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The Busch Gardens Railway was built with the park in 1975, with a loop of almost 2 1/2 miles and two stations.  Taking advantage of the terrain, the line was designed with two trestles spanning the valley and creating spectacular views of the lake from the trains and the trains from the lake. A third station was added with the addition of the Festa Italia section of the park in 1987.
     
     
The Rhine River Trestle is one of the most spectacular structures in any theme park, with trains passing high above the lake and boats passing beneath.
The trestle can be viewed from a pedestrian bridge as well as from the boat landing or the three Rhine River Cruise boats. The trestle serves as a backdrop for a light display during the annual Christmas Town celebrations, as well as serving as a launch platform for fireworks displays for the Independence Day holiday and the park's Illuminights summer nightly celebrations.
     

The second trestle on the Busch Gardens Railway is the Loch Ness Trestle, named for its proximity to the Loch Ness Monster roller coaster.



Though not quite as impressive, the Loch Ness Trestle spans the valley at the narrow end, as the track winds into the village of Heather Downs.
 
 
     
     
From year to year the Busch Gardens Railway has been used as part of he park's annual Howl-O-Scream festivities sometimes as a haunted attraction, and sometimes as a more mild ride with displays along the tracks and a soundtrack of Halloween music.
     
     
Located closest to the park's main gate, the Tweedside Station is located in the Scottish village of Heather Downs. The station is connected to the Tweedside Gifts shop, which for a time was known as the Label Stable for its proximity to the Highland Stables, home to the Clydesdales.
     
     
     
     
 
     
 
     
     

As part of the Howl-O-Scream celebrations, the Tweedside Station gets decked in Halloween props. Some seasons the station has been closed, and the platform area was used as a scene of horror as part of the Nightmare Express.
     
During the celebration of Christmas Town, the Tweedside station is decked out beautifully.
     
Festa Train Station was a later addition to the railway to connect the Festa Italia area with the main park. This station is a simple platform with small sun shades and benches.
     
   
     
Caribou Station serves the New France area of the park, which is also the furthest point in the park from the park entrance. Aside from being a train station, the station building is also an engine house and the yards where the trains are stored when not in operation. The engine house includes a pit for servicing the locomotives as well as a place to store them out of the weather. The station was for a time home to a model railway display in a Plexiglas case in the center of the shelter.
     
     
     
 
     
As part of the yards and shop area, several wheel sets are sitting on a small piece of track.  The water tower has a small shed where the propane filling hose and valve are housed.
     
  For several years during Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream celebrations, Caribou Station became "Scare-i-boo!" Station. The station was the soul boarding point for the Nightmare Express train ride, and the station and the extended ride queue which had been set up in the area beneath the flume ride featured many elaborate props to help keep the huge crowds entertained while waiting to board.    
     
 
     
During the annual Christmas Town celebrations, the Caribou Station was decorated with lights and greenery, and the trains themselves were each covered in hundreds of colorful lights and played Christmas music as the circled the park.   
   
Custom built Prussian style locomotive with matching 6-car train.
Built for the 1975 opening of Busch Gardens The Old Country, Williamsburg, Virginia (today known as Busch Gardens Williamsburg).
     
     
     
     
     
     






 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
     
   
Custom built English style locomotive with matching 6-car train.
Built for the 1975 opening of Busch Gardens The Old Country, Williamsburg, Virginia (today known as Busch Gardens Williamsburg).
     
 
Postcards from Busch Gardens often featured the picturesque railway. The postcard featuring Balmoral Castle and Der Hochbeinige shows the engines with their original number plates as well as the lighter blue paint on the  Balmoral Castle as well as white buffers. 

Pictures from early park brochures with the Balmoral Castle displaying 7 flags. Today it only displays 5, eliminating the two lowest flags which extended beyond the engine.
 
Also from an early park brochure showing the lighter blue paint and pilot wheels outlined with white.
 
 
 
Panavision slide of the Balmoral Castle crossing Loch Ness Trestle sold by Busch Gardens. In this picture the link and pin coupler on the pilot is painted white. 
 
   
   
 
 
For the annual Howl-O-Scream event, the engines often feature Halloween decorations.  
 

 

 
   
 
   
The Balmoral Castle is named for Queen Victoria's house in Aberdeen, Scotland.   The English styled locomotive is meticulously maintained, with all of its brass fittings gleaming and its flags proudly displayed.  
   
The two original European style engines at Busch Gardens were custom built and while they share the same frames, boilers, cylinders and fireboxes as most of the other engines Crown produced. 
One major difference between the Busch Gardens locomotives and the others produced by Crown is the large drive wheels, which are much more realistic. The pilot truck also features larger wheels than the standard locomotives Crown produced and all of the wheels were spoked rather than solid. 
The locomotives were built with many custom cosmetic features, like belpaire fireboxes covering their standard wagon top fireboxes, European style cabs, and fenders over the drive wheels. 
     
When out of service, the shining brass sand dome is covered to protect its finish from the elements. The gleaming crest on the front of the engine is stored indoors to protect it. 
     
     
   
     
     
     
 
     
     
Originally built in 1972 for the defunct Lakeside Park in Salem, Virginia, this is standard American-style locomotive with matching 4-ccoach train and caboose.  Busch Gardens Williamsburg acquired the train and had it rebuilt in the shops of the Tweetsie Railroad, the "official" supplier of parts for Crown Locomotives. The train was outfitted with a snow plow and alpine style paint on the caboose as it debuted as the Alpen Express in 1997 in conjunction with the park's Alpengeist roller coaster.
     


Originally the Alpen Express featured snow on the roofs of the engine and cars as well as on the red snow plow.




For Christmas Town, the Alpen Express is fitted with strings of LED lights.

To give the generic American styled Crown locomotive more character it was fitted with a snow plow.










   
   
   
   
   
 
Colored bulbs light the cars during the yearly Howl-O-Scream celebrations. The lights are green to match the color of the train. Alpen Express has a shorter train because of its smaller drive wheels. Unlike the other Busch Gardens Railway trains, the Alpen Express has standard Crown coaches. 
   
   
   
     
     
     
     
     
     
     



 Go To The Busch Gardens Official Site