•  skydiver77
  • 66.38% (Friendly)
  • Ride Supervisor Topic Starter
Friday, October 3, 2008 5:21:53 AM
I remember, and the VHS tape is around here somewhere of it back on Strates Shows' midway at the 1991 NC State Fair, Strates had one of the sunshine trains...that's what i heard my buddy Jay on Inners Shows call the style that looks like an Amtrak replica, only on a smaller scale. Strates Shows used to have had one in the late 80's and early 90's. I rode theirs when i was in the 4th grade back then, it was pretty cool, went a pretty good speed. It was dressed exactly like that, an Amtrak replica. The passenger cars looked like that of the Amtrak train and the front engine looked very authentic as well, with the Amtrak name on the sides of the engine and passenger cars. It had a nice big oval track. You guys know about the Zamperla Rio Grande track, well, those old sunshine trains , the oval track was a bit wider and larger than the Rio Grande's track.

So whatever happened to most of those type of trains that you used to see back in those days? Now days, you hardly see one in kiddie land. The one i rode on Strates, it was set up behind the Huss Rainbow that day and behind the Scooters/Bumper Cars with their Dutch (blue & white back then) Wheel to the left of the train. I think than Amtrak replica Strates had, it was a gas engine. I just do remember giving the man my tickets and going to the last car, and i smelled the gas coming from the front car where the engineer steered / drove it. So yes, it used a gasoline powered engine. It was also quicker/faster than the Zamperla Rio Grande kiddie train. Now i'm not sure if those cars would have supported adults or not, maybe so? , or would it had been top-heavy?

A few years before that 1991 State Fair in Raleigh, back in 1987, vagely in my mind, i see that same Amtrak train or a similar sunshine-style train on Strates' midway back then in kiddie land. And you know what was set up next to it?, maybe not, but i know i saw one that day at the 1987 NC State Fair, a good 'ol Eyerly Loop-o-Plane! [:o)] Back in the days when all of those classics were in their prime. God i miss those days, the KMG FireBall's cool, but God, please bring back the Sky Wheel, Sky Diver, Loop-o-Plane, Rock-o-Plane, etc..etc.. [:p]..miss those days dearly, good times seeing a Huss Rainbow and others back then.

Anyway, back to the Amtrak train, Jay told me there's quite a few amusement parks up in PA and other states that way that still operate those sunshine trains. I know i've seen some where they go out into the woods about 2 miles maybe, and then back to the park. Those little trains are fun to ride, but i noticed looking at myself even when i was younger back then, as the last passenger car i rode in, when i was in the very back seat riding alone, the car would sort of lean a bit like it was wanting to flip when it went into the oval track's curves. I don't know how much weight it would take it to flip over, probably not much. Though, those Rio Grande train cars are definately more heavy than those sunshine train passenger cars. I can look at the difference and tell the Zamperla train's cars are more heavy.

Friday, October 3, 2008 6:10:08 AM
From the archives, another discussion on the Sunshine Choo-Choo: 
"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." - Lao-Tsu

"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King Jr.

"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." - Robert F. Kennedy
Friday, October 3, 2008 6:11:59 AM
the sun shine choo choo was an old type train.had a locomotive and three cars. there was a silver one made by king i think it looked like the amtrak
Friday, October 3, 2008 6:51:04 AM
Here is another archived topic.

It is what you learn, after you know it all, that counts.