Author Topic: Frisco Silver Dollar Line 60th Birthday  (Read 1080 times)

TTTRailYT

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Frisco Silver Dollar Line 60th Birthday
« on: February 06, 2022, 09:12:29 PM »
As some of you may know, the 60th birthday of the steam train is creeping up upon us. The original opening day of the steam train took place on May 27, 1962. According to Springfield News-Leader, over 4000 people were in attendance to the ribbon-cutting including the GM of the 'real' Frisco Lines, and the only surviving son of Casey Jones.
The locomotive operating at the time was the original 76, commonly referred to as the "Davenport" hence where it was built. That engine recently turned 100 in the month of January (it is 2022). That was the only operating engine for about 3 years until no. 43 (built in 1934 by O&K in Germany) joined the line. 43 still runs to this day.
Though the inaugural run of the railroad was in 1962, most the equipment is much older. The oldest operating engine is 43 (circa 1934) and the newest, still pretty old, is 504 (circa 1941, Prague, Czechoslovakia)
There are 2 sets of passenger cars, 1 being built in the 1970s, and the other being constructed last decade.
The locomotives operating at Silver Dollar City are extremely rare industrial tank engines that originally worked for construction firms and quarries in Germany during the 1940s and 50s. They were all purchased and imported by Jim Valesh from Iowa who sold 4 locomotives to Silver Dollar City in the mid-late 60s. The locomotives purchased from Minnesota in 2016 also have ties to Valesh.
The Silver Dollar Line is an extremely historic and recognizable attraction, being a pioneer in theme park railroading. I think this line deserves some kind of a special event to celebrate 60 years of steam. I have sent letters to a few SDC personnel regarding this topic, but I have not received very promising replies.
I know a few of the engineers would like to see a double/triple/quadrupleheader. I personally want an event that is a bit different but doesn't involve the train actually running.
What are everyone's thoughts on this? If we can get enough support, this event might be able to happen.
Trevlyn

sirwillow

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Re: Frisco Silver Dollar Line 60th Birthday
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2022, 02:24:55 AM »
Outside of ribbons for us to hand out- which our lead at the time had a major role in getting produced- they didn't have us do much of anything to commemorate the 50th.  It really got kind of overlooked by the park. I would expect the same this year.

if any rides gets special notice it may be Fire in the Hole since it is likely the last year for it
This is a stick up!  Get it? Stick.... Nevermind, it's a train robbery.  I want everyone to get your hands up and act scared.

sdcfan88

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Re: Frisco Silver Dollar Line 60th Birthday
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2022, 04:21:11 AM »
Outside of ribbons for us to hand out- which our lead at the time had a major role in getting produced- they didn't have us do much of anything to commemorate the 50th.  It really got kind of overlooked by the park. I would expect the same this year.

if any rides gets special notice it may be Fire in the Hole since it is likely the last year for it

And the train station getting Demo'd if that rumor is true. "Hey its the 60th anniversary of the train at the park! We are tearing down that old station at the end of the season to celebrate!"  ::)
« Last Edit: February 07, 2022, 04:27:38 AM by sdcfan88 »

TTTRailYT

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Re: Frisco Silver Dollar Line 60th Birthday
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2022, 05:40:13 PM »
Outside of ribbons for us to hand out- which our lead at the time had a major role in getting produced- they didn't have us do much of anything to commemorate the 50th.  It really got kind of overlooked by the park. I would expect the same this year.

if any rides gets special notice it may be Fire in the Hole since it is likely the last year for it

The steam train in general is very overlooked by the park. I know for sure the staff and crew for the steam trains very much care for them, but it is just a little kiddie train to anyone else. (It’s not)
Trevlyn

tmstephe

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Re: Frisco Silver Dollar Line 60th Birthday
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2022, 08:57:07 PM »

The locomotives operating at Silver Dollar City are extremely rare industrial tank engines that originally worked for construction firms and quarries in Germany during the 1940s and 50s. They were all purchased and imported by Jim Valesh from Iowa who sold 4 locomotives to Silver Dollar City in the mid-late 60s. The locomotives purchased from Minnesota in 2016 also have ties to Valesh.

From the “it’s a small world” file, my mother-in-law worked for many years in the dental practice of Jim’s son, Keith.  Keith Valesh had a steam engine in his back yard that he ran for visitors on special occasions, including the local “Railroad Days” festival.


Oelwein made the news Thursday as television cameras recorded a special ride on the centennial railroad which will be a part of the celebration in June. The first load of passengers is shown in this picture as the engine and two cars move around the oval track. With a shrill blast from its steam whistle and a sound that told all people in Oelwein that it was ready to roll the Oelwein Centennial railroad made its first official journey around the railroad track that covers a half to threefourths of a mile in the area behind the residence of Dr Keith Valesh across from City Park. The journey was made slightly behind the announced schedule but everything went very nicely for a maiden voyage The two cars behind the puffing steamer were loaded with newsmen from area newspapers radio and television stations interspersed with some area residents who came by to recall earlier days when they were part of the for real railroad. Although there is still some work to be done on the laying of the track completion of a spur etc those on the train for the first time thoroughly enjoyed the ride as Dr Valesh dressed in the traditional garb of a steam locomotive engineer piloted the small tram around the oval. The event was part of a press day program sponsored by the REGISTER and radio station KOEL to publicize the Oelwein centennial in the area media. The industrial type steam locomotive built in Germany in 1935 burns coal to get 120 pounds per square inch of steam pressure. The unit is rated at about 40 horsepower according to Dr and the two cars are able to haul an estimated 30 persons each. Dr Valesh has been the owner of the engine for three years — Oelwein Daily Register, May 25, 1973

8 was built by Henschel & Son in 1935, #22631, as Grün & Bilfinger 8.  It was sold to James Valesh in 1963.

TTTRailYT

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Re: Frisco Silver Dollar Line 60th Birthday
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2022, 02:52:42 PM »
Their Henschel was quite similar to 43. 43 is able to produce 50 HP.
Trevlyn

sirwillow

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Re: Frisco Silver Dollar Line 60th Birthday
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2022, 04:10:20 PM »

And the train station getting Demo'd if that rumor is true. "Hey its the 60th anniversary of the train at the park! We are tearing down that old station at the end of the season to celebrate!"  ::)

I'm not sure I'm a believer of that rumor, at least not at this point.  They put in quite a bit of money just a handful of years ago investing in the flooring of the station. There are multiple reasons not to move it.  And I just haven't really had much by way of indicators when I've talked to people around the park who might know.

I'm not saying it's not going to happen, but I'm not really convinced at this point.
This is a stick up!  Get it? Stick.... Nevermind, it's a train robbery.  I want everyone to get your hands up and act scared.

Jipper

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Re: Frisco Silver Dollar Line 60th Birthday
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2022, 06:37:25 PM »
I'm not sure I'm a believer of that rumor, at least not at this point.  They put in quite a bit of money just a handful of years ago investing in the flooring of the station. There are multiple reasons not to move it.  And I just haven't really had much by way of indicators when I've talked to people around the park who might know.

I'm not saying it's not going to happen, but I'm not really convinced at this point.

I saw your video on that today SirWillow. You brought up good points surrounding everything. We'll just have to see what happens I guess. It's fun to speculate though...  ;)

TTTRailYT

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Re: Frisco Silver Dollar Line 60th Birthday
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2022, 08:03:44 AM »
If there is a new depot, it must retain a hydraulic bench!!!
Trevlyn