Disneyland Railroad – Another American Adventure Part 7

On Tuesday 12th July, I visited The Disneyland Railroad that operates a grand circle tour of the world famous theme park, Disneyland, in Anaheim, California. The video above, not by me, was taken on the last day that the Railroad operated before major construction work on the track layout. The railroad has operated since the park opened in 1955. This is not the first time the railroad has closed. The construction of New Orleans Square in the mid-’60s required the tracks to be expanded outwards in the southwest quarter of the park. The open-air stretches of track on both sides of Frontierland Station became enclosed by a tunnel over Pirates of the Caribbean to the east and a tunnel through the berm behind the Haunted Mansion facade. Additionally, the trains originally ran behind Casey Jr. Circus Train, but the track was rerouted in order to make more space inside the park. The DLRR was in near-continuous operation since the park’s 1955 opening day until December 2004 when the system was shut down for re-ballasting, re-gauging and new block signals as part of Disneyland’s fiftieth anniversary celebration. The attraction reopened on the 17th March , 2005. While often claimed to be the longest closure of the railroad in Park history, the line was actually down for over a year during the construction of Splash Mountain in the late 1980s. It was not until 2007 however when all 5 locomotives were converted to burn biodiesel it runs on now.DSC01683While the railroad is re-routed, one of the locomotives was available to be viewed at the New Orleans Depot, which was one of the two original stations at the park. When the park opened, there were two trains, one starting at the entrance of the park, Main Street, and taking a grand circle tour, and another train at this depot, then known as the Frontierland depot. Both trains would pass each other at the other station. Now, three trains operate daily, and there are four stations along the route, where it is now a form of transport around the park. Because of the change in operation, the general public has not visited the other side of the depot since in the 1960s, and until next year, guests can visit the new display.DSC01684On display was one of the original boilers, which is now used to train engineers who work on the Disneyland Railroad. The staff explained how the locomotive worked, and the history of the line, along with the five locomotives that are housed at the roundhouse;

  • 1: C.K. Holliday
  • 2: E.P. Ripley
  • 3: Fred Gurley
  • 4: Ernest S. Marsh
  • 5: Ward Kimball.

The locomotives on display were No. 2 at the Main Street Depot, and No. 4 at New Orleans Depot, as seen in the pictures in this article.DSC01685When the railroad returns, it will be one of the most significant changes in the railroad’s history, but as Walt Disney said in the park’s opening day speech “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” That quote is more true today than ever before.

Thanks for reading.