T-bone

Farewell Dreamworld's Steam Trains

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I know it has been discussed before on these boards, but since it doesn't really fit into the other threads where it has been discussed, I thought I would create a new one. It has been rumoured for a few months now, but we finally have some concrete information that Dreamworld is replacing and retiring their historic Steam Trains, in favour for a Diesel look alike. I'll save you all a history lesson on the current engines (Perry and Baldwin) however I will say that one is a World War 1 veteran, so it will be a massive shame to see them scrapped, or as is the parks current trend see them sitting offstage, rotting away. Here's 2 pics of the new locomotive as snapped by a fellow Parkz member. It is rumoured the new engine will start full time operation towards the end of September, so make sure you get your last rides on the existing steam locomotive before then. What is everyone else's thoughts about this?

post-128-0-97296500-1377934270_thumb.jpg

post-128-0-58807000-1377934284_thumb.jpg

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Parks last bit of credibility as a 'theme park' gone right there.

I'd honestly be ashamed to be part of that business right now.

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Just out of curiosity, is there a reason other than cost cutting for them going? Are parts difficult to come by? Are they degrading significantly? Is there some weird OH&S issue that I don't know about? Is the fact that one is always in refurb to much of a capacity constraint? Really keen to know what the go is. Also; why no history lesson? I love history, I'm keen to know more about the engines.

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At least they're not just scrapping the ride all together.

True that. I get that these things aren't cheap to run, there's a whole lot of costs associated with keeping them going, so I get the change, however part of me can't help but wonder how the hell the historical non for profit railway societies such as the one out at Woodford and Bundaberg (plus the many others) can keep their trains operating when a multimillion dollar organisation that is supposed to be about the escape of everyday can't? The permanent loss of these engines from the park is a major significant loss, and once again shows management are more than happy to cut ties with their own history to save a few $$$. And since Joz asked. The engines run standard and readily available boiler equipment, valves and other gear. I could be wrong, but the most expensive and hard to come by parts would possibly be the boiler and the wheels, that said not impossible, and with the wheels you'd just have to find someone to manufacture, not an impossible task. Both engines are also in reasonably decent shape. And a quick history lesson, the Baldwin (red) engine was believed to have been put into service in 1917 over in France during World War 1, post the war it found its way over at Mackay's "Racecourse Mill" as a sugar train until the 1970's where it was rebuilt for Dreamworld. I could be wrong, but I believe this is a photograph of the engine post retirement in Mackay and before its life at Dreamworld - http://www.westonlangford.com/media/photos/108232.jpg The Perry was built in the 1950's and worked at Bingera Mill in Bundy again as a sugar train. When steam was retired there it was moved to the Goulburn railway museum before being purchased for Dreamworld where it was restored and rebuilt to what it is today. I did some digging and I believe this is the engine back in its Bundy days - http://www.westonlangford.com/media/photos/108005 So as you can see, between them both they have quite a history. Edited by T-bone

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I think Richard's hit the nail on the head. There would be few steam-engineers around these days doing the work professionally (as opposed to the historical societies) so the people they have running them would be able to hold the park to ransom (to a degree) on their pay. They can command their own salary - and eliminating the steam engines is the only thing that DW holds over them.

Now i'm not suggesting there has been a pay dispute or argument, and this is DW's way of responding, i'm just saying it's possible.

A diesel operated engine, potentially could be operated by anyone with relatively little training. Then, the only experienced staff you'd require would be your maintenance staff - and diesel engines are modern, so this maintenance could be outsourced on an 'as needed' basis.

Such a shame.

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Richard, you do make a fair and good point. 4 less full time staff on the books when they can just chuck one of the underpaid button pushers in the seat would be their biggest push for this change. A major shame that it has come to this though.

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It seems a shame though that a multi-million-dollar organisation needs to save what would amount to +/- $150,000, and at the same time cutting out what really is dreamworld's last 'original' attraction*

(*i'm aware the park opened with Rocky Hollow and the Model T Fords, however given that the fords have been relocated (and theme destroyed) and Rocky Hollow has also lost most of the theme and charm of the attraction, and in my opinion neither can be considered an 'original' attraction in their current state)

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^. That's just the price difference for the driver, what about the cost of having people working on whatever train is out of service, plus the fact it takes many hours to get the boiler steamed up first thing in the morning. Don't get me wrong, I think it's disgraceful, just putting some food for thought out there.

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^ about the cost of having people working on whatever train is out of service, plus the fact it takes many hours to get the boiler steamed up first thing in the morning.

At the moment the 4 engineers who drive said engines conduct maintenance to the engines, cars and track. They also clean the the engines. The park hasn't had a dedicated set of staff for track maintenance, to refurb and rebuild the trains, or cleaners to keep them schmick for a few years now. Granted it does take a while for the engines to build up enough steam to depart, but that usually takes an hour. Yes they are expensive to run, there's no doubt about that, and I get their reasoning for the change, however it would be nice if they were bought out once a month for a "Steam train Sunday", heck even charge a up charge for it or source volunteers to run them, surely that would be better than letting perfectly fine pieces of machinery sitting there to gather dust? That's my thoughts anyway.

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Sometimes a change is for the best. Like said above the cost of running it is expensive. And yes they should special days with the original. But a change is probably the best for dreamworld. The money saved from maintainance of the original can go into new upcoming rides for the future.

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he money saved from maintainance of the original can go into new upcoming rides for the future.

Yeah! I mean if they are saving a couple of hundred thousand per year in running costs, it means in a decade time they'll have saved enough money for a Wacky Worm coaster or something.

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Yeah! I mean if they are saving a couple of hundred thousand per year in running costs, it means in a decade time they'll have saved enough money for a Wacky Worm coaster or something.

Nothing is more thrilling than a wacky worm.

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Nothing is more thrilling than a wacky worm.

See it may be the 'old guy' in me - but when i hear Wacky Worm - i think of this:

Giant%20worm%20web-350.JPG

That said, these guys seem to have a throwback from Sea world.... (first one in the list).... or maybe not...

http://www.aceamusements.com.au/inflatable_rides.html

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It and Vintage Cars are now weekend operation only, but to their credit, the railway closure was supposed to be for line maintenance before the new loco arrived. Who knows if weekday operation will return with the new loco.

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I agree with everything said here (and I took the shots of the new train). It would be a great shame to lose the trains entirely and my biggest fear is they will be left to rot. I would like to see Diesel on weekdays and the Steam Train on weekends but that does not seem likely considering I heard "replacement" and the general cost cutting decisions of "Dreamworld Happiness".

Edited by One day holiday

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I noticed that they have a few trains in storage. Even the old green one seen in the Young Talent Time special. The trains did close early today. I boarded at the Wildlife Experence station at around 4.05 and we were told to get off at Main Street. Then train then went backwards to the shed. I think the Train should continue to operate till 5pm.

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