The train whistle heard around Trinity Park on Aug. 31 announced the reopening of the Forest Park Miniature Train. 

Families can hop on the five-mile ride starting at 10 a.m. Sept. 1 at 1700 Colonial Parkway in Fort Worth. New owners Mary Talley and her husband refurbished the 1972 C.P. Huntington locomotive, the depot and concession stand. Self-service ticket kiosks also were installed. 

City officials said the reopening was an important step in preserving a Fort Worth tradition.

YouTube video
(Matthew Sgroi | Fort Worth Report)

“Projects like this are truly quintessential Fort Worth,” Mayor Mattie Parker said. 

Talley’s great-grandfather, Bill Hames, first opened the park in 1959. 

“Carrying on my great-grandfather’s legacy is an honor for me,” she said. 

The train had been closed since March 2022 when former owner and Talley’s cousin, Raymond Hames, became ill. 

The ticket kiosk located at the Forest Park depot on Aug. 31, 2023, in Fort Worth. (Marcela Sanchez | Fort Worth Report)

Talley and her husband struggled to meet the city of Fort Worth’s deadline to reopen because of supply chain problems, she said. Still, they worked closely with the Fort Worth Park and Recreation department to meet a Sept 1. deadline to reopen. 

“It’s almost a relief to have it finally happening. I’m excited and nervous all at the same time,” Talley said. “I want people to know that we’re going to continue to run this train for many generations to come.”

Forest Park Miniature Train ticket prices and hours of operation 

Passengers can purchase train and snack tickets at the self-service kiosks. 

The kiosk takes cash, credit and debit cards. 

Children age 1 and under: Free

Children ages 2 to 12: $8

Ages 13 and over: $10

Ages 65 or over: $8

Snack ticket prices vary.  

The train will operate from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, including Memorial Day.

The park will now accept credit and debit cards and more snack options will be available at the concession stand. 

The park has two trains that it can operate when it gets busy, Talley said.

The trains travel under Interstate 30 and through Trinity Park. Halfway through the ride, the train stops at the stand for passengers to pick up cotton candy, popcorn, pickles and other treats.

For the first time in the park’s history, t-shirts and hats will be available for purchase.

Fort Worth council member Michael Crain was a frequent passenger when he was a child. His mother brought him to the park to celebrate his birthdays. 

He carried on that tradition with his two oldest children.

Crain is glad the city gave the owners the time to get the train chugging again because of its history in Fort Worth, he said.

“When we knew there was a possibility that this might not exist, as a council, we were like, ‘This is a priority for the city to understand how we make this work,’ so I can still do it, my daughter can do it, her children can come,” he said. 

Michael Crain and his daughter, Ainsley, 7, on the Forest Park Miniature Train on Aug. 31, 2023, in Fort Worth. (Marcela Sanchez | Fort Worth Report)

Crain wanted his youngest, Ainsley, 7, to have the same experience and build on that history.

Ainsley was nothing but smiles as she sat in the train on its inaugural 40-minute journey. She enjoyed the train itself, but her attention was more focused on the sights the ride made accessible — she especially loved seeing a bird sail by just as the locomotive passed over the Trinity River. 

Editor’s note: The story was updated September 6, 2023 to update hours of operation.

Marcela Sanchez is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Marcela Sanchez is a 2023 summer reporting fellow. She’s a North Texas native pursuing a master's in journalism, media and globalization from Aarhus University in Denmark and Charles University in the...