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Concept: Train Ride? - Joe - 08/28/13 09:30am

"Kings Dominion needs a transportation ride." Everyone says this: the GP at the park and those who just talk to me, enthusiasts on like us on this site, and pretty much everyone who stays at Kings Dominion for more than a few hours. After all, they used to have a nice skyride to take you from the Grove to Hanna-Barbera Land and the Old Dominion Railway train ride through the woods (even though it was actually only a one-stop ride). Now, it can get really tiring and annoying to walk across that long, straight, mostly asphalt midway between the Congo and the end of the Grove, without any true transportation ride.So wouldn't it be nice to bring back a train ride to service guests between this area? That's where my concept comes in...

Solutions to bringing back a train have been mentioned in a few other threads. Some suggested putting a full-circuit train ride around the entire perimeter of the park. Others argued that would be too costly, difficult to build around so many pre-existing attractions, and hard to go into the pathways to load people. Then people suggested a train ride to simply dissect a portion of the park, but then people could try to jump onto or in front of a moving train, or block traffic, so no to that, too. Then I suggested the bare minimum approach, use a trackless train to just drive back and forth in a train-themed vehicle, but this poses the same issue of danger with being in a pedestrian area with a moving ride vehicle. It seemed like it would be impossible to put a train back into the park!

Then I got a really simple idea: How about they just clear a little dirt path in the woods behind Rebel Yell between the two parts of Water Works? From what I am able to tell from atop the Eiffel Tower, Rebel Yell, satellite images, Water Works pathways, and Windseeker/Drop Tower, there is nothing but a stretch of trees between the entire stretch of Rebel Yell and the lower portion of Water Works, along with a service road and one guest pathway leading to the rest of Water Works. This means they could easily clear a little strip of trees, clear out a dirt road, and let two Zamperla People Express trains (trackless train-themed trams) service back there, shuttling guests between a "station" located at the dead end next to Hurler and Ricochet and a train station in the Congo near Anaconda (preferably if the ride were to close anytime soon to re-utilize the area for a loading station. Here is a diagram I made using a Google Maps satellite view, along with my planned layout for the train.
Orange Line - Main train road
White Line - Loading area/"station"
Dark Blue Line - Service road crossroad with track (closed off to General Public)
Light Blue Line - Pathway between upper and lower portions of Water Works (open to General Public)
Red Line - Train road passes under Intimidator 305 coaster track here
Green Lines - Fencing around Intimidator 305 to prevent guests from leaving train to enter Intimidator's restricted areas
Yellow Arrows - For a counter-clockwise, right-side-of-the-road circuit, right-hand departure from Grove station to Lion Country Station
Purple Arrows - For a counter-clockwise, right-side-of-the-road circuit, right-hand departure from Lion Country Station to Grove Station
Railroad Crossing Signs - Location of Railroad Crossing signs/lowering arms to stop people from crossing track when a train is near

As you can see, I have a small, two-lane dirt road cutting through the woods along the back of Rebel Yell with minimal crosses with pedestrian pathways and other disturbances. I don't know if this could happen, but I have the train cutting under Intimidator 305 (sheltered/fenced for safety) for a unique view and a quicker route.

Anyway, with a small fleet of these trackless trains and a small amount of effort, Kings Dominion could have a scenic, feet-saving transport ride that combines quality with little maintenance or effort for fun, unique train ride the park desperately needs! What do you all think of this concept?

RE: Concept: Train Ride? - Nicole - 08/28/13 09:50am

I like it. Why did they get rid of the skyride?

RE: Concept: Train Ride? - b.mac - 08/28/13 12:48pm


RE: Concept: Train Ride? - mwhinva - 08/28/13 03:26pm

Even though I would love to see a steam powered train come back to KD, I realize the cost would be pretty prohibitive. Not so much for the track and the trains themselves; but, for all the infrastructure changes needed to allow the train to run without interrupting the pedestrian flow in all the areas that are beyond the former park boundaries when the train actually ran.

Maybe an elevated monorail would be the best bet for in park transportation system. You can take the trains 12-18 feet over the pathways it needs to go over and the park could have 3-4 stations around the park to catch the monorail.

A sky-ride cable car system might work. Of course, you need a straight path that is clear of any tall attractions to be viable.

RE: Concept: Train Ride? - Party Rocker - 08/28/13 03:51pm

I think a train system wouldn't be that hard, why are pathways a problem? Just add the crossing bars, much like any other train crossing.

However, if you are really concerned about the crossings, I fully support the monorail idea.

RE: Concept: Train Ride? - b.mac - 08/28/13 03:53pm

Monorails are a hell of a lot more expensive than a traditional railroad, just pointing that out.

RE: Concept: Train Ride? - Nicole - 08/28/13 03:56pm

I think they should bring back the monorail AND the animals.

RE: Concept: Train Ride? - mwhinva - 08/28/13 06:30pm

(08/28/13 03:53pm)b.mac Wrote:  Monorails are a hell of a lot more expensive than a traditional railroad, just pointing that out.

Depends on what type of monorail you want. Urban transit models, that run 365 days a year for 16-18 hours a day and are enclosed | climate controlled, would cost 100 million +. In the amusement industry, I would think of the Disney World monorail system as being such a system.

Then there are open air smaller versions such as what Mack Rides provides. The link below shows a small monorail (4 person cars). Mack states they can scale up the vehicles to handle a larger capacity. My guess to handle 6-8 folks per car.

The old safari monorail cars at KD could hold 12-16 people per car (2 ride compartments per car | 6-8 people per compartment Poor diagram of safari monorail car [|: :|: :|] The (|) is the seat back; The (:) are the 3-4 folks per bench seat (3 adults or 4 kids or 2 small kids/2 adult combo). One car had 2 ride compartments and both were open to each other. You could climb over the center seat to sit in one or the other. The former KD monorail had 8-10 cars per train and they had 6-8 trains.