Kings Island & Miami Valley Railroad

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Kings Island & Miami Valley Railroad
Lew Brown 19 4-4-0.jpg
Lew Brown #19
Kings Island
Status Operating
Opening date 1972
General statistics
Length 5,282 ft (1,610 m)
Vehicle type 3 ft (914 mm) propane-burning steam passenger trains
Vehicles 2
Riders per vehicle variable
Handicapped/disabled access Wheelchair accessible

The Kings Island & Miami Valley Railroad is a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge passenger railroad located at the Kings Island Amusement Park in Mason, Ohio. The line is a 5,282-foot (1,610 m) loop. The line has two stations: the Losantiville station (the main station) also commonly referred to as "Rivertown Station" and a station at Soak City. It is a part of the rides department, and has a thrill rating of "1 - Low Thrill Ride". The entire journey lasts between 9 and 15 minutes, depending on station stops and number of trains in operation. The Kings Island & Miami Valley Railroad is one of the oldest and consistently popular attractions at Kings Island. It is currently the second most visited ride of all time at the park with over 50 million rides given.[1]

Rolling stock[edit]

Locomotives[edit]

The Kings Island & Miami Valley Railroad maintains two working locomotives. They were built by Crown Metal Products of Pennsylvania for the park opening in 1972. The engines were modeled after The General.

No. 12 - "Kenny Van Meter"[edit]

The #12 engine, also known as the "Kenny Van Meter", features a propane fired boiler and has a total weight of 25 tons (engine and tender). It is a 2/3 scale replica of The General. It is painted blue. The locomotive's original name was Tecumseh after the Shawnee leader. Originally, it featured a balloon style stack but it was replaced in the late 80s or early 90s to make it stand apart from the green engine. The blue engine also originally had two blue domes but were painted red to match the wheels in the late 80s- early 90s when the balloon stack was removed.

No. 19 - "Lew Brown"[edit]

The #19 engine, also known as the "Lew Brown", features a propane fired boiler and has a total weight of 25 tons (engine and tender). Like its older brother engine, the #12, it is a scale replica of The General. The green engine was originally named Simon Kenton, a famous Ohio frontiersman.

Engine naming[edit]

The blue engine is named "Kenny Van Meter", while the green engine is named "Lew Brown". Each engine is named in honor of two former engineers that have passed away. The locomotives were originally named after famous historic figures from the tri state area of Cincinnati. The blue engine was originally named Tecumseh after the famous Shawnee leader. The green engine was named Simon Kenton, a famous Ohio frontiersman.

Passenger cars[edit]

Kings Island maintains a total of 12 open air passenger cars, arranged as 6 cars on each engine. 6 of the cars are painted green, and are typically matched with the No. 19 engine. The other 6 cars are painted red, and are matched with the No. 12 engine. Capacity per completed train (6 cars) is 465 park guests. Each passenger car has a series of seals depicting Native American Tecumseh and frontiersman Simon Kenton (after whom the engines were originally named) with the railroad name.

Operation[edit]

Stations[edit]

The Kings Island & Miami Valley Railroad features two train stations. Losantiville station is considered the line's main station, and is located in the Rivertown section of the park, next to the entrance of White Water Canyon. It is a covered station and platform. There is also a station located at the entrance to Soak City Water park, which is an uncovered concrete pad station that, unlike the Losantiville station, is a curved station.

Crew[edit]

Each train is manned by a total of four associates; an Engineer, Fireman, Front Conductor, and Back Conductor (position of back conductor may be eliminated with the operation of a scaled down train of three passenger cars, rather than the regular six). The Engineer is in charge of the operation of the locomotive, while the Fireman watches over the boiler pressure levels, and maintains the fire and water levels in the boiler. The Front Conductor is in the charge of the movement of the train, as well as the entertainment and wellbeing of the passengers aboard. Additionally, each station must be manned by a Station Master who is responsible for the safety of passengers in the station, helping passengers load and unload, as well as keeping capacity.

Opening[edit]

Each morning, the train crew (Engineer and Fireman) prepare the engines for operation at the engine house, located near the Losantiville station. Once the first train of the morning reaches the Losantiville station, the front conductor and back conductor board the train. Once the train is staffed completely, the train must do a full test cycle around the track before passengers can be loaded. During the morning hours, only one engine is in service. Midway through the day, the second train is brought into operation. Opening procedures for the train brought out second differ slightly, in that the front and back conductors board the train in the engine house, rather than at the Losantiville station.

In service[edit]

Whistles[edit]

  • One Short - Train arriving at station.
  • Two Short - Train departing station / Train beginning forward movement.
  • Two Long, One Short, One Long - Approaching crossing.
  • Three Short - Train is backing up.
  • One Long - Distress.

Procedure for train movement[edit]

The Front Conductor is in charge of the movement of the train. During a normal passenger loading procedure, the station master must clear the station platform with a thumbs up signal, at which point the Back Conductor must clear the Front Conductor for movement with a hand signal known as a "Highball". Once the Front Conductor verifies the Highball from the Back Conductor and the clear from the Station Master, the Front Conductor will "Highball" the Engineer, who then proceeds with operation of the locomotive. "Highball" hand signals are also given at two locations along the train route, between the Front and Back Conductor, to signal that everything is clear on all six passenger cars.

Closing[edit]

After the water park closes, the park resumes one-train operation for the rest of the night. The last train leaves at park closing. After the last cycle has completed for the night, the Engineer and Fireman proceed to back the train into the engine house from the Losantiville station.

Grade crossings[edit]

The Kings Island & Miami Valley Railroad has some private grade crossings for the private roads where the workers go on. The private grade crossings have one or two crossbucks. There is also a public grade crossing that has four railroad crossing signals, two gated signals with bells and lights for the public path and two gateless signals with just lights for the private road. This crossing is right next to the Soak City station.

Halloween Haunt[edit]

The Kings Island & Miami Valley Railroad consistently operates during the entire season. While during the majority of the season it is used mainly as an entertaining ride and transportation to Soak City, during Kings Island's yearly Halloween Haunt event it becomes a Haunt attraction. During this time two scaled down trains (three passenger cars versus the normal six) are used. The ride becomes known as "Tombstone Terror-Tory", and is consistently one of the most popular attractions during Halloween Haunt. The journey begins with an empty train returning to the Losantiville/Rivertown station to pick up new guests. The guests, who are queued behind the station platform, are then loaded onto the train. Traditionally there is an Engineer, Fireman, Rear Conductor, and a Scare-Actor (for entertainment) on the train. The actual journey lasts only between two and five minutes before the guests are then dropped off at a station platform located halfway to Soak City. This is meant to come as a surprise to unsuspecting passengers, who assume it would be a full-circuit train ride. Once the train stops at said platform, Scare-Actors dressed as Cowboys seemingly hi-jack the train. The guests are then forced to exit, and with the help of the operational crew, are escorted along the train tracks and into the entrance of the maze. Tombstone Terror-Tory, the maze, is located in the White Water Canyon exit pathway and has an old-western theme.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ride Record Book | Kings Island, Mason OH". Visitkingsisland.com. 2012-03-21. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 

External links[edit]