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 Post subject: Detroit Zoo Railway History
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:58 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
So, here is a park train I never knew about before. It has a pretty interesting fleet of Hiawatha inspired steam outline gassers. It looks like the motors have been replaced in modern times.

Question: Was the 1931 version steam?

Apologies for the out of scale photo link.

https://detroitzooblog.org/2016/07/13/on-the-right-track-detroit-zoo-trains-ride-high/

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Zoo Railway History
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:59 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
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They call them "steam trains" here.

http://www.uaw-chrysler.com/images/news/zootrain.html

But this photo certainly looks like steam outline internal combustion unless somebody has invented a very radical smokebox ventilation system. ;)

https://digitalcollections.detroitpubli ... a%3A140858


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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Zoo Railway History
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:36 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
Posts: 882
Here is the original Detroit Zoo loco:

https://digitalcollections.detroitpubli ... ora:140858
https://www.redbubble.com/people/paladi ... etroit-zoo

The loovered smokebox front indicates a gas engine inside. It looks like it is still there.

https://www.redbubble.com/people/paladi ... etroit-zoo
https://www.flickr.com/photos/trainsand ... 461123839/
http://www.waymarking.com/gallery/image ... bc0e8ef262


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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Zoo Railway History
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:22 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:42 am
Posts: 397
Location: Haslett, Michigan USA
As the grille badge indicates, the 1940s trains were originally bankrolled by Chrysler. Vague memories tell me the trains were fabricated by Chrysler with Dodge truck engines. (This was at the time when Chrysler was making lots of non-auto products, including Pullman bolster anchors made with auto universal joints--no stupid rubber donuts.)

The trains were always a feature of the Zoo, actually the Detroit Zoological Park. The Park is very large and the railroad saves a lot of walking for visiting families. As a kid in the 60s I remember seeing the steam-outline engine stashed in a fake tunnel.

Around 1990 the zoo was transferred from City of Detroit control to a non-profit society, and heavily recapitalized. For animal and garden fans, the place is pretty spiffy in the summer, and it's a good example of a huge, high-volume nonprofit. The trains were rebuilt (after a derailment) to the appearance in the photo. They may have been re-engined with V8s and automatic transmissions. The zoo is not actually in Detroit, and the "Coleman R. Young, Mayor" label was removed from the huge water tank to improve feelings.

Aarne Frobom
Waiting for the Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise


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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Zoo Railway History
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:56 pm
Posts: 85
Location: Roanoke, VA
Below, original gasoline powered "steam engine", photo circa 2002, showing the front grill.

Image

Quote:
The zoo is not actually in Detroit, and the "Coleman R. Young, Mayor" label was removed from the huge water tank to improve feelings.


I believe you were likely referring to the removal of the name: "Kwame M. Kilpatrick, Mayor", who served as Detroit's mayor from 2002-2008. Kilpatrick was convicted in Federal Court in 2013 of mail fraud, wire fraud & racketeering. He is currently serving a 28 year prison sentence.

Mayor Coleman A. Young served as Detroit's mayor from 1974-1994.

The stories of both mayors are discussed in Wikipedia.


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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Zoo Railway History
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:43 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
I am really surprised the 1931 locomotive is surviving in outdoor display. I would think it should be under cover.

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Zoo Railway History
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:32 am 

Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:05 pm
Posts: 41
softwerkslex wrote:
I am really surprised the 1931 locomotive is surviving in outdoor display. I would think it should be under cover.


My understanding is that the original 1931 locomotive was recently moved to a local mechanic/metal shop for restoration.


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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Zoo Railway History
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:50 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
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I notice that the vintage photos show locomotive #3000 and 3003, the preserved loco is #3003. In verious accounts there are refferences to "locomotives". This leads me to wonder if there were four locos in 1931? Plate on smokebox:
https://www.zoochat.com/community/media ... in.353262/


October 1949 article:
http://ibls.org/mediawiki/index.php?tit ... Locomotive


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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Zoo Railway History
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:16 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
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From further reading it looks like Chrisler gave one loco in 1948/49 and two more in 1958. The #3003 probibly remained in service until the second two arrived. It would be interesting to know what happened motivepowerwise between 1931 and 1958.


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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Zoo Railway History
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:26 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:01 pm
Posts: 116
According to the article linked in the 2nd post, "The replica steam locomotives and passenger cars carried 10 million passengers before becoming obsolete in 1948.
The next year, in 1949, Chrysler designed, built and donated a diesel-powered locomotive, the Walter P. Chrysler, adding two more diesel railroad engines in 1950 and 1951. The zoo’s new trains were modeled after the fast, aerodynamic Streamliners of that era. "

I can't vouch for the accuracy of that.


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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Zoo Railway History
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:44 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
From the satellite photo, it looks like Detroit Zoo Railroad has more complexity than your typical park train. Worth a visit.

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Zoo Railway History
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:04 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2601
R. Hahn wrote:
The next year, in 1949, Chrysler designed, built and donated a diesel-powered locomotive, the Walter P. Chrysler, adding two more diesel railroad engines in 1950 and 1951. The zoo’s new trains were modeled after the fast, aerodynamic Streamliners of that era. "


Pretty clear to me that whomever designed them was a fan of the Milwaukee Hiawatha locomotives.


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