The passion behind the legendary Disney Railroad

Disneyland incorporates a steam railroad, the Disneyland Railroad. It all started with one man's fascination with trains. Walt Disney was a railroad enthusiast. As a teenager, he worked on a railroad. As Disneyland was being built, the Disneyland Railroad was being built as well and to this day the Disneyland trains remain a favorite among guests.
Walt Disney World Railroad is the result of Disney's passion for trains. It took lots of talented people to bring these trains to Disneyland. After Walt had started his own studio, he found that he had people on his staff who shared his passion for trains and some of them enjoyed working on miniature "live-steamers." During this time, Walt Disney had the studio's machine shop start work on a steam train that Walt had chosen from the designs of other past steamers. The Walt Disney Company constructed the original two locomotives in its own workshops under the supervision of Roger E. Broggie. Patterned after the Lilly Belle, a miniature steam locomotive Broggie had made for Walt's backyard Carolwood Pacific Railroad. A few years later, after Walt had started planning for a Disneyland family park, the park's designs included a live railroad that circled the park. Workers were laying out the track and building the Main Street, Frontierland and other stations for the trains to make stops at. Later, just a few years after the opening of Disneyland, two other trains would be added to the Disney Railroad. Two more locomotives were later acquired from outside sources, since this was cheaper than building new.
Now the trains run daily and make stops at the Main Street Station, New Orleans Station, Fantasyland/Mickey's ToonTown Station, and the Tomorrowland Station. Originally known as the Disneyland and Santa Fe Railroad, Disney Railroad was sponsored by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway until 1974. The railroad is laid in a continuous loop around the park and it's laid to three-foot gauge. All the Disneyland locomotives burn diesel fuel, which is less polluting, though more expensive, than other forms of fuel. Originally, two trains could operate on the Disney Railroad, running in opposite directions. Later, to allow the use of more than two trains, the line was changed for the trains to run in a clockwise direction only. In addition the trains started going pass the Grand Canyon as a diorama of the Grand Canyon and the Primeval World were added to the route.  Instead of facing forward, the benches of the new flatcars now faced right so that the diorama could be better enjoyed by the passengers. Five open-air, clerestory-roofed observation cars with forward-facing seats dating from the park's opening were returned to service in 2004 after undergoing a three-year restoration.
In 2004, the Walt Disney Company also purchased the inoperable Maud L locomotive and sent it to a Southern California shop to restore it and transform it into a Disneyland Railroad locomotive. It's the first Disneyland Railroad train added since 1959 and it's named after the late Ward Kimball one of Disney's Nine Old Men.
Disney Railroad underwent a three-month restoration to bring the roadbed back to gauge. It reopened in March 2005 in time for the park's fiftieth anniversary.
Disney Railroad is a relaxing way to get away from the crowds and get from one spot of the park to the next.
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