Restaurants that use Trains?

Hi guys. My name is Adrian and I've been lurking in the group for quite a
while, reading the posts and picking up bits and pieces of info. I guess
its time to de-lurck!
I've a quick question that a google search didn't turn up:
Are there currently any restaurants that use model trains to pull food
around?
I'm in the restaurant business and have an idea of a 2 to 3 G scale twin
engine trains pulling food around - much like conveyor belt sushi. I'm
looking at an area of roughly 200-250 sqm to work with. Would like to hear
from the pros how to go about setting something like this up and the best
places to get my equipment. I'm a newbie and my new hobby has already cost
me 2K (with so little to show for I might add.... ) So I shudder to think
what the setup cost of this idea would be. :)
I'm new in this hobby so any web links, pictures and most importantly -
Advice, would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
- Adrian
Reply to
Bonoclayton
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This isn't exactly what you're looking for, but it's a start. A few years back while attending the NMRA convention in Kansas City we visited a restaurant that used sort of a "train" to deliver food to customers.
It was more like little homemade hopper type cars that ran on a track around the perimeter of the dining area. You'd order by phone and then your food would be sent out by car! Somehow the system was designed to have the car with your order stop above your booth. Then the car would unload your tray of food onto a little elevator (sort of like some old Lionel pipe unloading car). After the food was unloaded, the elevator would descend with your order!
It was obvious that somebody spent a LOT of time designing and building this system! It wasn't a fancy type place, more like an old 60s type chain restaurant that was now under private ownership. Maybe someone else can help with the name. I just know it was pretty ingenious and worth a look since certain aspects of the system could be applicable elsewhere.
Jim
Reply to
Ctyclsscs
The Pizza King in Lafayette, Indiana uses a home-built train on 5" or 6" gauge tracks along the perimeter of the dining room to deliver drinks to the tables.
-fm Webmaster, Rails on Wheels, Washtenaw County, Michigan's HO Modular Club, at
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Reply to
Fritz Milhaupt
I actually remember a resturant in Tulsa OK back in the 50s that did just that. It seems to me it was a chicken resturant. Had salt and things in gondolas and the train ran around the booths against the wall. Not a resturant but there is a dentist in Oklahoma City that has G trains running through all his rooms at his dental offices, has two. He calls them Dental Depot and they are built like wooden depots and have train cars out front Best of luck in your venture should you try it Marty Hall
Reply to
Marty Hall
A typical 21st century response. 30 years ago these questions wouldn't have even come up.
Why can't people just have FUN anymore?
Don
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Reply to
Trainman
If you are in the Chicago area, there are at least 3 places I know of. I've been to the last one (Snackville) and it is pretty cool and nostalgic. Appears to be O scale and sandwich baskets ride on flat cars to deliver the food. Not bad stuff either! Bob in RSM, CA
Choo-Choo Hamburgers on Wheels (50's Diner) 600 Lee St Des Plaines 847-391-9815
Boxcar Cafe (Ice Cream, Smoothies, Coffee) -
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1166 N LaSalle Chicago 312-951-9560
Snackville Junction 9144 S. Kedzie Elmowood Park
Reply to
Bob Hayden
I remember there being a pizza place on the west side on Indy that used a large scale train to deliever drinks to the table. This was back in 1990 that I was there. The train operated behind glass panels and doors. The train was programmed to stop at your booth and then you could open the access door and remove your drinks. They had safeties on the doors so you couldnt open them unless the train was stopped at your booth. I dont remember if the food was delievered by the train but I am thinking it wasnt. It was interested to see. Rick Fink
B> Hi guys. My name is Adrian and I've been lurking in the group for quite a
Reply to
Rick
I don't remember the name, but I think you're talking about a place that's inside the Crown Center. They also had an HO train running around the restaurant, behind the wall, with lots of windows so you could watch it. The whole place was railroad themed. (Not to be confused with another eatery there called "Streetcar Named Desire".)
Val *************************** Practice safe eating -- always use condiments. ***************************
This isn't exactly what you're looking for, but it's a start. A few years back while attending the NMRA convention in Kansas City we visited a restaurant that used sort of a "train" to deliver food to customers.
It was more like little homemade hopper type cars that ran on a track around the perimeter of the dining area. You'd order by phone and then your food would be sent out by car! Somehow the system was designed to have the car with your order stop above your booth. Then the car would unload your tray of food onto a little elevator (sort of like some old Lionel pipe unloading car). After the food was unloaded, the elevator would descend with your order!
It was obvious that somebody spent a LOT of time designing and building this system! It wasn't a fancy type place, more like an old 60s type chain restaurant that was now under private ownership. Maybe someone else can help with the name. I just know it was pretty ingenious and worth a look since certain aspects of the system could be applicable elsewhere.
Jim
Reply to
VManes
Don replied, Why can't people just have FUN anymore? ------------------------------------------------- It's a shame, Don. I think the young people never learned how. One of the rewards of old age is that I still have fun and it doesn't cost a penny!
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad:
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Reply to
Bill
yes, noted your comments on the spillage and potential mess. That is something that i am worried about too. It's going to be basically sushi type food that will be loaded in small plates (6" diameter) with clear plastic covers on them. I'm thinking of not putting 'wet' food with gravy etc on it and instead let the servers do some legwork taking these orders etc.
Your point on the customer interaction was spot on and I never thought of that. Thanks for the heads up.
I'm thinking that I need about 3 full trains for this (including a spare) so since it's gonna be in "bulk" where would be a good online source to look for these?
- adrian
Reply to
Bonoclayton
wagons? which means the wagons double up as plates? I was thinking of flatbeds with the small plates sitting on top of them.
Have you got the address or name of this place? I think I can dig up an old acquaintence in Hobart to do some picture taking for me. :)
- Adrian
Reply to
Bonoclayton
Check out Sushi Takahashi in Portland, Oregon. My five-year old grandson insists that we go there every time I'm in town.
A G scale Santa Fe diesel goes around the entire rectangular counter space, pulling a bunch (maybe as many as twenty) of flatcars, each carrying two sushi dishes.
You pick off the dishes that you want as the train goes by. Different color plates = a different price. At the end of the meal, you simply add up the white plates, the tan plates, the blue plates, etc.
And the good news is.... The sushi ain't bad at all.
Andy
Reply to
Andyroo111
No, it was a freestanding older restaurant. More like an old chain restaurant that was now privately owned. It wasn't fancy, but it was packed during lunch!
Jim
Reply to
Ctyclsscs
On Thu, 26 Feb 2004 14:43:38 +0800, "Bonoclayton" shared this with the world:
In Winnipeg there are two locations of "Sushi Train"
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They are running G scale locos and flat cars. each location has one train and a spare locomotive.
The railroad equipment came from Elmwood Hobby Works
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(also in Winnipeg) and they do any repairs to the equipment that the restaraunts need.
The loco in the picture on Elmwood's web page is one of the Sushi Train locos.
Kent
Reply to
Kent Ashton
What Hobart are we talking about here - Hobart as in Tas, Aust?
Reason I ask is that there used to be a restaurant here in Newcastle (NSW) called "Big Al's" which IIRC used to deliver food to the tables. I remember seeing their add on the local TV station, and always meant to go in there "one day". Well, I left it a little too long... :-(
Steve
Reply to
Steve Magee
"Catch of the Day" Sushi restaurants in Hawaii also have a train running around a central counter with small plates of sushi etc. I haven't been in the restaurant, but they regularly run tv ads here showing it operating...
Reply to
Richard
One more south of Chicago called Choo-Choo Johnny's
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on route 45 in Frankfort. They serve burgers and the like using a G scale set-up and also have a Lionel layout set-up for the kids to play with (buttons to start/stop a couple trains and operate some accessories) while waiting for the food to be served.
Paul
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Reply to
Paul-News
I think the plates sit on top of flat wagons of some sort.
The name is "Mikaku in the City" or just "Sushi Train". Liverpool St, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Stuart
Reply to
Stuart D.
There's a similar restaurant here in Melbourne, (Australia) I think also called 'Sushi Train'. G scale (No.1 gauge, 45mm) track, using a couple of LGB four wheel elec.outline locos, possibly their rack locos, hauling quite long trains of flat cars with plates and bowls thereon, around a loop on a long island table.Seems to be well patronised when I go past at lunch times. Regards, Bill.
Reply to
William Pearce
Please would you know the address of the place? I've got an army buddy down there who can be canjoled into taking some pictures for me. :)
- Adrian
Reply to
Bonoclayton

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