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The Amusement Park Railroad Thread

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
15 minutes ago, CoastersRZ said:

I am sure you will answer this in your next chapter, but do you know if are there any intentions to get that engine operating again?

The wheels were sent to Tweetise Railroad to be worked on- hence the absence of the wheels in the picture above. I'm sure they want to get it up and running on the off chance that one of their other locomotives breaks down. Its been not operating for quite some time so its been a pretty slow process. 

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3 hours ago, SonofBaconator said:

The wheels were sent to Tweetise Railroad to be worked on- hence the absence of the wheels in the picture above. I'm sure they want to get it up and running on the off chance that one of their other locomotives breaks down. Its been not operating for quite some time so its been a pretty slow process. 

They would like to rebuild the engine but, the funds aren't available for that project just yet. They did refurbishments on both #9 and #601 this year and i'm sure they want to get back to #5 sometime in 2019. #601 isn't back in service yet as the green cars are getting refurbished. (the cars that are finished look brand new). 

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Good to hear that they have intentions of restoring it.  

For those that didn`t know, Tweetsie does a lot of work on the Crown locomotives these days.  The tooling and machines that were used for the Crown engines had been located at Castle Ridge Productions after Crown shut down in 1989.  Castle Ridge Productions donated the equipment to Tweetsie in 2004.  That company was run by the Bert Williams, who is the son of Ken Williams.  Ken Williams was the person who ran Crown Metal Products.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
2 hours ago, Gordon Bombay said:

I can't remember: do certain coaches only run with certain engines or do they shuffle it up from time to time? 

I believe, I could be wrong, there is more equipment on the right side of the roundhouse, (closest to WWC), so I'm think if a train needs to be worked on they'll just move spots in the roundhouse. They might do it for fun but I'm certain they do it for maintenance purposes. 




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And, as you can see in the above picture, the train has been lifted up on jacks.  The trains are fired by liquid propane, which is denser than air.  Because of that, having a traditional maintenance pit could be lethal for those working on the trains.  So instead, they will jack the train up off its wheels to do the necessary maintenance.

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Politics aside, you can't deny this is cool. This train was painted in honor to former President George H.W. Bush, who was a lover of trains, in 2005. Several years later this locomotive, engineered by navy veterans, is piloting the train taking the president to his resting place in Texas.



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The Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad 


The Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad is a 3ft (914mm) narrow gauge railroad. The 15 minute ride over approximately 1.3 miles of track, encircles the top western portion of Cedar Point amusement park. Along the way, it passes skeleton animatronics depicting various western scenes, and crosses twice by trestle over what's left of the 1904 dredged lagoons. 

It is one of the few amusement park railroads in the entire country that still fires their locomotives by coal. The CP&LE R.R. is a historical gem that still mainly operates like a typical mid-to-late 19th century railroad. They use link and pin couplers, and the locomotives johnson bar instead of air brakes to bring the train to a stop. On average, the railroad hauls over one million riders per year.

After Cedar Point's legendary owner George Arthur Boeckling died in 1931, there was very little expansion that happened in the park throughout the next two decades. Eventually by the 1950's, Cedar Point fell into financial hardship. In 1956, land developers George Roose and Emile Legros, acquired controlling interest of the parks operator, the G.A. Boeckling Company. Initially their plans were to convert the park into a housing development facility, until it was met with major backlash. Instead, they decided to update the park and make it into a "Disneyland" of the Midwest. 

George Roose was a big railbuff. While Roose and Legros were visiting Disneyland in 1959 to get ideas for their park, Roose saw the SF&DL R.R.'s 1894 Baldwin 2-4-4T the Fred Gurley. This engine sparked his ambitious plan to build Cedar Point it's own narrow gauge railroad. 



When they returned, Roose presented this idea to the CP Board of Directors many times, but each proposal was balked at. Meanwhile, Roose had scouted the country for narrow gauge steam locomotives. He eventually found a very similar engine like the Fred Gurley, in storage at a sugar cane plantation in Louisiana. Without hesitation, he purchased the Baldwin 1902 built 0-4-4T named the Maud L. in November 1961.




By the summer of 1962, the Board now more receptive to Roose's idea,  gave him the greenlight to build a two mile narrow gauge railroad at the park. The Maud L. was then sent to a nearby welding shop in Port Clinton, Ohio. She was rebuilt from the ground up, and was outfitted with two pilot wheels, a wooden pilot, box headlamp, and a new green and black paint job. Roose had also order six excursion style open air coaches from the welding co., similarly styled after Disneyland's, but on former Rio Grande stock car trucks (six additional ones were made in 1968).




Construction of the two mile line began finally in February 1963. The winter weather delayed major progress until March and early April, when the 60 pound iron rails were laid. By May, Maud L. and the coaches were delivered to Cedar Point. Roose then realized he would need another locomotive to help assist the Maud L. He initially leased the 1910 2-6-0 Davenport named Albert for two years. Once its lease expired, it was outright purchased. The CP&LE R.R. opened on May 25, 1963.


The original route started from the old Civil War styled Union Station, which was located near where Valravn is across from the Sky Ride's Main Midway station. There were two tracks at this station, one was a passing siding. The outbound mainline from the station looped around to where it met the inbound mainline, and passed between the Engine House and old Cedars Hotel. Both tracks separated after this, and the outbound continued along Sandusky Bay and Lake Erie.


A view of the Union Station in its original location. Note that the Station's east canopy is still under construction. This was taken during the railroad's opening ceremony on May 25, 1963. 


Here's the original outbound and inbound tracks between the Engine House (left) and Cedars Hotel (right). Albert is on the outbound track, and the inbound track is in between #22 (Myron H.) and Albert.


In 1967, both outbound and inbound tracks were rerouted to the other side of the Engine House because Perimeter Road was built. A new station was also built outside of the new Frontier Town. This station isn't the same as the current one there, the original one was destroyed during a tornado that hit this area of the park in 1977. The current one was built in 1978.

In anticipation of Frontier Trail being built, the mainline had to be rerouted in 1970 as the trail would have crossed over the line. The Union Station was also moved during that year, to its current location today. When the new mainline around the trail was built, they instead decided to keep the old mainline in place that crossed the trail, creating Cedar Junction. While the track was still connected to the new mainline, no trains ran entirely through it. From time to time a locomotive would be parked next to the Cedar Jct. station for display. Where the track connected on the other side of the outbound track near where Millennium Force's station is now, the old enclosed coaches and one of their cabooses were stored on it. In 1999, this track, and the siding by the Union Station were removed because of Millennium Force being built.

The last time part of the line was majorly altered, was in 2006 when it was pushed slightly back along White Water Landing because of Maverick being built.



The red line is the current day configuration.

The white line coming from the red line was the new siding track after the station and line was moved in 1970.

The white box on the yellow line is the Main Midway station.

The blue line was the configuration until 1967.

The yellow line was the configuration until 1970.

The yellow line coming from the red line, and blue line which touches the yellow and red lines was what became Cedar Junction.

The green line was the outbound track until 1999, when the Millennium Force was built.



The locomotive roster in 1966. Left to right Maud L., #22, Albert, and Victoria R.I. Victoria R.I., and Albert are sitting on the outbound and inbound track one year before it was rerouted.


There's much more history about the CP&LE R.R., and I'm getting to the point where this post is probably too long. The original unofficial CP&LE R.R. history website went offline earlier this year. I created a new website with new information and photos, from the help of people who contributed to the old website. Please check it out, I highly recommend it!  https://cplerr.weebly.com/

Below is a brief history of the current locomotives of the CP&LE R.R. All of these photos were taken by me.

#1 G.A. Boeckling


This is the newest locomotive on the CP&LE R.R., it was acquired in 1999 when the Maud L. was traded to Disney. It started out as a standard gauge 0-4-0 built by the Davenport in 1927. It was purchased in 1977 by a company who rebuilt it into a 2-4-4T, for Marriot's Great American amusement park. When it was delivered to the park, it was stored and never used. Bill Norred eventually purchased it and had it restored for a Victorian Village he was planning to build. Eventually, he decided to trade it to Disneyland for their five original enclosed coaches. The #1 was too large and heavy to run at Disneyland. It ended up being sent to Disneyworld, but this time the opposite, it was too small for them. While the locomotive was there, it was named the Ward Kimball. When Cedar Fair got the engine, it was initially sent to Knott's Berry Farm where it was restored. The plan was for them to run the Davenport on low crowd days instead of their Galloping Goose or one of the DRGW's locomotives. When CP&LE R.R.'s 2-4-0 Jennie K. showed up at Knott's in 2010 to be restored, they trucked back the Davenport to Cedar Point. CP converted the Davenport into a 2-4-0 (uses George R.'s tender when running), and in 2013 it was named the G.A. Boeckling. It is used as a back up engine when either Judy K., or Myron H. are down for maintenance or repairs.


#3 Albert

Albert was one of the mainstay locomotives until the late 1980's when it started being used as a backup engine during peak crowds. With the loss of Jennie K., Myron H., and Jack Foster, it was pressed back into regular service along with the Maud L. After Myron H.'s rebuild was completed in 1991, Albert was withdrawn from service with a cracked frame, and worn tires. In 2000 it was moved to the Cedar Junction display track along Frontier Trail.


#4 George R.

Built in 1942 by the H.K. Porter Company, it was originally a 38" narrow gauge (CP&LE is 36") engine. It was purchased in 1963 from the same owner who owned Albert, and was originally named the Victoria R.I. This is the youngest, and heaviest locomotive on the CP&LE R.R. Because of its weight they use it as a backup engine. Interesting fact, when they ran it frequently after they acquired it, Victoria would sometimes realign the track because of its immense weight. In 1981 Victoria was renamed as the George R. She largely spends most of her time in the back of the Engine House. 


#7 Plymouth

While not used to pull passengers, this little gasoline powered Pylmouth is apart of the CP&LE's locomotive fleet. It was built sometime in the 1960's or 1970's designed to look like a steam locomotive by the Plymouth Locomotive Works. #7 is used for track work, moving around dead locomotives around the shop, and sometimes moves their passenger coaches.


#22 Myron H.

The Myron H. is my personal favorite locomotive the CP&LE has. She looks the most like a late 19th century locomotive (besides Albert). Built in 1922 by the Vulcan Iron Works, the #22 was purchased in 1963. It remained unnamed until 1981 when it was named after Mike "Myron" Hetrick, the CP&LE's second former Engine House Superintendent. #22 is one of the mainstay engines currently used today. 


#44 Judy K.

Like the Myron H., Judy K. was built in 1923 by the Vulcan Iron Works. It was acquired by Cedar Point in 1968, and entered into service in the 1970's. She was numbered originally as #5, and remained unnamed until 1974 when it was named the Jack Foster, CP&LE's first former Engine House Superintendent. After the locomotive was rebuilt in 1992, she emerged with a new name (and number 44) Judy K., the wife of former Cedar Fair's CEO and President Dick Kinzel. Judy K., is the other mainstay locomotive used. 


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  • 4 weeks later...

This is the one picture I have found of World of Fun's Crown #33 "Eli" being refurbished last spring.  Their website says it went to Pennsylvania in February so that it could give more rides with less drinks of water (leaky tubes?).  Since the track in this pic is not permanent, it is not Strasburg or Tweetsie.  Does anyone know where they sent it?  There is a rumor floating about that WOF was interested in Kings Dominion #552 (formerly running at Dry Gulch in Oklahoma) and another rumor that #552 was spotted on the road in Tennessee.  Was it headed to Tweetsie for rehab?  Does anyone have contacts at Tweetsie that would know?

eli rehab.jpg

eli on the road.jpg

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Great job on the CP&LE article.  Well researched with a couple pics I had never seen, and I've been researching that line for years!  I've been chasing the G. A. Boeckling since 1974 when I think I saw it at International Amusement in Dayton, Ohio waiting to go to Great America in Gurnee.  For a while, the Point had no idea who made the boiler.  I was able to trace it down to a company in Ferrysburg, Michigan.  When I looked the Boeckling over a few years ago with Randy, it was clear that Keystone Light Railways had bought the boiler to be used on another engine, possibly one of Arthur LaSalle's engines before he split from Keystone.  On the Boeckling, the smokebox had to be extended backward to meet the boiler.  It is quite a chop job.  But it is steam and it is running.  That is the most important thing!!!!

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19 hours ago, kimv1972 said:

There is a rumor floating about that WOF was interested in Kings Dominion #552 (formerly running at Dry Gulch in Oklahoma) and another rumor that #552 was spotted on the road in Tennessee.  Was it headed to Tweetsie for rehab?  Does anyone have contacts at Tweetsie that would know?

I'd prefer KD to rehab their railroad and bring back #552. Paramount didn't take care of the railroad well since it didn't serve as a transport ride like ours does. 

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There is an old story that the water softener at the KD water tower stopped working, so someone just decided it would do the same thing to dump some softener salt in the tender.  "Gollllllly, the injectors aren't working any more?"  Don't know how true it was but I have heard varying opinions.  One of the KI guys visited and told us things were in bad shape down there, but then I have heard from two guys who worked on the KD engines who have told me some really positive things about work they did to improve them.  It probably depended on who owned the park at the time.

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Arthur LaSalle, who restored Albert and Victoria for Cherokee Wonderland, was somewhat obsessed with British Royalty.  Hence, he had to name the 0-4-0 after Prince Albert's wife, Queen Victoria Regina Inglese.  LaSalle received Albert as part of the settlement of a lawsuit.  His mom had given him a 4-4-0 for his 19th birthday (yep, a full sized 1890's ornate three dome engine from the Louisiana and Texas RR) and the people storing it sold it for scrap.  He contacted Baldwin and they told him that it would cost a cool million dollars to reproduce the scrapped engine, so he had good grounds for the suit.  I wish Arthur's mom was my mom...

I was once told that the Plymouth at Cedar Point was traded by the manufacturer for park tickets for all of their employees.

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  • 4 weeks later...
52 minutes ago, MillenniumforceMike said:



I found a little update on the W.O.F.R.R.


Beat me to it! I'm excited for this and it might warrant a trip out to KC. I'm happy Cedar Fair works with steam locomotives and just doesn't remove them or convert them to diesel.

The locomotive will be named Levi. I hope they restore it to its original color scheme of Orange/Red and Blue!





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