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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 5:07 pm 
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Location: Georgia
Recently, I came across a web site that had some great pictures of the Stone Mountain Scenic Railroad - [url=http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/archiveThumbs.aspx?id=2487&Page=2]SMSRR[/url]

As you will see from the pictures, it is a double-header. During busy times, the park would either run 2 trains or run a double-header with 5-7 coaches. (A 'normal' train for them was 3-4 coaches.) It is a 5-mile trip around the base of the mountain...and there are some very steep grades. Thus the need for the double-header.

The park went from pure steam (when it was run by a private company)...to steam assisted by diesel (when the state took over the operation)...to steam loco PUSHED by a diesel...to only diesel. The last time steam was run in the park was 1986. Since then, these beautiful steamers have sat out in the elements...rotting. Here are some shots of them today: [url=http://trains.nute.ws/4-4-0/RR&G104.htm]"General II" Today[/url] and [url=http://trains.nute.ws/4-4-0/SA&AP60.htm]"Texas II" Today[/url]

What is really sad is that Silver Dollar City operates the park attractions these days. These are the same folks who run Dollywood. Those of us in Georgia had really hoped that Silver Dollar City was going to live up to their promise to bring steam back to Stone Mountain. Instead...all they did was come down here and rape the shop/locomotives for parts for Dollywood. :angry:


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 10:06 pm 
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Those are some awsome pics, i wish there were more steam trains in Georgia, beside the Georgia Agrirama and the Southeastern railroad museum.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 2:25 am 
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Thanks for pointing those out. You son't see much on the Stone Mountain trains, so I'm always excited when somebody finds some new stuff. I noticed that somebody has evidently taken the time to remove Texas II's diamond stack.

Here are some other pics from the SFOG thread, figured I would put them here too:

[url=http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y31/holtskee/StoneMountainb.jpg]Stone Mountain1[/url]
[url=http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y31/holtskee/StoneMountainc.jpg]Stone Mountain2[/url]
[url=http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y31/holtskee/sm70sb.jpg]Stone Mountain3[/url]
[url=http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y31/holtskee/StoneMountainE.jpg]Stone Mountain4[/url]

I strongly anyone who wants to see steam return to Stone Mountain to contact [url=http://stonemountainpark.com/contact/]Stone Mountain Management[/url] or [url=http://www.hfecorp.com/contactus/]Herschend Family Entertainment/SDC[/url] directly and let them know how you feel. HFE is known for customer service, and if they get enough comments about the Stone Mountain locomotives they may look into it.




Edited By Dukeisnumberone on 1133940494


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:47 am 
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The "Texas II" diamond stack disappeared somewhere in the late, late 90's. It was also the last time the engine was pushed around the park by the diesel engine for the Christmas festivities.

I do intend to write the managment. I took my family out there earlier this year and had a miserable experience. We swore we would not go back to any of the attractions (which is a pretty big statement for a family of native Atlantans!).


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 2:35 pm 
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I've ridden tthe trains when the Texas was in front. The General is on a display track now, which is dissapointing, since now it looks like it'll never return to steam, but at least it got a fresh paint job! Now the Green Passenger cars are out of service, probably because of viewing area and boarding time issues. I miss them(especially during the winter:( ) Why couldn't they just use the open ones on warm days? The cars are noisy. The park's definitely seen better days. I do wonder though, why can't the Texas be pushed anymore?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:39 pm 
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I'd hazard a guess that the running gear is all screwed up by now. :(


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:50 am 
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Here are some pictures from the Stone Mountain Railroad in 2005 (taken during the summer)...

The "Texas II" -
Image
Image

The "General II" (notice the greenery growing out of the boiler jacket!!!) -
Image

The "Yonah" -
Image
Image

The DIEsel they run today (which is in very bad shape) -
Image
Image

None of the steam engines are operational. Each of them have been sitting out in the elements (rotting) for the past 10 years. The railroad owns 3 diesel locomotives - but only the one that is pictured above is operational. The other 2 diesel locos have mechanical issues that have never been repaired.

It amazes me that the same company that runs the "Dollywood Express" allows this railroad to operate in such a horrible state. What used to be a fantastic 5 mile trip around the base of the mountain behind a beautiful steam locomotive has turned into an uncomfortable, noisy ride behind a pathetic diesel loco.

Needless to say, my family won't be visiting the park any time soon...


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:55 am 
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Just to compare and contrast...here are two pictures I took of the "Texas II" in the early '80s:

Image
Image

As a kid, the "Texas II" was my favorite Stone Mountain Scenic Railroad engine to ride behind. She really talked going up the steep grades around the mountain and had a beautiful whistle on her! :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 1:16 am 
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Last Winter I was on a trip that took me to Stone Mountain and we had to ride the train. The ride was awful! Bad weather, noisy growling diesel engine enough to make your stomach turn (like cat claws to a chalk board), the speil was tedious, that was the worst train ride I have been on and I will never ride it again until I see that Texas II restored to her original gleaming perfection again (which is pretty much never). All steamers were in awful condition, and they are gorgious machines that need a lot of TLC.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 1:16 am 
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Thank you for sharing the photos, both past and present.

I have a book that was given to me a while back that has beautiful color photos of the Stone Mountain RR in it. Because of that book, I always wanted to ride those steam locomotives along with the trains at Six Flags Over Georgia. Sadly, I don't think I'll be riding any steam trains if I make my way to Georgia sometime in the future. :(

What was the opinion of the other guests there during your recent visit? Do any other local folks in the area care about what's happened to those steam locomotives besides the train buffs?

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