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 Post subject: Re: Disney World Railroad closes for 1-2 years.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:13 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 291
Yeah it's funny how some people are. Disney's engines even properly fly green flags on the front, something that many tourist lines and museums can't seem to understand. I get it with some of the crown engines, they were built quite genetically specifically for theme parks. While they certainly count as "real" steam locomotives by definition. They are not historic. But with the Disney engines, Cedar Point, Knotts, Dollywood, Six Flags Texas, Tweetsie, etc. its a totally different story!


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 Post subject: Re: Disney World Railroad closes for 1-2 years.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:49 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:39 am
Posts: 53
Steve DeGaetano wrote:
parktrains wrote:

Considering Magic Kingdom is the only place in the world where you can watch 4 nearly century old Baldwins (including a 4-4-0 that actually IS a century old) being worked like they were built to do, I was surprised how few railfans came out to document the closure.
It's hard for foam...I mean railfans, to accept park trains--no matter their lineage--as real steam locomotives. They're simply too shiny, or their crews are called "ride operators" and the like. "Real" steam engines have to be all black, except perhaps for smokebox and firebox, crews can only wear blue denim overalls--no stripes--and diesel can never be accepted as an authentic fuel.

The fact that more people today have had their only steam train experience behind a Disney locomotive--there are nine operational in this country, even more world-wide--than those who have ridden behind "real" steam, means nothing.


While yes they are in a park environment, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find engines that work as much or as hard as the engines at Dollywood and Tweetsie. A degree of expectations have to be checked at the door concerning the authenticity of appearances, but the steam is still real.

As for Disney, definitely awesome to see what they've got operating down there. You'd hope that the culture of "real steam" that Walt Disney believed in would be remembered when it comes to the future of the operation, although that might be too much to hope for.


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 Post subject: Re: Disney World Railroad closes for 1-2 years.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:59 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:57 am
Posts: 2
I was at the Magic Kingdom yesterday and was able to speak with one of the railroad's managers that happened to be on the platform. They have been told to expect to be down for roughly two years depending on how long construction on the Tron roller coaster takes. The Lilly Belle and part of a trainset will be kept at outside at Main Street Station. The maintenance team will fire her up regularly and move her around to keep her ready for when service resumes. There is a chance that the trains could be changed out if Lilly ends up needing maintenance work.

Steam service is NOT completely shutting down during the railroad's closure. They will continue to provide the behind the scenes tours and will have a train operating for that.

In terms of the other locomotives, the Walter E. Disney should be arriving back from Strasburg soon. Once it’s back and under steam for use during for the tours, the Roger Broggie will be sent for its overhaul followed shortly thereafter by the Roy O. Disney. Both should be back by the time the railroad reopens.

Austin Strenecky


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 Post subject: Re: Disney World Railroad closes for 1-2 years.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:08 pm 
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Location: Beaumont, Texas
Totally agree with all the comments about the Disney World Railroad and backshop tour, which my son and I took back in 2010.

For steam fans, there is at least the steam powered riverboat still in operation. It is steam powered; though it follows an underwater track to make it easy for unskilled park operators to operate.

But what you won't be able to experience is this -- a whistle exchange between the Disney World Railroad and the steamboat.

https://www.facebook.com/james.hefner.7 ... 90/?type=3

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 Post subject: Re: Disney World Railroad closes for 1-2 years.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:35 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 291
Easy now! Watch some of those "unskilled park operators" dock the friendship boats!


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 Post subject: Re: Disney World Railroad closes for 1-2 years.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:30 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
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Location: Danbury, CT
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
Easy now! Watch some of those "unskilled park operators" dock the friendship boats!


If you’re referring to the ferries, the operators are certainly “skilled”. The Liberty Belle is a different story. It’s the jungle cruise with steam. Don’t get me wrong, I love both of those attractions.

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 Post subject: Re: Disney World Railroad closes for 1-2 years.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:16 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 291
The Friendship Boats are the Epcot, Studios, and Epcot Resort Ferries. Those drivers always impress me with their turning and docking abilities.

There's the big staten island style ferries from TTC to Magic Kingdom.
The old Discovery Island boats and larger "Motor Cruises" that serve Magic Kingdom, Grand F. Polynesian, and also run Contemporary to Wilderness Lodge.

And finally the glorified pontoons that serve Port Orleans, Old Key West, Saratoga Springs and Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney.) Lots of transportation options!

The Steamboat is still a steamboat though. But I agree it doesn't take as much talent to dock as the other boats I mentioned.


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 Post subject: Re: Disney World Railroad closes for 1-2 years.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:36 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
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Location: Back in NE Ohio
"Unskilled steamboat operators" reminds me that when I worked on the Cedar Point railroad 40 years ago, I believe the second Summer I was there, '79, one evening the neighboring Western Cruise had a boat (infernal combustion powered) stall-out, and since they were truly real boats steered by the operator, drifted into the "third" trestle on the railroad (for those familiar, where the skeletons are fishing and singing "You get a line, and I'll get a pole"), and was struck by a train run by two of my apartment mates, tearing off part of the roof trim (which my roommates brought home that night as a trophy - I think the name board of the boat may have been part of what tore off). Anyway, in a later season, the park "sank" that boat near the trestle as part of the scenery of the railroad and the Western Cruise, which has been gone now for at least ten years, I believe, maybe closer to twenty. We used to call it the "Western Snooze", good ride to take after lunch and grab a nap.


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 Post subject: Re: Disney World Railroad closes for 1-2 years.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:25 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:06 pm
Posts: 160
I posted some questions over on the Disney Railroads discussion board about the new "safety" features the engines will eventually have. Sort of shocked at the answers I got:https://burnsland.com/disneyrailroads/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5467&p=73330&sid=3102362d4ab8e86d38092b40fd429cde#p73330

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 Post subject: Re: Disney World Railroad closes for 1-2 years.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:58 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 291
Interesting read! Nothing overly shocking. While not the "historic" way of doing things, the Lilly Belle doesn't look or sound any different than the others, so we aren't losing anything and we are making Disney's lawyers happy so overall it's a win.

It should be noted that the Disneyland Railroad, as far as I know, doesn't have any of these modifications.


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 Post subject: Re: Disney World Railroad closes for 1-2 years.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:32 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:47 pm
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Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
Interesting read! Nothing overly shocking. While not the "historic" way of doing things, the Lilly Belle doesn't look or sound any different than the others, so we aren't losing anything and we are making Disney's lawyers happy so overall it's a win.

It should be noted that the Disneyland Railroad, as far as I know, doesn't have any of these modifications.


Disneyland gets away with numerous things that Walt Disney World doesn't. One example off the top of my head, you can still ride in the cab of the monorail at Disneyland, whereas you are no longer allowed to at WDW.

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 Post subject: Re: Disney World Railroad closes for 1-2 years.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:34 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:47 pm
Posts: 486
Steve DeGaetano wrote:
I posted some questions over on the Disney Railroads discussion board about the new "safety" features the engines will eventually have. Sort of shocked at the answers I got:https://burnsland.com/disneyrailroads/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5467&p=73330&sid=3102362d4ab8e86d38092b40fd429cde#p73330


You have to remember, the vast majority of people who work on the WDWRR are people who have no prior steam experience, or railroading experience in general. These features are in place so that the park can continue to have the authentic steam train experience, while not constantly being in danger of blowing up the locomotive.

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Mark Z. Yerkes
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 Post subject: Re: Disney World Railroad closes for 1-2 years.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:03 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:06 pm
Posts: 160
Mark Z. Yerkes wrote:
Steve DeGaetano wrote:
I posted some questions over on the Disney Railroads discussion board about the new "safety" features the engines will eventually have. Sort of shocked at the answers I got:https://burnsland.com/disneyrailroads/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5467&p=73330&sid=3102362d4ab8e86d38092b40fd429cde#p73330


You have to remember, the vast majority of people who work on the WDWRR are people who have no prior steam experience, or railroading experience in general. These features are in place so that the park can continue to have the authentic steam train experience, while not constantly being in danger of blowing up the locomotive.
But you have to remember that the vast majority of park train operations (including those at Disneyland, Cedar Point and Knotts Berry Farm, Busch Gardens) all operate with people who also have no prior steam experience, or railroading experience in general, but they are somehow able to do so without all the computerization. How are they able to safely run these operations without "blowing up the locomotive?"

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Last edited by Steve DeGaetano on Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Disney World Railroad closes for 1-2 years.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:05 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:06 pm
Posts: 160
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
It should be noted that the Disneyland Railroad, as far as I know, doesn't have any of these modifications.
The Disneyland engines are equipped with low water alarms.

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Steve DeGaetano
Fireman, New Hope Valley Railway


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 Post subject: Re: Disney World Railroad closes for 1-2 years.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:31 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 291
Mark Z. Yerkes wrote:
Steve DeGaetano wrote:
I posted some questions over on the Disney Railroads discussion board about the new "safety" features the engines will eventually have. Sort of shocked at the answers I got:https://burnsland.com/disneyrailroads/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5467&p=73330&sid=3102362d4ab8e86d38092b40fd429cde#p73330


You have to remember, the vast majority of people who work on the WDWRR are people who have no prior steam experience, or railroading experience in general. These features are in place so that the park can continue to have the authentic steam train experience, while not constantly being in danger of blowing up the locomotive.


As opposed to operations with lots of weekend volunteers? They aren't just throwing someone from its a small world to the steam train, they are very much qualified engineers and fireman.


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