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The E.P. Ripley will always be my sentimental favorite. It perfectly captures the look, proportions and details of a typical 1880s/1890s Victorian steam engine--my favorite era. That gleaming brass capstack is the crowning touch.
However, a close second has to be the Ward Kimball. The story of the former "Maud L." and her dreary life on the bayous of a Louisiana sugar plantation, followed by her retirement, restoration at Cedar Point, and eventualy move to Disneyland is just so interesting. That history is what separates her from Disney's first two engines. And the fact that I got to chart her restoration close-up and personal also makes her close to my heart.
For me it's a toss up between the E.P. Ripley and the Wark Kimball. I like them both.
That's an interesting sounding story Steve... I may just have to purchase a book now.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter
I thought the caboose--a term derived from nautical jargon--would have been your preferred mode of transport, Swab.
I do enjoy riding in it when I have the opportunity. Not as panoramic a view,however. I am one of those guests who still absolutely love the Grand Canyon diorama, and want to see as much of it as I can, for as long as I can.
I don't have a preference. I used to prefer the forward-facing seats--easier to decide en route which side I want to look at for backstage areas--but I've gotten quite adept at sitting in the stadium-style seats and turning around if I want to check out the Indy show building or something.
Ripley. Even before I read Steve's book I was laughing about the Rip's "personality". It likes to torment the new kids and every old hand will tell you "watch the water pray for fire!" because the Rip will play with both on you!
"Happiness is a Low Water Level"
"Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"
Even though I love the trains, and it's easy for me to tell the engines and trains apart, I realize that for many people, the trains all look alike. That's one of the reasons for my articles--to show folks that, unlike automobiles or other forms of mechanized transportation, steam locomotives are imbued with certain, distinguishable--and often quirky--personalities.
We are lucky enough with Disneyland that even our "train sets"--the cars the locomotive pulls--are for the most part all different as well. We have a freight train with a caboose, Excursion cars with forward facing seats based on old trolley and passenger car designs, a couple of later-designed cars that are nothing like the others, and the Lilly Belle.
Those of you who go to Walt Disney World may have seen that each locomotive pulls a train set made up of five identical cars, all based on the same excursion car design--and that the only difference between them is their color.
This variety really sets Disneyland apart from all other Disney parks, and even other amusement parks. So, even if you think all the trains look alike, and don't really have a "favorite," next time you're at Disneyland, take some time to look at them, study their color and style differences, and notice the variety of rolling stock the engines pull. Soon enough, you may have a favorite of you own!