Viewliner Train of Tomorrow

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Viewliner Train of Tomorrow
SFDL viewliner in 1957.jpg
The Viewliner prepares to depart the Tomorrowland Station in 1957 with Walt Disney at the controls.
Disneyland
StatusClosed
Opening dateJune 10, 1957
Closing dateSeptember 30, 1958
Replaced byDisneyland Monorail System
General statistics
Attraction typeRail transportation system
DesignerWED Enterprises
Riders per row2
Track gauge2 ft 6 in (762 mm)

The Viewliner Train of Tomorrow was a 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow-gauge, miniature train that once operated alongside portions of the Disneyland Railroad main line.

The attraction commenced operation on June 10, 1957 and was billed by Disneyland as "the fastest miniature train in the world."[1] Two separate trains, designed by Disney Imagineer Bob Gurr, and built as scale replicas of General Motors' futuristic Aerotrain,[2] traveled along a dog-bone track circuit (rail line with a turnaround loop at each end) through parts of Tomorrowland and Fantasyland. The Tomorrowland train featured cars that were named for the planets, while the cars of the Fantasyland train were named after various Disney characters.

The modern, streamlined trains were placed into service to represent the future of rail travel, in contrast to the steam-powered DRR which represented its past. Motive power for each train consisted of an integral head-end unit driven by a Chevrolet 265 cu in (4.3 L) displacement V8 gasoline engine, mated to a Jeep transfer case powering drive-shafts to both the front and rear wheel trucks. Two 1954 Oldsmobile 88 2-dr coupes furnished the windscreen, doors and instrument console for each of the two 5,000-pound (2,270 kg) locomotives. The attraction operated until September 30, 1958 when construction began on the Matterhorn and Submarine Voyage.[3] The Disneyland Monorail System ultimately took the place of the Viewliner in June 1959, thereby making it one of the shortest-lived rides in the park's history. The railroad ties from the attraction were later used to build the Deer Lake Park & Julian Railroad, a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow-gauge backyard railroad owned by Disney animator Ollie Johnston at his vacation home near Julian, California.[4]

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Bibliography[edit]

  • Broggie, Michael (2014). Walt Disney's Railroad Story: The Small-Scale Fascination That Led to a Full-Scale Kingdom (4th ed.). The Donning Company Publishers. ISBN 978-1-57864-914-3.