Photo above by the Davis Siblings Collection
"This is the Eastlake Park Scenic Railroad that ran all over the park and over the lake. Built and operated by master machinist John Coit and probably was a similar attraction like the small trains in Travel Town and in Griffith Park today. The miniature train did not last long at the park. When Abbot Kinney was in need of a light railway system for his Venice Pier resort area in Southern California, he contracted Coit to do the work. The popularity of the railway at Venice and the state of the not-so-popular Eastlake Park Scenic Railway prompted Coit to move the train to Venice around 1905."..... javier
John Coit can always be easily be recognized
by his trademark bowler hat.
Also you will sometimes see a midget conductor standing next to him.
He was "Shorty" Chase, and was a friend of Coits and worked on all of his railroads
(Eastlake Park, Venice, Seaside Park (camelback).
Portrait by Frederic Shaw and Phil Reader.
This photo appeared in Frederic Shaw's Little Railways of the World book
By Frederic Shaw and Phil Reader.
Two photos above submitted by Ed Kelley.
Former Volunteer, Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad.
Author, Guide to Narrow Gauge & Amusement Park Railroads.
Miniature Scenic Railway.
Locomotive Fireman's Magazine—October, 1904
The illustrations herewith show an engine designed and built by Bro. J. J. Colt, a member of Lodge 97, B. of L. F., who for more than two years has been physically disabled, and is now depending upon the earnings of his miniature railway for a living. What Bro. Coit lacks physically, is more than offset by his unusual mental ability and ingenuity, which is so ably shown in this perfect little model, and the wish of all his brothers is that success will crown his efforts, The following is a description of the locomotive:
"This looks like the train is coming from the defunct carousel heading towards the lake" j.a.
Total weight of engine and tender 8,000 lbs.; Weight of engine alone 5,134 lbs.; Total length, tip of pilot to end of tank coupler 19 ft.; Height from top of rail to top of stack 51 in.
The boiler is of the Vanderbilt type, 25-horsepower, with a working steam pressure of 150 pounds. Its weight is distributed on three pairs of drivers 18¼ inches in diameter and a pony truck, the wheels of which are 10 inches in diameter. The cylinders are 5x7 inches, and the full stroke of the valves is 1 inch.
The engine has a draw bar pull of 1,076 pounds; the gauge of track is 18 inches, and the capacity of the tender is 206 gallons of water and 86 gallons of oil. The engine is equipped with many devices of Bro. Coit's own invention, among which are a valve motion without eccentrics which greatly simplifies valve setting, an up-draft oil burner, upon which a patent has been applied for, and automatic couplers for the cars and engine. The engine hauls a train of three cars, having a seating capacity of ten persons each, over a track abounding in curves and heavy grades, affording to the traveler a good view of the beauties of East Lake Park. F. C. McCARN, Lodge 97.
"This looks coming out from the back end of the Valley Blvd. parking lot and on the north side of the current swimming pool. The "steepest grade" would be going up and along side of the hills of Lincoln Park and heading back towards the carousel.
I would take this train ride anytime, no fences or barriers, and makes the Travel Town train in Griffith Park a flea ride!
Full stream ahead and the alligators and ostriches better watch out!" j.a.
Novel Valve Motion.
In the October, 1904, issue of the Magazine was illustrated and described "A Miniature Scenic Railway," the engine and cars of which were designed and built by Bro. J. J. Coit, a member of Lodge 97, B. of L. F. Among the devices of Bro. Colt's invention with which the engine is equipped is a valve motion without eccentrics, which greatly simplifies valve setting and is easy to get at.