Friday, May 31, 2024

The E.P. Ripley, October 1971

It's more Disneyland Railroad goodness! A batch of slides from 1971 came from a photographer who was obviously charmed by the Disneyland & Santa Fe RR. He took five photos of it, three of the E.P. Ripley, and two of the Fred Gurley. I'll share the three E.P. Ripley pix today. 

There she is! Actually, are trains "female"? You know, like we refer to ships as "she"? No idea. I wonder what Edward Payson Ripley would have to say about it? I have a special fondness for the first two Disneyland locomotives (the other being the C.K. Holliday), because they were built at the studio especially for the park. I have no doubt that one of Walt's favorite things was watching every step that made these beauties become a reality. As you can see, the train is stopped at Main Street Station, but does not appear to have any rolling stock attached at this point. 

Next we're at Frontierland Station, with the old depot nearby, and some of New Orleans Square in the distance. This one went a bit dark, but I did what I could to lighten it without letting it get too gray. The Santa Fe sign always makes me happy.

And finally, one last look as the E.P. Ripley is presumably about to continue its Grand Circle Tour, into the deeper parts of Frontierland. I'm wondering if that fellow to the right is giving some mechanisms a healthy glug of oil? 


JB said...

Hmm, I don't think I've ever considered whether trains are male or female... nor ships or cars or any other inanimate object. My brain just doesn't think that way, I guess. Some people assign gender to things all the time... I'm not one of those people. Maybe I should see a shrink for the next twenty years to work this out.

Huh... So where are the rest of the train cars? It seems to be around noon, from the shadows. Maybe this was one of the Park's closed days? Or maybe the T-Rex ate the other cars when the train passed through the Primeval World a few feet back.

I wonder if the other train cars are present in the second photo? I never noticed the semaphore signal tower before (we can see it above the train car). Did it really work? Was it actually required?

That engineer in the third photo doesn't like us taking his picture. Maybe the other guy is doing something illegal and we're not supposed to see what's going on. He's probably got his stash of Zingers hidden there. Or he's reheating some sweet n' sour spare ribs from Chao's.

Too bad the paddle wheeler wasn't in these photos, then I could say, "Thanks for the Choo Choo Twain pics, Major."


The semaphore signal is still there today and indeed functions … if I recall it was given to Disneyland or Walt as a gift from the Union Pacific Railroad ( I wonder what the Santa Fe Railroad thought of that?) I don’t think it is used the way semephore signals are really used .. but when the signal drops you know there is a train entering the other end of the tunnel … maybe Steve can explain .

Chuck said...

Oh, boy - the E.P. Ripley is one of my five favorite Disneyland locomotives!

Major, not sure what you are focusing on in the first photo, but the Holiday Red 200-series car set is coupled to the Ripley's tender. These are the cars that started life as the freight car set.

Note in the second photo that by 1971 the passing siding had been removed at New Orleans Square, yet the right-of-way for it has been maintained to this very day. I wonder when they will tear up these tracks and convert them to a bike trail?

Thanks again, Major!

Bu said...

I am not a huge train those people who are. I'd say I'm a train nerd in train-ing. I don't pull out my hair when I see a old style those people at estate sales that would tromple over you and all those around you over a vintage Pyrex bowl (real thing)...that being said: I do enjoy trains a lot, and ride them very frequently. It would be nice if MTA or Amtrak would have a Grand Canyon or Primeval World to ride through...I think it would increase attendance. I'm happy to note that the trains have pretty much reached pre-Covid squishy-ness...and people are back to standing as there can be no where to sit at rush hour. These are fine views and could be taken today which is nice: I do miss seeing a parking lot and "Space Ship" from Main Street...guests always asked what "that funny building was" is kind of synonymous with Disneyland and as a kid I always felt it was a part of the Park experience. It's nice to see the "real" Disneyland sign with it's yellow "D"...and yellow tag line about "Park and Hotel" before "The Happiest Place on Earth" came along...and then later the "top heavy" "new" Disneyland sign: which I though kind of looked like a guy who spent too much time on his upper body and not enough time on his legs: check it out and you will see (gym humor). I think that's the sign that ended up in John Stamos' backyard, no? For local to So. Cal. peoples: I just got an email blast from the Carolwood Foundation on the 25th anniversary of Walt's Barn in Griffith Park...with Disney Family members in attendance to talk about growing up around the manse in Holmby Hills. Sounds like a fun time for Disney and Train Nerds alike. Please note that I do not use the term "Nerd" in a negative manner and am a proud nerd of many things myself. Nerds of the Werld: Unite! Thanks Major!

TokyoMagic! said...

Bu, I believe John Stamos only purchased the "D" from the newer DL sign. He has it in his backyard:

And it looks like he also has a Snow White's Scary Adventure's vehicle, and a Haunted Mansion tombstone:

K. Martinez said...

I always thought it would be cool if DCA had trains circling that park like Disneyland does, but instead of steam locomotives it could be diesel/ streamliner passenger trains like the Santa Fe Super Chief and El Capitan complete with Union Station entrance. I can dream.

Thanks, Major.

JG said...

This train is a work of art, made by hand. I can’t help wondering if there were some precursor engineering designs serving as a starting point. Seems almost beyond imagining that they could create this from a blank slate. I remain in awe regardless.

If ships and planes are female, why not trains?

I can hear the bell and the Announcers Voice now.

Thank you, Major!


Major Pepperidge said...

JB, maybe assigning gender to things like ships is tied to other languages, where the practice is common? I can see now that there is one train car, and the alignment of that pole, and then the plants, makes it appear is if there aren’t any others. Darn perspective! If elected President, I will make perspective illegal. Right after the third photo was taken, the guy looking at us broke into song. He’s not so rough after all!

Mike Cozart, I think I have a Union Pacific menu that has the Disneyland castle on the front, I always wondered how that worked. Maybe it was from after Santa Fe stopped their sponsorship? I’ll have to look for it and scan it.

Chuck, I’m not sure what I was focusing on either! I guess I’ll need to cut back to only two bottles of tequila before noon. Hey, a bike trail at Disneyland, I don’t hate the idea! Good eye on the track removal in photo #2.

Bu, I’m not sure I qualify as a huge train nerd (that honor goes to Steve DeGaetano!), but I do love those big machines, or even Disneyland’s not-so-big versions. It was fun to go to the train museum out in Riverside (with K. Martinez and TokyoMagic!), and I still love to stop by Travel Town in Griffith Park every once in a while. I know what you mean about the parking lot view, who woulda thunk it? It was just a part of the experience back then. Kids these days! They have no idea! I’m surprised that they don’t have any sort of large, in-your-face Disneyland sign today, preferably with that Gothic font. John Stamos doesn’t invite me over, so I don’t know what’s in his backyard. Maybe a Slip ’n Slide? That 25th Anniversary event for Walt’s Barn sounds pretty fun, but I’m guessing it will be crowded. I like going there when it’s not crowded!

TokyoMagic!, if I was as rich as John Stamos, I wonder what crazy Disneyland items I would own? I’d have the “isneyland” part of the sign, I can tell you that much. A Haunted Mansion tombstone is pretty cool.

K. Martinez, I like your idea a lot! What do you think of the idea of an Aerotrain-style locomotive, as a nod to the Viewliner?

JG, it is pretty amazing to think that the beautiful little locomotive was built entirely at the studio. I don’t know if there was a source for parts that could be switched out, or if every piece was specifically for the E.P. Ripley? Steve D. will know!

Anonymous said...

Over time while working in the Park, I'd notice the semaphore drop before a train appeared through the NO tunnel and before any announcement of its arrival. It was just one of those 'ah ha' moments one would experience as they spent more time there. And a realization of the attention to detail that was in place. Whether many guests noticed was not the point. But it was subtly there for those who did.

When I looked at the first shot my attention was immediately drawn to the open parking lot in the background, thinking it's off-season. Then I checked the date of the pictures in the post. Most looked at the train. We all come from different perspectives and experiences. When I'd park in the employee lot I'd scan the general parking to get a sense of how busy the day would be. KS

Steve DeGaetano said...

The semaphore is actually an "order board," and would let the engineer know whether he should stop to pick up new train orders (whether he needed to pull into the next siding to let the "express" pass, for instance). It was donated to Disney by Wiliam White, Chairman of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad, in 1962.

The E.P. Ripley and the C.K. Holliday were both based on Walt's 1/8th scale Lilly Belle, although modified to accept "full size" engine crews. Eddie Sergeant drew the Lilly Belle plans, and Ed Lingenfelter, a former actual railroad draftsman, drew the drawings for the Ripley and the Holliday. Lingenfelter began the first locomotive construction drawing on July 30, 1954.

Not to be sexist, but if you've ever operated a steam locomotive, you would definitely understand why they are referred to as "she" or "her," regardless of the name painted on the cab side. They need to be treated right! Casey Jones (the real engineer), while speeding to make up lost time, is reported to have told his fireman, Sim Webb, "The old girl's got her high-heeled slippers on tonight!"

The engineer in the last photo is oiling or inspecting the engine's valve gear--the linkages that control forward or reverse, and also function as a sort of simple "gear shift." These linkages are situated between the engine's side frames and are difficult to see. But they do need frequent oiling.

Steve DeGaetano said...

Oh, and in the first photo, the train isn't stopped. It is rolling into Main Street Station, bell a'ringin'--this was taken at the eastern end of the station platform, a photo location we don't see too often.


It’s always been a tradition to refer to vehicles and machinery as “SHE” as a sign of revered respect- no matter what the name given to the subject. Sailing Ships, Road Coaches , steam trains ,automobiles , airplanes , rocket ships ….. even giant newspaper printing presses and bridges…. When WDI was testing the new turntable equipment for the INNOVENTIONS carousel theater in 1998 they referred to it as “she” …. Same with the CD ON DEMAND computer used for the Disneyland Forever soundtrack cd makers … the technicians referred to it as “she” ( “how’s she doing?” ….. “she’s completely up and running “…. Etc)

Interesting fact regarding American Roads …. Most stopped giving individual names to locomotives starting with the end of the civil war … part of this is believed to be because of the increasing numbers of trains in service but it’s also thought to be because people looked at the machinery differently after the war … and the American civil war being its first to be fought With the use of trains. Another common tend after the civil war were much more subdued paint schemes …. In darker somber blacks , greys and greens .

Of course it was also tradition to refer to violet storms as “SHE” as well.