• Freedomland - steam train

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by Otto Vondrak
Okay, who remembers Freedomland park in the Bronx with the narrow guage steam train? The park was only open from 1960-1964, and was demolished in 1971 to make way for Co-op City.

  by Noel Weaver
Steam train at Freedomland was the two former Monson engines from
Edaville, nos. 3 and 4 along with some cars from Edaville too. They ran
around a loop at Freedomland.
The two engines were returned to Edaville when Freedomland folded and
are now in Portland, Maine.
Noel Weaver
Last edited by Noel Weaver on Fri Jan 13, 2006 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

  by scottychaos
Monson 3 and 4.


  by Otto Vondrak
Thanks for the info. Looks like it was an interesting place, maybe before its time and couldnt survive competition from the World's Fair. A friend took pictures of the site in 1971, and his photos of the abandoned and ripped-up loop of track look like the "real thing."

  by Aa3rt
Otto (and anyone else who's interested),

Here's a link to a site dedicated to the Freedomland amusement park. I never visited there and only remember the place being lampooned in the MAD magazines I grew up reading in the early 1960's.

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepage ... mepage.htm
  by b&m617
Slightly off topic but there's a cool site for abandoned/defunct amusement parks:


talk about a trip down memory lane..


work safe
Derail :P

  by docsteve
I have 8mm color movies of the train. Also, I had a visit to the cab of one of the locomotives, but only while it was in the station.
  by gawlikfj
I remember going to see my Aunt & Uncle in Hauppauge L.I. and driving down on the Meritt past Freedomland.
I'm surprised it didn't last longer with all the attractions that were there.

  by Otto Vondrak
Freedomland was located between the Hutchinson Parkway (the Merritt is in Connecticut) and I-95.

Does anyone know about the coaches used on the train? Were they built new or were they antiques?

  by ChiefTroll
Otto, you sure can come up with some arcane topics!

To answer your first question, yes, I remember Freedomland. I went over there in 1960 on one of my rare days off from the NYC. They let me ride the engine on my pass. I forget where the engineer came from, but reaching W-A-Y back in the dim recesses, I want to say he came from the CNJ. Fond memories.

  by harmon44
Many people confuse the Hutchinson pky with the Merritt pkwy. The Merritt pkwy becomes the Hutch when you cross into NY. A person memory from childhood could see this as the same.

  by Otto Vondrak
You mean like how I STILL get confused between Throgs Neck and Whitestone? Those damn bidges even LOOK alike.


  by harmon44
The amount of times I-95 and the Hutch cross or get close to eachother in the Bronx, I can't keep the bridges straight either.
  by jjgtrains
I've been searching for anything about Freedomland's trains and their operations, especially plans, pictures, movies, videos of the trains, train stations, the right-of-way and the roundhouse. I was seven years old when I first rode Freedomland's Santa Fe Railway #3 Steam Train in 1960, and eventually became a Walt Disney World Railroad Steam Locomotive Engineer in 1989 through 1998. So far I’ve discovered that Art Directors Wade B. Rubottom (from Disney), (Abbott and Costello in Hollywood, 1945), and Randall Duell (from MGM), (Singin' in the Rain, 1951) from the Marco Engineering Co. Inc. Los Angeles, CA, designed Freedomland Inc.; F. Nelson Blount signed the agreement to run his two foot narrow-gauge trains at Freedomland Inc.; the Edaville Corp. leased the #3 and #4 steam locomotives to Freedomland Inc. in June of 1960; and according to, The Whistle, Dedicated to Preserving the History of the Edaville Railroad, Volume 1 Number 1, Fall 2002, page 4: “During the summer of 1967, locomotives #3 and #4, together with some passenger cars, were returned from Freedomland, an amusement park in Bronx, NY. The equipment had been on loan to the park for five years.” Two prints of #3 & #4 at Edaville in 1965 were just on EBay today, January, 27, 2006. The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company and Museum at Portland, Maine ownes the #3 and #4 steam locomotives now, and was running #3 in 2003, and #4 in 2005.
According to both Freedomland DVDs from Back in the Bronx, the Santa Fe Railway suppied the steam locomotive engineers and the Edaville folks were not allowed to operate them while they were at Freedomland, however they did bring them back to Edaville at the end of each operating season and returned them for the next operating season.
They run each year during Freedomland’s 1960 through 1964 operationing seasons
They ran both trains at the same time
Additionally, I’m also trying to find out:
Which coaches and combines were used?
Who designed the railway and it’s layout?
Who designed the train stations?
Who laid the track?
Who built the train stations?
Who built the bridges?
Who maintained the trains?
Former steam locomotive engineers, conductors, maintenance workers, shop foremen, managers or anyone else interested in Freedomland's Santa Fa Railway that I could contact?

  by calorosome
I know this is NYS Railfan, but has anybody ever seen Roadside America?