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"The Spirit of Traverse City" may be in trouble

Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:38 pm
by Clay320
http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=31295&p=157719#p157719

Sounds like the little train at Clinch Park may be in trouble. Seems like it's definitely going to be removed from its current spot, whether it will be put back in somewhere else is another thing.

Like I said over on RYPN Its a very nice little train, I rode it many times during family trips "up north" and it was even nicer when the zoo was still there. I hope it stays in TC and that it finds a good home if not.

Re: "The Spirit of Traverse City" may be in trouble

Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:09 pm
by AARR
That little engine has some pep in its engine. It can get up and go :)

Sadly, I did not know TC lost its zoo :( . Guess it has been a long while since I have visited TC.

Re: "The Spirit of Traverse City" may be in trouble

Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:28 am
by Rick in TC
Oh great, another rails to trails. I didn't see a STB filing yet. Maybe the GLC can take it over and start freight service to supplement passenger service. They can deliver duck food to the ducks along the line. Since it's right along the bay, unit 3" scale tank trains of water destined for Chicago.

Re: "The Spirit of Traverse City" may be in trouble

Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:38 am
by Michael
It was sad to see that cool little zoo go. Every year since I have been surprised to see the train still there and in operation. It is a favorite of my kids and I love the location but I hope it can at least be moved.

Last year for the "Spirit of Traverse City"

Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:20 pm
by Jeff_Frost
The Spirit of Traverse City will stop running after the summer of 2011. She is a 3” scale Atlantic (4-4-2 wheel arrangement) built by Lawrence Witherill of Boston, Massachusetts. She started running around Clinch Park Zoo (now just Clinch Park) since 1982 and had a brief brake in 2002 during the marina construction. Now the Bay Front Planning committee has removed the train from their plans for Clinch Park and construction will start this fall.

I worked on the Spirit of Traverse City from 2004-2006. My dad and I led a rebuild of the locomotive, tender and train and fabricated new parts and made several improvements to the locomotive. We can save about 2-3 gallons of fuel and about 15 gallons of water per day, compared to 2004, while running more trips. The wheels (which were too big for our machines) were machined by Grand Traverse Machine (at a very good price) so the money stayed in the local economy.

The Bay Front Planning committee removed the train from the Clinch Park plans with little or no discussion according to commissioner Jim Carruthers and Gary Howe. No one else on the Bay Front (T. Michael Jackson, Jennifer Jaffee, Nate Elkins, Michael Borer, and Rick Shimmel) has responded to any of my 5 inquiries about the train.

The Bay Front Planning committee decided it did not fit their idea of a multi-generational park and have not said why they don’t want the train. The steam train is a large draw, unique to the area and Clinch Park is the best place for it and many families enjoy riding and seeing it.

The Record Eagle, the local paper, ran a front page article on May 28, 2011 saying that the train will no longer operate at Clinch Park after this year and “may be moved” elsewhere. But that is what the city said about the zoo that is no longer in existence. The reaction from the public has been more or less a shocked expression that the city is getting rid of the train, which is a favorite ride for kids and adults and is a draw to the area, without the public being involved in the decision.

The only way the train may stay is if the public speaks out enough that the local government will have to speak publicly about the train. The commissioners can be emailed, their email addresses are listed on the City of Traverse City government webside under their perspective commissions. Or if you feel like it, you can write a letter to the editor (of the Record Eagle) talking about the train. This is probably the best as it is in the eyes of the public as the commissioners have barely responded to me with a concrete answer.

For those of you who have ridden and worked on the train, thank you. I really enjoyed running, repairing and improving her.

Re: Last year for the "Spirit of Traverse City"

Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:17 pm
by AARR
Nice report. Good luck Jeff. I hope those people remember who they work for and at least of the courtesy to respond to you.

Re: "The Spirit of Traverse City" may be in trouble

Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:56 pm
by hoborich
Good article. I rode the train a few years back. Just another example of public officials making decisions, with no regard for what the people want, or what is best for the people.
One of their lawyers may have advised them that it is a liability issue. Just a guess. But many decisions are made behind closed doors by the lawyers these days. The citys insurance company may have had some input too. It was definately a tourist draw. They may have shot themselves in the foot.

Re: "The Spirit of Traverse City" may be in trouble

Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:57 pm
by Jeff_Frost
If any of you are on facebook, this page was started by some locals to help save the train.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-The- ... 5531556342

Re: "The Spirit of Traverse City" may be in trouble

Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:52 pm
by AANscaleRunner
http://www.9and10news.com/Category/Story/?id=296101&cID=1

The television station in Cadillac aired this story Wednesday morning (July 6th). Maybe somebody is listening in TC and the train can stay.

Re: "The Spirit of Traverse City" may be in trouble

Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:57 pm
by Michael
I don't mean to be negative but I think at best the train will be moved to a new location but if I were betting I would say even that won't happen. There was much more opposition to closing the former Clinch Zoo on the same site and it still happened.