Many people today have never been on a train. And still fewer people have been on a real steam train. That's why Kings Island's railroad appeals to guests of all ages.
Kings Island's locomotives have been at the park since it opened in 1972 and are scale replicas of the famous 1800's locomotive known as The General, which was the subject of the Great Locomotive Chase of the American Civil War.
Although Kings Island's engines are fired by propane rather than coal, the 400-gallon boilers on each engine provide plenty of capacity to make them real authentic stream-spitting locomotives. Each engine -- Blue No. 12 and Green No. 19 -- pulls six coaches and when both trains are filled to capacity, 960 guests can be on the rail at one time.
Soon after the trains pull out of the "old" depot on the 36-inch gauge track, passengers pass under the first drop of the Diamondback roller coaster and over a 65-foot natural ravine on a steel and wood trestle. The track winds through several fields, stopping at the Soak City Waterpark. After dropping off and picking up guests at the 33-acre waterpark, the trains then loop around through woods and back into the depot. A round trip on the train covers 1-1/4 miles of track.
The K.I. & Miami Valley Railroad has given more than 52 million rides since 1972, the second-most in the park's 43-year history. It's record year was 1973, when 2,378,749 rides were given.
By Don Helbig, Kings Island Public Relations Area Manager