Burley Park Railway

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NS3322
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Burley Park Railway

Unread post by NS3322 »

Does anyone know if the steam train in Burley Park (Howard City) is still operating?

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pudgy
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Re: Burley Park Railway

Unread post by pudgy »

Last I heard, they were still running the train on the select flee market days, but I do not know if they steamer is still operating. I know they have a gas powered diesel locomotive as well as the steamer. I have only seen the diesel whenever I've been in the area to see it in operation.
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MQT1223
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Re: Burley Park Railway

Unread post by MQT1223 »

The steamer runs on select days. As mentioned only on Flee Market days. I have a friend who has been asked to fire on her before. Interesting setup on these, as they were built without an ashpan, so the ash falls freely as the coal burns.
1223 OUT! President and Founder of the Buck Creek Central, the Rolling River Route! (2012-2017) President and Founder of the Lamberton Valley Railroad, The Tin Plate Road! Proudly railfanning with Asperger's since 1996. :)

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SousaKerry
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Re: Burley Park Railway

Unread post by SousaKerry »

MQT1223 wrote:The steamer runs on select days. As mentioned only on Flee Market days. I have a friend who has been asked to fire on her before. Interesting setup on these, as they were built without an ashpan, so the ash falls freely as the coal burns.
Umm wonder how many brush and tie fires that has caused.
What smells like lube oil and diesel.... Oh wait it's just my "Locomotive Breath"

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MQT1223
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Re: Burley Park Railway

Unread post by MQT1223 »

SousaKerry wrote:
MQT1223 wrote:The steamer runs on select days. As mentioned only on Flee Market days. I have a friend who has been asked to fire on her before. Interesting setup on these, as they were built without an ashpan, so the ash falls freely as the coal burns.
Umm wonder how many brush and tie fires that has caused.
Not many since the ash is really fine and I bet there is ballast between the rails. Most fires come from stuff exhaled from the stack.
1223 OUT! President and Founder of the Buck Creek Central, the Rolling River Route! (2012-2017) President and Founder of the Lamberton Valley Railroad, The Tin Plate Road! Proudly railfanning with Asperger's since 1996. :)

NS3322
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Re: Burley Park Railway

Unread post by NS3322 »

I drove up to Burley Park yesterday (October 2nd) and I was told the train was no longer in operation. Something about the track and locomotive maintenance. They weren't very specific.

Mark F
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Re: Burley Park Railway

Unread post by Mark F »

The Lowell Ledger runs retro ads every week. Spotted this one last month. Where exactly was this located before it got moved up to Burley Park? Location in the ad is a bit vague.

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SD80MAC
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Re: Burley Park Railway

Unread post by SD80MAC »

I stopped there back in March and the track didn't look very good.
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Plannerdad
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Re: Burley Park Railway

Unread post by Plannerdad »

I believe it was where Noon tire and equipment used to be, now a large church across from Meijer.

Mark F
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Re: Burley Park Railway

Unread post by Mark F »

Lowell Ledger ran a nice feature in this week's issue about the the operation of the Ramona train when it was located in Lowell. Some the walking trails in the new North Riverfront Park behind Walgreen's are located on the old roadbed. I think this is the first time I've heard of a miniature rails-to-trails project.

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MQT1223
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Re: Burley Park Railway

Unread post by MQT1223 »

Mark F wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:22 pm
Lowell Ledger ran a nice feature in this week's issue about the the operation of the Ramona train when it was located in Lowell. Some the walking trails in the new North Riverfront Park behind Walgreen's are located on the old roadbed. I think this is the first time I've heard of a miniature rails-to-trails project.
now THERE is a "Where is it" no one will figure out! :lol: :lol: :lol:
1223 OUT! President and Founder of the Buck Creek Central, the Rolling River Route! (2012-2017) President and Founder of the Lamberton Valley Railroad, The Tin Plate Road! Proudly railfanning with Asperger's since 1996. :)

fmilhaupt
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Re: Burley Park Railway

Unread post by fmilhaupt »

I remember the Lowell Railway pretty vividly from my childhood.

It was basically kitty-corner across M-21 and slightly to the west of Harold Ziegler Ford, the site of the church that Plannerdad mentioned.

After the fire that burned down the shop and equipment shed at the Lowell Railway, the property was sold to a man named Buck who used the site as a junk yard. The shop and shed had been behind the house at the NE corner of the property.

The out-of-date Google Maps satellite view of Lowell still shows the junk yard in place. It shows a strip of what could have been part of the old gravel roadbed for the last curve into the station, located right behind the Biggby Coffee/Subway franchise parking lot.

Ed Bytwerk did most of the work maintaining the railroad and equipment, and ran the trains, though Lyle Rigney (a Sheriff's deputy at the time, if I recall correctly) also worked there in his spare time, too.

In addition to the Ramona train, there was a second train set at Lowell, starting in the early-to-mid 1970s. It was an MTC G-16 F-unit and three streamlined cars painted in Southern Pacific Daylight colors. It was purchased second-hand from Deer Park, north of Muskegon, when it rebuilt itself into Deer Park Funland and started installing larger rides. Years later, it became Michigan's Adventure and part of Cedar Point's corporate family. After the MTC equipment was sold to the Lowell Railway, Deer Park replaced it with a Chance CP Huntington set.

The Deer Park equipment was a different gauge than the Lowell Railway's and had to be re-gauged before it could be run at Lowell. The last time I saw the ex-Deer Park equipment, it was at Vierson Boiler Works when it was open for tours as part of an NMRA regional convention in the mid-1980s.

I think that at some point, Vierson built another 4-6-4 to the same design as 5002.

Deer Forest, in Coloma, had a similar MTC G-16 set with an F-unit and several cars. Its train was painted blue with red and yellow trim. I never heard what became of it after Deer Forest closed down, but have been told that it is no longer there. There's a picture of their train at deerforest.org.
Last edited by fmilhaupt on Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
-Fritz Milhaupt

Mark F
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Re: Burley Park Railway

Unread post by Mark F »

I think might have lived across the street from Ed Bytwerk when I was young.
Not sure if I am fudging any copyright laws here.
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