FORT WORTH, Texas — DART trains can get you around Dallas, and the Trinity Rail Express can get you to Fort Worth. But there is another train in the area that can give you a ride back to your childhood.
The Forest Park Miniature Train is celebrating their 60th year of taking passengers over the Trinity River and through the woods of Fort Worth Parks. Raymond Hames currently manages the 5-mile railroad his grandfather started in 1959.
“I have had as many as three and four generations stop in and say they used to ride this train,” said Hames.
Just like it was in the beginning, the mini train is a big hit with children. When they see it pass by Trinity Park or pull into the depot near the Fort Worth Zoo, the bells and the whistles are a tempting ride. The 45-minute trip is a popular pick for field trips and birthdays as it has been for the decades.
The smiles and joy the train brings out of children are a big reason why the Hames family has kept the train in operation for so long.
“The children are 90% of why I am here. It makes you feel good.”
Hames himself was a child playing in Forest Park when his grandfather, Bill Hames, operated a carnival with attractions like merry-go-rounds and tilt-a-whirls. Then in 1959, he added a small miniature train and though route and layout of the track changed in 1972, it has been a fixture of Fort Worth ever since.