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  #1  
Old December 31st, 2013, 11:24 PM
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Scott Scott is offline
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Default Train Question

Went to HiP last night (and had a wonderful time, by the way. Weather was perfect--cold but clear and calm. Quite possibly my favorite time of year at the park!) and noticed something I hadn't noticed before.

It was well past 10 o'clock (probably 10:15--yes, we are one of those families ) by the time we finally made it out the front gate and I noticed that a train was still running. It chugged through the tunnel at the front gate. I know it usually stops running before the park closes because of the maintenance required to shut it down. Were they maybe training?

Also, now that I think about it, I think they reversed its direction as well.
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  #2  
Old January 1st, 2014, 04:08 PM
JStroop JStroop is offline
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Location: Hurst, TX, but every day I pretend it's somewhere in Colorado or British Columbia.
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Default Re: Train Question

I imagine things might have changed in the last 20 years, but we used to always take water at TX Depot, wait until the closing announcement to make the last trip to Good Times Depot, unload, then make the closing trip to the Roundhouse to uncouple, take fuel and shut down.
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Jeremy Stroop: Rides 88-96, Shows Fright Fests 89,90,91, Safety 97,99. Security 97-98. Hurst, TX
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  #3  
Old January 2nd, 2014, 03:29 PM
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Giant12 Giant12 is offline
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Default Re: Train Question

Hasn't change much in 20 years. Normally the train would close one hour before the park but during busy times like HIP they usually will ask the crew to run until close. First water is taken. At closing a one way trip is made to Boomtown, where all guest must exit. Then the train goes on a sand out run stopping at the Roundhouse to uncouple the coaches. The engine then continues to the fuel stand and fills with diesel. Then the engine backs down the track from the fuel stand into the Roundhouse via the spur where it is shut down for the night.
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Old January 3rd, 2014, 05:06 PM
JStroop JStroop is offline
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Default Re: Train Question

Interesting. What is the reasoning behind shutting the train down an hour early? Low throughput + operating cost? Seems like the last hour was usually a decent hour for throughput, with people thinking that the other station was closer to the front gate than the one they were at ... whichever one... doesn't matter, they're just about the same.

I remember one time I had an argument with an older woman about one station being closer to the other... she came up about 30 minutes before closing and asked me which one was closer and I told her they were the same distance, and riding the train wouldn't get her any closer, and she got pissed off and said, "I've been coming to this park for over 20 years! I know one is closer, now tell me which one it is!" We were in good times Depot. I told her to get on the train, take the second stop and go to the right out of the station, and keep turning right until she got to Looney Land, then go through Looney Land and turn left. I got off the train at TX Depot, so unfortunately, I didn't get to see her face when she got back to Good Times and realized that she was right back where she began.
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Jeremy Stroop: Rides 88-96, Shows Fright Fests 89,90,91, Safety 97,99. Security 97-98. Hurst, TX
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  #5  
Old January 5th, 2014, 01:33 PM
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Default Re: Train Question

Yeah it's all about operating costs. The train also opens an hour after the park does. The crew is only given 1 hour to complete the track walk, clean coaches, clean and mop the depot and complete the safety check. So, if you see brass that has not been polished in a while this is the reason why. Yep things changed a lot from my first time as an engineer in the early 90's to my second stint at railroad. Remember 2 hour breaks for engine crew?
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Old January 6th, 2014, 04:21 PM
JStroop JStroop is offline
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Default Re: Train Question

And two hours to prep the engine - and it wasn't a lazy 2 hours, it was solid work from 8:00 to 10:00... sometimes double work if Steele was the day mechanic, because he invariably chugged the smoke stack and spewed dirty water all over the freshly cleaned boiler jacket.

I'm pretty sure that after the season started, we never once mopped the depot in the 2 seasons I worked on conductors, unless there was a VC. I know there was a mop bucket among the cleaning supplies, though. I think we must have always assumed the janitorial crew did it.
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  #7  
Old January 10th, 2014, 12:38 PM
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chazrobitaille chazrobitaille is offline
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Default Re: Train Question

Could have been any number of things as to why they were running that late. Any days that are scheduled as two train operation, the second train would always stay out until closing (unless there were maintenance or weather issues of course). I also recall a few times when we had two trains scheduled but were only able to bring one out for various mechanical reasons, and the one train that did make it out usually kept operating until close...makes for a nice long shift.

"So, if you see brass that has not been polished in a while this is the reason why."

Haha, if you see brass polished at all, it was probably because someone came in early on their own time and got it done. At least the last two seasons, I had trouble convincing the supes (except for one, Lupe, who was always up for giving us extra time to clean) that we needed more time to get all the cleaning done.

'I'm pretty sure that after the season started, we never once mopped the depot in the 2 seasons I worked on conductors'

Man, I wish we had that taken care of (and REALLY wish we still had a conductor crew). Many a night, if the train closed an hour before the park, I would sneak back to the depot and get the station swept and fill the mop bucket with water and fabuloso, just so it would be ready to go in the morning. Inevitably, the wash down crew would always get a whole bunch of junk washed under the front door of the station house...what a mess. I sort of saw all the cleaning as the "job" part of the train, the operating and just hanging out with the crew...that's just an awesome perk.

- Chaz
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