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Klabergian Empire

Discussion & History on the Kings Island & Miami Vally Railroad

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  I just noticed something looking at the above photo.  With the original berms outside the gate, the fountain, and the entry gate, it almost looks like an Eiffel Tower...or if you incude the pavement around the Tower and the lake and Enchanted Voyage building, I can see a gingerbread man with very short legs.  

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Somewhere on here, someone posted some photos of what we believe to be the house in the middle of Fort Coney prior to Kings Island's construction. Does anyone know where they may be?

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10 hours ago, BlondyRidesOn said:

Somewhere on here, someone posted some photos of what we believe to be the house in the middle of Fort Coney prior to Kings Island's construction. Does anyone know where they may be?

They are out there, but I can't seem to find them. If I find them, I'll post them.

Also, look at the topic under Fort Coney.

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17 hours ago, TombraiderTy said:

^Not sure where it originally came from (I saved the file six years ago), but here you go. Can't vouch for the accuracy of all the text though.

image.png

Back in the day, this (or a version of) was hung on the wall in the Admin conference room at KI (Same one used in the Brady episode - which often gets confused for the conference room in the old International Restaurant - not the same.)  There were also aerial shots of other KECO parks (KD, Canada's Wonderland, Australia's Wonderland) - a holdover from the early 1980's massive KECO expansion period.  Later they were replaced (during Paramount days) with updated aerials of Paramount Parks - PKD, PGA etc.  

I know personally that all pre-Paramount files, photos, press releases etc etc etc were not kept by the park.  They were all discarded during a sweeping "cleansing" of the parks in the 1990s/2000's.  You'd be shocked at how much documentation was destroyed by the park during the Paramount Tenure.  I know because I personally saw it happen and many of my most prized KI historical items were "salvaged" during the purge...

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5 hours ago, Klabergian Empire said:

They are out there, but I can't seem to find them. If I find them, I'll post them.

Also, look at the topic under Fort Coney.

I've been in the house - a couple of times.  Its nothing of note... just an old ranch style house in ruins - full of litter and grafitti... oh, and an old couch.  It had a basement and there were lots of old used oil cans in there.  This was probably 15 years ago or so...

FYI, it was the only house left from several that originally existed in the area.  All but the one were demolished in the early 1980s for the construction of a KECO corporate office building. (Later it was called PKIU and was used for employee re-hire weekends/training seminars etc. Not sure what its used for today.) I believe it was when the train was re-routed for the waterpark that the lone remaining house was covered with the "Fort" facade.  I think it served as a break area for employees at some point.

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37 minutes ago, Shaggy said:

FYI, it was the only house left from several that originally existed in the area.  All but the one were demolished in the early 1980s for the construction of a KECO corporate office building. (Later it was called PKIU and was used for employee re-hire weekends/training seminars etc. Not sure what its used for today.) I believe it was when the train was re-routed for the waterpark that the lone remaining house was covered with the "Fort" facade.  I think it served as a break area for employees at some point.

As of a couple years ago at least, KIU still has a couple training rooms but also now hosts FunTV's corporate offices.

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On 11/28/2018 at 8:55 PM, jtro223 said:

  I just noticed something looking at the above photo.  With the original berms outside the gate, the fountain, and the entry gate, it almost looks like an Eiffel Tower...or if you incude the pavement around the Tower and the lake and Enchanted Voyage building, I can see a gingerbread man with very short legs.  

I see it too (kind of). 

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19 hours ago, Shaggy said:

I've been in the house - a couple of times.  Its nothing of note... just an old ranch style house in ruins - full of litter and grafitti... oh, and an old couch.  It had a basement and there were lots of old used oil cans in there.  This was probably 15 years ago or so...

FYI, it was the only house left from several that originally existed in the area.  All but the one were demolished in the early 1980s for the construction of a KECO corporate office building. (Later it was called PKIU and was used for employee re-hire weekends/training seminars etc. Not sure what its used for today.) I believe it was when the train was re-routed for the waterpark that the lone remaining house was covered with the "Fort" facade.  I think it served as a break area for employees at some point.

I myself have seen the photos, but personally I think Kings Island should clean up Fort Coney and the old house.

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Before they changed the layout of the train and demolished all but one of those houses, I know at least one of them was rented out to a park employee.

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Not a picture inside the house, but probably one of the best photos of the house. Definitely shows how big the house is in comparison to the Fort. From Bing overview a few years back.

http%3A%2F%2Fi24.photobucket.com%2Falbum

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I'm curious, why did they spare the one house and bother building the facade? Why not just demolish it?

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I’ve heard that it was the wishes of the family who sold the land that the park kept the house standing. Whether or not that’s true, I do not know. 

I had no clue about any additional houses or altered train routes. Thanks to all for sharing. Cool stuff. 

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36 minutes ago, Joshua said:

I'm curious, why did they spare the one house and bother building the facade? Why not just demolish it?

 

19 minutes ago, beastfan11 said:

I’ve heard that it was the wishes of the family who sold the land that the park kept the house standing. Whether or not that’s true, I do not know. 

 

I've heard the "land owner only agreed to sell his property if the park agreed to never tear down the house", but I personally don't believe it. I've also heard that the house was used as a break room for train performers in the early 1970s, but I don't believe that either... if you look at the 1972 to 2010 comparison on the last page, the house is very far from the railroad track. By the time the 1988 re-route occurred, I believe train performances were long done.

Maybe it was originally kept to serve as a storage location? I'd love to know the real reason(s).

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I would love to know too.  It could be as simple as they didn`t want to commit the funds to tear it down at the time.  Although, building the "fort walls" around it surely was more expensive then demolition would have been.

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^Re-routing the train and building WaterWorks also meant the removal of the old fort, Fort McHale. Maybe the logic was there was budget for a new fort, but not the budget for the house's demolition? I'd be an odd situation, but not outside the realm of possibilities I suppose.

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1 hour ago, SonofBaconator said:

#whatsinthehouse

The Blair Witch

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On 11/30/2018 at 5:21 PM, SonofBaconator said:

#whatsinthehouse

Well, lets see..... we have forest monsters and Hall & Oats in the shed......... its either going to be railroad themed or water themed.

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On 12/3/2018 at 9:42 AM, Klabergian Empire said:

Well, lets see..... we have forest monsters and Hall & Oats in the shed......... its either going to be railroad themed or water themed.

It's water themed... I'm sure by now the roof leaks pretty badly. 

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On 6/1/2019 at 4:29 PM, Klabergian Empire said:

New pistons have been put on the trains this year. I wonder why.....

RR.jpg

I think that's just an insulation box

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On 6/2/2019 at 5:39 PM, 139Signal27 said:

I think that's just an insulation box

I'm sure the unpredictable Ohio winters don't do the pistons any good during Winterfest.

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On 11/30/2018 at 3:51 PM, TombraiderTy said:

^Re-routing the train and building WaterWorks also meant the removal of the old fort, Fort McHale. Maybe the logic was there was budget for a new fort, but not the budget for the house's demolition? I'd be an odd situation, but not outside the realm of possibilities I suppose.

Rumor has it the guy that used to own that house sold Kings Island the land under the condition that house couldn’t be destroyed. 

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1 hour ago, flightoffear1996 said:

Rumor has it the guy that used to own that house sold Kings Island the land under the condition that house couldn’t be destroyed. 

Yes, I referenced that rumor two posts above the one you quoted. I have my doubts on that actually being the reason the house was kept, but it's possible.

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11 minutes ago, TombraiderTy said:

Yes, I referenced that rumor two posts above the one you quoted. I have my doubts on that actually being the reason the house was kept, but it's possible.

Sorry about that. I guess it helps to read each post in its entirety. :)  

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I can vouch for the accuracy of the text on the aerial photo since I put it there.  I was Kenny VanMeter's fireman on the first public run of the railroad on the morning of April 29, 1972.  I was also running #12 the night we derailed on the old horseshoe curve.  It was not because of tight curves.  The fill dirt in that little ravine settled and the inner rail was lower than the outer rail.  The loco held the tender up in the air and the front tender axle derailed at the princely speed of 5 MPH (I was taking it slowly on purpose).  No trains or humans were harmed in the derailment, but we had to walk the passengers home since #19 was up on jacks getting a new crankpin.  I got home at 1 AM that night.  The architect followed Crown's recommendation to the letter: 150' minimum radius.  You will notice that the front trucks of the locos have very wide wheels to handle tight curves which have to be laid to more than 36" gage to reduce wear.  The early Crowns had normal width wheels and had problems.  The contractor also followed the architect to the letter:  no tie plates, no expansion joints, and everything gaged very tight to 36".  We were wearing metal flakes off the insides of the rails and we had a sun kink out by the Conestoga wagon on hot days that pulled the hoses apart and set the brakes.  Since we had to wait until winter to fix the track, we put extension pipes on the coaches so the hoses were closer together.  They are probably still there.  It was pioneer railroading and it took a couple years to get the bugs out, but that was part of the fun.  Lew Brown was a player/manager, running the trains part of the day and maintaining them the other part, so he always knew exactly what they needed.  Parks today need to go back to that business model for their steam operations, but it is hard to find people who know enough about them now.  Hopefully Thomas and Friends will breed a whole new generation of steam fans to keep things alive.  If it weren't for the new Crown train ride which consumed 1/3 of the land (the old smaller Chance Manufacturing train at Coney was sold to World of Golf in Florence) the park wouldn't have been much bigger than Coney that first year.  Ed McHale, the Park Manager, loved the train and lavished both land and props on it.  He rode nearly every day.  --Denis

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I have been dying to know the story behind the derailment for years. All I've ever seen has been that fuzzy satellite image with "1973 derailment" on it. Thank you so much for sharing, @kimv1972!

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There was another early day derailment that didn't make it to the press.  Lew forgot to throw the yard switch early one morning before the park opened and put the lead truck of #12 on the ground.  He was barely moving at the time so no damage and no danger, but we had to get a crane out from Cincinnati to pick up the engine and set it on.  We always thought Kenny was miffed since Lew put Kenny's engine on the ground.  Cliff put some cylinder oil on the marks in the ties and sprinkled dust on them, then took a leak on the rail so it would rust.  "Did it many times on the B&O.  No one will be able to see anything happened by tomorrow morning!"  It was all in a day's work back then.  Today the TV stations would descend and make a national disaster out of it.

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So I am currently working on the crew for the railroad as a conductor for the 2019 season and I have a lot to say. In my time on the crew I have learned a lot about the ride. First, the ride length is 1.3 miles and lasts around 8 minutes depending on the driver. From what I've heard the trains used to travel in the opposite direction and enter into the engine shed and the other end by Mystic. Feel free to correct me on any of this if I'm wrong. The train used to have a post office shed type building on the other side of the station that the crew used to use, but it was removed for Mystic. I have heard that either the shed was either torn down or moved somewhere else. There are six cars for each train, but the back three cars can be removed for days with less guests. The old west town is currently decorated for Halloween. When it comes to the house I do know a bit of information regarding what is inside it, but I don't want to get in trouble by telling you all. There are many groundhogs that live near the fort and they can been seen quite often during the summer. The music on the train is controlled by the conductor on the front using a small panel with 9 buttons. The songs on the panel can be changed but it doesn't happen too often. 

I must say one of the best things about working on the train is the people. It makes my day to have a nice conversation with a guest about the park. The engineers are some of the nicest associates in the park and they really care about the trains. While the season is coming to a close if you are ever at KI feel free to come to the train and talk to me I'll be there this Sunday, the 12th, and the 20th. My name is Eli btw. I'm not afraid of people knowing who I am.

I've also heard rumors of new things happening to the train. The main one is a sort of retheme of the 12 days of Christmas theme to something else, but that's just a rumor. I've also heard talks of maybe adding a new scene and sorta sprucing up the ride. I know many of the higher ups really like the train.

That's all I have for now and feel free to ask me anything about this great ride.

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