GREEN BAY – More trains could be coming to Bay Beach Amusement Park in Green Bay. An Elm Grove man who is the head of a well-known Wisconsin company wants to donate three engines to the 122-year-old park.
One Bay Beach fan says she’s thrilled about the possible new attraction. For years, the park has been a favorite spot for Pat Schroeder’s family.
“Oh crumps,” said Schroeder, a De Pere resident. “We’re married 50 years, so I would say that we’ve been coming about 50 years, off and on.”
The city-owned park could be getting a donation from the family that owns the lip-balm company Carmex. Paul Woelbing is the president of Carma Laboratories in the Milwaukee suburb of Franklin.
“My dad’s big pleasure in life was giving kids rides,” said Woelbing.
He says his late father had 3,000 feet of train tracks in his backyard.
“He was just anxious for neighbors to come over or any work associates to come over and give them rides,” he said.
Woelbing became aware of Bay Beach when a friend was involved in the Zippin Pippin roller coaster project. A trip to the park cemented the idea it would be a great place his for his dad’s train.
“I just love the idea that it was run by the city and the fact that families can come, and with $20 in their pocket, have a great day,” he said.
Bay Beach has two trains on a small track right now. City leaders have already discussed expanding it.
The Bay Beach master plan calls for an expansion of the train to the west of its current location, including a stretch which would run through the supports of the Zippin Pippin. However, city park department officials refused to discuss the project with FOX 11 Thursday and would not confirm if the donation would be used in that way.
“Anything that’s added to the park will make everything so much better,” said Schroeder
Woelbing hopes the donation can happen this year.
“It was wonderful when it was small, so it will be even better when it’s bigger,” added Schroeder.
There are three different diesel-powered engines: one that looks like an 1860 steam locomotive, another like a trolley, and the third like a 1940s streamliner. There are two different sets of cars for passengers. Woelbing believes the train is the same scale as the existing train at Bay Beach, but that could not be confirmed Thursday.
The City Council’s Parks Committee will discuss the donation request at its meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday in room 207 of City Hall.
Green Bay officials say they will explain the plans for the trains after that meeting.