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admin 24.04.2014

California ZephyrNow leaving on Track 1for Baker’s Field Bakery,Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream,and Engine-Ears Toys.All aboard! At Disneyland, real steam locomotives pull open-air passenger coaches around the perimeter of the park—complete with a trip into the world of dinosaurs. Although Amtrak has a train called the California Zephyr traveling between the San Francisco Bay Area and Chicago, the train here at the park looks like the fabled California Zephyr of the 1950s and 1960s. The mighty diesel locomotive is painted in the colors of the Western Pacific Railroad, one of the three railroads that operated the California Zephyr back then. The two stainless steel coaches of this California Zephyr are in the tradition of those manufactured by The Budd Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The station’s Spanish Mission style tower is inspired by the Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego.
The California Zephyr is a faux train that serves as a clever building façade, forming entrances to three shops. A mural behind the counter at Baker’s Field Bakery suggests how wonderful the view must have been as the California Zephyr crossed the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The train in the mural is longer than the train outside, but the locomotive should look familiar.
And wouldn’t it be great if there were seating in the observation car so that you could savor your ice cream while enjoying the fantasy of traveling aboard a legendary train?
There would only be one problem with having the engine facing the park’s biggest store, Greetings from California.
Because there can be no track heading into the busy walkway, it would weaken the illusion that this is a train ready to depart for Chicago, and not just a building façade. But it’s one of the best designed and executed elements of Yester California Adventure.
The California Zephyr and its railroad station were part of Disney’s California Adventure when the park opened in February 2001. Chugga Chugga Chugga, the little show that used the California Zephyr as its backdrop, had a short run in 2002. The origin of the locomotive cab has been a subject of discussion among rail enthusiasts, with conflicting explanations.
The F7Au class GFA-17a locomotive was originally built in 1952 by General Motors Diesel, the Canadian subsidiary of the Electro Motive Division of General Motors, as locomotive 9104. In 1973, it was rebuilt as number 9165 and continued to be used by Canadian National until finally being retired in 1989.


Disney’s Imagineers found it at National Railway Equipment in Dixmoor, Illinois, where it had been since 1990.
When it arrived in California from Illinois, the locomotive cab was a sad, battered remnant of a once great locomotive.
The rear of the locomotive and the stainless steel coaches were skillfully designed and built for the park to form a complete train—although a rather short one.
Unfortunately, despite the excellent work that went into the train, the overall effort came across as half-hearted. The information kiosk, train platform, and the boxy retail building behind the train failed to look like a real railroad station. In 2007, Disney announced that over a billion dollars would be invested to improve Disney’s California Adventure. Part of the plan called for transforming the entrance complex into Buena Vista Street, a commercial street in a Los Angeles neighborhood of the 1920s, when young, ambitious Walt Disney first arrived from Kansas City. Even though Walt Disney arrived in Los Angles by train, there was no way to pass off the California Zephyr that ran from 1949 to 1970 as the old Super Chief of the 1920s. Also, if the faux train looked lost in the hodge-podge of the original Sunshine Plaza entrance area, it would look even more out-of-place had it remained as part of the carefully designed Buena Vista Street. Their final day was July 31, 2011 (although the information kiosk and train shed already disappeared back in May 2011).
The Disneyland Resort donated the authentic cab and memorabilia to the Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola, California. It arrived at the museum by truck on August 6, to become part of the museum’s Zephyr Project collection.
Visitors to the museum will learn about the history of the famous 1950s passenger train through the donated artifacts, while the recreated locomotive will offer the chance to experience what it was like for engineers to guide the stainless steel Zephyr trains through California’s Feather River Canyon. If locomotive cabs had feelings, this cab should be happier in its new home telling the story of a legendary train—instead of functioning as the entrance to an ice cream shop. Photo of information kiosk based on the San Diego Santa Fe Depot towers: 2002 by Werner Weiss. The Adirondack will whisk you away from the skyscrapers of NYC, and carry you by the Palisades cliffs, the Hudson River Valley, and along the shores of Lake Champlain, with a final destination of beautiful Montreal. The Southwest Chief travels from the Colorado Rockies to the Grand Canyon, with the journey following the historic Santa Fe Trail. Perhaps the most well-known of all Amtrak routes, the Coast Starlight runs between Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles.


Another award-winner is the California Zephyr; with service between Chicago and San Francisco, it is a stunning ride. In the 2013 Rocky Mountaineer Inaugural Coastal Package, passengers can book a variety of luxurious all-inclusive 3-night package starting at $3,044 per person. The Canadian Rockies: Highlights visits Seattle, Vancouver, Banff, Lake Louise, and Calgary, with a trip time of 7 nights and 8 days. The Classic Coastal package lasts 11 days and 10 nights, and includes week-long Alaskan Cruise.
The Western Explorer package travels from Seattle to Vancouver, then to Jasper and Banff, with a final destination of Calgary. Whatever line you choose, one of the best reasons to take your time and opt for the train is the view. With stops in Albuquerque, New Mexico and passages through the red cliffs near the Continental Divide in Sedona, Arizona, and connections to the Grand Canyon Railway’s vintage steam train, this is one ride you will never forget. The train passes through Denver, across the Great Divide, and on through 29 tunnels, the highest one being 9,000 feet above sea level. There are two different boarding locations: the first will run from Banff and the second from Jasper, with both reaching Kamloops as the second stop, then from Kamloops the train travels to Vancouver, with the final destination of Seattle. Prices start at $5, 879 per person and include hotel stays, admission costs, and some meals. You will see the Colorado River and surrounding canyons, the Grand Mesa, the deserts of Utah and Colorado, and the High Sierras, with a final stop in the bay of San Francisco. Prices vary for different journeys, and Amtrak offers a myriad of offers and special savings. The entire journey is also available in reverse, with all departures taking place in late August. Once in Oregon, you will be in the Cascade Mountain range, with an eventual descent into the Willamette River Valley. In California you will pass through the famed towns of the Gold Rush, and head south along the coast of the sparkling Pacific Ocean.




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