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Field Trip: The Crystal Beach Train Ride – Part 1 of 2

Chance Rides - CP Huntington & train set
Crystal Beach, Ontario just west of Fort Erie on Lake Erie was famed as an amusement park and beach resort for many years. Only the beach resort community remains today.

One of the featured attractions in Crystal Beach was a miniature train ride, originally powered by a 15” gauge Cagney 4-4-0 steam locomotive. Cagney locomotives were manufactured in Niagara Falls, New York and you can see a series of great pictures of them by clicking here.

In 1948, the steam locomotive on the miniature train was replaced with a diesel. The cars were also replaced with ones which matched the engine. The track length was about 600 metres through a wooded area.

The final train that the amusement park had was a 1963 C.P. Huntington model from Chance Rides of Wichita Kansas. Powered by a Ford 4 cylinder gas motor, the train hauled 4 coaches, and was equipped with air brakes. Chance Rides still makes the popular C.P. Huntington model, which is 24" gauge. The Crystal Beach train was the 97th one built, hence the number #97. Click here to visit the Chance Rides website.

There is much more information available about the Crystal Beach Amusement Park on the Amusement Park Historical Association of Niagara's website. Click here to visit the website or click here to visit the specific page on the Crystal Beach miniature railway.

What happened to this miniature railway? In our next posting we will share what we found.

Click here to find out in Part 2 of the News posting.

Posting by Russ Milland

Click on each image for a closer look!

Miniature Railway Station
Original Cagney engine and train
Original Cagney engine and train
Post 1948 Diesel (from
Miniature Railway Station (photo by Ken Jones Sr. -
C.P. Huntington in Crystal Beach

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