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  1. #16

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland leftovers

    Fantastic work, thanks for taking all those and posting them here! It's great to see all those. It looks like there is enough room to rebuild it, if they go beyond the berm to build a new Rainbow Caverns. There was some video I was watching recently, I think "Frontierland in Color," that shows the Mine Train going through the desert then entering the Rainbow Caverns. If a still could be captured from that, it could be compared to your photo of the tunnel entrance to see if that is the same entrance the Mine Train went in. It does look familiar.

  2. #17

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland leftovers

    nice work. thanks.

  3. #18

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland leftovers

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueJet View Post
    Hate to break it to yah, but that map is NOT a map of the old mine train, that's someone's train layout (things were changed up to fit the space).
    Yes, this is someone's stylized map for building a personal model train layout, and they've taken a few liberties on shuffling around feature placement to make it work. Note the description in the title box - HOn30 Gauge

    That's a model railroading scale. They use HO scale track and switches, and standard HO locomotive power and trucks, then they scale up the car bodies a bit (and all the other scenery) so it's the scale equivalent to Narrow Gauge 30" wide track, not the Standard Gauge 56-1/2" (4' 8-1/2") track. In this case they leave the cars and engines small (like the real trains were) and the scale passengers look big sitting in them.

    There ARE maps out there that do an overlay of where the Mine Train WAS and where the current Disneyland landmarks ARE with red lines and drawing on an aerial overhead shot. Search the threads here, I believe it's been posted at MiceChat and I KNOW it's been posted at www dot Burnsland dot com that specializes in Disney Railroads. (You'll see several familiar names there.)

    You will note on a real overlay map that they've pushed the DLRR tracks to the north quite a bit - roughly 100' north of where they were originally, and they angle slightly northeast to line up with the new Small World show building "bridge" instead of doing a due east-west along what was the northern property line that Disney originally owned.

    If they show the DLRR tracks running arrow-straight east-west, it's a bad map. The tracks would be cutting through the middle of the Fantasyland Theatre and over the top of the Submarine Lagoon if they left them in the old alignment.

    Disney bought several farm and ranch parcels to the north for all the Backstage facilities since the original park opening, and did a legal recission on several City side streets that used to run back there for access.

    The buildings in "Rainbow Ridge" are not in their original location, they were shifted around.

    About the only thing that hasn't moved are some of the abandoned buttes and tunnels. The tunnel that is mostly buried behind the Big Thunder BBQ service area (the one you show with the guitar stand sitting in front of it) was the "Neverland" tunnel back to the Backstage Mine Train service area where they charged the batteries and worked on the trains.

    --<< Bruce >>--
    There's No Place Like 127.0.0.1

  4. #19

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland leftovers

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueJet View Post
    Hate to break it to yah, but that map is NOT a map of the old mine train, that's someone's train layout (things were changed up to fit the space).
    Yes! There are several maps to use as reference. I did not use this specific one for my purposes, but I found it to be a good example as the overall layout is fairly accurate and gives you the general idea of where things were. The true Disney Mine Train maps are a bit harder to follow in most cases as they are very busy. Thanks for your input.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bergman View Post
    The tunnel that is mostly buried behind the Big Thunder BBQ service area (the one you show with the guitar stand sitting in front of it) was the "Neverland" tunnel back to the Backstage Mine Train service area where they charged the batteries and worked on the trains.

    --<< Bruce >>--
    Hey Bruce. Any idea as to what lies through that tunnel now? I'd be very curious to hop in there with a flashlight and do some exploring.

  5. #20

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland leftovers

    I finally managed to find the boarded up tunnel from the living desert two weeks ago. Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland was removed long before I was born but I've seen so many pictures that the remnants cause me to miss it. For some reason the boarded up tunnel is the most haunting because it felt so weird knowing that the living desert was right below my feet.

  6. #21

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland leftovers

    Yes indeed. Thanks for sharing.
    I loved that ride. And I totally miss it.

  7. #22

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland leftovers

    Thanks.One of my all time favorite rides.Always wondered what's behind those tunnels now.Loved the music on the Rainbow Caverns sequence.

  8. #23

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland leftovers

    I don't recall waterfalls on Rainbow Ridge above the Mine Train loading area. The waterfalls shown in your pictures must have been added when Big Thunder was built. In the very early years, 1956-1959, there was some mining equipment at the top of the ridge, but I think that was removed when the area was remodeled into Nature's Wonderland, and the mining equipment was gone by 1960. The music that played in the Rainbow Caverns is heard in this clip:

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qr0jk48veZk]YouTube - 1960z Disneyland 8mm family footage with Rainbow Caverns song[/ame]

  9. #24

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland leftovers

    Great work! I really enjoyed seeing the photos. Disneyland history is so interesting and it really amazes me how much has been left over all of these years later Wonderful job! Thanks.

    Sara S.
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  10. #25

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland leftovers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Weaver View Post
    I don't recall waterfalls on Rainbow Ridge above the Mine Train loading area. The waterfalls shown in your pictures must have been added when Big Thunder was built. In the very early years, 1956-1959, there was some mining equipment at the top of the ridge, but I think that was removed when the area was remodeled into Nature's Wonderland, and the mining equipment was gone by 1960. The music that played in the Rainbow Caverns is heard in this clip:
    I love that music. I can only imagine how enthralling it must have been to travel through those caverns with this music playing.

    Bob, I looked on YouTube and also tried to find pictures of the Mine Train entrance into Rainbow Caverns in order to confirm whether or not that track and tunnel in that one photo is the old Caverns entrance. The only thing I could come up with was a brief clip while watching Frontierland in Color, but it only shows the entrance from a rider's eye view just as they are entering. No details as to what's on the outside. While the photo I took may not be the old entrance, I'd be hard-pressed to think that Disney would install a partial, broken train track going into nothingness at the side of BTMRR. My guess is that this is the entrance to Rainbow Caverns. I do not think this tunnel would lead to nowhere, so perhaps some of the Rainbow Caverns show building was preserved in some fashion for a different use.

  11. #26

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland leftovers

    I have a feeling that it is the original entrance to Rainbow Caverns. It looks so familiar to me, I can almost hear the narration as I look at that picture... "Now we're goin' deep into the earth to view the dazzlin' Rainbow Caverns." But I can't be 100% sure unless we could find a picture of that section of the track. The train went through a dark tunnel before entering the actual building that housed the Rainbow Caverns. That was to let your eyes adjust to the dark for a bit before seeing the glowing water. At night your eyes were already adjusted, but in the daytime, coming in from the bright sunshine you wouldn't be able to see the glowing waters well if they started right when you entered. In the 1962 photo below, you can see where the track "disappears" from the Balancing Rock Canyon and makes its way to the Rainbow Caverns building, which is at the top of the screen, with the flat roof. That building was torn down and BTMRR was built there. Also at the far left of this photo is a view of the tunnel that is half-buried now.


  12. #27

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland leftovers

    Thank you Princess V! Those pics were fascinating. I have often wandered the area trying to pick up on pieces of the old ride, but never in this detail. You've made me want to explore more! I think I should go and do a similar photo journal showing pieces of the lost Disneyland Hotel before they completely get rid of them this summer!

    Thanks again!

  13. #28

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland leftovers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Weaver View Post
    I have a feeling that it is the original entrance to Rainbow Caverns. It looks so familiar to me, I can almost hear the narration as I look at that picture... "Now we're goin' deep into the earth to view the dazzlin' Rainbow Caverns." But I can't be 100% sure unless we could find a picture of that section of the track. The train went through a dark tunnel before entering the actual building that housed the Rainbow Caverns. That was to let your eyes adjust to the dark for a bit before seeing the glowing water. At night your eyes were already adjusted, but in the daytime, coming in from the bright sunshine you wouldn't be able to see the glowing waters well if they started right when you entered. In the 1962 photo below, you can see where the track "disappears" from the Balancing Rock Canyon and makes its way to the Rainbow Caverns building, which is at the top of the screen, with the flat roof. That building was torn down and BTMRR was built there. Also at the far left of this photo is a view of the tunnel that is half-buried now.
    Thanks for posting that photo, Bob. I am 99% sure that the broken tracks leading into a tunnel in my photo are exactly where they are shown in this photo. But if so, and with the show building gone, where would the tunnel now lead to? I'm half tempted to jump the low fence and make a mad dash in there with a flashlight on my next visit.

  14. #29

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland leftovers

    Quote Originally Posted by Princess Victoria View Post
    Hey Bruce. Any idea as to what lies through that tunnel now? I'd be very curious to hop in there with a flashlight and do some exploring.
    I'll have to go look to be sure how they line up, but I'm pretty sure that abandoned tunnel doesn't go back nearly as far as people think - 10 feet, tops.

    There is that Service Road "tunnel" running right behind there that leads between Backstage and Fantasyland / Frontierland - Village Haus, Casa Del Zocalo, and the BTMRR train yard.

    (It's in quotes because they built the foundations and roadway first, then erected the corrugated steel tunnel liner on the ground and waterproofed the outside second, then piled the hill dirt on top third. But it's still technically a tunnel...)

    And the Fantasyland Skyway Station is on top of the hill that the tunnel goes through. Then there's Casey Junior and Storybook Land past that. All things that were built after the Mine Train complex was removed.

    --<< Bruce >>--
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  15. #30

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland leftovers

    Wow, I didn't know there was so much left from the old ride. I wish I couldve ridden it but i'm too young to have even seen it.



    "Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up." - Alfred Pennyworth - Batman Begins



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