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  1. #1

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    September 9, 2011: California Zephyr

    Now leaving on Track 1 for Baker’s Field Bakery, Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream, and Engine-Ears Toys.

    All aboard!




    Please discuss it here.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  2. #2

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    Re: September 9, 2011: California Zephyr

    As a former Annual Passholder and longtime train enthusiast, there was no better place in DCA than the California Zephyr. To me, it was more immersive than any other place in the park. I loved the mural and, standing just inside the doors and looking at the memorabilia on the wall, I could imagine what it was like to ride the rails in the heyday of rail travel. It was actually my inspiration for taking my first long-distance train ride (the Sunset Limited from L.A. to Houston). While I'm sad to see it go, I'm glad it's being donated somewhere where other train-loving people will be able to see it and enjoy it instead of it being destroyed.

  3. #3

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    Re: September 9, 2011: California Zephyr

    I was lucky enough that when I was a kid in the 1960’s we took the California Zephyr back to Chicago from Oakland (I grew up in San Mateo) and another time to Colorado. I still have vivid memories of that train, the vista domes, the observation car and so on. We also took the Santa Fe Super Chief back east one summer as well.
    Being that my in-laws live in Portola, I have also been to that wonderful Western Pacific Railroad Museum a couple of times and we all signed up to actually engineer one of the locomotives around a 1-mile track! For any train buff, this place is wonderful! Not just Calif. Zephyr stock, but many other engines and rail cars as well (like the historic and huge Union Pacific DD-40X double-diesel locomotive).
    GO if you love trains! (About a 10-hour drive either taking the 395 to Reno, then the 70 west, or the 5 up to the 89 and through Truckee).

  4. #4

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    Thumbs up Re: September 9, 2011: California Zephyr

    I love trains. I am sad to see the California Zephyr go. But a least the cab has a new home so that people can see and enjoy it.
    James

    Once a Disney fan, always a Disney fan.

  5. #5

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    Re: September 9, 2011: California Zephyr

    Now that I think about it, that's one thing DCA is lacking, compared to Disneyland: a train around the perimeter. In fact, now that I think about it, DCA is lacking transportation in general.

    Consider. Disneyland has the trains. On Main Street it has the horse-drawn trolleys, omnibus, and other means of transport. In Tomorrowland, there were the People Movers whizzing people about. In Frontierland, there is all kind of water transportation on the River: the Mark Twain, Columbia, the Tom Sawyer Island rafts, the canoes...

    But at DCA, nothing really moves you around from one place to another (except the actual rides, of course). I think this may be partially responsible for the impression that DCA is a more static, less exciting place than Disneyland.

    The new red car trolleys will be a start, in giving the park a sense of movement. But perhaps they should give some thought to adding more forms of transport at DCA, and perhaps even something like a train around the perimeter for serious transportation from one part of the park to another.

  6. #6

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    Re: September 9, 2011: California Zephyr

    Walt Disney was known for Animation, which is defined as "bring to life that which is not moving." The saddest part of that train was it did not move. It was a beautiful train, but it had no magic, no motion to bring it alive. DCA seemed to me the place of the dead, lifeless things, like the train. It had no motion. It had no sound. It was a shopping mall facade, totally unworthy of something associated with Disney, now for Forest Lawn, it might be exciting.
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  7. #7

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    Re: September 9, 2011: California Zephyr

    I have some photos of the locomotive at its new home, if that would be of any interest.

  8. #8

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    Re: September 9, 2011: California Zephyr

    Quote Originally Posted by weaselwrangler View Post
    I have some photos of the locomotive at its new home, if that would be of any interest.
    Yes, that would be great.

    The think the locomotive will deserve a new article when it's part of the Zephyr exhibit at the Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola. Having pictures at several stages of its transformation from a decoration at DCA to a major feature of a railroad museum exhibit would be ideal.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  9. #9

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    Re: September 9, 2011: California Zephyr

    Very nice article, Werner, and a fine tribute to this unique piece of Yester-DCA.

  10. #10

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    Re: September 9, 2011: California Zephyr

    Chugga-chugga-chugga was an atmosphere show? Who knew?!?

    I don't remember that show at all, and usually I'm good with dates and obscure facts. But then, in 2002 I certainly wasn't spending any time inside DCA. I made fun of DCA for most of 2001 and went over there a few times, but by '02 I had kind of forgotten about it and just ignored it and avoided stepping foot in that park as it was a total failure and embarassment. I'll have to dig up my old Cast Member Reference Guides from '02 to try and find the times this little train show was offered.

  11. #11

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    Re: September 9, 2011: California Zephyr

    Actually this part of DCA';s yesterland is now part of my today land LOL.
    I'm in Portola several times per year. I haven't seen the cab at it's new home but like a number of us here, I knew is advance of it's pending destination. The railroad museum in Portola has two fully operational Western Pacific "F" units plus several CZ cars. I fondly remember the original CZ and rode it several times. I even got off the train at Portola from Oakland! Portola and it's surrounding area is beautiful and well worth a visit.

  12. #12

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    Re: September 9, 2011: California Zephyr

    I find it so strange, that the Zephyr is gone from the park, its also probably the only thing that was close to reckoning my hometown of Oroville CA. one of the stops along the route, and where the canyon was located just outside of town, with the feather river flowing through the center of town, and 2 blocks away from the Oroville Train Depot.
    With it gone, I do believe that my town, nor the river itself even has no representation in DCA at all.
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    This is excellent news! There are all sorts of good changes to the park that we were promised when Hell froze over.
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