The History of Disneyland Railroad

Disneyland Railroad History ...

The Disneyland lilly Belle Train Ticket

The Lilly Belle, a lavish VIP parlor car, was ready to except its first passengers in 1975. Invited Guest would enjoy a trip around the park in style with rich, varnished woodwork, plush furnishings and custom woven wool rug. 

 

The parlor car has been a part of the Disneyland Railroad rolling stock since July 17, 1955, and it carried Guest, in its original configuration until 1974. After extensive refurbishment ,  the Lilly Belle, named in tribute to Walt Disney's wife, made its debut in 1975-in anticipation of the U.S bicentennial celebration.

 

The Lille Belle was retired to the roundhouse years later. Years later after many requests and  suggestion of restoring once again the Lilly Belle to its glory, Disneyland Round House employee Dale Tetley and Craig Ludwick request to have it done was in the works. In 1998 the Lilly Belle once again returned back onto the tracks of Disneyland. 

 

The Ticket above is an Original Lilly Belle Ticket from 1975

This Includes Shipping ( $ 47.00 Each )

1955 Disneyland Retlaw #106

Train Car Pin. apx 2inch

$25 Limited Edition

 

 

The Disneyland Railroad

 

The Disneyland Railroad (DLRR or DRR), originally the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad (SF & DLRR), is a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge railroad at Disneyland, Anaheim, California, United States, that was inaugurated on the park's live television preview on July 17, 1955. This live steam railway was constructed for $240,000; the two original locomotives cost $40,000 each. Riders use it as transportation to other areas of the park or simply for the experience of the "Grand Circle Tour". The Main Street railroad station is situated at the entrance of Disneyland

 

The History of The Disneyland Railroad

 

From concept to inauguration

Walt Disney's Carolwood Pacific Railroad #173 Lilly Belle miniature live steam locomotive on display at Disneyland Main Street Station in 1993, before its replacement by a replica. Disney's railroad hobby was the inspiration for the Disneyland Railroad. Walt Disney's original is now on display at the Walt Disney Family Museum.

Roger E. Broggie, master machinist at Disney Studios, was familiar with fabricating small camera parts with precision. Walt approached him to create a 1/8 scale live steam locomotive while training Walt as a machinist. The Disneyland Railroad was inspired by Walt Disney's love for trains, while tinkering in the barn of his live steam backyard Carolwood Pacific Railroad. Since the first spark of the idea of the park which would later evolve into Disneyland, each design concept held one thing in common…

"…and it will be surrounded by a train." — Walt Disney

 

In 1953 the Walt Disney Company solicited major railroads for corporate sponsorship of the attraction. The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway was the only company to respond signing a 5-year initial sponsorship on March 29, 1955. AT&SF sponsorship offset construction and fabrication costs and it opened and operated as the "Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad" until 1974. One consequence of the sponsorship is from 1955 to 1974 the Santa Fe Rail Pass was able to be used in lieu of a Disneyland "D" coupon to ride the train. Unlike most of Disneyland and its arrangement with its sponsors, the Disneyland Railroad, as well as the Mark Twain Riverboat(and later the Monorail) was entirely owned and operated by Walt himself as owner, president and sole proprietor of Retlaw (Walter, spelled backwards.) incorporated privately for the operation. He mortgaged his Palm Springs property Smoke Tree Ranch to finance the construction of the Mark Twain. Railroad, riverboat (and later the Monorail) crew worked directly for Walt, and he personally autographed their paychecks.

 

Retlaw originally custom-built all of its full-scale 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge equipment in house, through creative financing paying his other companies for the work. In addition to the unpowered rolling stock, WED Enterprises constructed the original two locomotives in the roundhouse at Disneyland (then located West of Hollidayland) under the supervision of Roger Broggie, the first Imagineer, on temporary reassignment from the duties of Machinist/Engineer at the Disney Studios Camera Shops. The locomotives are examples of "American"-style 4-4-0s. Using the 1/8 scale miniature CP #173 Lilly Belle live steam locomotive (pictured) which Walt commissioned Broggie to fabricate for his backyard Carolwood Pacific Railroad as a pattern, the #1 and #2 locomotives were scaled up from the practical 1/8th live steam model enlarged to full-scale 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge Disneyland Railroad trackage, visually similar to the proportion of five-eighths Standard Gauge. The fire tube boilers are fired by spraying and igniting fuel oil (see below) onto a carbon based ceramic fire-brick plate burner. Locomotive No. 1 was given a big spark arresting diamond stack of wood-burning locomotives and a large, pointed pilot (cowcatcher) representing a workhorse used to construct a railroad while the flagship No. 2 was given a straight stack and smaller pilot common to East Coast coal-burning locomotives representing highball speed of express passenger service on smooth straight rails. From safety and signaling to conductors punching passenger tickets with a smile, all aspects of operations were "just like the big ones".

 

Two trains operated on opening day. Locomotive #2, serviced only Main Street station; it hauled a passenger train consisting of yellow coaches, #101 (the combine, partial baggage/express and coach seating), coaches #102–105, and the Grand Canyon observation coach #106 with larger arched windows, an observation platform and drumhead at the rear. Locomotive #1 serviced the Frontierland depot, hauling a freight train consisting of cattle cars, gondolas numbered 201–205 and a caboose #208. The two trains could each operate on the railroad simultaneously and independently in the same clockwise direction. Rail sidings at Main Street Station and Frontierland Depot allowed them to pass the one disembarking/embarking passengers.

 

July 17, 1955, beginning the historic ABC broadcast with Art Linkletter and Ronald Reagan on the platform as Walt throttled down #2 pulling Retlaw-1 into Main Street Station, Art introduced him along with California Governor Goodwin J. Knight and Fred G. Gurley (in his capacity as president of the Santa Fe) and their families riding in the open door of the combine #101 as they began to preside over the opening-day ceremonies.

 

As the park had grown, and ridership increased, more trains were needed. When more trains were eventually added the operation was changed: the Disneyland trains no longer passed each other, and a Fantasyland station was built at Storybook Land. When the tracks were realigned to accommodate It's a Small World, the Fantasyland station was closed and the Tomorrowlandstation was built. The passing track at Doisneyland Main Street Train Station has been disconnected and now is only used to display a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge Kalamazoo handcar. The tracks at Frontierland Depot were moved several times and the passing track was removed completely; the original station was moved across the tracks and the New Orleans Square/Frontierland station replaced it. Walt Disney dictated that two trains were to operate at all times, and it is not uncommon for three or four trains to run simultaneously on busy days. Walt's railroading hobby qualified him with extensive experience operating steam locomotives and guests frequently saw him making rounds of the park acting as engineer in a locomotive cab.

 

The narration inside The Disneyland railroad Train Cars at various points around the park once featured voice actor Jack Wagner, and later, Thurl Ravenscroft.

 

The Grand Canyon/Primeval World diorama

 

The 1958 addition of the Grand Canyon diorama painted by artist Delmer J. Yoakum necessitated a change in the rolling stock as well; instead of facing forward, the new flatcars' benches now faced right so that the passengers could better enjoy the scenes. The diorama, which includes taxidermic animals (the only ones in the park) in lifelike poses, is the longest in the world. Painted on a single piece of seamless canvas and representing the view from the canyon's south rim, the rear of the diorama measures 306 feet (93 m) long, 34 feet (10 m) high and is covered with 300 gallons (1,100 L) of paint in 14 colors. Animals that are included in the diorama include mule deer, mountain lion, desert bighorn sheep, golden eagle, wild turkeys, striped skunk and porcupine. A 96-year-old Hopi chief, Chief Nevangnewa, blessed the trains on the diorama's opening day. The cost was US$367,000, and it took 80,000 labor hours to construct. The main theme of Ferde Grofé's "On The Trail," the third movement from his Grand Canyon Suite, is piped in through the train's sound system as it enters the diorama.

 

In 1966, the diorama was expanded with a prehistoric theme to become the "Grand Canyon/Primeval World" diorama, with Audio-Animatronic dinosaurs from the beginning of Walt Disney's Ford Magic Skyway, an 1964 New York World's Fair attraction, where the diorama was viewed from a Ford Mustang convertible as a prelude to the invention of the wheel. Portions of the attraction were transferred to Disneyland in the Autumn of 1965. Despite the fact that the actual dinosaurs lived millions of years apart, a Tyrannosaurus Rex battles a Stegosaurus in mortal combat beside flowing lava while musical themes from Mysterious Island (1961) are heard.

 

At the same time as the track expansion on the east side of the park, the track on the western side of the park was extended to make room for the New Orleans Square expansion, including buildings for the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. The northern alignment of the track was moved farther north from just behind Casey Jr. Circus Train to allow for an expansion of the Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland and inclusion in the facade of "It's a Small World", another attraction relocated from the '64,'65 New York World's Fair. That area is now home to Big Thunder Ranch, the unused Festival Arena, and the Fantasyland Theater.

Since its opening July 17, 1955 until 1974 Santa Fe sponsored the SF & DLRR attraction. Due to the Amtrak nationalization of passenger train business in 1971, Santa Fe no longer operated passenger service and could not justify the expense of DLRR sponsorship. This, along with Santa Fe's desire to upgrade the park's diminutive steam locomotives with representative powerful modern diesel electric engines, led to failure of negotiations to extend the sponsorship contract, and the Santa Fe name was removed, though the engines' names remained. Santa Fe expected their marque to remain until casually replaced, but all references were replaced with the new Disneyland Railroad emblem by park opening the very next day, including the riveted panel from the Monorail, which was salvaged from the trash, and is on display at Walt's Barn.

 

Prehistoric creatures featured in the Primeval World diorama

  • Edaphosaurus - Actually a reptile that died out before the dinosaurs existed, though this is a common mistake. They are among the first creatures shown, and have characteristic glowing red eyes.

  • Giant Snails

  • Giant Scorpion

  • Meganeura

  • Brontosaurus - A large, long-necked plant eater seen in the water. Both adult and young are present.

  • Pteranodon - Though it is a flying reptile, they aren't seen flying and are instead perched on cliffs.

  • Triceratops - A parenting couple of these three-horned dinosaurs are seen watching over their hatchlings.

  • Struthiomimus - A small herd of these ornithomimids are seen at a watering hole in a desert. They may not actually be Struthiomimus, as names are not mentioned on the ride.

  • Tyrannosaurus Rex - One of the last dinosaurs to be seen, it can be seen fighting a Stegosaurus around a lava pit.

  • Stegosaurus - One of the last dinosaurs to be seen, it can be seen fighting a Tyrannosaurus Rex around a lava pit.

 

The Primeval World diorama was originally constructed by Disney for the 1964 New York World's Fair as part of the Ford Magic Skyway attraction, where it was viewed from a Ford Mustang and was narrated by Walt Disney himself. The attractions It's a Small World, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and the Carousel of Progress were also constructed for the same Fair and transferred to the park after the closing of the Fair in 1965.

 

The Disneyland Railroad

 

The 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge track (North America's most common narrow gauge) is laid in a continuous circuit around the park. (The park's publicly accessible areas were extended beyond the track's perimeter with the construction of Critter Country and Mickey's Toontown.) The line features several bridges, grade crossings, including one for parade floats east of "It's a Small World" which doubles as access to the service track, yard and roundhouse for locomotive and train storage and maintenance, located backstage beneath the monorail roundhouse. The line previously featured automatic block signals, but they are no longer in use. The service road is protected by two miniature wigwag crossing signals. The Santa Fe Railway offered the use of full-scale crossing signals, but Disney declined as they would be out of scale with the trains. These scaled-down replicas were designed and built by the Santa Fe Railway San Bernardinoshops as a gift to Disneyland. They operate with automotive windshield wiper motors.

 

 

The construction of New Orleans Square in the mid-'60s required the tracks to be expanded outwards in the southwest quarter of the park. The open-air stretches of track on both sides of Frontierland Station became enclosed by a tunnel over Pirates of the Caribbean to the east and a tunnel through the berm behind the Haunted Mansion facade. Additionally, the trains originally ran behind Casey Jr. Circus Train, but the track was rerouted in order to make more space inside the park. The DLRR was in near-continuous operation since the park's 1955 opening day until December 2004 when the system was shut down for reballasting, regauging and new block signals as part of Disneyland's fiftieth anniversary celebration. The attraction reopened on March 17, 2005. While often claimed to be the longest closure of the railroad in Park history, the line was actually down for over a year during the construction of Splash Mountain in the late 1980s.

Now, with four station stops, the train takes twenty minutes to circle the park.

Disney Imagineering once considered replacing most of Adventureland with an Indiana Jones-themed section, leaving only Jungle Cruise from the original section. One website describes how plans would have seen "the Disneyland Railroad that circumscribed the park would have chugged across a groaning wooden bridge through the complex on its round-trip circuit around the park."

On January 11, 2016, the Disneyland Railroad, along with the attractions and shows along the Rivers of America, closed temporarily for the construction of Star Wars Land. These attractions will reopen at a later, and as of now, indefinite date.

 

The Disneyland Train Stations, route and tour

 

A view of the Disneyland Main Street Train railroad depot at the time of the park's fiftieth anniversary. The building is in the Queen Anne style with mansard roofs, widow's walks, dormers, and a clock tower.

Disneyland Railroad Main Street, U.S.A.

New Orleans Square Toontown

Roundhouse Maintenance shops

Tomorrowland (Monorail via short walk)

Grand Canyon and Primeval World

 

The Disneyland Railroad Trank route is 1.5-mile (2.4 km) loop originally only stopped at The Disneyland Main Street Station or Frontierland. The Frontierland Station was renovated when that section of the park became New Orleans Square in 1966. It was renamed to be the New Orleans Square station at a later date. The loop was expanded to stop at Fantasyland (which became Mickey's Toontown station) and Tomorrowland.

 

The Disneyland Main Street Station is designed to coordinate architecturally with the rest of Main Street, and is the first Disneyland structure visitors see upon entering the park. A sign on the roof shows an elevation of 138 feet (42 m) above sea level (though this figure is only approximate) and a population number that roughly corresponds with the number of visitors to the park over the past nearly six decades. As of March 2013 the number stood at 650 million. An ornately decorated Kalamazoo handcar is on permanent display in front of the station on the former passing turnout once utilized by Retlaw 2, the Frontierland freight train, when each train stopped for passengers only at its own station. It is rumored that the handcar was donated to Walt Disney himself around 1955 by railroad historian and Disney friend Jerry Best. However, there is no evidence of this even in the Disney Archives. On display inside the station are various photos and print articles pertaining to DLRR history, vintage penny scale and Orchestron player and a replica of Walt's 1/8 scale live-steam garden railroad locomotive Lilly Belle; the original engine, tender and the caboose with detailed interior hand-crafted entirely by Walt was in the display case for many years on loan from the Disney family, which are now featured at the Walt Disney Family Museum.

 

The journey from Main Street station travels northwest along Disneyland's border, just outside the park's main berm from the Jungle Cruise. Guests get a glimpse of an antelope on the berm and for many years a cougar yowled at the trains before the train passes through Pirates of the Caribbean themed as Mardi Gras Carnival staging area.

 

New Orleans Square Station platform shelter is stylistically similar to Main Street Station. The Depot building on the west side of the tracks (inspired by the Disneyland Grizzly Flats Railroad Depot) originally served as the station platform; in 1962 it was removed from service and moved across the realigned tracks, in preparation for the New Orleans Square expansion, which now serves primarily as an ornamental detail and break room for train crews. The Land Line Telegraphy extension of Morse code sound effect heard emanating from the depot Telegraph Office, historically used by telegraphers on operating railroads, repeats endlessly the first two lines of Walt Disney's 1955 opening day speech "To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future."

 

The journey from Disneyland's New Orleans Square, the train passes into a tunnel through the berm between the Haunted Mansion's facade and show building. Shortly thereafter passengers catch a glimpse of Splash Mountain's "Zip-a-Dee Lady" riverboat finale scene before crossing over Critter Country Lane on a trestle. The track then follows the outer edge of the Rivers of America, where guests glimpse minor wildlife scenes, a friendly Indian chief on a horse, and a view of a settler's log cabin across the river on Tom Sawyer's Island. Originally, the Burning Settler's Cabin was shown being under attack by Indians, with roof, door and windows ablaze, accompanied by Indian war chants, war-whoops and hollers coming from the distance with an arrow in the back of the settler fallen in front of his cabin; these elements were modified in the 1970s to represent a victim of evil river pirates complete with unconvincing fire of blown cellophane and silk ala Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean (attraction), the exploded alcohol still of an inebriated moonshiner (now with real fire again) in the 1980s, an eagle's nest threatened by the careless settler's blaze in the early 1990s, all of which proved politically incorrect and was eventually extinguished at the end of 1999. During the Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Islandmakeover, asbestos was removed and the cabin refurbished to represent a sustainable homestead. The train then passes behind Festival of Fools picnic grounds, through a tunnel in the berm (actually the heavy equipment bridge to the interior,) and into Toontown Depot.

In 1956, a year after Disneyland's opening, Disneyland Fantasyland Depot was constructed where the photo kiosk is today. Nearly ten years later in 1965 the canvas tent station was closed, dismantled and the track realigned northward from directly behind Casey Jr. Circus Train to its present location to accommodate construction of It's a small world, incorporating the railroad line into its facade.

 In 1985 Videopolis Station was built, then rethemed to a cartoonish design to correspond with the new Mickey's Toontown opened in January 1993. Toontown Depot seems to be the most crowded station on the railroad. Upon leaving the depot, the trains pass through the facade of It's a Small World and roll past backstage areas, such as parts of the parade route and mechanical stations.

The trains then pass Autopia before entering Tomorrowland Station, a Googie-styled depot built in 1958, themed with a Victorian era bronze color scheme of steampunk anachronistictechnology aesthetic envisioned by the 1998 New Tomorrowland project, and painted over with whites, silvers, and blues. A trivision billboard outside the station promotes the Railroad as a time travel device, with stops in 1900 (Main Street, U.S.A.), 1860 (Frontierland), and c. 200,000,000 B.C. (Primeval World).

Leaving the Tomorrowland station, viewers get a quick glimpse of the Innoventions building and enter the Grand Canyon diorama building via faux tunnel, followed by the Primeval World diorama featuring dinosaurs created for Ford's Magic Skyway pavilion of the 1964-65 New York World's Fair. After a brief stretch along the berm, the train re-enters the Main Street station.