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  1. #16

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    Re: 2/28: Station Story, Part II

    What an excellent series of articles! Thank you so much for sharing the info and history with us. And here I was thinking I was so cool knowing as much about Disneyland as I do, but I learned there is much I still don't know. Thanks again!

    I also was unaware that Hong Kong isn't using steam on its railroad. What is the method of locomotion used there? Diesel and electric? Do they have steam effects for the whistles and such?

    For any railroad buff who enjoys train travel, I highly recommend traveling on the Amtrak train The Coast Starlight from LA to Seattle. It's a beautiful trip, and you meet fabulous people. Get a sleeping car, and then you have access to the "First Class" Pacific Parlor Car, a separate domed lounge car for sleeper passengers where they have afternoon wine tasting included in your ticket and generally posher service than can be found in the regular coach lounge car.

    I take The Coast Starlight at least one way to or from the Pacific Northwest about once a year, and it's a real treat. As the old Western Airlines ads used to say "It's The Only Way To Fly!"

  2. #17

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    Re: 2/28: Station Story, Part II

    The engines at Hong Kong DL are what are known as "steam outline" engines. Sadly, they are not steam powered, but instead powered by a gas hydraulic system in the tender--an internal combustion engine like what's in your car. They have a "steam locomotive" sound system and speakers installed so they sound more authentic.

    The fact that Disney has no qualms about installing fake steam locomotives at one of its parks is scary, and does not bode well for the rest of the Disney parks that do use steam. All it could take is for some pencil pusher to realize the cost savings that would be the benefit of going to internal combustion engine, and Walt's dream of an operating turn of the century steam railroad could vanish in a twinkling. Anyway, here are some shots of the Hong Kong trains.



    Here's a shot inside the cab. If you've ever ridden in the cab of the Ripley of the Holliday, you know that this is NOT how a real steam engine looks inside:







    Here is where the diesel engine is stored. The engine drives the tender wheels, and the locomotive in front is merely pushed, and goes along for the ride.


  3. #18

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    Re: 2/28: Station Story, Part II

    yikes! That's a travesty! Also a disservice to the guests at HKDL... there's
    is a noticeable difference in the feel of a train between a diesel and a steam (esp
    in a open or semi-open cars.)

  4. #19

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    Re: 2/28: Station Story, Part II

    Nice atricle Steve.
    I always enjoy finding out new things about the Disneyland RR.
    Looking forward to your next segment.

  5. #20

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    Re: 2/28: Station Story, Part II

    Excellent article, Steve. Never really thought much about the DL train (other than it's a great ride and love the scenery); I have a whole new appreciation for it now!

  6. #21

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    Re: 2/28: Station Story, Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by TP2000 View Post
    What an excellent series of articles! Thank you so much for sharing the info and history with us. And here I was thinking I was so cool knowing as much about Disneyland as I do, but I learned there is much I still don't know. Thanks again!

    I also was unaware that Hong Kong isn't using steam on its railroad. What is the method of locomotion used there? Diesel and electric? Do they have steam effects for the whistles and such?

    For any railroad buff who enjoys train travel, I highly recommend traveling on the Amtrak train The Coast Starlight from LA to Seattle. It's a beautiful trip, and you meet fabulous people. Get a sleeping car, and then you have access to the "First Class" Pacific Parlor Car, a separate domed lounge car for sleeper passengers where they have afternoon wine tasting included in your ticket and generally posher service than can be found in the regular coach lounge car.

    I take The Coast Starlight at least one way to or from the Pacific Northwest about once a year, and it's a real treat. As the old Western Airlines ads used to say "It's The Only Way To Fly!"
    Yeah, I have heard the Starlight is a must do! Next trip we take on the train, we will do the Starlight. I have wanted to do that route for so long. I love travelling by train. It IS the only way to...fly...er roll...LOL!
    Susabelle

  7. #22

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    Re: 2/28: Station Story, Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    The engines at Hong Kong DL are what are known as "steam outline" engines. Sadly, they are not steam powered, but instead powered by a gas hydraulic system in the tender--an internal combustion engine like what's in your car. They have a "steam locomotive" sound system and speakers installed so they sound more authentic.

    The fact that Disney has no qualms about installing fake steam locomotives at one of its parks is scary, and does not bode well for the rest of the Disney parks that do use steam. All it could take is for some pencil pusher to realize the cost savings that would be the benefit of going to internal combustion engine, and Walt's dream of an operating turn of the century steam railroad could vanish in a twinkling. Anyway, here are some shots of the Hong Kong trains.
    That is unfortunate. Perhaps it has something to do with the Chinese government rather than Disney's unwillingness to use actual steam trains. Or it could perhaps be the fact that authentic steam locomotives of the right type are becoming more and more difficult to find as well as expensive to import. It is probably even more expensive to build them from scratch. (btw, Steve, the second and third pictures in your post didn't show up.)

    EDIT: Upon copy pasting the links and looking more closely at the engine, it's not even a convincing replica. The lines are all wrong, and it is way too clean for a working steam engine. Even the most well-maintained steam locomotive has some grime on it.
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  8. #23

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    Re: 2/28: Station Story, Part II

    Wonderful article and pictures. Your articles make me miss E-Ticket magazine a little less.

    I am a bit saddened by the Hong Kong trains. Those trains look like modern toys. I doubt they shake and chug and smell like real trains and they certainly don't make me recall the great age of steam. The floral Mickey also looks rather sparse.

  9. #24

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    Re: 2/28: Station Story, Part II

    Yes, I don't know what is more sad; that they aren't using steam engines on the Hong Kong Railroad, or the very sparse and anemic looking Mickey floral display they greet guests with at the main gate.

  10. #25

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    Re: 2/28: Station Story, Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by BassBone View Post
    That is unfortunate. Perhaps it has something to do with the Chinese government rather than Disney's unwillingness to use actual steam trains....it's not even a convincing replica. The lines are all wrong, and it is way too clean for a working steam engine. Even the most well-maintained steam locomotive has some grime on it.
    Indeed, Hong Kong pollution regulations dicated that actual steam locomotives could not be used. As far as them not being convincing, you are right. Someone once said they appear "fabricated," lacking a lot of the roughness that comes from castings and such.
    Last edited by Steve DeGaetano; 03-01-2008 at 08:05 AM.

  11. #26

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    Re: 2/28: Station Story, Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    Indeed, Hong Kong pollution regulations dicated that actual steam locomotives could not be used. As far as them not being convincing, you are right. Someone once said they appear "fabricated," lacking a lot of the roughness that comes from castings and such.
    At least they went through the effort to make them look somewhat steam-like instead of going the ultimate cheap route and using pre-built diesels.
    The Right Honorable Count Boogie Bonz of Random, at your service.

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  12. #27

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    Re: 2/28: Station Story, Part II

    Great article as always, Steve. When I had my AP back in the 80's I would do several circuits aboard the DLRR and just enjoy the steam, the power, and the feeling you get while cruising along the river between Frontierland and the old Videopolis Station. We moved back to Minnesota for 11 years in 1993 where my home park became Valley Fair, owned by Cedar Fair. The RR there is Diesel Electric made to look like steam. It was hokie. All trains are fun, but you can tell the difference between steam and D/E. For the parks, it is cheaper to have a 19 year old able to drive the train without years of experience and Union Membership, but since Most Minnesotan's won't ever leave Minnesota, and hence won't get to experience "real" steam, they don't know what they are missing.

    I look forward to your next article.

  13. #28

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    Re: 2/28: Station Story, Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    I don't think there is a steam funnel at Tomorrowland. You really only need one place on the line to blow down. I've seen steam engines on some tourist lines that blow down when the cross a trestle. Can you imagine the excitement on the ground if the engines blew down while crossing Critter Country Trestle!
    About 3 or 4 years ago, I was riding round -n- round the park on the train, as I am wont to do sometimes. Sorry, I don't remember which locomotive was pulling, but here's the interesting bit:

    The fireman blew down the engine at Tomorrowland Station, just outside the Grand Canyon/Primeval World diorama! The guests were a little confused, and some expressed concern that something was wrong with the locomotive.

    I knew what was happening, and just enjoyed this opportunity to take in that steam engine smell...delicious.

    My question: Any idea why they would blow down right there, right then?
    Last edited by timflan; 03-02-2008 at 07:59 PM.
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  14. #29

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    Re: 2/28: Station Story, Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by timflan View Post

    My question: Any idea why they would blow down right there, right then?
    My guess is the engine pressure was creeping up, and the fireman did it to relieve pressure so the safety valves wouldn't open in the dioramas.

  15. #30

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    Re: 2/28: Station Story, Part II

    Great article Steve!!! I'm a recent fan of the Frontierland/New Orleans Square Station after I wandered over to take pictures a couple months ago. You're absolutely right that it's evocative in a way that the other stations aren't (besides Main Street Station). My eye was immediately drawn to the water tower and I started taking pictures. As I looked around, all the details and theming really impressed me. Thanks for a wonderful article about it. I learned a lot!


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