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  1. #1

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    Some Disneyland Railroad News

    The excitement of the Ward Kimball's debut has died down, and there hasn't been much news of late, but here are a few nuggets for DRR fans:

    No. 1 is having her builder's plates installed today (the engine is out for its monthly boiler wash). Look for them in about a week--round brass plates under the smokestack that indicate the builder and year of construction. The E.P. Ripley has both her plates installed already, so keep an eye out for them!

    Apparently No. 4 is ready to roll after a lengthy rehab...Except that there are problems with the wiring for the cab signals (!), which may keep it off the line for a few more weeks.

    February looks like the month for the Fred Gurley's departure to parts currently unknown for rehab (or rebuild). Estimates still say one year until her return.

    There are plans in place to pull the Holiday Blue (500 series) cars off the line for a year-long rehab.

    There are flat wheels on cars 205 and 208 of the Holiday Red (the wheels become flat when engineers brake too hard, skidding the wheels along the rail). As of now, the thought is to remove a few good trucks (a complete set of four wheels with frame that attaches to the car end) from the Blue when it comes off-line, and install those in place of the offending wheelsets on the Red.

    Lilly Belle News: The car is scheduled to come back to DL on FRIDAY!! But don't expect to see it anytime before December. Interior work like re-carpeting still needs to be done.

    Word is the car will have BRASS marker lamps upon her return! Classy!
    (marker lamps are the little lights in the upper corners of the last car on each train. Most of the trains have black marker lamps).

  2. #2

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    Re: Some Disneyland Railroad News

    Thanks for the info! It is appreciated!

  3. #3

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    Re: Some Disneyland Railroad News

    Thats really interesting information!!

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    Re: Some Disneyland Railroad News

    Steve thanks for the updates, I'm excited to see some detail and care continuing with the trains of Disneyland. Are the plates in a place that a person could see them?
    I really love the Lilly Belle updates, I really would love to see this car someday.
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    Re: Some Disneyland Railroad News

    Thanks for the update. I was on the red a week ago and heard terrible sounds from the car next to ours. It sounds like it was one of those flat wheels. They could frighten some, but most on my car were taking it in stride. (Some kids disliked the sound and were asking some questions.)
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    Re: Some Disneyland Railroad News

    Quote Originally Posted by TicTocDragon
    Are the plates in a place that a person could see them?
    Sure! This photo of the E.P. Ripley, by Matt Walker, shows its new builder's plate under the smokestack. It reads, "WED Locomotive Works, 1955, No. 1, W.E. Disney, Pres., R.E. Broggie, Gen. Mgr."

    Here's a close-up, also by Matt:


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    Re: Some Disneyland Railroad News

    Thanks for the update!
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  8. #8

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    Re: Some Disneyland Railroad News

    Steve, thank you so much for these updates. Many people take the Disneyland Railroad for granted, but for some of us it is part of the true heart and soul of the park.

    To anyone who has never done so I highly recommend taking the time to admire those engines. New Orleans Depot is a great place to watch them in action as they come in for water and blow off steam (I can't remember the correct term). Take time to listen to the sound and feel the deep rumble of the boilers. Its true magic.

  9. #9

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    Re: Some Disneyland Railroad News

    Out of all the times I've rode, I've never been on a train when it takes water
    Albeit late, I have some pictures around here somewhere of the Ward Kimball (which I got to take a trip on) back in August.
    And Steve, a question for you. Do any of the engines have a seat in the cab that they let a guest sit in?
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  10. #10

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    Re: Some Disneyland Railroad News

    ^ If you ask the conductor you can ride. But you can get on at the Main Street Station ONLY.

    I have always wanted to do this. I'm hoping we get the chance on our next trip.


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    Re: Some Disneyland Railroad News

    Steve thanks for the update.

    I can't believe that the Lilly Belle is due back already. I sure thought would be out longer due to the long neglect!
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    Re: Some Disneyland Railroad News

    If I was working at the Disneyland Railroad Shop I would research a modern addition of a ABS anti-lock system on the passenger cars, a control module, wheel speed sensors and quick release air valves that would make it work to prevent flat spotting, the system monitors if any one wheel is turning at lesser speeds of the others and releases air pressure to prevent lockup, most cars have this feature like my 4wd Silverado and it really comes into use lately (like NOW, its already ice and snow on the roads here in Alaska) where I live.

    I have serviced air brake ABS systems for years on over the road tractors/trailers.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Some Disneyland Railroad News

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyDan24
    Out of all the times I've rode, I've never been on a train when it takes water
    Albeit late, I have some pictures around here somewhere of the Ward Kimball (which I got to take a trip on) back in August.
    And Steve, a question for you. Do any of the engines have a seat in the cab that they let a guest sit in?
    Engines No. 1 and No. 2 (the C.K. Holliday and the E.P. Ripley) have seats affixed to the front of the tender, that will let you get as close to being in those cabs as possible. Close enough to feel the heat from the boiler backhead, or chat with the crew. There are also rumors afoot that a similar seat will be installed on No. 4 (Ernest S. Marsh) when it makes its return.

    Mr. D, the brake system in use on the Disneyland trains was patented in 1869. It's been around a LONG time, and has served the railroad industry well in the past century-and-a-half.

    As for the "benefits" of modern technology in regards to the Disneyland steam trains, one only has to look at the problems experienced with the introduction of "cab signals" in the engine cabs--anathema to most of the crews who operate them. The original block signal system had operated flawlessly, and without incident, for nearly 50 years, before someone with zero experience decided that complicated computer-controlled cab signals might be "better." A solution in search of a problem.

    As it remains, even with its "faults," Walt Disney's steam trains still give us a very accurate glimps of what rail travel and technology was like 100 years ago--flat wheels and all. And this, of course, is what Walt had in mind.

    Let's not dilute this rich experience further with the introduction of yet more unecessary technology.
    Last edited by Steve DeGaetano; 11-09-2005 at 09:08 AM.

  14. #14

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    Re: Some Disneyland Railroad News

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot
    ^ If you ask the conductor you can ride. But you can get on at the Main Street Station ONLY.

    I have always wanted to do this. I'm hoping we get the chance on our next trip.
    Tender rides are available round trip only (from Main Street all the way back to Main Street). They can only be given on engines one and two. Also, they cannot be done if the train engineers are the breakers, if the train will have a blow-down or need to refuel on that trip, or if the engineers simply don't feel like giving one. You should also be advised that the tender is loud and very hot due to its proximity to the engine.

  15. #15

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    Re: Some Disneyland Railroad News

    Something I've always wondered about is just how old some of those engines really are. Does anyone know how old they are and which ones were built for the park?

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