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Planning on doing an amusement park themed layout 5x10 with at least three, and perhaps four Lemax rides.  There will be two loops 054 outside 042 inside.  

Does anyone know if amusement parK style rolling stock was ever made.  How about a scenic open passenger train or trolley like seen at some parks.

Original Post

MTH made a number of boxcars for the Kennywood park, I believe (not sure how many, but more than one or two I think).

For rides themselves, Lionel also made a bunch (Carousel, Ferris Wheel, Pirate Ship, Scrambler, Swings, maybe another I am forgetting?). 

There is also a company called Coaster Dynamix that has made a bunch of roller coasters and other amusement park rides. I've not actually purchased any of these, but I've seen their displays at York many times, and they seem pretty impressive.

Sorry if the additional ride suggestions weren't really wanted.  I re-read and now realize you really only asked about rolling stock.  I'm leaving it in case anyone else reading is interested.

Pride Lines made some trolleys that were sort of open air, not sure if any in O Gauge are exactly what you'd be looking for.  A lot have Disney characters in them.  Some have just open windows so you can see inside, but there may be a few models with bench seats that would be entered along the sides of the car (a simple web search showed me a few in this style, but they were Standard Gauge).



Last edited by Dave45681

An On30 engine would be absolutely perfect!

Real narrow gauge equipment is used in most parks.

Disney, Knott's berry farm, Cedar Point, I think 6 Flags, and the reopening Kings Island all use small NG locos.  If you stick to an 0-4-0 Porter you could likely go down to 25"-30" curves if you can find them (Piko lists they made/make some really tight 12.5"ish ho curves, but I never actually found any for sale)  (what a summer to want to relaunch Kings Island eh?; right when they're ready to go, they can't.)

I'd look at On30 offerings for a good park RR vs a "train ride" in N or HO or even OO or S.

  Many of the parks used narrow guage anyhow. I only saw the mini trains at metro zoos and a small few roadside RR attractions here and there. Fun to ride, yet so disappointing to know the steamer had a diesel motor and the diesel was a 4 stroke gasoline motor. I enjoyed the ride, but didn't really enjoy those trains too much . The gas belonged in an interurban and the diesel belonged in the diesel, any 5 year old knows that! 

I would have enjoyed a donkey cart ride just as well I suppose 

  If it was a miniature donkey vs "fake"mini train, I'd grin more at the little oat powered machine for sure !    (I was a little rivet counting train snob sometimes..Still went every time, but whined the whole time about "rivits" )

  The On30 stock is smaller than most O,  yet not too small for O figures, etc.  On30 is O scale 30" narrow gauge track {uses HO track ok, but true On30 has bigger/less ties} (similar "On3" is O scale too, but on 3' track, so trucks are too wide for HO/On30 track)  (to throw in a little more confusion, kit bodies are sometimes 1:43, 1:45, 1:48, but I think 1:48 is most common.)

Premade On30 is out there, but takes more digging to find and is usually pricey outside of Bachmann. Bachmann has the easiest offerings to locate, but there is more and better than that too. Most kits are bashes on Bachmann equipment doners (ho or On30 equip)

You want a "carpet drive" for the open air trolleys.  Kits for those open ones go back decades (carpet drive is a motor(s) inside a truck between wheels vs "on it") Folks were more inclined to build them half open/half enclosed to hide a motor... or there was a big square in the center of the seating.

There are a few examples of open air coach cars by folks here where pretty much all they did was cut away the window panels and doors.  (I'm pretty sure I just saw an On30 open coach kit on D-bay too) OR folks added seating and or roof to a gondola (both done prototypically for excursions )

Circus cars and equipment would be pretty much at home on a surrounding mainline to some extent imo. But mostly just ng passenger coaches for the park RR. ( A calliope on a flat, or in a semi-open box car to give it a roof would be "passible" imo.  ... so might a diner car(s) , maybe each with a food theme, cotton candy car, balloon car, taco car, sausage car, soda car, etc, etc. (Kline made a caliope wagon load, & I just saw a "last" one of those on De-bay too.)

Wardie Jay kits are the old circus car kits you'll want to look at too (much of this is written killing time until that name was recalled, lol)

  I guess it really depends on the style of park too. Some are much more like a quiet shady villiage, others like a huge parking lot full of mechanics, lights, and noises.  Even the crowds impressions, reactions, and moods are highly driven by the style.  For the latter, "chase lights", chase lights, and some more chase lights to drown out those other chase lights... repeat. (I worked following carnivals and fairs for private food concessions in my teens; a tamer life than the "real" Carnies but still a blast with sights you can only imagine that stick around forever )

So, other thoughts are street vending carts , decorated diner, etc..  A picnic area and gazebo, maybe with a band. Some small "old west" buildings for knicknack shopper area among winding paths and trees.Skill games, cotton candy, pocorn, ice cream on a Midway strip.

The feeding spots for the colorful carp or other animals are other places I have fond memories of at amusement parks too.   I arrived early and hit the big rides then relaxed and let saner opportunities steer the day, maybe hit some again near close, but near always a planned all day affair. (short days where spur of the moment trips)

I’ve currently got three Lemax rides, Carousel, Ferris wheel and Round Up.  I plan to add the Sky Swing Ride.  

I planned to get the Lemax cobble stone mat and walk way putting the rides on the mat and using the walkway going down the center of the layout with midway attractions on both sides.

One thing I’m trying to figure our is how to control the rides.  I want to be able to turn the sound on and off but the controller has a very short wire.  Does anyone have any ideas.

Also, if I found the Bachman excursion cars could they be converted to 3 rail?

We built an amusement park for the Holyoke MA Senior Center in HO. I was able to get original drawings and photo's from the building dept. manufactures, and other sources to duplicate some of the rides and buildings from Mountain Park. Mountain Park started in the old trolley days and closed in the 1970's. Enclosed are photo's of some of the Park as best that I could do from the photos and plans that I found. The Park train ride is a N Scale engine and I removed the roofs of passenger cars and inserted people, you could do this with HO cars.. Most of rides and buildings were constructed from Polystyrene. The Merry-Go-Round horses were hand painted by the art teacher at the Senior Center.



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Don't know exactly what responses you were expecting for "amusement park style rolling stock" However, I will tell you that in addition to the Kennywood themed cars from MTH, Knoeble's Amusement Park has had a number of cars  made for them, manufactured by Lionel and Weaver. Some of them are very hard to get. I've seen a Standard gauge car for Palisades Park, which is bright yellow. I don't know if an O gauge version exists, but would not be surprised either way. 

For your viewing pleasure, here is a short video of 3 amusement park modules on the Lehigh Valley Hirailers layout. The operating accessories are from Lionel, Coaster Dynamics, and Mr. Christmas. BTW, I'm very found of the NS First Responders Training train.




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Last edited by lehighline

I've done an amusement park. I would recommend LeMax rides. They work well. There were always 1 or 2 sellers at York so it was easy to see the models and select what worked best for you. I go for "fun" rather than realism. If you do that, I would suggest LED flashing lights with changing colors as part of  the park.

I tried to put a roller coaster together about 10 years ago. I think it was Coaster Dynamix. I spent a lot of time and it didn't work.


I'll agree with Gerry: Lemax units are reliable, work well, and are reasonably priced.

Also, if you want an operating roller coaster, get one that is already assembled. The increased reliability and lack of frustration is well worth the extra money. Spend it and lower your blood pressure! BTW: For wooden roller coasters, CD offers 2 designs, each has the same length of track. The more popular on is a twice around, which uses less space. The other is an out-and-back. Both are fun to watch! They have lots of other amusement rides as well. Check out their website.



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