Holiday World retiring its last original ride

Posted Saturday, May 25, 2013 9:01 AM | Contributed by VitaminsAndGravy

The Freedom Train, the last remaining of Holiday World’s original rides from the days when the theme park was known as Santa Claus Land, has taken its final trip. In operation since the park opened in 1946, company officials say the train has deteriorated too badly for repair and will be replaced.

Read more from The Evansville Courier and Press.

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Saturday, May 25, 2013 1:06 PM

It appears that the structural integrity of the coaches came into question. The locomotive itself didn't have any real issues. It sounds like they could pick up a good used C.P. Huntington for less than what it would cost them to have new replacement coaches made, including pulling up the old track and laying the 24" gauge line.

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Saturday, May 25, 2013 2:15 PM

Sorry to go off topic but is the voyage finally running timberliner trains? I can't seem to find any info about it even on the park website where it says it runs 2 PTC trains. I was planning on going out there once they put the new trains on.

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Saturday, May 25, 2013 2:22 PM

Here's Paula's update from last month.

Last edited by Vater, Saturday, May 25, 2013 2:22 PM
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Saturday, May 25, 2013 2:45 PM

Thanks Vater!

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Saturday, May 25, 2013 10:16 PM

Dutchman said:
It appears that the structural integrity of the coaches came into question. The locomotive itself didn't have any real issues. It sounds like they could pick up a good used C.P. Huntington for less than what it would cost them to have new replacement coaches made, including pulling up the old track and laying the 24" gauge line.

Sad to see it go. While I never rode it as a kid (I was way too big the first time I went there as an adult), it's sad to see any old train disappear. Don't get me wrong. CP Huntington's serve a purpose, but they are not a replacement for a true steam train.

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Saturday, May 25, 2013 10:18 PM

Well true, but the Freedom Express locomotive is a gasoline mechanical with a sheetmetal body.

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Saturday, May 25, 2013 10:55 PM

Nothing lasts forever. :( Out with the old, in with the new.

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Saturday, May 25, 2013 11:08 PM

Dutchman said:
Well true, but the Freedom Express locomotive is a gasoline mechanical with a sheetmetal body.

True, very true. Similar to the Kennywood express from what I recall. But, as I said above, its different.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013 9:40 PM

The thing about the Freedom Train is that it was originally built by a couple of Kochs, and it is the park's original ride. That it was built in house makes it unique, that it was the park's original ride makes it special.
But honestly, unique and special only go so far. It's an undersized train to nowhere, with limited appeal and even more limited capacity. It was worthwhile to keep it around, but there comes a point where in addition to requiring an extensive overhaul, the ride really didn't meet the park's needs anymore. Let's hope this means the growing park will actively consider a *useful* in park train...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Monday, May 27, 2013 8:56 AM

Sad to see any ride with a history like that go, but if it means they'll get a train ride that suits the park better I think it's a good thing. A Chance or Crown train would be neat, something adults could fit into and have good capacity.

I do wish they would route it through the whole park, Dutch Wonderland's CP Huntington is laid out beautifuly winding thru the entire park.

From the small bit of information in the article, it sounds like they're just using the old Freedom train route. Maybee it's too short notice to do much else for this season, but maybee it could be expanded for 2014?

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Monday, May 27, 2013 9:39 AM

I want another superb woody at the park.

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Monday, May 27, 2013 10:21 AM

That's completely irrelevant to the discussion. Please stop posting to hear yourself talk.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013 3:59 PM

By the way, it looks similar in size to the Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad in Los Gatos, CA. I LOVE taking my son on that train when we're up north visiting my family. Check out the cool history:

http://www.bjwrr.org/

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013 10:38 PM

Gotta make room for new stuff :)

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013 8:15 AM

RideMan said:

The thing about the Freedom Train is that it was originally built by a couple of Kochs ... with limited appeal ... in addition to requiring an extensive overhaul, the ride really didn't meet the park's needs anymore.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Dave, could you possibly be any more warm and fuzzy? :)

The Freedom Train was built by Ted Buehn at George Koch Sons for Louis (one of the sons), who was a train enthusiast. Louis founded Santa Claus Land, now Holiday World. It was our first ride.

Regarding "limited appeal," I guess that's subjective, but for many families its a multi-generational tradition to ride the train together. The word "beloved" comes to mind.

The front coach was, simply put, worn out. It was at the point that restoring it to track worthiness would require so much replacement, it was felt it would no longer be the same ride. In short, we could replicate it but not restore it. And so we will display the train in the park and add the Chance train for riders.

This was (and is) a tough process to go through - I didn't want that to get lost in this discussion.

Thanks, Paula

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013 9:16 AM

GayCoasterGuy said:

Gotta make room for new stuff :)

I remember you saying the same thing when SFGAm was going to take out Whizzer...

(I keed. I keed.)

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013 1:28 PM

^My blood pressure spiked for a second. Now, rush of happiness.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013 2:16 PM

I'm not sure if this was mentioned anywhere, but are they getting a Chance CP Huntington to replace it? That's a really nice looking train, too.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013 3:15 PM

It would be really cool if the park took the opportunity to *consider* a transport ride.

Trains with multiple stops, or one-way skyride, monorails, etc., are all great ways to get people from here to there without walking. Should note that walking is great exercise....but not always the most deszirable means of transport.

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