Monday, May 16, 2016

Mine Train, 1959

I can't explain it, but I particularly love the way the old Rainbow Mountain Mine Train looked when it was painted with its pre-1960 dark green. Rainbow Ridge looks pretty cute here, very neat and tidy for a frontier town. The train's grizzled engineer waits patiently as a new load of greenhorns come aboard. I like to think he's chewing tobaccy! 

Look at the fathers, all lined up with their cameras! Hilarious.

This one was pretty dark, but you can still see the Mine Train entering the tunnel that was the portal to the Rainbow Desert. Just a year or so later, the ride would undergo a fabulous expansion into "Nature's Wonderland". 

In the foreground are the elevated boardwalks that made it easier for passengers to climb into the saddles of the Pack Mules. Simple, but elegant.


Chuck said...

I love that the tender is lettered for the "Rainbow Mountain Mining & Exploration Co." It evokes the idea that you're heading off into a vast, trackless wilderness (although there'd have to be tracks for the train to get there, I suppose).

Lovely set today, Major!

K. Martinez said...

It's interesting your comment about Rainbow Ridge being very neat and tidy for a frontier town. I guess it goes with the philosophy that Walt wanted everything to look nice on the outside at Disneyland. Haunted Mansion was definitely an example of that.

Sometimes I think what if the Mine Train through Nature's Wonderland made it to Walt Disney World. Would the scale be slightly larger? Would there be different scenes and layout? Jungle Cruise made it to WDW. So woner what they would've done if the mine train made it. I like to think of "what ifs" at the Disney parks once in a while.

Nice set today. Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, that is some darn nice lettering! All done by hand, I’ll wager. Somehow seeing those people disappearing into that dark tunnel makes it seem like they are going away forever.

K. Martinez, I’m sure Walt insisted on a clean and tidy Frontierland! It’s intriguing to think of what a “Nature’s Wonderland” might have been like had one been built in Florida. I guess that the never-built Western River Expedition was supposed to have been more or less the equivalent, even though that was going to be a boat ride.

Tom said...

That's a whole lotta suits and flashbulbs heading into the wilderness. What was going on that day that was so photo-worthy? Piques the imagination...

TokyoMagic! said...

I agree with Tom. It seems like something extra special was going on. Maybe there was a celebrity aboard the train? Perhaps this was when Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower were being filmed riding the train?

Matthew said...

@TokyoMagic! that was exactly what I was thinking too. They are the only well know figures that I have ever seen photographed on the Mine Train attraction. There are too many "fathers" standing on anything and everything to get a photo.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Matthew said...

But wait... now that I wrote that I'm thinking weren't the Eisenhower's riding over the Bear Country trestle. That wouldn't have existed in 1959 (what do I know... maybe it did... we need Chris Merritt to way in here or the Red handkerchief men to weigh in here). Maybe this is a group of photographers who recognized Walt on the train? Regardless... there are too many of them (I count four) in one small space.

Always your pal!

Steve DeGaetano said...

Major, that is most certainly hand-lettering.

One of my prized collectibles is a section of the tender of DRR No. 3 that was removed during the last restoration. It is of the numeral "3" inside a red pin-stripe circle. It is all hand painted, with a beautiful drop-shadow. There are three colors used. I should get a close-up of the number:

I have heard that in some instances, Disney has been going to decals (specifically I read this about some of the graphics on the BTMRR locomotives). If true, this is a real shame, albeit a money-saver.

Irene said...

What a great collectible Steve!
I love photos of the old mine train ride and these are gems for sure.

Major Pepperidge said...

Tom, only a visit from Jerry Lewis would evoke that much excitement.

TokyoMagic!, I would think that if a former President was at the park there would be a lot more people hanging around. I’m telling you, Jerry Lewis!

Matthew, OK, now I am thinking that it must actually be a famous person. But why would OUR photographer not be interested in taking a photo of that person??

Matthew again, oh man, I didn’t even think of that! The trestle definitely wasn’t there in ’59. As for your suggestion that it could be Walt on the train, I don’t even want to imagine that this photographer would miss out on taking a picture of HIMI.

Steve DeGaetano, wow, that’s a beautiful item! I’m sure that decals are used now… the required artistry is either going to be expensive, or they would have a hard time finding somebody who can freehand elegant lettering like that. Thanks for sharing!

Irene, I don’t know if you’ve seen that the one surviving mine train was going to be fully restored, but now the Disney lawyers have stepped in to muck up the process.

K. Martinez said...

Steve DeGaetano, WOW!! What a beautiful piece! Thanks for sharing am image of it.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, maybe the photographer of these pics couldn't get any closer than this. Those guys with the cameras appear to have climbed up onto the top of that wall to take their photos. They were probably blocking the view of whoever it was that they were photographing.