Building the Great Train Ride was one of the bigger challenges in the
initial construction of the park. A minimal number of trees were
removed to preserve the natural wooded setting, but the sandy soil of
the Pine Barrens was an issue for the laying of the track. The soft sand
was less than ideal for the roadbed, so a great deal of remediation was
needed to add stability to the track.
Two of the brand new locomotives and their sets of passenger cars were delivered to the park from the Crown Metal Products factory in Wyano, PA. in time for the park's July 1, 1974 opening, with additional equipment coming later. The locomotives came pre-painted and lettered from the factory, ready to go directly into service. Because of the delays in setting the track, the Great Train Ride did not open until the later half of the debut season.
The only visible part of the Great Train Ride from inside the park was
the station building. The open air station platform was a relatively
simple roof structure, but with nice ornate details in the woodwork to give it
visual interest. Early blueprints for the station included a bell tower
that would have signaled approaching trains, but this was deleted before
construction was underway. A similar feature was part of the roof of the
neighboring Junction Inn food stand when it was added in 1975.
The station was right on the edge of the Enchanted Forest theme park, just beyond the Dream Street Skyride Station, with the tracks running through the woods outside of the park's developed area (at the time), exploring the beautiful woodlands.
|Original Spotlight: August 16, 2020. GAH Reference #: RIDE-1974-017