Forest Park Miniature Trains, a Fort Worth tradition since the 1950s, held a special ribbon cutting to announce their reopening. The train closed in March 2022 due to mechanical issues but was purchased by Tom and Mary Talley, who worked diligently to get the train operational again. The train officially reopens to the public on Friday, September 1, at 10 a.m.
Bill Hames, Forest Park amusement rides concessionaire and Mary Talley’s great-grandfather, opened the trains on June 12, 1959. The miniature train was the latest addition to the park, which already had several amusement rides and a train with a smaller track layout. When the new train opened, it was the longest miniature railway in the world!
“The trains are a family legacy,” said Mary Talley, president of Forest Park Rides. “It was important to me to keep the trains in the family and restore them for all to enjoy. Generations of families have been enjoying the ride, including mine. I can’t wait to see the smiles on children’s faces when we reopen.”
Today’s Forest Park miniature train is not yesterday’s Forest Park miniature train, of course. The engines were refurbished by Western Trains in Temecula, Calif., and the train cars by Tom Talley. Talley has also refurbished the depot and concession stand. Caramel apple slices, popcorn, hotdogs, cotton candy and cold drinks will be available for purchase.
“I am thrilled that families across this city have the opportunity to create lasting memories once again,” said Fort Worth Councilwoman Elizabeth Beck. “I would like to thank the City of Fort Worth staff for their steadfast efforts to bring the train back to life.”
Mary Talley hails from a rich lineage of generational amusement ride providers with roots tracing back to the early 1900s. Together with her husband Tom, they boast an impressive collective experience of over 200 years in the carnival amusement industry, spanning multiple generations.
The train’s schedule varies by season and weather. Please check the hours and admission page for an updated operation schedule.