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The Amusement Park Railroad Thread


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7 hours ago, silver2005 said:

Alright @SonofBaconator what is the name of the wheel configuration for the Dollywood Express engine?

Dollywood operates two Mikados which is a 2-8-2 wheel arrangement- 2 lead wheels, 8 drive wheels, and two wheels under the cab. #192 is the sister engine of Tweetsie #190. They operated for the US military in Alaska.

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lately i've bben trying to do research of the neverland ranch railroad.

Apparently, the crown that was used got messed over. Apparently since MJ didn't know the truth of steam locomotives and though they were just the turn of a key and go, the locomotive was given something so it could have a 45 minute steam up time.
I also found video of the train

 

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#2 was basically a twin of ex Six Flags Mid America's #5, (see chapter 5). The Neverland Ranch was basically modeled after the Disney parks so they took it a step further with the train. There were a ton of modifications made that I don't care for. The headlamp and the domes were enormous and the smokebox looked ghastly. They took every unique Crown feature and made it a knockoff Disney locomotive.

Before MJ

f646a8a9279df9cb129ebe99a719716e-800.jpg

After MJneverland1030.jpg

Disney World's #4 

maxresdefault.jpg

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Sharon, the lady that sold the Neverland job, told me the paint on the tender was worth $16K (not planned that way, but MJ kept changing his mind), the cab was solid teak, and the job was the most secretive they had ever done.  The stall where the work was done was partitioned from the rest of the shop and the staff could not even tell their spouses what it was.  MJ was in hiding at the time (we won't go into that), but he called regularly to check how the restoration was going.  She loaned me footage to copy, but I can't remember where it is today.  I think it was VHS.  Part of it was using a forktruck to get the pony truck back on the rails during the test run.  After all the secrecy, it had to be shipped wide open to the world because tarps would have beat the paint and teak to death.  When I was in Iowa twenty years ago, I found the oil tank from the tender on the scrap pile (it was switched from oil to propane).  Personally I'm happy they jacketed the cylinders and put more historically shaped domes on it.  It was set up to run without a fireman.  I know it had automatic firing but I'm not sure about automatic feedwater.  He had an engineer on call 24/7 so he could ride when he wanted to.  45 minutes would have been reasonable if the engine had been hot the day before, but to bring it up that fast from cold would have been forcing stresses into the boiler.  With all the love that Iowa put into it, they never did set the valves square.  Every video I have seen of it, it is waltzing down the track.  Maybe MJ liked the syncopation.  MJ was to get more coaches, but "life" intervened and that part of the contract was cancelled.  The two that he got were from Six Flags St. Louis #5 since they had greater capacity than the Crown-esque coaches that they pulled at Carowinds (built for Space City USA park in Huntsville, which went bankrupt before it opened).  No matter the look of it after it came out of the shop, it looked a hundred times worse going in.  Charlie Kelton, the auto dealer in Vermont that bought it from South of the Border, painted it like a bathtub toy: red boiler, pale yellow cab, blue wheels and domes.  Plug ugly.  And it got bent up a bit in the trip from Vermont.  I think Dave Barnhardt did tell me he was the broker for either Kelton or South of the Border, and the sale was equally secretive.  I'd love to know what they paid Charlie for it.  If Carowinds took care of the boiler, it would have been a good buy.  I agree that smokeboxes should not be light gray!  I don't know who chose the aesthetics, but I would not be surprised to find that an ex-Disney person had a hand in it since the Golden Spike engines were color palleted by a Disney person.  It appears they actually did try to do a Russian Iron color on the boiler jacket, similar to what Disney put on the Ward Kimball.  You don't want to know what Disney paid per gallon for that Imron specialized paint.  And they even ignored the Crown wagontop and tapered it more gently, which really helped the looks of it.  Sadly they kept the Crown tradition of keeping the tops of the domes at the same level, which didn't happen often on the prototype.  The cab was stunning, but the roof should have been 6" higher.  Crown makes them too high, Iowa made it too low.  The track was a moderate snake down the side of the mountain with spring switch balloon loops on each end, both appearing to be Crown's 150 foot minimum radius.  In the video above, it sounds like they are running downhill with cylinder cocks open and the Johnson Bar a bit over center to let the cylinders take the load and save the brakes since I don't hear the air pump running much.  The train shed was two stalls with the mainline going through one of them.  I don't think there is any doubt there was Disney influence in the design of the station.  That's all I can remember for now.  It's been over twenty years since I talked to Sharon and Dave.  But I remember it was fun researching it back then. 

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Ladies and Gentlemen, please remove your hats and place them over your heart. This is the sad, sad tale of ol' Rancid Butterball. For once upon a time, for five great seasons near Memphis, a little Carbon Limestone tanker #33 (Porter 1942) played a painted lady named "Ye Olde Huff n Puff". And indeed, it seemed she couldn't make it around the loop without being held up by some good old boys. Well, it appears that the ladies must have loved that little Porter, for one of them had just about enough of it. Fun summer job robbing trains? Think again...

Train-Robber-Gets-Wounded.jpg

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Word on the grapevine is that Worlds of Fun's #33 "Eli" is back on the property from an overhaul at Strasburg.  That makes us wonder about Kings Dominion's #552 that was being restored at an undisclosed location as "Levi" to take "Eli's" place.  Stay tuned.

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21 minutes ago, kimv1972 said:

Word on the grapevine is that Worlds of Fun's #33 "Eli" is back on the property from an overhaul at Strasburg.  That makes us wonder about Kings Dominion's #552 that was being restored at an undisclosed location as "Levi" to take "Eli's" place.  Stay tuned.

Was the plan to keep "Levi" at WoF permanently? They only have one shed stall (granted they can build another.) 

What about our engines? Are they due for an overhaul?

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For our Cedar Point trip this week (Tues-Fri) it was very busy each day. On Friday, they ran two trains, which I hadn't personally observed in years. I had heard it was common on Fall Saturdays, but both Myron H and GA Boeckling were running, and it was great to see. We did a full lap on both. 

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On 11/17/2020 at 11:38 AM, kimv1972 said:

They are the heaviest modified Crowns ever built

Here's a visual example of the smoke box modifications

aadjbla.jpegki-kimiamivalleyrailroad-tileimagev2.jpg

"Eli" represents the traditional crown smoke box door while "Lew Brown" represents the modified smoke box door

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