Disneyland Viewliner hits the track

Wednesday, June 26, 1957

“One of the shortest-lived rides in the history of Disneyland (CA)!”

On June 26, 1957, the “Santa Fe & Disneyland Viewliner” debuted. It was a narrow gauge railroad that ran two passenger trains through parts of Tomorrowland and Fantasyland.

The trains were billed by Disneyland as “the fastest miniature train(s) in the world” and were built on the principle of an interurban express train of the future, incorporating the features of articulated cars and low center of gravity which enabled them to maneuver curves at high speed.

The vehicles were designed by Walt Disney Imagineer mister Bob Gurr and were based on General Motors’ futuristic “Las Vegas Aerotrain”. Their coaches were constructed by a company called “Standard Carriage Works” (Los Angeles, 1895-1985). And the locomotives were built in the machine shop of the Walt Disney Studios.

The red-colored train was called the “Tomorrowland Viewliner” and featured cars that were named for the planets. The cars of the blue-colored “Fantasyland Viewliner” were named after popular Disney characters.

The railroad operated only for a few months. It ceased activity on September 15, 1958, to make way for (the construction of) the Disneyland Alweg Monorail System.

For many years after the attraction’s closure, the trains were parked backstage in a storage shed behind Fantasyland. In the late seventies, they were dismantled, cut up and scrapped. Today, another replica of the GM Aerotrain is still in operation at the Oregon Zoo (Portland, USA).

Continue your voyage through time. Return to the calendar.