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  1. #1

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    Question History of the Mine Train locomotive.

    Did the old Mine Train locomotive have a previous life elsewhere or did Disney build it specifically for the former attraction at Disneyland?

    It's kind of sad to see it rotting over on the bank of the river although it does help add to the theme of Frontier land.



    Photo by: darkfairycthulu
    Last edited by evmo; 07-27-2009 at 03:52 PM.

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    Re: History of the Mine Train locomotive.

    Quote Originally Posted by evmo View Post
    Did the old Mine Train locomotive have a previous life elsewhere or did Disney build it specifically for the former attraction at Disneyland?

    It's kind of sad to see it rotting over on the bank of the river although does help add to the theme of Frontier land.
    I believe it was created for the ride, but Steve could answer that question better, probably.

    And it's not really "rotting" ... it's not like it's in a visibly boneyard or anything ala most Six Flags parks. It was purposely crashed/modified/themed to look as though it had been sitting there for awhile ... like you said, to "add to the theme." And it's okay to do so because it's a mine train vehicle ... seeing, for example, a Pinocchio's Daring Journey car stashed in the woods would be a bit more odd.

    I'd prefer little nods like this to previous attractions than do what most parks do ... when they remove every sign of it ever having even existed.

  3. #3

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    Re: History of the Mine Train locomotive.

    Quote Originally Posted by WJNM View Post
    I believe it was created for the ride, but Steve could answer that question better, probably.

    And it's not really "rotting" ... it's not like it's in a visibly boneyard or anything ala most Six Flags parks. It was purposely crashed/modified/themed to look as though it had been sitting there for awhile ... like you said, to "add to the theme." And it's okay to do so because it's a mine train vehicle ... seeing, for example, a Pinocchio's Daring Journey car stashed in the woods would be a bit more odd.

    I'd prefer little nods like this to previous attractions than do what most parks do ... when they remove every sign of it ever having even existed.
    Oh I understand perfectly that it's been set up to look like that, but I doubt very much you could simply walk out there and get it going with a few hours work, probably more like 6 months minimum.

    On a side note: Wouldn't it be cool if Disney tore down the theater and the BBQ area and let a new updated of the mine train roll again? The space isn't as big as the original mine train but I bet a fantastic train ride could be built in that space if done correctly.

    BTW I to like it when they leave traces of former attractions.

  4. #4

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    Re: History of the Mine Train locomotive.

    Big Thunder Mt. Railroad has many many props left from that old attraction. I think the first lifthill is from that ride and was re-used.
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    Re: History of the Mine Train locomotive.

    Quote Originally Posted by evmo View Post
    Oh I understand perfectly that it's been set up to look like that, but I doubt very much you could simply walk out there and get it going with a few hours work, probably more like 6 months minimum.

    On a side note: Wouldn't it be cool if Disney tore down the theater and the BBQ area and let a new updated of the mine train roll again? The space isn't as big as the original mine train but I bet a fantastic train ride could be built in that space if done correctly.

    BTW I to like it when they leave traces of former attractions.
    True, but it was also probably decomissioned. To leave a piece of heavy machinery out there like that as a purely scenic element, I'm guessing (just speculation here) that they had to remove the engine, any oil containers, or basically anything that could be dangerous harmful to the environment or a wandering guest. And yes, the sun has taken it's toll on it. It'd actually probably be cheaper to build a new one from scratch.

    And your idea does sound cool, and it could work (the "window rock" and some other elements around BTBBQ are remnants from the Mine Train ride, and it could certainly run through some of the river bank area. The only thing that would concern me is its proximity to BTMRR (I know one would be slow and leisurely, and one would be fast, but do we really need two mine train rides so close together?).

    The good news is this is one of the ideas being kicked around for the Phase II renovation of the Grizzly Peak area of DCA; however, that won't have the same nostalgia/charm, even if it is done very well.

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    Re: History of the Mine Train locomotive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneytwins View Post
    Big Thunder Mt. Railroad has many many props left from that old attraction. I think the first lifthill is from that ride and was re-used.
    The lift hill itself was not reused, but the painted pots on the left are an incorportation from the previous attraction (relocated? I think?). The mining town you speed by before approaching the station to exit the train is from Rainbow Ridge. Many rock work pieces, including window rock near Big Thunder BBQ are in their original location. The lake you pass by on Big Thunder Trail between Frontierland Plaza and Fantasyland is re-used from that attraction, and used to have jumping fish and a bear. The old cave that the train traveled through is still visible right there (as are the tracks). Then, of course, there is the route that passed by Cascade Peak that's pictured above.

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    Re: History of the Mine Train locomotive.

    Quote Originally Posted by evmo View Post
    It's kind of sad to see it rotting over on the bank of the river although it does help add to the theme of Frontier land.
    I agree. It is sad to see it rot.

    Perhaps I hold too much esteem for the old attraction.

    For me, the Mine Train, year after year, has become less a scenic, visual set piece and has now entered a world of rotting plywood and decay. It needs to be kept up and not abandoned. The prairie dogs or gophers need to function and the roof needs to be painted and made whole again.

    Although the idea of a rotting old mine train on the bank of a river is what the old train is meant to suggest, you can't simply allow that to actually happen. Not, that is, in a theme park as detail oriented as DL is. Time and the elements, including the heat of the California sun will do wonders to any structure left out to its own decay.

    Take a close look at the old train next time you sail past. It is sad.
    Permanecer sentado por favor...

  8. #8

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    Cool Re: History of the Mine Train locomotive.

    I think it was made for the ride, but scuffed up for its present home.

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    Re: History of the Mine Train locomotive.

    It's one of the old Nature's Wonderland trains that was aged to look like it's rotting. It's not in as bad shape as you think.


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    Re: History of the Mine Train locomotive.

    The mine trains were built specifically for the ride. They had no life outside of Disneyland, unlike Disneyland Railroad engines Gurley, Marsh and Kimball. The Mine trains were electrically powered, since there was some concern from Orange County Officials of unlicensed operators on the Mark Twain and the SF&DRR and so live steam was out of the question. The trains were designed by Roger Broggie, who patterned the locomotives after small industrial locomotives which were given an older appearance with the large headlight and vast quantities of brass-work, which was common during the victorian age or railroading.

  11. #11

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    Re: History of the Mine Train locomotive.

    I think it looked better as a crashed train rather than a rotting junk heap.

    Clearly they maintain the area around it, and I know it's *supposed* to be in a decrepit state, but it's really starting to become an eyesore. Walt Disney was brilliant at making stuff look rundown and broken, but still beautiful at the same time. This train needs to look abandoned and junked, but in a "Disney" type of fashion... this just looks like a Cedar Fair version of abandoned and junked. And I wouldn't want to be associated with a company that bulldozes 25+ year old attractions to create planters.

  12. #12

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    Re: History of the Mine Train locomotive.

    OFF TOPIC: Can someone fill me in on the Six Flags/ Cedar Fair graveyard of rides thing. I'm not sure I fully understand, but I'd like to see pics if anyone has any

    /Off Topic
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    THE DISNEYLAND MONORAIL SYSTEM!
    by intoxication, i'm pretty sure the OP meant that disneyland just gave us a free acid trip.
    -PLAUGED reffering to the Winnie the Pooh ride...

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    Re: History of the Mine Train locomotive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nautilus View Post
    The Mine trains were electrically powered, since there was some concern from Orange County Officials of unlicensed operators on the Mark Twain and the SF&DRR and so live steam was out of the question.
    Not sure this is entirely true. The first four engineers on the SF&DRR were, in fact, actual engineers who had worked for "real" railroads. Even so, I don't believe there was any sort of formal "Engineer license" program in the 1950s.

    It probably had more to do with cost and practicality: Constructing four brand-new live-steam locomotives would have cost the young Disneyland an absolute fortune, considering the Ripley and the Holliday cost nearly $50,000 each (in 1955 dollars) to build. Also, having actual operating steam locomotives just wasn't necessary for the smallish ride--in much the same way that it wouldn't have been practical to have actual, steam-operated jungle cruise launches.

    As for the current condition of the locomotive, yes, it does look pretty sad. The train can look abandoned without having to look decrepit.

    A history tidbit: If any of you were able to attend the Disney exhibit at the California State Railroad Exhibit a number of years ago, you could have seen one of the original mine train bells, brass polished to perfection sitting in its red yoke and cradle.

    That bell had been made to look old and rusty, and was attached to an ODV cart in Frontierland. An outside contractor noticed the bell, and managed to acquire it from Disney. It was subsequently given to a collector, and restored. Not sure who owns it now--the collector sold his Disney train collection a while ago.
    Last edited by Steve DeGaetano; 07-28-2009 at 11:41 AM.

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    Re: History of the Mine Train locomotive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nautilus View Post
    The mine trains were built specifically for the ride. They had no life outside of Disneyland, unlike Disneyland Railroad engines Gurley, Marsh and Kimball. The Mine trains were electrically powered, since there was some concern from Orange County Officials of unlicensed operators on the Mark Twain and the SF&DRR and so live steam was out of the question. The trains were designed by Roger Broggie, who patterned the locomotives after small industrial locomotives which were given an older appearance with the large headlight and vast quantities of brass-work, which was common during the victorian age or railroading.
    Electric eh? Well since that's the case then refurbing them would be substantially easier than if it was really steam.

    But that brings another question, how was power delivered to the trains? Was it through the rails like an electric train or BART, or was it a diesel motor turning a generator like modern freight trains? Seems to me that delivering that kind of power through unprotected rails would be just asking for trouble if an idiot decided to jump out.

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    Re: History of the Mine Train locomotive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    Not sure this is entirely true. The first four engineers on the SF&DRR were, in fact, actual engineers who had worked for "real" railroads. Even so, I don't believe there was any sort of formal "Engineer license" program in the 1950s.

    It probably had more to do with cost and practicality: Constructing four brand-new live-steam locomotives would have cost the young Disneyland an absolute fortune, considering the Ripley and the Holliday cost nearly $50,000 each (in 1955 dollars) to build. Also, having actual operating steam locomotives just wasn't necessary for the smallish ride--in much the same way that it wouldn't have been practical to have actual, steam-operated jungle cruise launches.
    Hey I love your articles, any chance of one about the several static smallish locomotives in BTMRR (if they have any history that is)?

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