Yes, there was...it was called the "Great Train"...painted yellow and blue. It wasn't a full-scale-size train, but not quite miniature...think half-scale (for lack of better wording). I found one of my mom's old souvenir books ("A Pictorial Guide to Great Adventure"...unfortunately I can't find a date listing when it was made...but since Lightning Loops is in the book, I have to assume it was 1978...since Lightning Loops debuted then, and Rolling Thunder, which debuted the year after, is not mentioned at all) and in this book, it says that the train "pulls guests for a long and beautiful scenic cruise through woods, past a lake, and retuns to the station again." So my guess is either Congo Rapids area, or perhaps over by Medusa/the log flume. Anyone find more info?
verrified this and the location. Item #28 is it, and at that time it was called "Woodland Express" (Item #27 is the Moon Flume).
I can't remember much of it from back then, except that it ran through the trees. The one thing that I do remember... There were trees growing through the roof of the station (i.e. the station roof was built "around" some existing trees.)
Must have been the early 80s because I don't ever remember a train at Great Adventure (and my memories of the park go back pretty far). I wonder what happened to it? It couldn't have been very old when it was removed unless the park bought the trains used.
The actual route of the train is the same path that is used for the haunted hayride when its run by nitro, supposly it was a pretty good ride, and long. I do know that when you are on top of the ferris wheel and look towards seaport and the flume rides there is an opening still there from which the train entered the woods, cant find where it exited though.
Typically, a train ride set up like this could only handle a couple of hundred people an hour. Unfortunately this was the death knell for a lot of these later on. It takes running multiple trains to bring the numbers up. With the Crown it also takes a person far more skilled than your average ride op. In some locals they have to be a certified power boiler operator, or under the direct supervision of one. Some operations didn't want the hassle, while others (like Knobles and Hershey) embraced it.
I believe the Knobles Crown is a 15 inch gauge train. the Great Adventure is 24 inch gauge. Crown ceased production of the 15-16 inch gauge equipment in the mid 1960's. There was a reduced demand for that size, and the difference in the construction costs were just about the same.
You are referring to the Great Adventure train? I find it surprising that it's still there. There is a demand for these with the large scale railroad people. A large portion of the surviving 2 foot Crowns are now running on private railroads.