By the way, the Texas lost its fake stack because it was rotting! My friend at SMRR cut it off a few years ago. It certainly looks better without it.
I took the General's "falsie" off in the early 1990s while we filmed a section of "Fried Green Tomatos" at Stone Mountain. Its a beautiful locomotive without that hideous stack on it!
I will cherish the memories of the good times working the "General II" or "Texas II" with 4 passenger cars up the 2% grade on the backside of the mountain. I made great friends and had a great time at the SMRR. Even in the dark days we made it a fun place to work when we could.
The General II was (and is) always my favorite.
Its beautiful 6" Baldwin 3 chime whistle sits on my fireplace except the rare occasion when I run it on the steam locomotives at the Southeastern Railway Museum at Duluth,GA.
Feel free to e-mail me regarding other SMRR info. I think I can supply almost any info on the operation.
I thought the stack on the General looked nice. I think it is a nice, unique engine with a blend of old and new, without its number plate, an old style stack, light, compound cylinders, etc. Last time I went there, the General was put on a little display track in the yard and given a fresh coat of paint.
That is even less promising that it'll operate. It's too bad, since the steamers would nicely complement the Crossroads and the station
They used to have actual passenger cars that were ex-LIRR(?) ones, they kinda got hot in the summer, but they were nice. The Mountain retired them in 2001, probably for the same reason Disneyland got rit of their coaches (issues with viewing areas and boarding times). I like how they have the crossing signals, but if they could just get them working again...
Probably the only reason Dollywood's trains are surviving this other than with the savaged parts is because of Ms. Parton owns it in part!
I'm not really sure how much longer the park can last like this. Until they improve, I'm staying with Six Flags