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 Post subject: Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:38 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 909
Hi,

The use of the term "REAL" is where the confusion comes in. Everyone had a more or less different definition of what is real.

Using the term "REAL" needs to be defined by the originator of the question so that everyone will be more or less on the same page.

Oddly enough, if you definition of "REAL" as flanged wheels riding on two rails guiding a string of cars along the rails, even N scale is REAL!!!

Doug vV


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 Post subject: Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:27 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2423
Dougvv wrote:
Using the term "REAL" needs to be defined by the originator of the question so that everyone will be more or less on the same page.


The original question, asked nearly 5 years ago, was explained in a bit more detail in the first post.

Quote:
My question is this: If this 2' gauge railroad had "real" locomotives, for example, Baldwins or Alcos, and ran doubleheaders hauling beets or sugar cane during harvest season, people would come from everywhere to take photos.

But for some reason, because the engines were built to haul people in an amusement park, they're not "real" and nobody cares. Can anyone explain that to me?


Basically, why is a two foot 4-4-0 seen as a toy simply because it says "Crown" instead of "Baldwin" on the builder's plate? I'm not talking about steam outline, but an authentic steam locomotive, originally a coal burner, which really isn't that different from other narrow gauge locos of the past. But somehow, when you couple it onto a cut of coaches rather than say beet gons, it's dismissed as not worth paying any attention to. For me, steam is steam, I like them all.

However, most fans don't feel that way. Of all the days I've spent at the park running the train (which isn't a huge amount), located just a few minutes from Seattle, and even closer to a nearby railroad museum, I have very rarely seen a railfan. The general public is quite fascinated with the trains, and most are impressed when told that it is indeed a real working steam locomotive. They then pose their kids with the "Conductor", actually the Engineer, I blame Thomas for that one, and take a few shots before heading off to the pony rides or whatever. I can think of maybe two or three times that I know of when a railfan visited to photograph the trains.

It's not just this railroad either. Search Railpictures.net for Disneyland and Cedar Point, both of which run arguably "real" locomotives, on lines that serve a true transportation function, and that get just a few (million) more visitors per year and you find only a handful of shots of either one. Aside from the admittedly steep admission price, these are some of the easiest steam operations in the world to photograph, they run trains like streetcars, and taking photos is not only permitted, it's encouraged, with plenty of easy access to great shots.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:49 pm 

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:30 pm
Posts: 591
Location: Bucks County, PA
So then - if steamlocomotive.com lists them on their website of engines - even the Crown Metal ones - even if they burn propane - then they must be "real", right? Otherwise why would a website named "steamlocomotive.com" include them?

http://www.steamlocomotive.com/lists/se ... (Elizabeth)&country=USA

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 Post subject: Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:26 pm
Posts: 44
I would simply go by what the equipment was originally built for. Be it Colorado narrow gage engines at Knox Berry Farm or 3 foot gage Crown Metal engines at an amusement park. There will always be overlap. The real question is what government agency will regulate each one.

Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:07 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3012
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Who would have imagined this thread would go on so long, and take on new life recently?

Well, it's still been fun. . .

A slight new direction. . .We've talked a lot about what makes a park railroad "real' or not.

How would we make it look or feel more real than it is?

A start might be a change in painting for some of the equipment. I'm thinking in particular of repainting Crown steam engines and their associated cars into what might be more authentic colors and patterns. This would be one of the cheapest and easiest things to do, and as has been shown in these pages, would not necessarily limit colors to black and Southern green.

Still speaking of Crown steamers, in some cases you could rebuild cabs and tenders into something better, including cabs that would help keep the weather off the engineers in the case of the smaller engines. This would be more involved than paint, obviously, but the Remlinger Farm Crown engines show how it might be done.

In some cases, a proper and authentic station facility would add considerably to the "feel." It obviously wouldn't be too large, but it still might look better and add to the experience.

Finally, if you have the opportunity to be really ambitious, consider a better looking shop facility that isn't just a tunnel with doors. It could have the advantage of being a place that would make working on engines and cars a much easier job than it might currently be, and if it were a small steam shop, could be an attraction in itself.

Now, if you can talk the park management into spending the money. . .well, if you can do that, you may want to consider using your natural sales talent to go into something that pays better!


Last edited by J3a-614 on Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:27 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
Posts: 1791
Quote:
It's not just this railroad either. Search Railpictures.net for Disneyland and Cedar Point, both of which run arguably "real" locomotives, on lines that serve a true transportation function, and that get just a few (million) more visitors per year and you find only a handful of shots of either one. Aside from the admittedly steep admission price, these are some of the easiest steam operations in the world to photograph, they run trains like streetcars, and taking photos is not only permitted, it's encouraged, with plenty of easy access to great shots.


Lol. Guilty as charged. I was at Cedar Point last week with our teenage grandkids. We walked past the train several times on our way to the next thrill coaster but never managed to ride the train or stop long enough to get a picture. Meanwhile the kids were interested in chasing Pokemon and Pokemon Stops and...oh, wait that is another thread!

Wesley


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 Post subject: Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:44 am 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1209
There are a lot of factors that might explain why various people regard as real, or “respect” certain locomotives and rail operations while dismissing others. It seems to me that the most common criteria by far are size and modernity. In the realm of steam locomotives, it is the latest and greatest, largest and most powerful locomotives that attract the vast majority of enthusiasts.

The reason why so few are interested in Crown 4-4-0s is that they are 4-4-0s. As such, they symbolize the smallest, oldest, and least powerful locomotives. The 4-4-0 ruled the 1860-1900 period, which may explain a corresponding lack of respect for that “pioneering era” in general. Polls show that the pre-1900 era attracts the interest of only a couple percent of the railroad enthusiasts.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
Yet Jupiter and 119 are of great interest to the general public thanks to their appearance alone, and would achieve much more today had the UP and CP had the foresight to drive the golden spike in Salt Lake City instead of out in nowhere........

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 Post subject: Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:30 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:14 am
Posts: 170
I have to chuckle while reading through these posts. Most everybody is making good points and has their own opinion, with reasons to back it up.

It is definitely at matter of personal preference and interpretation. Personally, I like many park engines. I think Cedar point has the most attractive and we'll balanced looking engines I have ever seen. Just enough color to make it fun, just enough varnished wood and polished brass to keep it classy, and just enough black to keep it real. Don't get me wrong. Disney engines are great machines, they just look like dressed up main line power, where CP&LE engines have that "Porter" charm that only a plantation engine can.

On the other end of the spectrum, the organization that I am involved with operates real, standard gauge, passenger & freight hauling trains. We know they are real (I am reminded every 92 days and when I have to buy parts) but we still refer to the class 1s and shortlines we interchange with as the "real railroads". For me, I guess, it comes to experience and devoted time. Yes I have an engineers licence and repair antique outdated locomotives, but I don't do it for pay on a regular basis. It is a hobby for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 467
Location: Wall, NJ
As you discuss the various paint schemes and why 4-4-0s are not popular with photographers, you have to keep in mind the target audience of a train operating in a park. Its not rail enthusiasts, rail photographers, railfans, etc. Its what I used to call the “Volvo crowd.” Its families, its kids, its park customers with cash to spend. Wild paint schemes seem to work in such a market. 99.999% of the customers don’t care what pulls the train in a park just like 99.999% of the passengers on Amtrak don’t care what is on the head end. Heck, when I am on Amtrak, I don’t care. Just get me to where I need to be somewhat on time. My bigger concerns on Amtrak are fresh bagels in the morning and that the bar car is open when I head home. I could care less about the locomotive.

I notice, too, that Thomas is painted blue. God only knows what category a standard gauge Thomas may fit into here! Please, let's not go there.

Enjoy it all,
J.R.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:54 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:06 pm
Posts: 122
JR May wrote:
Wild paint schemes seem to work in such a market.
Of course, the Disney engines are not really painted in "wild" paint schemes; they may actually be more subdued than many other period Victorian locomotives.

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 Post subject: Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
Posts: 546
Can anyone identify the maker of this locomotive?

http://digitalcollections.lib.washingto ... 714/rec/40

I am working on an article about Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo train. All indications are that the steamer was replaced in 1953 by a MTC model G-16 diesel.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 3:10 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 909
If I recall correctly, the ICC/STB had a rule that said that any gauge below 24" were exempt from ICC/FRA regulation. It is interesting to see the Porter builders records and see how many 23.5" gauge equipment were ordered.

FWIW

Also, my Mother (1930-2012) grew-up in Harrisburg PA. The family were PRR workers.

The greatest thrill Mom had was in about 1997 or 1999 when we rode behind the restored 1975 Eureka & Pallisade #4 on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic. Dan had his loco painted in a historically correct paint scheme. Too bad people think of that type of paint scheme as gaudy.

Doug vV


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 Post subject: Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:22 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1209
My impression was that the original poster was referring to a lack of interest in park trains by railfans, as opposed to a lack of interest by average park patrons. I would assume that park patrons would have a lot of interest in the park train because they pay to ride it. But I would expect average railfans to lack interest in park trains.

The original poster said this:

“My question is this: If this 2' gauge railroad had "real" locomotives, for example, Baldwins or Alcos, and ran doubleheaders hauling beets or sugar cane during harvest season, people would come from everywhere to take photos.

But for some reason, because the engines were built to haul people in an amusement park, they're not "real" and nobody cares. Can anyone explain that to me?”


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 Post subject: Re: Are Park Trains "Real" Trains?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:23 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 467
Location: Wall, NJ
John T:
On the photo, send me an email at jrmay@monmouth.com and I'll see what I can find from a few folks I know.
J.R.


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