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  1. #1

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    Ward Kimball Locomotive Passes Tests!

    Disneyland engine #5 the Ward Kimball, rolled out of the roundhouse at a little before 2 am Wednesday morning. Members of the restoration crew fired and pulled the throttle, and with Disney CMs in the gangway (between tender and cab) and on the back ladder, they headed out onto the mainline for the very first time. They paused just past the yard switch to realign the switch for the mainline and continued to Tomorrowland Station. Word has it that No. 5 does not like being held back! She steams like a house on fire and runs with a sharp, crisp bark and no lope. At Tomorrowland the engine stopped so personnel could inspect the wheel bearings and check for loose parts. The engineer’s side front cylinder **** (what causes steam come out of the cylinders when the engine first starts) was stuck open, but no sign of any additional problems. Off they went to Frontierland Station. Said one observer, “What a rocket!” Apparently, the engine tracks nicely and rides comfortably, even with the heavier springs in the tender truck.

    At Frontierland they checked the bearings and fittings again. The main crank pin on the engineer’s side was warmer than the rest, but nothing alarming, so they took off on a nonstop grand circle tour. According to those knowledgable, #5 really feels the railroad. Nearby observers noticed when the engine hit a grade as the pitch of the exhaust changed. The engine runs nicely with the throttle left untouched and just adjusting the Johnson bar (the engine’s reverse lever, that can adjust the engine like stick-shift in an automobile is adjusted for different speeds). When they hit Frontierland again they noticed the engineer’s-side main crank pin was starting to get warmer. One could keep one’s hand on it, but it would get uncomfortable. They took the engine back to the roundhouse to make some adjustments on the rod wedges (used to minutely adjust the length of the main drive rod) and clean out the cylinder **** that was stuck open. The cars that were stored behind the No. 5 (the Holiday Green cars) were having their new awning tops put on so they needed a different string of cars. The Fred Gurley was sitting on track 4 so they tied into her (a double header?) and moved her over to track 3. Back on track 4, they tied onto the string of coaches, tested the brakes and away they went. Ward broke out the cars and pulled them through the tight “S” curve in the yard, no complaints and no slipping. They eased out onto the mainline again and opened her up a little more. She started showing off what a sweet sound she makes when working. They stopped at Tomorrowland and Frontierland again to check things. The main crank pin was cool now and the cylinder cocks were working fine.

    They made ten complete laps around the park, some with stops, some without. At one point they were doing a good 15 mph (!) and everything was coming up roses. At the end of it all the test crew was beat tired, but very happy that the engine performed as well as it did.

    ***

    The engine ran again last night only this time the entire test was run by roundhouse CMs. They pulled the Holiday Green, as the rehab on those was complete and the cars needed to be tested as well. Everything, including the newly installed class lights (little lanterns mounted on the front of the engine, below the headlight—the only engine on the Disneyland Railroad to sport these authentic signal lamps), performed very well. They kept trying to make it fall on its face trying to anticipate every possibility and things continued to operate well.

    Last night, the testing continued—this time, an accelerometer test was conducted. This is a contraption that reads the G force a guest would feel as the engine speeds up, slows down, or goes into a curve. While one can see the need for this kind of data on a roller coaster, it’s interesting that they also require it for a 7mph steam train! There is no State requirement to have the data, but Disney’s internal ride testing protocols do. Of course, maybe it’s better having the data than not.

    So, it looks like the engine will finally be put to work earning her keep. There is still a little electrical left to do, but it is suspected the engine will be released for guest use very soon.

  2. #2

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    What a great article, Steve! So informative and well-written. I love trains but I don't know much about them -- I always feel like I know a bit more after reading one of your postings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano
    [She] runs with a sharp, crisp bark and no lope.
    I just wanted to mention that the quote above reminds me a bit of a wine connoisseur describing his favorite wine! I have no idea what it means, though.

    Dan

  3. #3

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    We need more trains. I say expand the track to DCA and the parking lots. But then again I say the same thing for the monorail and people mover. I have this thing about cool transportation.


    This has been a Filmways presentation dahling.

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    Thanks, everyone.

    Just to ease confusion, the words above masked with the **** is also the word for a male chicken. Used here, however, the word means "A device (as a faucet or valve) for regulating the flow of a liquid."

    Now get your minds out of the gutter!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Druggas
    We need more trains. I say expand the track to DCA and the parking lots.
    If you talk to the train CMs--at least at Walt Disney World, but probably here as well--you'd be surprised at how often guests ask, "Does this train go to the parking lot?"

  6. #6

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    Great write-up! I have loved steam trains since I was a kid & used to love riding in the cab with the CM's. Now that D/L is letting people finally ride in the front cab of the Monorails, how long before they start letting guests ride in the cab of the locomotives again?
    Robert

  7. #7

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    Word is, cab rides again this summer...after seatbelts (or shoulder harnesses or corssets or leg-irons, etc. ) are installed to satisfy legal.

  8. #8

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    Steve your enthusiasm is contagious thank you for sharing and being so descriptive it helps me understand Trains more and more.
    1st Amendment-Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano
    Thanks, everyone.

    Just to ease confusion, the words above masked with the **** is also the word for a male chicken. Used here, however, the word means "A device (as a faucet or valve) for regulating the flow of a liquid."

    Now get your minds out of the gutter!
    Ahhh...masking removed!

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the great news. It will be wonderful to see that engine out on the line. It's a shame that Ward himself isn't around to enjoy it with us.


    Eat meat. Your daddy sez it's good for ya.

  11. #11

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    as usual, another gem of an article thanks for the update!
    -"We can see a new horizon...built on all that we have done..and our dreams begin another thousand circles 'round the sun!"
    -- Epcot: Illuminations "Reflections of Earth"

    -"...Each dream that you chase, each wish you embrace can lead to a fabulous faraway place...!"
    --DCA: World Of Color

  12. #12

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    So when might she be put into guest service? I know some of us would like to be there for that day.

  13. #13

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    Great news!!!

  14. #14

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    Unfortunately, speederscout, I am not privy to that information.

    Much DOSH paperwork still needs to be completed. Some of us are suspecting any dedication ceremony may be internal and private (as was, apparently, the Fred Gurley's dedication). So, you may go to the park one day, and, without any fanfare, notice a new and different locomotive pulling one of the trains. Keep your eyes peeled for a predominantly red locomotive with a very dark blue boiler and a very large cab!

  15. #15

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    Thanks Steve!

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