Railroad (DLRR), originally the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad, is a narrow gauge railroad at Disneyland, Anaheim
, United States
, that was inaugurated on the park's live television preview on July 17, 1955. This live steam railway was constructed for $240,000; each of the original two locomotives cost $40,000 each. Riders use it as transportation to other areas of the park or simply for the experience of the "Grand Circle Tour". The Main Street railroad station is situated at the entrance of Disneyland.
Stations, route and tour
The 1.5-mile (2.4 km) loop originally only stopped at Main Street or Frontierland. The Frontierland Station was renovated when that section of the park opened in 1966. It was renamed to be the New Orleans
Square station at a later date. The loop expanded to stops at Fantasyland (which became Mickey's Toontown station) and Tomorrowland.
Main Street Station is designed to coordinate architecturally with the rest of Main Street, and is the first Disneyland structure visitors see upon entering the park. A sign on the roof shows an elevation of 138 feet (42 m) above sea level (though this figure is only approximate) and a population number that roughly corresponds with the number of visitors to the park over the past five decades.
The journey from Main Street station travels northwest along Disneyland's border, just outside the park's main berm from the Jungle Cruise. Guests get a glimpse of an antelope on the berm and for many years a cougar yowled at the trains before the train passes thru Pirates of the Caribbean themed as Mardi Gras Carnival staging area.
The journey from New Orleans Square, the train passes into a tunnel thru the berm between the Haunted Mansion's facade and show building. Shortly thereafter passengers catch a glimpse of Splash Mountain's "Zip-a-Dee Lady" riverboat finale scene before crossing over Critter Country Lane on a trestle. The track then follows the outer edge of the Rivers of America, where guests glimpse minor wildlife scenes, a friendly Indian chief on a horse, and a view of a settler's log cabin across the river on Tom Sawyer's Island.
Leaving the Tomorrowland station, viewers get a quick glimpse of the Innoventions building and enter the Grand Canyon diorama building via faux tunnel, followed by the Primeval World
diorama featuring dinosaurs created for Ford's Magic Skyway pavilion of the 1964-65 New York World's Fair. After a brief stretch along the berm, the train re-enters the Main Street station.
The Disneyland Railroad currently has five narrow-gauge steam locomotives (the original four are named after former Santa Fe CEOs):
1: C.K. Holliday, a 4-4-0 built in the Walt Disney Studio in 1954; went into service at Disneyland on Opening Day
, 1955. It was named for Cyrus Kurtz Holliday, founder of the Santa Fe Railroad in 1859.
2: E.P. Ripley, a 4-4-0 built in the Walt Disney Studio in 1954; went into service at Disneyland on Opening Day, 1955. It was named for Edward Payson Ripley, an early president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF) after its 1895 reorganization.
3: Fred Gurley, a 2-4-4 built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1894, went into service at Disneyland March 28, 1958. The locomotive, named for the then-current chairman of the ATSF, Fred G. Gurley, is the oldest single piece of railroad equipment in use at any Disney theme park. The 2-4-4T tank locomotive, used in Louisiana to transport sugar cane, was purchased in working condition for US$1300; nevertheless, more than $35,000 was spent on its restoration.
4: Ernest S. Marsh, a 2-4-0 originally built by Baldwin Locomotive Works as a 0-4-0 saddle-tank in 1925; went into service at Disneyland July 25, 1959. It was named for the Santa Fe's then-current president, the Marsh originally served the Raritan River Sand Company in New Jersey before it was purchased and used by the Pine Creek Railroad, a tourist railroad in central New Jersey. During shipment from New Jersey to California, the locomotive was misrouted and ended up in a rail yard outside Pittsburgh.
5: Ward Kimball, a 2-4-4, serial number 20925, built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1902 for the Laurel Valley Plantation of Louisiana and later received in trade from Cedar Point Amusement Park as the inoperative Maud L in 1999. Cedar Point added a lead truck during its service there, making it a 2-4-4T. Restoration was begun by Boschan Boiler and Restorations of Carson
in 2004 and went into permanent service on June 25, 2005, as part of the park's fiftieth anniversary celebration.
There were only two train sets on opening day—the yellow passenger coaches of the Retlaw 1 train, which only stopped at Main Street Station, and the red cattle cars, gondolas and caboose of the Retlaw 2 train, which only stopped at the Frontierland Depot. The trains were entirely fabricated new alongside of the superstructure of the Mark Twain
Riverboat by studio carpenters inside Burbank
, California soundstages of Disney Studios, and were then trucked to Disneyland. Even the wheels and trucks were cast new with raised "Disneyland 1955" lettering.
The Grand Canyon Observation Coach #106 remained at the Disneyland roundhouse, where the crew lovingly refitted her as a private parlor car in bright red shiny lacquer livery, gold leaf letter-boards and delicate pinstripe pillar decoration, with a lavish interior (pictured) of rich Tibetan Mahogany paneling, red plush velvet chairs and love seats, fancy carpet, an ornate beveled glass mirror, gold fringed red velvet drapes, a coat rack with Walt's smoking jacket and antique marble tables supporting three of Walt's favorite books and an intimate portrait of Walt with the car's namesake, his wife Lillian - then rechristened the Lilly Belle.
No. #106 Lilly Belle is not a presidential coach; but its first official passenger was Japanese Emperor Hirohito. It is usually added at the end of a holiday train. On rainy days the car is uncoupled to remain in the carbarn to avoid guests spoiling the carpet with their wet shoes, as well as to avoid spoiling the paintwork.