Thursday, January 25, 2007

Disneyland Railroad, Santa Fe, & The Lilly Belle

Originally, the Disneyland Railroad was sponsored by the Santa Fe Railroad, as you can see from this original poster art and the signage on the Main Street Station (circa 1959). Due to a contractual dispute with Alweg & The Monorail (Santa Fe was to have exclusive Railroad transportation sponsorship in the park), the relationship dissolved and eventually ended in 1974.

Also in 1974, the Grand Canyon Observation Car, picture in this 1955 slide, was transformed into the ornately Victorian Lilly Belle. I have included a closeup of the hard to find Grand Canyon art, as well as some recent interior shots of the Lilly Belle.

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Anonymous said...

very nice, i've been to Disneyland a million times, but i've never seen the interior of l.b., do you have to be a v.i.p. to ride back there?

Matterhorn1959 said...

Dave- I think the sponsorship was dropped due to Santa Fe's decision to focus on freight and not passenger trains. It was probably also a cost cutting measure. If it was a dispute over the Monorail, the sponsorship would have been stopped many years before that.

Daveland said...

James - Best way to get on the Lilly Belle is to ask one of the conductors at the Main Street Station.

Patrick - Reread my blog; you misinterpreted it. The contract dispute DID lead to problems with the relationship between Santa Fe and Disney; surely there were other factors as you mentioned, which is why it took until 1974.

Anonymous said...

Yes, all you have to do is ask a conductor. (if it's part of a consist). That's all my sister did and she & her daughter got to take a round trip in it!