Todd's Railfan Guide to Miniature Trains

In General


In General

This page covers the numerous PARK TRAINS around the U.S., of which there have been "oodles", both past and present.  If we make an attempt to include all of the park trains of yesteryear, this page may never be complete!  For instance, in my home town of Baltimore, the Baltimore Zoo used to have a stainless steel train, patterned after the GM Aerotrain of the early 60's.  That was sold to a fellow out in Sykesville MD around 1990 or so, and the train (when I stopped by around 2009), was still in his barn.  And before that, there was Gwynn Oak Park, which closed in the mid 70's - that train was sold to the Luskin family, and at last report, the train was somewhere south of Baltimore in a storage location where the roof was caving in and the train was going to sh..... This came from the fellow that used to own PURKEY's train store in Sykesville, and had seen the train in the early 2000's.  If you have any "inside" information such as this, please check out my contact page here.

Denver Todd

Websites and other additional information sources of interest:
None Yet.......

Gatlinburg TN - Dollyworld

What used to be called the Rebel Railroad back in the 60's, is what we now call Dollywood.

History: In 1957, North Carolina real-estate developer Grover Robbins opened a theme park between Boone and Blowing Rock called the Tweetsie Railroad with ex-East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad 4-6-0 #12.  The park was an instant success.  In 1961, he acquired two USATC S118 Class 2-8-2s from the White Pass.  The success of Tweetsie prompted him to send one of them, #192, to the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee for a second theme park, called Rebel Railroad.  The other, #190, was sent to Tweetsie and still operates there.

The Rebel Railroad, which opened in 1961, was designed as a tribute to the Smoky Mountain way of life.  Besides the steam train named Klondike Katie, the small park also featured a general store, a blacksmith, and a saloon.  Although the park would soon change owners in 1970, the spirit of tradition would remain at the Robbins’ park even into the present day.

In 1970, the Rebel Railroad was purchased by Art Modell, the owner of the NFL team, the Cleveland Browns.  He renamed the park Goldrush Junction and expanded it along the same Appalachia theme laid out by the Robbins Brothers. Now known as “Tennessee’s Million Dollar Fun Attraction,” the much larger park featured new attractions such as a saw mill, an outdoor theater, log cabins, and a campground, as well as many children’s rides.  Modell also added a small chapel named after the Sevier County doctor who delivered Dolly Parton.  This chapel was just one of the many connections to the park and county that led Parton to eventually buy into it and give it her name.

In 1977, Goldrush Junction was sold to Jack and Pete Herschend, of Herschend Enterprises, and renamed Silver Dollar City Tennessee.  The Herschend brothers were looking to build upon the success of their original Silver Dollar City in Branson MO.  Just like the Tennessee park that they had just acquired, Silver Dollar City in Branson paid homage to the unique history of the area, featuring frontier-style buildings and other period specific attractions. In 1983 Silver Dollar City opened the first working grist mill Tennessee had seen in over 100 years.

In 1986, Dolly Parton partnered with the Herschends and together they reopened the park under the name, Dollywood.

The above short history comes from a page on the history of Dollywood here, and from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dollywood_Express

  from the Gold Rush era


I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.  This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, myindexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in :-)

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

Aerial shots were taken from either Google Maps or www.bing.com/maps as noted.  Screen captures are made with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it! 

By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given!  Please be NICE!!!  Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.


NEW 01/11/2018
Last Modified 12-Jan-2018