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 Post subject: "Railroads" on private farms and ranches
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:27 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:31 pm
Posts: 15
Greetings all,

From the just curious department:

I was wondering if anyone is aware of any standard gauge railroads a private individual has built on their private property (e.g. ranch or farm)?

I have read about 2 foot gauge and smaller railroads, but I am wondering specifically about standard gauge collections.

I am aware of one gentleman in Alberta that has an extensive rolling stock collection and a couple thousand feet of track on his farm, and seems I read once about a private RR in Iowa however the gentleman has since passed away.

Anyone know if there are private collections out there? Is it common?

Apologies: I also posted this on the TRAINS magazine forum three weeks ago, but since there is a different crowd here I'd thought I'd ask here as well.


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 Post subject: Re: "Railroads" on private farms and ranches
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:44 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
Does the Age of Steam Roundhouse count? ;)
http://www.ageofsteamroundhouse.com

Back in the 1960's, Sloan Cornell built an entire tourist railroad on his farm in Blairsville, PA. Can you imagine doing that today?!? It was called the "Penn View Mountain Railway" and was the predecessor to his Gettysbury and later Knox and Kane operations.

The line is surprisingly difficult to find much info about or photos of on the web. I rode it as a young boy, and in fact the #8 that is now sectioned at Steamtown was the first standard gauge steam locomotive I ever rode behind.

Of course that operation is long gone, though a few traces of the roadbed apparently remain.


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 Post subject: Re: "Railroads" on private farms and ranches
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:02 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4996
Jason -

I might be wrong, but I believe that the Iron Horse Central is built on a privately owned farm up in Chisago City, Minnesota.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: "Railroads" on private farms and ranches
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:16 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:31 pm
Posts: 15
Les Beckman wrote:
Jason -

I might be wrong, but I believe that the Iron Horse Central is built on a privately owned farm up in Chisago City, Minnesota.

Les


Hi Les,

Yes...you are right. There are some great videos on youtube featuring their musuem. I hope to visit someday.

I guess I wasn't really thinking private museums open to the public, per se, but rather I was thinking more specifically a "private collection" that someone has accumulated on their property. It's hard to explain...so let me try. There is a farm near Okotoks, Alberta where an individual has about 2,000 feet of track including a siding and a few storage spurs. His 'collection' is not open to the public. He has a diesel locomotive (maybe 80 tonner?), an old CP coach, and numerous freight cars. It's really his private "trainset". Seeing his collection is what inspired me to ask the question.

I was wondering if anyone else has come accross a private collection where someone has the finances and land to have their own operation? Just curious.

-Jason


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 Post subject: Re: "Railroads" on private farms and ranches
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:46 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:31 pm
Posts: 15
EDIT: private two-foot gauge railways seem more common. I guess 2-foot gauge rolling stock is more portable than standard gauge equipment (obviously).


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 Post subject: Re: "Railroads" on private farms and ranches
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:06 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4996
JasonB wrote:
Les Beckman wrote:
Jason -

I might be wrong, but I believe that the Iron Horse Central is built on a privately owned farm up in Chisago City, Minnesota.

Les


Hi Les,

Yes...you are right. There are some great videos on youtube featuring their musuem. I hope to visit someday.

I guess I wasn't really thinking private museums open to the public, per se, but rather I was thinking more specifically a "private collection" that someone has accumulated on their property. It's hard to explain...so let me try. There is a farm near Okotoks, Alberta where an individual has about 2,000 feet of track including a siding and a few storage spurs. His 'collection' is not open to the public. He has a diesel locomotive (maybe 80 tonner?), an old CP coach, and numerous freight cars. It's really his private "trainset". Seeing his collection is what inspired me to ask the question.

I was wondering if anyone else has come accross a private collection where someone has the finances and land to have their own operation? Just curious.

-Jason


Jason -

Another one I had thought of was the Fort Madison, Farmington & Western in Iowa. The owner had an 0-4-0 steam tender locomotive, a "doodlebug" railcar and a CB&Q wood bodied waycar on the property and was open on rare occassions for the public to visit. The operation is now closed down and I am not sure what happened to the equipment that was there. But I see now what you had in mind. This is a little more difficult. I know of a few folks that have one, or maybe two, pieces of standard gauge equipment, but do not operate. And I think that you are looking for someone that can move their collection around with some type of railroad locomotive. I know of a gentleman who has a fairly large collection of cars (freight and passenger) on his farm, but no locomotive. So I will have to think a little bit more about this. Hopefully there are those who might know of some folks that meet your requirements.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: "Railroads" on private farms and ranches
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:12 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:31 pm
Posts: 15
Les Beckman wrote:
JasonB wrote:
Les Beckman wrote:
Jason -

I might be wrong, but I believe that the Iron Horse Central is built on a privately owned farm up in Chisago City, Minnesota.

Les


Hi Les,

Yes...you are right. There are some great videos on youtube featuring their musuem. I hope to visit someday.

I guess I wasn't really thinking private museums open to the public, per se, but rather I was thinking more specifically a "private collection" that someone has accumulated on their property. It's hard to explain...so let me try. There is a farm near Okotoks, Alberta where an individual has about 2,000 feet of track including a siding and a few storage spurs. His 'collection' is not open to the public. He has a diesel locomotive (maybe 80 tonner?), an old CP coach, and numerous freight cars. It's really his private "trainset". Seeing his collection is what inspired me to ask the question.

I was wondering if anyone else has come accross a private collection where someone has the finances and land to have their own operation? Just curious.

-Jason


Jason -

Another one I had thought of was the Fort Madison, Farmington & Western in Iowa. The owner had an 0-4-0 steam tender locomotive, a "doodlebug" railcar and a CB&Q wood bodied waycar on the property and was open on rare occassions for the public to visit. The operation is now closed down and I am not sure what happened to the equipment that was there. But I see now what you had in mind. This is a little more difficult. I know of a few folks that have one, or maybe two, pieces of standard gauge equipment, but do not operate. And I think that you are looking for someone that can move their collection around with some type of railroad locomotive. I know of a gentleman who has a fairly large collection of cars (freight and passenger) on his farm, but no locomotive. So I will have to think a little bit more about this. Hopefully there are those who might know of some folks that meet your requirements.

Les


Thanks Les. To be honest, I'm just looking into the feasability of owning and restoring a classic locomotive. I'm just curious as to how many other collections there are out there like what I mentioned because I can't think of any other solution for storage and operation.

-Jason


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 Post subject: Re: "Railroads" on private farms and ranches
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:57 pm 

Joined: Mon May 22, 2006 7:42 pm
Posts: 147
Location: Newark, Delaware
Geigertown Central, located somewhat near Birdsboro and Reading, PA, is another private collection. It's been a few years since I last saw it, and I believe the owner David Shirey passed away. It's smack in the middle of a cornfield.

Tom


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 Post subject: Re: "Railroads" on private farms and ranches
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:32 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 3:25 am
Posts: 1025
Probably one of the best known private railroads was Ward Kimball's Grizzly Flats RR. It was 3-foot gauge rather than standard, and its motive power as far back as the 1960's was a Hawaiian plantation saddletanker, but it did run on special occasions at his home in San Gabriel CA. Mr. Kimball wanted to be sure his collection would carry on after his passing, so he placed it at Orange Empire, and provided an engine house for it. I mention this, because many years ago my wife and I were looking for a house that would be big enough for all our stuff. I was working odd shifts at the time, when I came home one Sunday afternoon, she told me, "I think I found the house we've been looking for, but I went down to the end of the street and looked through the fence. There was a railroad yard! And I said, "You found Wardkimballand!" and explained the Grizzly Flats saga. For years afterward, the sound of a whistle echoing across the neighborhood would tell us that steam was alive and running just a block from home.

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Bob Davis
Southern California


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 Post subject: Re: "Railroads" on private farms and ranches
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:54 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 10:57 pm
Posts: 247
Location: Birmingham, AL
I believe the 3 ft gauge steam train from the defunct Petticoat Junction Amusement Park in Panama City, FL is at a private estate in Warrior, AL. Can't remember the name of the owner.
I know at least one of the locos runs, but it is not open to the public.
Bill


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 Post subject: Re: "Railroads" on private farms and ranches
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:17 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2332
Kendall Farm, East Barnet, VT

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The long memory is the most radical idea in this country. It is the loss of that long memory which deprives our people of that connective flow of thoughts and events that clarifies our vision, not of where we're going, but where we want to go. B. Phillips


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 Post subject: Re: "Railroads" on private farms and ranches
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:48 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2447
Location: S.F. Bay Area
I believe there's one in the Sierra foothills of California, basically about a mile long loop. The speeder people have had meets there. I dont' recall the name.


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 Post subject: Re: "Railroads" on private farms and ranches
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:09 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:40 pm
Posts: 22
How about this guy?

http://www.youtube.com/user/Lutherkb#p/f/1/oKUCJasMG8o


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 Post subject: Re: "Railroads" on private farms and ranches
PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:43 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:31 pm
Posts: 15
robertjohndavis wrote:
Kendall Farm, East Barnet, VT


Found this one on GoogleEarth. Thanks.

Looks like private RRs aren't very common, but there are a few out there.

Anyone else know of any?


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 Post subject: Re: "Railroads" on private farms and ranches
PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:52 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:54 am
Posts: 789
Location: Califoothills / Midwest Prairies
A small collection outside Maxwell CA can be seen in google streetview at the intersection of Maxwell Sites Road and Mills Orchard Rd. Sites and the canyon to the east of it have some interesting surviving grades of the Colusa and Lake narrow gauge railroad.


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