Saturday, July 27, 2013

Astroworld Locomotive

If I told you that there was an amusement park called "Astroworld", what do you picture in your head? If you said, "An old-timey train", then you are some kind of genius!

Today's slides are undated - maybe from the early 1980's, although the paint scheme matches early photos (such as this Viewmaster scan that I posted years ago)... later pictures seem to show different paint jobs. There were two locomotives built for Astroworld, both 5/8 scale replicas of the famous Civil War loco called "The General" (familiar to Buster Keaton fans).

The 610 Freeway surrounds the city of Houston, and the attraction was given the (humorous?) name "The 610 Limited". Engine #1 was called "Cannonball", and engine #2 was called "Spitfire". I'm not sure which one this is, with the green boiler jacket. 

It's hard to tell, but the locomotive in this last picture looks to have a blue boiler jacket. Both trains are still around; Engine #1 belongs to the Pacific Coast Railroad in Santa Margarita (which is also the home to the original Disneyland "Retlaw One" passenger cars), while the #2 is undergoing slow restoration in Georgetown, California. 

If anyone can glean any additional information from these images, I would love to hear what they have to say!


K. Martinez said...

The Arrow flume ride in the 1st and 2nd images was known as the "Bamboo Shoot" and was located in the "Oriental Corner" area of the park. One of the "610 Limited" train stations was also located in this area. The other station was located in the "Western Junction" area.

Also in the 2nd images is the skytower in the distance known originally as Skyrama and later known as the Astroneedle. The skyway in the distance was known as the AstroWay which also boarded in "Oriental Corner" on the "Astroway Oriental" terminal. The other terminal "AstroWay Alpine" was in the "Alpine Valley" area.

The auto ride in the 3rd image was known as Le Taxi and located in the "European Village" section.

Nanook said...

It's been 22 years since I was at Astroworld and outside of the Texas Cyclone Rollercoaster, I remember virtually nothing. Maybe has something to do with its demise.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, you know a lot about Astroworld! I guess I should have mentioned the rides in the background, but I was too focused on the trains.

Nanook, somehow as a kid I imagined Astroworld as being much more space oriented; almost as if the whole park was a 1970's Tomorrowland.

Melissa said...

Absolutely adorable. I bet Grandpas everywhere loved it; I know mine would have.

Nancy said...

These are beautiful!

Brian Theriot said...

these pictures are from the 70's, I spent almost every week at Astroworld from 1986 to about 1995, and the trees and plants around the bamboo shoot were way more grown. you couldn't see the bamboo shoot from the train at that location by 1986.