Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad

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Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad
Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad Judy K engine.jpg
The Judy K. locomotive on a grade crossing.
Locale Cedar Point
Dates of operation 1963–
Track gauge 3 ft (914 mm)[1]
Length 2+ miles
Website http://www.cplerr.com/
Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad
Frontiertown
Roundhouse
(not open to public)
Iron Dragon Midway
Gondola lift transfer
(via short walk)
Park boundary
Ferry and courtesy van transfers
(via short walks)

The Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad is a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge passenger railroad at the Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio.

History

The railroad originally opened in 1963 with construction starting in the Fall of 1962. Some of the railroad cars were previously 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge before being converted to 3 ft (914 mm) gauge. The railroad runs on a 2-mile circuit around the park.[2] There are currently two stations, the Main Station in Celebration Plaza and the Frontier Town Station in Frontier Town. Much track work has been done over the years to re-route the track but the most significant track work came in 2007 when the track by the Frontier Town station had to be re-done to navigate around Cedar Point's new coaster, Maverick.

In 2013, Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad celebrated its 50th Anniversary. In its first 50 years of operation the ride had more than 116 million passengers.[3]

Engines

There are currently four engines in operable condition on the railroad, #44 Judy K., #22 Myron H., #4 George R., and #1 G.A. Boeckling[4] Myron H. or Judy K. are the primary locomotives used on a daily basis. Either locomotive can be used as the second engine for two train operations. The G.A. Boeckling and the George R. are available as back ups if their services are needed.[citation needed] The engines used at Cedar Point are all historic locomotives that were built for a variety of uses before ending up at the park.

Judy K.

Judy K. locomotive at Gemini Midway grade crossing.

Judy K. was built in 1923 as construction number 3333 by the Vulcan Iron Works in 1922 as an 0-4-0T, nearly identical to the engine which became the Myron H. It is not known who the original owner was, but it was sold at an unknown date to the Lehigh Stone Company in Lehigh, Illinois. In 1960, it was sold to Peter Burno, a private collector in Spring Green, Wisconsin. It was sold to Cedar Point in August 1968 and converted to a 2-4-0 with tender. It was unnamed until 1974, when it was named the "Jack Foster" after the first superintendent of the Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad. The engine had been retired by the late 1980s and sat with the Myron H. in the back of the enginehouse. It was fully restored in 1992 and renamed the "Judy K." after the wife of Richard Kinzel.[5][6]

Myron H.

Myron H. pulls train into the Frontier Town Station.

Myron H. was built in October 1922 by Vulcan Iron Works in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania as construction number 3264 and was sold to the Wayne Coal Company in Claybank, Ohio to haul coal. It was sold in 1927 to Birmingham Rail and Locomotive Products, a locomotive broker based in Birmingham, Alabama. It was then used by Standard Coated Products in Hephzibah, Georgia, the Merry Brothers Brick and Tile Company in Augusta, Georgia, and private collector Charles Weber in Archbold, Ohio. It was sold to Cedar Point in 1963 and converted to a 2-4-0 with tender. In 1981 it was named "Myron H." after Mike "Myron" Hetrick, a superintendent of the Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad. The Myron H. had been retired by the late 1980s and sat in the back of the enginehouse with the #5 Jack Foster. In 1990 Myron H. was fully restored and is the primary engine used today at Cedar Point.[7][8]

George R.

Cedar Point and Lake Erie Rail Road George R. steam locomotive.

George R. was built in March 1942 by the H.K. Porter, Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as construction number 7348 for the Carbon Limestone Company in Hillsville, Pennsylvania to haul limestone.[9] It was sold to American Railroad Equipment Association in 1962 and leased to Cherokee Wonderland in Cherokee, North Carolina until it was sold to Cedar Point in 1964.[10] The Carbon Limestone engines were unusual in having been built to 38" gauge instead of the more common 36" gauge, making it necessary to narrow the engine by two inches during a restoration by Cedar Point.[9]

G.A. Boeckling

Cedar Point and Lake Erie Rail Road G.A. Boeckling steam locomotive.

The G.A. Boeckling was built in July 1927 by Davenport Locomotive Works as construction number 2081 for N&S Coal Company in Pittsburg, Kansas. It was later sold to the Mackie Clemens Fuel Company in Mulberry, Kansas. In 1977, it was acquired by the Keystone Light Railway Company in Herminie, Pennsylvania. The engine was later restored as a 2-4-4T for Marriott Corporation's Great America amusement park in Gurnee, Illinois. While the engine was delivered to the park in 1980, it was stored behind the park's enginehouse in its shipping crate and never used. Marriott attempted to sell it around 1983 for US$90,000 (equivalent to $216,415 in 2016), but it did not sell and was a part of the sale of the park to Six Flags in May 1984. By 1991, it had been restored for Bill Norred, who was planning a Victorian village in Southern California. Norred traded it to Disney for five of the original 1955 Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad closed coaches (part of the Retlaw 1 passenger train), which had been out of service for nearly twenty years. The engine was too large for Disneyland, and was sent to Walt Disney World where it was named after Ward Kimball. It was placed on display at Epcot before being traded to Cedar Point in 1999 from Walt Disney World for the Maud L., one of the Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad original engines running since 1963. The engine sat in the back of the engine house for years and was finally sent to Knott's Berry Farm In California to be restored in 2010.[11] In late 2011 it returned to Cedar Point and was run in late August that year after being converted to a 2-4-0 with tender engine by the CP&LE RR crews.[12] In 2013 for Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroads 50th Anniversary the "Davenport" (which was its nickname until it got a name) was renamed G.A. Boeckling, after one of Cedar Point's previous owners. Meanwhile, the former Maud L. of the CP&LE RR was restored to service in 2005 at Disneyland, where it operates as the new Ward Kimball, locomotive #5 of the Disneyland Railroad.

Albert

Albert, a retired engine, is on display in a pavilion across from Millennium Force.

The Albert was built in September 1910 by Davenport Locomotive Works as construction number 1042 to haul sugar cane at the J.B. Levert-St.John Plantation in St. Martinville, Louisiana. It was given the name Albert while at the plantation. Albert was sold in 1959 to the Sutton Junk and Salvage Company in New Iberia, Louisiana and then sold in 1960 to the American Railroad Equipment Association, which had built a series of tourist railroads. It was restored using the last replacement boiler built before Davenport ceased manufacturing locomotives. Albert ran a few seasons at the Cherokee Wonderland tourist railroad in Cherokee, North Carolina. It was pictured in Ron Ziel's book Twilight of Steam Locomotives while at Cherokee. The engine was sold to Cedar Point in 1963 and in service until the Myron H. returned to service in 1991. It is currently on display in a pavilion across from Millennium Force.[13][14]

Little Engine

Little Engine was built in the late 1960s or early 1970s by Plymouth Locomotive Works for Cedar Point. It was custom ordered by the park and while not a full-size locomotive, was designed to look like a steam locomotive. The park traded the engine for a basket of tickets that allowed Plymouth Locomotive Works employees to spend a day at the park. The design is based on the 0-4-0 mining locomotives that Plymouth was known for building with a straight 4 gasoline engine that has a 4 speed forward and reverse transmission. It is used by the Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad for moving engines and empty coaches around the shop and yard. The engine is also used for track work.[15]

Grade crossings

Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad grade crossing at Gemini Midway.

The Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad utilizes nine grade crossings, four of which are for park guests to cross the track. These four crossings contain gates, lights, and bells to warn guests of an approaching train and to provide a safe barrier preventing guests from reaching the train. The remaining grade crossings all have stop signs and several have flashing lights, to warn approaching vehicles and pedestrians of oncoming trains.[citation needed]

Stations

There are currently two stations, the Main Station in Celebration Plaza and the Frontier Town Station in Frontier Town.[2][16]

Main Station

The Main Station (also known as the Funway Station) is the first station on the line and serves as the main station for the Railroad, and is located in the center of Cedar Point next to the engine house and yard. When the station originally opened and the railroad charged admission, tickets were sold in the front windows. Since tickets are no longer needed to ride, the front half of the station is now storage. The building was moved before the 1970 season and placed closer to the tracks.[16][17]

Frontier Town Station

The Frontier Town Station is located in the back of Cedar Point in front of Mean Streak, and next to the Maverick. At one time this station was one of only two ways to enter Frontier Town. The station building itself is not very large and does not resemble a traditional train station.[16][18][19]

Boneville

Boneville is a western themed fictional town along the rails that is home to 48 mostly animatronic skeletons depicted as going about life in the American frontier. Activities depicted include a shoot out, going to school, a fire, and workers singing while they are doing maintenance on the railroad.[18][19]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Ohio". Steamlocomotive.info. Retrieved 2014-07-16. 
  2. ^ a b "Cedar Point and Lake Erie Railroad". Cedar Point. Retrieved 2014-07-24. 
  3. ^ Ruben, Paul (October 2013). "Parks and locomotion". Park World Magazine: 6. 
  4. ^ "Engine Roster: CP&LE R.R.- Over 40 years of history!". Cplerr.com. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  5. ^ "Judy K". Cplerr.com. Retrieved 2013-10-27. 
  6. ^ "Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad "Judy K." No. 5". SteamLocomotive.info. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Myron H". Cplerr.com. Retrieved 2013-10-27. 
  8. ^ "Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad "Myron H." No. 22". SteamLocomotive.info. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "George R". Cplerr.com. Retrieved 2013-10-27. 
  10. ^ "Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad "George R." No. 4 Ownership". SteamLocomotive.info. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Ex-Ward Kimball". Cplerr.com. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad No. 1". SteamLocomotive.info. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Albert". Cplerr.com. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad "Albert" No. 3". SteamLocomotive.info. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Little Engine". Cplerr.com. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b c "Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad". CP Rundown. Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Main Station". Cplerr.com. Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  18. ^ a b "Frontier Town Station". Cplerr.com. Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  19. ^ a b "Frontiertown". The Point Tour. Retrieved July 24, 2014. 

External links

  • Official Page - CP&LE R.R. at Cedarpoint.com
  • Unofficial Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad Website
  • Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad Photo Gallery at The Point Online
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