Today's The Disneyland Railroad
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Bob Gurr , Carlene Thie and Minnie Mouse at Fullerton Railroad days
Come Along for the Ride, The Disneyland Railroad
The Disneyland Railroad is currently close for approximately 18 months, due to Star Wars Land being constructed.
Embark on a relaxing 18-minute, 1.2-mile scenic tour on board an authentic steam-powered train.
Listen to the clamor of the engine, the chug of the wheels and the call of the whistle as you travel aboard the Disneyland Railroad! It's the perfect way to preview the magic at Disneyland Park and take in the picturesque scenery, with 4 convenient stops:
Main Street, U.S.A.
Celebrate Americana—and all things red, white and blue—as you steam away on a vintage train for a full circle tour of Disneyland Park.
Leave the past—and present—behind while you take in bright and beautiful future of Tomorrowland.
New Orleans Square
Chug along on your journey through the romantic vibe of the Bayou and New Orleans Square
Make way to and from Mickey Mouse’s animated metropolis.
The Disneyland Railroad is also a handy way to get around quickly and easily. And because the trains are scheduled to arrive every 5 to 10 minutes at most times throughout the day, you’ll have just enough time to take in all the sights around each station!
Blast from the Past
There are 5 meticulously restored, working narrow-gauge trains you can ride. Each includes 4 sets of passenger cars and has been named after a careful selection of locomotive legends. The lone exception is the Ward Kimball, named after the Disney Animator who fostered Walt Disney’s passion for the railway. The Disneyland Railroad Train Engines are,
Inside the cab of Engine #1, the C.K. Holliday.A train pulled by Engine #2, the E.P. Ripley.
The Disneyland Railroad currently has five 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge steam locomotives (the original four are named after former Santa Fe CEOs):
1:The Disneyland Train The C.K. Holliday, a 4-4-0 built in the Walt Disney Studio in 1954; went into service at Disneyland on Opening Day, 1955. It was named for Cyrus Kurtz Holliday, founder of the Santa Fe Railroad in 1859. It underwent refurbishment in 2013 and returned in January 2016. It was designed to look like Disney's Lilly Belle locomotive, which is on display at Main Street station.
2:The Disneyland Train The E.P. Ripley, a 4-4-0 built in the Walt Disney Studio in 1954; went into service at Disneyland on Opening Day, 1955. It was originally named W.M.B. Strong. It then happened that the grandson of Edward Payson Ripley, an early president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF), would be there. On the day before opening day, the renamed it as the E.P. Ripley. Rumors say that the E.P. Ripely will undergo refurbishment with the return of the C.K. Holliday. It was designed to look like the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's #774 locomotive.
3:The Disneyland Train The Fred Gurley, a 2-4-4 built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1894, went into service at Disneyland March 28, 1958. The locomotive, named for the then-current chairman of the ATSF, Fred G. Gurley, is the oldest single piece of railroad equipment in use at any Disney theme park. The 2-4-4T tank locomotive, used in Louisiana to transport sugar cane, was purchased in working condition for US$1300; nevertheless, more than $35,000 was spent on its restoration. A commemorative plastic plaque celebrating the Gurley's centennial was mounted under the engines running board in 1994. In 2008, the Fred Gurley returned from an extensive overhaul and was featured as a static display at the Fullerton Railroad Days. If you look closely, you'll see a hidden Mickey on the tender.
4: The Disneyland Train The Ernest S. Marsh, a 2-4-0 originally built by Baldwin Locomotive Works as a 0-4-0 saddle-tank in 1925; went into service at Disneyland July 25, 1959. It was named for the Santa Fe's then-current president, the Marsh originally served the Raritan River Sand Company in New Jersey before it was purchased and used by the Pine Creek Railroad, a tourist railroad in central New Jersey. During shipment from New Jersey to California, the locomotive was misrouted and ended up in a rail yard outside Pittsburgh. Disney placed a call to personal friend Marsh who personally oversaw the rerouting and rapid shipment of the locomotive to its final destination. The Ernest S. Marsh recently underwent an extensive overhaul and returned to service in 2012. It was designed to look like the Denver and Rio Grande's Montezuma locomotive.
5: The Disneyland Train The Ward Kimball, a 2-4-4, serial number 20925, built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1902 for the Laurel Valley Plantation of Louisiana and later received in trade from Cedar Point Amusement Park as the inoperative Maud L in 1999. Cedar Point added a lead truck during its service there, making it a 2-4-4T. Restoration was begun by Boschan Boiler and Restorations of Carson in 2004 and went into permanent service on June 25, 2005, as part of the park's fiftieth anniversary celebration. The new locomotive's headlight features a gold leaf silhouette of Jiminy Cricket, based on a drawing of the character Kimball made shortly before his death. Thus, the locomotive marks a break in Disneyland Railroad's tradition of naming engines after Santa Fe officials, and instead being named in honor of a Disney railroading and animation legend.
After the 2012 restoration on the Ernest S. Marsh, it was given an identical whistle to the C.K. Holliday.
The Fred Gurley's Train whistle, at first listen, is identical to that of the E.P. Ripley, but upon closer listening, its whistle has a tendency to shriek.
In 2013, the Ernest S. Marsh Train Engine was given its original Powell 3" 3-chime whistle.
During the 2014 refurbishment of the railroad. The "Ward Kimball" locomotive's original Crosby 4" 3-chime whistle, which it had worn at Cedar Point as the Maud L, was reinstalled, partially restoring the locomotive to its old identity.
To complement the two original engines the park added two more engines and consists, totaling four engines and trains, and more recently, a fifth engine was acquired. Since many 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge lines were closing down and selling their equipment these locomotives were acquired from outside sources, which was both less costly and less labor-intensive than fabricating new ones from scratch. All three were given extensive renovations before entering service, including new boilers. Number 3 and the "new" Number 5 are "Forney" tank locomotives which were often used on suburban or branch line trains, as they could make their return journeys "in reverse" with the tender fuel tank facing forward, without the need for a turntable or "wye" track configuration. However, the engines are operated more conventionally at the park. Number 3 is the oldest locomotive in service at any Disney property, built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1894.
The Disneyland Train engines, with the exception of the park's most recent fifth engine, were each named after Santa Fe railroad officials. Disney had traded the yellow Retlaw-1 train for a locomotive, which after restoration proved unsuitable for the DLRR or Magic Kingdom. In 1999, Disney traded it to Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio for the inoperable 1902 Baldwin locomotive Maud Loriginally named for Maud Lepine, daughter of one of the original owners and a name kept throughout the locomotive's service life. They sent it to a Southern California shop in 2004 to restore it and transform it into Disneyland Railroad locomotive number 5, the first added since 1959. It is now named after Ward Kimball, one of Disney's Nine Old Men and an avid railroad preservationist.
As of 2007, each Disneyland Railroad locomotive has been converted to burn B98 biodiesel which burns cleaner than traditional coal, wood, or heavy "Bunker C" oil normally used on oil burning steam locomotives. Disneyland then began recycling its own cooking oil into biodiesel, further reducing fuel costs. The locomotives are fueled by biodiesel blended primarily from used cooking oils drained from Disneyland kitchen fryers then filtered and blended with enough soy based fuel to supply operation, giving credence to guests being able to smell french fries in the tunnels.
In 2006 the #2 E.P. Ripley was displayed at the former annual Fullerton Railroad Days in Fullerton, California. It was the first time a DLRR locomotive was displayed at an off-site public event. The next year, the #1 C.K. Holliday was displayed at the Fullerton Railroad Days.The #3 Fred Gurley was displayed there in 2008, the year after the Holliday.
The #2 E.P. Ripley and #3 Fred Gurley both had Lunkenheimer 3" 3-chime whistles. The #1 C.K. Holliday and #5 Ward Kimball both had Lunkenheimer 3" 1-chime whistles. The #4 Ernest S. Marsh was the only locomotive to equipped with a deep-tone Powell 3" 3-chime whistle. There are a few differences between the whistles.
There were only two train sets on opening day—the yellow passenger coaches of the Retlaw 1 train, which only stopped at Main Street Station, and the red cattle cars, gondolas and caboose of the Retlaw 2 train, which only stopped at the Frontierland Depot. The trains were entirely fabricated new alongside of the superstructure of the Mark Twain Riverboat by studio carpenters inside Burbank, California soundstages of Disney Studios, and were then trucked to Disneyland. Even the wheels and trucks were cast new with raised "Disneyland 1955" lettering. In 1954 Crown, makers of school buses, fabricated the diminutive forward-facing seats and window hardware installed on the passenger train. Windows could be lifted and positioned at 4 intermediate stops between fully open and closed. There were six yellow passenger coaches with green letter boards, red wheels and clerestory (#101 - #106).
SF&DL coach dimensions were patterned after these 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge OR&L cars preserved at Travel Town.
Combination coach No. 101, affectionately known as "the Combine" is a combination baggage/express and coach seating which was patterned after the Oahu Railway Combine, No. 36 (pictured) on display near the studio at Travel Town Museum — the railway post office/Wells Fargo Express/Baggage compartment held trunks of wood and leather, mail sacks, a strong box and a few kegs of blasting powder (merely props). The rest of the train consist were officially named, each coach bearing painted green titles on their sides reflecting the Santa Fe sponsor: 102 Navajo Chief, 103 Rocky Mountains, 104 Land of Pueblos, 105 Painted Desert and the last car No. #106 Grand Canyon observation coach which featured larger twin windows and a grand observation platform with a candy-stripped canopy skirt over the illuminated "Santa Fe & Disneyland Limited" drumhead sign on the end. Disembark/embark via narrow doors at the open vestibule platforms at each car's end was prone to delay.
There are eight railcars of the Frontierland freight train, Retlaw-2 #201–#207 cattle cars and gondolas in a mixed consist with caboose #208 always trailing behind. Initially there was no seating in the cattle cars or open gondolas; most of the passengers were to remain standing the entire trip. Only the caboose had seats; four of the seats were up in the cupola. At least the cattle cars provided shade. These cars eventually had "Holiday" style benches installed facing the right side of the train, inwards toward the park.
A third set of cars, train number 300 (known as Retlaw-3, or the Excursion Train), debuted in 1958 with the addition of the Grand Canyon diorama. They had forward-facing "Excursion" style walkover bench seating similar to the Main Street Railroad horse-drawn trolley.
In 1965 and 1966, new cars were added with train sets #400 (Retlaw-4, with a green-striped awning) and #500 (Retlaw-5, with a blue-striped awning), featuring "Holiday" seating which faced toward the right side of the train.
Nowadays the seating consists primarily of open-air "Holiday" styled coaches covered with brightly striped canvas. Two rows of center loading bench-seating facing inward to the park for quick disembark/embark at the depots and for easier viewing of the Grand Canyon/Primeval World diorama—except the 1958 Excursion cars, which continue to seat face forward.
Shortly after the diorama's opening in 1958, the Retlaw-1 #100 train set of clerestory-roofed yellow passenger coaches with forward-facing seats, made famous on the park's opening day broadcast, were gradually retired from service because other trains would stack up behind it due to loading delays of disembarking/embarking guests via the narrow end vestibules and isles, as well as dissatisfaction of guests seated on the left attempting to view the Grand Canyon (and in 1965, the Primeval World) dioramas thru the trainset's small windows, until they were completed retired in 1974 and stacked behind the Disneyland Roundhouse. Coaches #101–105 were traded to Bill Norred in the 1990s for a locomotive that was refurbished and named the Ward Kimbal. The first Ward Kimball was found too heavy for bridges on the Disneyland line and was sent to Walt Disney World, where it was unable to pull the heavier trains, then traded to Cedar Point for a more suitable locomotive, the Maud L which was refurbished as the second Ward Kimball.
A very special aspect unique to the Disneyland Railroad is the "tender ride". The tender ride is an enjoyable opportunity available to guests who inquire and are willing to wait. Walt insisted guests be able to experience and appreciate fully the sights, sounds, smells and aura involving the operation of a genuine steam locomotive. So a narrow seat was designed for guests to sit upon the tenders just behind the locomotive cabs within intimate shouting distance of the engineers operating engines #1 and #2, the two engines that were patterned from Walt's CP #173 Lilly Belle miniature live-steam operating locomotive model which were scaled up to full-scale 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge and fabricated for the park at the Disneyland Roundhouse shop. Guests may request a round trip tender ride from a Main Street stationmaster to experience a tender ride. Certain safety conditions may delay guests from embarking on tender rides: hot weather over 90 °F (32 °C) which can make the journey uncomfortable, engine refueling at Disneyland's Tomorrowland Station, crew change, taking on water, or a boiler blowdown at New Orleans/Frontierland Station. Only when all safety requirements are satisfied and once the proper locomotive pulls into the station, the conductor escorts one or two guests beyond a platform gate and up into the tender seat to be secured by seatbelts. Main Street Station is the only platform long enough to reach the locomotive, so guests must complete the grand circle tour and disembark at Main Street Station. The engineers are very accommodating to any questions guests may have and are very knowledgeable regarding the operation, history and significance of the locomotives they operate. Since 2013 Engine #4 also received seating on the tender as well
Combine, Walt Disney's favorite "world's newest old train car", was the combination of passenger coach with baggage compartment in front, No. #101. Bill Norred's family who traded a locomotive for the #101-105 coaches then sold all but one to the Pacific Coast Railroad (tourist) which found the combine unsuitable for revenue service. After Bill died, his family knew it was a historically significant car and was concerned about its long-term survival and arranged to transfer ownership. The combine now belongs to the Carolwood Foundation, has been lovingly restored both operationally and cosmetically and is displayed next to Walt's Barn at public viewings hosted by the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society, who has built an enclosure to display the combine with her well preserved original seats, decor and all of her original props. Although labeled with "Wells Fargo Express" and "U.S. Mail", it never was used as a railway post office, but it was equipped with a strong box. The car was Walt's favorite because it brought back pleasant memories of his youth on the Missouri Pacific as a candy, tobacco and news butch, where he would spend time reading H. G. Wells' The Time Machine, Audubon's Birds of America or Wild Life of America, and would occasionally climb over the tender to bring the fireman and engineer apples from his family orchard to be rewarded with lessons about steam locomotives.
Interior looking forward from the rear of the Lilly Belle parlor car on the Disneyland Railroad.
The Grand Canyon Observation Coach #106 remained at the Disneyland roundhouse, where the crew lovingly refitted her as a private parlor car in bright red shiny lacquer livery, gold leaf letter-boards and delicate pinstripe pillar decoration, with a lavish interior (pictured) of rich Tibetan Mahogany paneling, red plush velvet chairs and love seats, fancy carpet, an ornate beveled glass mirror, gold fringed red velvet drapes, a coat rack with Walt's smoking jacket and antique marble tables supporting three of Walt's favorite books and an intimate portrait of Walt with the car's namesake, his wife Lillian - then rechristened the Lilly Belle. No. #106 Lilly Belle is not a presidential coach; but its first official passenger was Japanese Emperor Hirohito. It is usually added at the end of a holiday train. On rainy days the car is uncoupled to remain in the carbarn to avoid guests spoiling the carpet with their wet shoes, as well as to avoid spoiling the paintwork. Members of Club 33are permitted to ride unescorted aboard the Lilly Belle with their guests at any time, other guests must be escorted by a Disneyland cast member. During the Year of a Million Dreams promotion, random guests were chosen to experience a Grand Circle journey from Main Street aboard the Lilly Belle. Patient guests could inquire with the Main Street stationmaster about experiencing a journey aboard the Lilly Belle, there were up to 4 Lilly Belle excursions each operating day. In March 2014, the coach was restricted to Club 33 members, VIP tours, and celebrities. No reason was given.
All Aboard the Disneyland Railroad