Help ID a couple minature railways

Discuss park gauge trains and large scale miniature railways having track gauges from 8" to 24" gauge and designed at scales of 2" to the foot or greater - whether modeled for personal use, or purpose built for amusement park operation or private railroading.

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Topics may include: antique park gauge train restoration, preservation, and history; building new grand scale equipment from scratch; large scale miniature railway construction, maintenance, and safe operation; fallen flags; track, gauge, and equipment standards; grand scale vendor offerings; and, compiling an on-line motive power roster.
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jcbrock
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Help ID a couple minature railways

Post by jcbrock » Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:35 pm

I recently came across photos of a couple large-scale miniature railways and was curious what's known about them.

Railroad #1 - tender is lettered for Western Pacific, which makes me think Eric Thompson but I don't recognize anything:
largescale2.jpg
largescale1.jpg
largescale3.jpg
Second railroad looks like it might be east of the Mississippi. I'm wondering about the 3 rail trackage in the first photo:
nyc1.jpg
nyc2.jpg
John Brock

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Help ID a couple minature railways

Post by Glenn Brooks » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:05 pm

The last photo looks like an Ottaway. That would make the wider track 24” gauge in the last photo.

The first three seem to be the same Loco in different locations. Looks kinda Like a Cagney, only larger. Could be 18” gauge. If you have the original photos, or high quality digital, you might be able to enlarge the plat on the face plate and read something about make or RR. The forum software resamples high density images to very coarse low quality images, so you loose a lot of detail for the sake of Quickly loading the basic image.

The engine number 1925 seems familiar, it can’t remember from where, maybe the SF Zoo train, which is a 21” Cagney. No idea at the moment what RR they might be. Very likely late 40’s to early/mid ‘50’s time frame. Ottaway’s were only built between ‘48 and ‘58 or ‘59.

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

jcbrock
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Re: Help ID a couple minature railways

Post by jcbrock » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:29 pm

I'm going to bet 1925 is Fleishhacker Zoo, good call Glenn. I rode that as a child, I should have known! Here's a link to an article that shows it in its current form. https://savingplaces.org/stories/ride-t ... zoo-trains
John Brock

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Re: Help ID a couple minature railway

Post by Glenn Brooks » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:17 pm

Yep, it’s a Class E, 22” Cagney, not 21” as I guessed above. Also, I want to say the trees in the background look very much like Monterrey Cyprus, which only grow in two places: around Monterery Bay, and the SF ridge line overlooking the Pacific.

And, the double track with the 12” ga 4-4-0, may we’ll be the same location - with 22” gauge and 12” gauge. If so, either Flesichaker Zoo, or one of its earlier locations near Santa Cruz. The attached link offers a more more details about early day history...

http://www.sfzoo.org/about/historic-sit ... uffer.html

Eric Thompson started his Redwood Valley Railroad with Cricket a 12” gauge 4-4-0 he built in 1950.
E4EA6CC3-E90C-4BC4-B5DE-D6952D34BB64.jpeg
(Still a toss up in my mind if your photo is actually an Ottaway or maybe the first version ofEric Thompson’s freelance Cricket.)

So wondering if you might have an early day photo of Thompson and his first loco, before he converted it to the 1880’s look it displays today...

Internet Archaeology is way cool!
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Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

Steve Bratina
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Re: Help ID a couple minature railways

Post by Steve Bratina » Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:32 am

Look up Miniature Railway (1947). This video may show the engine you are asking about.

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Help ID a couple minature railways

Post by Glenn Brooks » Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:26 pm

John,

Indeed, Steve’s suggestion to look at the Pathe’ Miniature Train 1947 video yielded fruit. Right at the end of the video, one can see the end of the last passenger car stenciled “Herbert Fleishhaker Miniature Railroad”. The current SF Zoo web page has a photo in their history section captioned Herbert Fleishhaker Playfield.

https://youtu.be/7vsvLS34Zi8


Clearly the engineer enjoyed highballing down the line.

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

jcbrock
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Re: Help ID a couple minature railways

Post by jcbrock » Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:46 pm

I liked the 'boot booster', you wouldn't think that would work in this size. Thank you for the suggestion Steve and the link Glenn.

I'd still like to pin down the 'double-track'. Maybe the idea of it being dual-gauge with the 22" is correct, it looks about right. But the when and where would be interesting. I thought midwest or east due to the NYC lettering. The early Santa Cruz location is a possibility too, there's nothing to rule it out in the two photos.
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Re: Help ID a couple minature railways

Post by Glenn Brooks » Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:37 pm

You could write to the Zoo and see what they know... Iam guessing the background foliage and landscape features will match up against the know 1949 video. If so, find someone in SF who remembers the early days... the Zoo train is supported by an active group of volunteers, as I remember.

If nothing else, we are headed down there for couple of weeks at thanksgiving. I might be able to go out there and ask around.

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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NP317
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Re: Help ID a couple minature railways

Post by NP317 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:24 am

I grew up in the SF Bay Area and first rode the Fleishacker Zoo Train in about 1958. At least that's my first memory of it.
The first picture in the series above was definitely at the west end of the zoo, with the Pacific ocean visible past the fence, probably behind the photographer.
Those Cypress trees in the back ground are memorable.

And sometimes the NIkeX missiles batteries west of the zoo would be on alert with the missiles pointing skyward.
Those were NOT The Days!
RussN

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Re: Help ID a couple minature railways

Post by Glenn Brooks » Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:03 am

Iam still fascinated by the smoke box door in photo 4. I don’t recognize the large round center portion of the smoke box door as being an Ottaway part.

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

jcbrock
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Re: Help ID a couple minature railways

Post by jcbrock » Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:38 am

This is as good as I can do at the moment on the smokebox door in photo 4. It does look like "Ottaway"on the top of the outer ring, but I can't get what's below it on the conic part that would normally be a door.
img003a.jpg
img003a.jpg (27.25 KiB) Viewed 373 times
John Brock

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Help ID a couple minature railways

Post by Glenn Brooks » Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:51 pm

John, good job. That’s definitely an OEM Ottaway smoke box door. Missing the center bronze loco number casting (someone removed). Likely the larger round size in the original photo is just an optical distortion.

I am wondering if the engineer is the same guy in both photos. Looks similar, but everybody was thin in those days....

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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