Wednesday, May 29, 2024

DLRR, July 1964

I'm always happy to find slides featuring the Disneyland and Santa Fe Railroad - the older the better, too. These are from 1964, so they are from the "Walt years".

It looks like our photographer was at Tomorrowland Station as the DLRR made its stop before heading into the Grand Canyon Diorama (the "Primeval Word" addition would not be added until July 1, 1966 - two years after these photos were taken). The yellow passenger cars look very authentic, though they were not ideal for viewing the Diorama or even for looking at Disneyland along the Grand Circle Tour. Still, I love them. Hey kid, keep that elbow inside or you'll lose it!

I never really think about the Kalamazoo Handcar as part of the Disneyland RR, but of course it is. It's kind of beautiful in its minimal design - only a bit of painted decoration is there for added pizzaz.




In the second image you get a view of THE BACKSIDE OF ATTRACTION POSTER…

Nanook said...

'Lil Kalamazoo Handcar - such a sweetie. I do believe the scant view of a vertical 'post' seen at the extreme left edge of the 2nd image is the right hand post for the signage plugging 'Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color' - New Series on N.B.C. Network

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

Seems like we rarely see the yellow train cars this close up. Usually we see them, from a distance, at the Main Street Station as we're entering the park. I just noticed that decorative black & gold design element bordering the entrances/exits of the train cars; very nice! A sure-fire way to tell if a picture was taken during the Walt Years is seeing someone holding a cigarette in their fingers, like the lady in front of the kid who's about to lose his arm.

Again, we rarely see the Handcar up close like this. And again, I didn't know it had those decorative designs painted on. It looks like they've got it tethered down with steel cables to keep Yippies from commandeering it, or just to keep the Handcar from meandering on its own. FREE THE HANDCAR, I say! Let it roam free! Let it feel the wind in its wheels!... I feel better now. Are those pink and white flowers on the slope below the Handcar part of the Mickey floral portrait? We can see a bit of curved retaining border around the flowers.... Retaining border?? FREE THE FLOWERS, I say! Let them roam free! Let them feel the wind in their petals!

Thanks for the RR pics, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

.....someone holding a cigarette in their fingers, like the lady in front of the kid who's about to lose his arm.

JB, I wonder when they stopped allowing smoking on the train? I can clearly recall Thurl Ravenscroft's spiel on the train, stating that there is "And no smoking, please....the smoking lamp is out!"

Bu said...

Cigs on the train...loving every second...and the olden days...enjoyed lighting up and chimney style smoking through the English Countryside...all the fresh air! Decades previous to that, as a non-smoker...I found a car that didn't have too much tobacco action going on...a commuter train out of London...home of a lot of I thought..."well...isn't this lovely...not too much smoke in this car.." at that point the very nicely appointed Emma Peel type passenger across from me, in a very smart suit...whips out the BIGGEST stogie I think I ever saw up to that point! She must have just returned from a trip to Cuba...she smoked it like one of those characters in a film about the seedier side of Vegas poker tables.....of course this gave license to all of the other closet smokers that also whipped out their cigs, pipes, and smaller type stogies. That being said: I do enjoy seeing a close up of this train car: and never knew it had little cage-like barriers on the windows...not sure I'd attempt jumping out...but better safe than sorry. I have a photo of this exact same view: with the Monorail beam and those mid century modern street lights...they STILL exist! and in the same spots. The fencing has been changed to another style, but it is the same position as the old fencing. I thoroughly enjoy the Tomorrowland station...and although it's been "updated" it still has a 1950's vibe. In looking at the Main Street station and backside of Attraction Poster...I was wondering how we crawled over the tracks and onto the floral Mickey for the annual "Floral Mickey + Disneylanders Photo"...which I hope are still down in the time tunnel underneath the Ad.Bldg. It's one of the few photos of me in my ODV Yellows...I don't have a copy of it anymore...but what did we do to get over the boxwoods? Was there a little path? And what did the office ladies in their heels do: who often showed up for those photo shoots...which by the way: were voluntary and you were not compensated for the time: which I think today would probably be a "thing" since we had to change into costume...the chain link fence at the gate is it an old fashioned look and feel...kind of "Prison Yard Fanciful"....thanks Major for the nice morning start to my day!

Bu said...

Post script: I do not smoke anymore nor condone it in anyway...although it's a very very very tough habit to break...don't "pull a Walt" and keep your lungs clean!!!

Steve DeGaetano said...

Great photos!

The decorative corner posts that JB noticed are replicated on the Lilly Belle. As most people here know, three of the original SF&D cars can still be ridden today in San Luis Obispo, while the lead, combine car is displayed at Walt's Barn in Griffith Park. The last car, the "Grand Canyon," was converted into the Lilly Belle.

The Kalamazoo handcar is one of the last (maybe THE last) narrow gauge handcars produced by the company. For those keeping score, it's a Model 6, which sold for $285 in 1955. Stepping on the pedal on the car's left side applied the "brakes." The black rectangle on the rear edge is the builder's plate.


BU: I hate to tell you this : but the basement administration DISNEYLAND TIME TUNEL was cleared out almost 20 years ago. The shallow display cases and prop pieces and multi media items are ling gone. I don’t know if “Disneylanders” were aware that none other than imagineer Rolly Crump designed and directed the installation of the DISNEYLAND TIME TUNNEL. Over the years it was added to - as there was expansion space left for it . Eventually the space ran out. For awhile there were some historical mural
Panels digitally printed onto a Lexan type plastic …

The other displays on the first floor near costume issue with the “process of Disney Animation featuring ROBIN HOOD” ( giving you an idea of when these displays went in) also was removed quite some time ago … the other animation display was a display thst used the same images from that 1963 National Geographic Disney issue - with the little Mr. geo figure being shown how the multi plane camera works was also removed. There were two other historical displays one near character costume issue “ OUR CAST OF CHARACTERS “ and another one up in the lobby of costuming “COSTUMING OUR CAST THROUGH THE YEARS” part of this mural
Was relocated over to the Team Center and is in a lobby like area In front of two large meeting rooms - I think on the 2nd or 3rd floor. A newer less involved “costuming Thru the years” panel is now in the entry hallway of cast costuming - also a digital image on some kind of FRP or LEXAN.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike, somehow the backsides of attraction posters is not as enchanting as the backside of water!

Nanook, I believe you are right about the Wonderful World of Color sign!

JB, I agree, medium-distance shots are more common when it comes to the yellow train cars; the painted detailing is just one of the little things that they could have skimped on, but didn’t! To be honest, I’m kind of surprised that we don’t see more adults smoking in vintage photos. The smokers are there, but not in the quantity that I would expect. It’s probably wise to tether the Kalamazoo Handcar, there’s no telling what kind of mischief it could get up to otherwise. Kalamazoo is a famous party town.

TokyoMagic!, I always wondered… was there actually a “smoking lamp”??

Bu, people can do what they want, but I am sure grateful that I did not get hooked on cigarettes. I tried them when I was young (maybe not even a teenager??) and hated them from the get-go. Sadly, my brother is still a smoker to this day. Ugh. Yes, in Europe, the attitude towards smoking in public is quite different. I think the barriers on the windows of the train were added later and were not there early-on. I’m sure a few dumb people stuck their heads (and bodies) way out for the perfect photo! I do kind of like the view down into the entry plaza, with people milling about; everybody’s got a place they are headed to. Don’t you have any contacts who can tell you if the photo of you (and friends) with the Mickey floral portrait are still in the tunnel? Gardeners must get over those boxwoods somehow, that’s probably how you did it too.

Bu, my brother quit for years, and suddenly decided he needed to start again. So clearly the craving never left him.

Steve DeGaetano, I thought you’d like these! I finally went to see Walt’s Barn years ago, and admit that it was a thrill to finally see the combine there. They had a TV that showed a slide show with images of the Disneyland Railroad, I saw more than a few of my photos on it! I wondered what that pedal was on the handcar… it looks like a brake, but I didn’t think that it actually was a brake! So thanks for that info.

Mike Cozart, oops, well there’s my answer to the question to Bu. Such a shame that they would so callously clear it out. I could see it being cleaned up, straightened up, dusted off, etc. But to just toss everything, ouch. I assume the props were either put in the archives, or sold. The animation building in Burbank also had a display with the 1963 National Geographic images, which I found amusing. No idea if it is there today. Disney is a strange company, on one hand celebrating its history, and on the other, ignoring it when it suits them.

JG said...

Tomorrowland station is my second-favorite, after NOS, I guess. It’s still a great piece of mid-century modern design. And it has this great view where you can see both trains at once, if you’re lucky and the timing works.

Handcars were a staple of old cartoons too. Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam and the Coyote all featured plots with handcars IIRC.

Thanks for these pics, Major. Nothing like the back side of a poster frame to get us all going in the morning. I love my Gorilla pals.


zach said...

Every now and then I gasp (I'm a professional) when I see what might be me(!) in one of these photos. Elbow kid looks ALOT like me in 1964. I've studied it in detail and I'm sure now it isn't me (or my elbow), sadly.

Mike and Bu, I always enjoy your 'behind the scenes' commentary.

BTW, everyone, my Niece is now working for Disney in the model department! How about that!

Thanks, Major, for finding a photo with almost me in it.


Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I don’t think I’ve ever ranked my favorite train stations at Disneyland! I like them all for different reasons, and Tomorrowland’s mid-century look is great. I didn’t know you could ever see both trains at once though, that’s a surprise to me. Yes, I can picture Yosemite Sam on a handcar, it’s sad that kids don’t get to grow up on Warner Bros. cartoons any more. Glad you liked these!

zach, oh man, it sure would have been cool if that was you in the photo! But you have your right elbow, so we know that it must be some other kid. Wow, the Model Department sounds like a cool place to work! She can feed you all kind of top-secret info that you can reveal here!

Melissa said...


Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, look out!

JG said...

Zach, what great news! Thank you for sharing, best wishes to the young lady!

Major, I saw the monorail pass over one of the trains, but could not get a pic in time. Sigh.

Maybe my stations preferences are related to how often I rode from any locations, rarely boarded from Main Street and for most of my youth, there was no fantasyland station…