Train Station chugs into Quassy
The Quassy Express Train at Quassy Amusement and Waterpark in Middlebury, Connecticut, will have a new home for the 2015 season, park officials announced this week.
A train station reminiscent of Quassy's 'trolley park' heritage will be constructed at the current loading platform for the popular ride, which has been a staple at the family-owned property since 1948.
"We're pleased to be able to construct a themed station for our train ride," park president Eric Anderson said of the project. "That area of the park will have a fresh look and be equally exciting for our guests as two new rides are also being incorporated there."
The new rides are 'Frantic', a thrill ride with 360-degree flips, and kiddie bumper cars. Both of those additions were announced by the park in early August and will be ready for the 2015 season.
Quassy was once serviced by an electrified rail line operated by the Connecticut Trolley Company, thus the property was called a 'trolley park' during that era.
The line opened in 1908, the same year Quassy was formally established, with the trolley station located across the road (Route 64) from the lakeside property. Major improvements to the road were completed in 1928, which led to the demise of the trolley line.
The 106-year-old park commissioned local architect Andrew Peklo to design a new ticket booth for the property in 2008. That structure was fashioned after the original trolley station.
Peklo was called into service again this summer to design the train station for the Quassy Express, which circles the great lawn area of the park with nearly a third-mile of track.
"Andy has helped us maintain a portion of the park's heritage and some Americana that is vitally important to us," Anderson noted. "At the same time, we've been able to introduce new attractions – blending the old and the new."
The new train station will have the look - including ornate decorate lighting - and feel of a structure from the early 1900s and stretch the length of the loading platform. The station will be constructed in-house during the off-season and ready for Quassy's late April opening.
As for Quassy's train ride, it has changed during its more than 60 years of operation at the lakeside property. A diesel-powered engine pulled passenger coaches along track years ago.
Today, the park features a CP Huntington train manufactured by Chance Rides of Wichita, Kansas, which is a miniature replica of a steam engine that operated in the 1800s, though Quassy's version is driven by an industrial gasoline motor.