gillette Castle State Park, who raised $10,000 to facilitate a restoration of the electric locomotive, now on display at the visitor center.


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 Post subject: Re: Rails toTrails in miniature
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:22 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:34 pm
Posts: 674
1st time visitor there a couple weeks ago. Quite a unique place to say the least. Mr W. Gillette must of been one heck of a character and fascinating person to know. Saw the restored battery loco do not recall if both locos were displayed or not. Sensory overload I guess. Saw some of the grade and thought what a shame as that must of been a hell of a fun ride. Could see certain sections of ROW and a bridge placement made it look down right exciting to have ridden on. My guess is the state would not want the liability or to come up with the money to rebuild the rail road. CT like Ill, CA and a few other states sound like they are broke. Too bad as it would be the biggest attraction and really a crowd pleaser from my perspective. Hopefully I am wrong and there are plans to rebuild it? I am not expert on the place just a recent visitor. Sure is a lot to see out there.

Regards, John.


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 Post subject: Re: Rails toTrails in miniature
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3342
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
John Risley wrote:
1st time visitor there a couple weeks ago. Quite a unique place to say the least. Mr W. Gillette must of been one heck of a character and fascinating person to know. Saw the restored battery loco do not recall if both locos were displayed or not. Sensory overload I guess. Saw some of the grade and thought what a shame as that must of been a hell of a fun ride. Could see certain sections of ROW and a bridge placement made it look down right exciting to have ridden on. My guess is the state would not want the liability or to come up with the money to rebuild the rail road. CT like Ill, CA and a few other states sound like they are broke. Too bad as it would be the biggest attraction and really a crowd pleaser from my perspective. Hopefully I am wrong and there are plans to rebuild it? I am not expert on the place just a recent visitor. Sure is a lot to see out there.

Regards, John.


Mr. Gillette had this interesting quote about his estate in his will, in which the railroad was pretty prominent in his thoughts.

Quote:
I would consider it more than unfortunate for me – should I find myself doomed, after death, to a continued consciousness of the behavior of mankind on this planet – to discover that the stone walls and towers and fireplaces of my home – founded at every point on the solid rock of Connecticut; – that my railway line with its bridges, trestles, tunnels through solid rock, and stone culverts and underpasses, all built in every particular for permanence (so far as there is such a thing); – that my locomotives and cars, constructed on the safest and most efficient mechanical principles; – that these, and many other things of a like nature, should reveal themselves to me as in the possession of some blithering saphead who had no conception of where he is or with what surrounded


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Gillette#Inventor


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 Post subject: Re: Rails toTrails in miniature
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:57 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3342
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
I look at who some of his guests were over the years (including some who enjoyed the railroad), and I am pleasantly and amusingly reminded of Monty Woolley's character in "The Man Who Came To Dinner," who apparently knew just everybody!

I wonder if Woolley drew upon Gillette for the performance?

Or Woolley may have drawn from himself--which I understand was plenty!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gillette_ ... State_Park

Quote:
According to Bennett Cerf in his 1944 book Try and Stop Me, Woolley was at a dinner party and suddenly belched. A woman sitting nearby glared at him; he glared back and said, "And what did you expect, my good woman? Chimes?" Cerf wrote, "Woolley was so pleased with this line that he insisted it be written into his next role in Hollywood.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Woolley


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 Post subject: Re: Rails toTrails in miniature
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:02 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3342
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Shades of the Adirondack Scenic, Catskill Mountain, and others:

https://www.kark.com/news/state-news/qu ... 1187780573

https://5newsonline.com/2018/06/27/afte ... tate-park/


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 Post subject: Re: Rails toTrails in miniature
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:28 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:34 pm
Posts: 674
Glad I read the second link. The first one made me want to vomit. Happy ending for once. Not that I care that much about miniature trains, but I do like when the powers that be reverse decisions in favor of trains and traditions instead of hype.


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 Post subject: Re: Rails toTrails in miniature
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:36 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 12:32 pm
Posts: 90
Location: Middletown, Pennsylvania
We have a "rail trail" here in Pennsylvania that was once a miniature railroad, the late great Mt. Gretna Narrow Gauge Railroad in Lebanon County. It ran about 2 miles from the Cornwall & Lebanon RR station through the resort town to the top of Governor Dick Mountain where it turned on a loop around an observation tower. That portion was abandoned in the late 1890's. It is now a popular hiking trail!

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