Friday, May 31, 2019

Three Locomotives, 1998-ish

Mr. X loved those Disneyland locomotives, and took the opportunity to snap a few swell photos of three of them while they were stopped at Frontierland Station.

The C.K. Holliday might be my favorite, though I admit that the reasons are vague. Maybe it's because it is one of two built at the studio by Roger Broggie and his team. It's #1, after all. And I do like that big balloon stack - it's the classic old west train to me.

The E.P. Ripley is the other studio-built locomotive, and it is great too, with the shiny brass cap on the stack. And that apple-green is nice. At over 60 years old, this locomotive is now more antique than some authentic steam locos were in 1955. If you know what I mean.

And, you knew it was coming, it's the old (literally) #3, the Fred Gurley. Built in 1894, which makes it 125 years old. I'm sure the builders never imagined that this little train would still be going strong more than a century later. 

Thanks to Mr. X for sharing these beauties!


Nanook said...


They are beauties, indeed-!

Thanks 'X' & The Major for sharing them.

TokyoMagic! said...

Yes, three swell pics of the DL locomotives. Speaking of old, do we know how old that water tower is? Is it original to 1955?

Melissa said...

A trio of lovelies! Man, could I go for a train ride in the open air right now.

Hey, Driver #2 - arms inside the vehicle!

K. Martinez said...

These are really fantastic photos of the Disneyland locomotives. I can't pick a favorite because I love them all. Real live steam trains! These have pretty much moved up to my #1 Disneyland attraction. It's the Walt thing. Thanks Mr. X and Major.

Andrew said...

It's nice seeing different locomotives in the same location. I'm seeing triple, Batman!

Also, I can see your reasons for liking the Holliday. It does have the stack and a big headlight.

Chuck said...

Somebody had better tell the Gurley's fireman that he's in mortal danger by standing more than three feet off the ground without a guard rail or safety harness. Oh, the humanity!

TM!, according to the second edition of Steve Degaetano's Welcome Aboard the Disneyland Railroad (p 223-224), this is actually the second water tower built at the Frontierland Station. But it does date from the mid-1950s. It was replaced by the current structure in the latter half of the 1990s, which will probably be replaced by a vaporator when they convert the area into a highly-detailed replica of Uncle Owen's moisture farm.

stu29573 said...

They should run three tracks side by side and have train drag races! They could do it in the area between the front gates of DL and CA! Disney should really hire me to plan such events. Oh well...

JC Shannon said...

I can't choose, I love 'em all. There was something romantic and magical about steam locomotives. I like to think if the spirit of Walt is haunting the park somewhere, he is spending his time between the apartment in the Fire Station and the locomotives. All Aboard! Thanks Major.

JG said...

@Chuck, the "Owen's Farm" overlay has been delayed due to the R2 units all having bad motivators. Much like me on Friday.

@Jonathan, agreed, that is a pleasant thought, although he probably makes occasional visits to the Haunted Mansion, just to keep his hand in...

Major, these are excellent photos and an excellent idea, each locomotive in the same spot. This is my favorite of the four stations and might be the best vantage point for such photos. All the others are hard to get far enough back, or have other impediments.

I don't have a favorite locomotive, but I prefer the excursion cars with the seats facing to the inside instead of all facing forward. I'm not sure which train pulls those, but I've been known to wait longer until that one comes around so I get a good view of the giant pterodactyl.

I used to board in Frontierland and ride all the way around. A few times, would board in Tomorrowland and get off on Main street to go home, just a long enough ride to see the dinosaurs. But on recent trips, I have used the train just to migrate around the stupid parade route that blocks everything up all afternoon.

Thanks Major, and Mr. X!


Graffer said...

I have tried in the past to find a composite photograph off all five Disneyland locomotives (to the same scale) to make comparisons. Both front views and side views. But have had no luck.

The EP Ripley has always been my favorite due to the smokestack.
And here is one vote for forward facing seats in the passenger cars.

Melissa said...

I hope the train goes to Tosche Station because nobody went to pick up those power converters.

Chuck said...

Melissa, I hope you said that in your whiniest voice. ;-)

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, gotta love those trains!

TokyoMagic!, the water tower has always been there, and will be there long after humans have vanished from this planet.

Melissa, I had the feeling people were going to like these!

K. Martinez, it’s like the trains are all your children. How can you possibly choose just one? It is funny, I always liked the Disneyland Railroad, but never gave it much thought as a kid. It’s only in later years that I grew to appreciate it so much more. And yes, the “Walt thing” has a lot to do with it.

Penna. Andrew, I like how the stacks and headlights are different on all of the trains. It would have been cheaper and easier to just make them all cookie-cutter copies.

Chuck, ironically the fireman tripped on a pebble and bruised his coccyx (I imagine that being said by Johnny Carson for some reason). Thank you for the info about the water towers… I should know all of this stuff, but why use my brain cells when I have all of you guys to do the work??

stu29573, yes, drag races! And loop-de-loops! Basically oversized Hot Wheels, only with full-sized trains.

Jonathan, the trains are another case of Walt loving something and counting on other people loving it too (and he was right). It seems hard to imagine Disneyland without the railroad encircling it! That’s a world I don’t want to live in.

JG, I have a bad motivator, but don’t know where to go to get it fixed. I’ve read theories that the original R2 unit that went kablooey (R5-D4) sacrificed himself (itself?) knowing how important it was that Luke choose R2-D2. I’m sure many of us think about R5-D4 and his selflessness and are very inspired. I agree about the excursion cars, it just makes sense for viewing the park. I have boarded the trains at other stations, but I have this thing where I really feel like I need to board at Main Street and take the full Grand Circle Tour. If I ever went the park alone, I’d probably go around several times in a row.

Graffer, I might be mistaken, but I don’t think that the viewing area where Mr. X stood is there anymore, so it might not be possible to get that exact angle on any of the trains. I still think of the “Ward Kimball” as the new locomotive, when in fact it has been there for 14 years now! Interesting that you prefer the forward-facing seats - why is that?

Melissa, it took me a minute. “Tosche Station”? But then I got it. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Episode IV.

Chuck, would it make you feel any better to know that I say EVERYTHING in my whiniest voice?

K. Martinez said...

Chuck, Ha, ha! I thought Star Wars was dumb when I first saw it in the theater back in 1977. Everyone went ape over it and I went ho-hum. I thought the dialog was corny as hell and at age 17 I was too cool for it.

When Luke Skywalker spoke that line about going to pick up those power converters in his whiny voice, my eyes rolled in their sockets. I didn't really get into Star Wars until The Empire Strikes Back. Now that movie impressed me. Since then, I've grown fond of A New Hope and consider it a classic.

Graffer said...

By a composite picture, I meant 5 staged photos from a level stationary tripod (like in front of roundhouse) combined into one picture. Front views & side views. I think this would be an money-making poster for the park to sell. They could put a background scrim behind the engines if necessary. In my vision of the poster, if photos were taken from a scissor lift in front of the Main St Station, it would be too distracting because the background would be competing with the engines - the selling point is the engines.

When riding the Disneyland Railroad, I imagine I am on a 'real train' going somewhere, not on an attraction. And seats face forward on trains. Also, I am constantly looking right & left (to see outside the berm and backstage areas) - that is harder to do on inward facing seats because backstage (like the road to the roundhouse) is behind you.

JG said...

@Melissa, it's too bad that the DLRR isn't getting a Galaxy's Edge station, so that would have been plausible to do.

When I first read about the Wookie World design, I was thinking that a DLRR station there would have been very cool, and no more out-of character than the Tomorrowland station, but what do I know.

@Graffer, looking backstage is cheating, LOL. I get it and don't really disagree.

@Major, I had not heard this story about the red droid sacrificing himself. Some people go to enormous lengths to tie together things that have no relation at all. To me, the robots failing to realize they have been to Owen's farm befor is just one more gigantic plot hole in a story that is mostly made up of plot holes tied together with battle scenes.

I have had the urge for multiple train trips in a row, but I have always felt bad for the people waiting, and so would get off. Now that there are so few things I am interested in, the train becomes more and more important.


JG said...

Oh hooray, I have my spaceman AVI back.

He went AWOL when google killed google plus and I hadn't been able to get him back.

Third try is the charm.


Melissa said...

The WDW railroad only stops in Main St., Frontierland, and Storybook Circus, so it's all steam-train-appropriate. But I kind of wish we also got dinosaurs and spaceports on the East Coast grand circle tour.

stu29573 said...

I completely agree!

Dean Finder said...

Does anyone know why locomotives in the "old west" had diamond stacks? I'm an east coaster, and have never seen one in person. I know some tourist railroads grafted diamond stacks on locomotives to make them seem more "old-timey" but I have to think that Broggie and company made a faithful replica of a common type.

Steve DeGaetano said...

Man, I missed this by one day!

Dean, not all "old west" engines had large smokestacks. The stack design is based primarily on the type of fuel burned. When wood was burned, the stack had to have a lot of spark-arresting apparatus (steel screen or netting) inside. This went for both "old west" engines, and east coast engines (see, e.g., the General). When coal started to be used as fuel, there weren't as many sparks, and so a straight stack could be used (these engines still had spark-arresting netting, but it was now located in the smokebox--the gray (or here, white) portion under the stacks. If you'll notice, the smokebox on the Ripley is longer than the Holliday's The Ripley's headlight actually sits on top of the smokebox, whereas the Holliday's juts out in front of it on a bracket. For what it's work, neither engine actually has any spark arresting netting. Hardly any sparks with diesel fuel.