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  1. #31

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    Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

    Hatter,

    The steam locomotives at Disneyland aren't really diesel locomotives--although they burn (bio) diesel fuel.

    Diesel (or more properly, diesel-electric) locomotives would be familiar to you as the trains you see in real life today--big, boxy, often colorful locomotives that look like this:



    The steam locomotives at Disneyland operate on a very different principle than the big fella above.

    Diesels can operate efficiently going either forward or backwards, but because of their design, most steam locomotives operate best going forward.

    This does not mean steam locomotives cannot go in reverse. They're sort of like your car. Automobiles are designed to go forward 99.9% of the time. But they are also designed to go in reverse when necessary. You just wouldn't want to drive to work in reverse!

    So, at the end of the operating day at Disneyland, the engineer moves a large lever in the cab to the "reverse" position, and backs the entire train into the roundhouse. In the morning, they pull out going forward.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Steve DeGaetano; 04-18-2007 at 07:49 AM.

  2. #32

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    Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    Hatter,
    The steam locomotives at Disneyland aren't really diesel locomotives--although they burn (bio) diesel fuel.
    Thanks! Yes that makes perfect sense. So the steam locomotives at DL basically burn (bio) Diesel fuel to heat water in the boiler which in turn creates the steam that powers the engine? And in the old days they used coal, or some other type of heat source?

  3. #33

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    Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

    Steve;

    Great Article, I have only visited the "Roundhouse" twice. Once when all trains were out and it was empty and recently when it was full during refurbishments.

    I hope you can join us at Fullerton Railroad Days when both the C. K. Holliday and the Kalamazoo while be on exhibit for close up viewing. We also hope to have a display of the biodiesel fuel system.

  4. #34

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    Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mad Hatter View Post
    So the steam locomotives at DL basically burn (bio) Diesel fuel to heat water in the boiler which in turn creates the steam that powers the engine? And in the old days they used coal, or some other type of heat source?
    That's exactly what happens.

    In the earliest days, wood was burned (roughly 1830s - 1880s); then coal was used (1880s through end of steam, depending on region, in the 1950s), and finally, thick crude oil was used -- called "bunker C" oil, beginning around 1900 through the end of steam, again depending on region.

    Fuel use differed by region because of what was readily available. There's not much coal in the western states, so oil fuel was used more often there. In the northeast, they have lots of coal, so coal was predominantly used there.

    Disney runs their engines on easily obtainable diesel fuel, which is easier to get and work with than the old Bunker C.

  5. #35

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    Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

    Another outstanding article! Thanks, Steve!

    By the way, do I remember correctly that there is (or was) some sort of Disneyland tour or AP-only tour that allowed one to visit the roundhouse in the morning?

    Dan

  6. #36

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    Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

    Thanks for explaining the fact that the Disneyland trains can go backwards. I have been back there once and I saw no rails coming around and going through the back of the Roundhouse, so this backing into the building explains a lot.

    There is another big difference between the modern Diesel Engine and the old Steam Engines. Diesels are machines. Nothing more. Big powerful machines. Steam Trains are pulsing, living beasts that have been harnessed, sometimes, to work for us. I love Steam Trains. The sound, the roaring of the engines, the smells, the smoke and steam. I love going to Knotts because you can walk right up to that big Steam Train and stand very close to it. The feeling of power and all the stuff that is going on just makes that big old thing seem alive and raring to get going. I love this article and can hardly wait for the rest.
    Peter Pan Forever!!! I Will Never Grow Up.

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  7. #37

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    Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

    Quote Originally Posted by dgmoran View Post
    Another outstanding article! Thanks, Steve!

    By the way, do I remember correctly that there is (or was) some sort of Disneyland tour or AP-only tour that allowed one to visit the roundhouse in the morning?

    Dan
    There once was a very short-lived experiment with a roundhouse tour at Disneyland (lasted about two weeks, as I recall).

    Today, you basically have to have business there to get to see it.

    However, at WDW, they offer an in-depth roundhouse tour that includes visits to the locomotive cab and a commemorative pin, among other goodies.

  8. #38

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    Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Boy View Post
    I love going to Knotts because you can walk right up to that big Steam Train and stand very close to it. The feeling of power and all the stuff that is going on just makes that big old thing seem alive and raring to get going. I love this article and can hardly wait for the rest.
    Thanks, Lost Boy.

    Yes, the Knott's engines are really fantastic. Both built in 1881, and still going strong! Wonder if my Toyota will be going strong after over 125 years of operation?

  9. #39

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    Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

    I kind of doubt that anything made today will live longer than 10 years. Our ability to make things that last just seems to have disappeared. Now it all seems to be made to replace as quickly as possible.

    I am so glad that there are enough Steam Train fans left in the world to keep them alive and well, even if only at Theme Parks or short runs at Tourist places that feature them. I watch as many Steam Train shows on TV as I can find.
    Peter Pan Forever!!! I Will Never Grow Up.

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  10. #40

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    Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

    Quote Originally Posted by Train Nut View Post
    Thanks RW. I guess i'm a little behind you though...
    I'm the engine and your the caboose. Stay with me. we're going places!
    To Boldly Go Where No MiceChatter Has Gone Before!


  11. #41

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    Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

    Congrats on the great column Steve. Can't wait for the next installment. Many thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. Nothing but respect here from one 'train geek' to another!
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  12. #42

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    Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    kcnole, I know a little about the WDW RR trains (mostly because they operate almost the same as ours do, with some interesting differences). My good friend, Steve Burns, is the closest we have to an expert, and he and I may in fact collaborate on some articles about those trains.
    You're too kind!
    Steve Burns
    Burnsland.com - Disney Railroads and more! Home of the Disney Railroads Discussion Board.
    Burnsland Blog - Pictures and new stuff daily!

  13. #43

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    Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

    I received Michael Broggie's book for Christmas and could not put it down. I then went on a search for more books on the trains and found Steve's. It is a great read and furthers the story written by Michael and goes in great detail about the trains. If you are a Disneyland rail enthusiast then I highly recommend Steve's book. It is hard to put down once you start.

    I am looking forward to seeing more of Steve's articles in MiceAge. He is a great addition.

  14. #44

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    Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    Hatter,

    This does not mean steam locomotives cannot go in reverse. They're sort of like your car. Automobiles are designed to go forward 99.9% of the time. But they are also designed to go in reverse when necessary. You just wouldn't want to drive to work in reverse!

    So, at the end of the operating day at Disneyland, the engineer moves a large lever in the cab to the "reverse" position, and backs the entire train into the roundhouse. In the morning, they pull out going forward.

    Hope this helps.
    Thanks for answering my question before I asked it!!

    I was wondering how trains would back into the original roundhouse if steam locomotives couldn't go in reverse!

  15. #45

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    Re: 4/17: Will It Go Round in Circles, Part I

    I am totally gonna start looking backwards and to the left from now on!!


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