"The Oaks" Train HistoryFrom the park's opening in 1905 to 1985, there were five miniature trains providing patrons a tour of the park. The track ran through the center of the park and along the river bank. Roses bushes lined the majority of the route. Of course, there was a dark tunnel.
Train #1 was owned by the ride manager, C. F. Stephens. It was 9/14" gauge, with real steam engine. The engine and cars were perfect for small children but almost too small for adults to ride.
Robert driving the golden spike - 1913 or 1914
When The Oaks opened, the majority of rides were independently owned. That changed when Manager, Edward Bollinger, discovered some ride owners were retrieving unused tickets from the trash barrels. At the end of the day, some visitors had unused tickets so would toss them away. Ride owners were paid by the number of tickets they collected so by going through the trash, there were able to increase their profits..
WWI Soldiers with Robert and his father on the first train
To eliminate this problem, Edward started purchasing rides to lease to The Oaks. In 1924, he helped Robert purchase his first ride thus forming a father/son amusement ride partnership.
Robert with his new train. There was only one year it ran South to North
Train #2 stopped in front of Monkey Island (home to monkeys and brown bear)
located in the Chute the Chutes pond
Electric Train Replica was the 3rd
Around 1929, the motor on the 1925 train wore out. A new locomotive, patterned after the electric trains running between Chicago & Seattle, was purchased.
The G16 (painted in the Union Pacific colors) was purchased in 1956 and retired when the C.P. Huntington was put into service around 1980.
G16 purchased in 1956
C. P. Huntington Railroad was named after Collis Potter Huntington a railroad financier and lobbyist. He was born in poverty in 1821 and died a multi-millionaire in 1900. C.P. Huntington's first job earned him $84.00 which he saved and soon multiplied into a fortune. The partners in CP Huntington's California railroad system system were Mark Hopkins, Charles Crocker and Leland Standford. It was through their determination that the Central Pacific-Southern Pacific Railroad was built.
As Huntington was building his railroad the time came to drive the first spike in Sacramento. He remarked "If you want to jubilate in driving the first spike here, go ahead and do it. I don't. These mountains look too ugly and I see too much work ahead. . . we may fail and I want to have as few people know it as we can . . . anybody can drive the first spike, but there are many months of hard labor and unrest between the first spike and the last spike."
A motto of Huntington's was "Trust all in all or not at all" *Quote from CP Huntington document
C P Huntington - manufactured by the Chance Manufacturing Company of Wichita, Kansas
Huntington Engineer Wm Hayes