Friday, April 01, 2016

The Viewliner, 1957

I never tire of photos of old Tomorrowland, especially when they include the Viewliner.

This first photo was presumably shot from the Skyway, and it is an unusual angle for sure. We get two - TWO - Viewliners for the price of one! The red Viewliner crosses a small trestle bridge in the background, while the blue train is heading toward the bridge that crosses Tomorrowland Lake.  Just visible is the Junior Autopia. The landscape still looks very raw... it wouldn't have much time to mature, since (as you know) none of this would be around for very long.

I included this closeup, just because it is so unusual to see both Viewliners in one photo.

This next one was taken as passengers boarded the red Viewliner at the Tomorrowland depot. While it's hard to really see much, it appears that the inside of the cars was pretty minimal, with bench seats facing each other and not much else.


Nanook said...


With each Viewliner positioned so far back in the image, it almost appears as if we're looking at a beautifully-built miniature train set, rather then the real thing. These are great images.

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

Today's pics are fantastic! Great view of the train trestle, Autopia roadway, Tomorrowland Lake and sparse landscaping. And a few telephone poles thrown in to give it that perfect visual. I think the second image is the first shot I've seen where one can get some idea of the interior seating for the Viewliner trains. I love it! I want to board the time machine. Thanks, Major.

Scott Lane said...

Fantastic! As "ordinary" as these may seem, they're real gems!

TokyoMagic! said...

Two real beauties today, Major! We even get two Motor Boat Cruise vehicles in that first picture (just beneath the red Viewliner)!

Steve DeGaetano said...

The second shot is especially unusual in that it shows the last car of the Viewliner. We can also see the relationship between the Viewliner car design and the Mark I monorail cars. Note the similarity in the window arrangement.

Tom said...

Absolutely amazing pictures today! The first one is so inviting it's practically begging me to dive into the monitor. The fact that both trains are visible makes the barrenness of the landscape actually a good thing. There's a lot to be said about having less visual clutter, and letting the attractions themselves be attractive.

And: excellently unusual angles today!

Chuck said...

I think this is the first picture I've ever seen of the back of the Viewliner. Wish I could get a look at the logo.

Steve, my first reaction at seeing a Viewliner photo in the '90s was noting the Monorail's design heritage.

Ken, no April Foolin' - I was thinking about Disneyland's telephone poles (and your love of them) when I was driving the kids to school this morning (there are a lot of poles on our route). My brain is weird.

Anonymous said...

Extra-fine pictures today. The Viewliner is a real crowd-pleaser.

BTW, everyone should go see the Orange County History Blog post for today >>



Unknown said...

Lovely stuff, Major. I was thrown a bit by the direction of the Fantasyland Viewliner. It looked like they were heading for a head-on collision. Then I made out the other track between the two trains heading back out. All is calm again.

Steve DeGaetano said...

The blue train looks nearly empty! No wonder the attraction was so short-lived.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it is one of Walt’s beautifully-built miniature train sets!

K. Martinez, as much as I love seeing the Viewliner itself, it is its place in this raw, early landscape that helps to make this photo so special.

Kenneth Lane, I never thought these were ordinary!

TokyoMagic!, good eye, I didn’t notice the motor boats.

Steve DeGaetano, you definitely can see how much those Viewliner cars resemble the early Monorail cars. If it worked, why mess with it?

Tom, it’s true, if there were lots of mature trees and large bushes, we probably wouldn’t even be able to see the Viewliner trains; or at leas the red one would have likely been hidden.

Chuck, somewhere back in 2006 I had a long shot of the back of a Viewliner, but it’s hard to see what’s what. And uh-oh, it sounds like you have telephone poles on the brain!

JG, oh, I thought that the OC History Blog post would be about the Viewliner!

Patrick Devlin, now THAT would have been an exciting attraction.

Steve DeGaetano, I wonder if the placement of the Fantasyland Viewliner station was part of the reason for the low ridership?

Bill Cotter said...

Wonderful shots!

Nancy said...

Beautiful views! I love seeing the layout in this landscape-type shot. I dont believe I have seen one before.

The blue Viewliner is just divine. :-) The sunshine and blue sky reflecting on the trees...I so love this one!! :)

Jason Schultz said...

In the closeup of the two trains, you can see all the way to downtown Anaheim! The "skyscraper" in the distance is the Kraemer Building, which was Orange County's first high-rise building in Orange County. The photo nicely ties together Anaheim's past and future!