Natatorium Park, Spokane, WA

Miniature Train

Nat Park Miniature Train in 1955
The Nat Park Train in 1955
Photo courtesy of Mark Blumhagen

This Miniature Train, manufactured by the Miniature Train Mfg. Co. of Rensselaer, IN, was added to the park in 1952. The ride had 2000 feet of 12 pound rail and featured a train station and a tunnel, as well as several miniature train crossing signals. Its route wound back and forth through a narrow course, with tracks so close together that they shared ties between the rails for two different directions.

James Ellison

James Ellison
James Ellison drives the golden spike into the Nat Park Railroad
May 10, 1952
Photo courtesy of Patrick Blake

Its dedication on May 10, 1952 was attended by Carol Haas (Spokane's 1952 Lilac Queen), some officials from the Union Pacific Railroad and other dignitaries from the area. A golden spike was driven exactly 83 years from the date that the original golden spike was driven in Promontory, Utah by James Ellison, who worked for the Union Pacific railroad for 65 years! Lloyd Vogel served as the driver for this opening celebration.

Lloyd Vogel drives the train
Lloyd Vogel drives the train
Front: Carol Haas and James Ellison
Photo courtesy of Patrick Blake


Nat Park's Miniature Train engine
These pictures were taken during 2005, when the engine was on display
at the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum.

The train had a top speed of 12mph, which is the equivalent of 60 scale mph, and had vaccuum brakes on every wheel.

The train was in service until the park closed in 1967. It's now owned by a private collecter, and has been restored to match its original appearance.

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All materials on are (c) 2005-2024 Gary Nance
unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.