One of the most wonderful parts of being a Disney Parks fan is feeling connected to the hundreds and thousands who came before you and who will inevitably come after. But even more so than that, one of the best feelings is to know how deeply we’re embracing the vision of a man who started one of the most revolutionary companies in the world—the Walt Disney Company—the same man the Mouse House is named for, Walt Disney himself. Any Disney Theme Park is rife with references and callbacks to the founder, be that the Partners Statue or even the fact that the Walt Disney World Resort is named for the man himself. However, Disney Parks fans can rejoice knowing that another one of Walt Disney’s favorites, Disneyland Railroad train, the E.P. Ripley, is returning to the Parks.
Walt Disney’s love for trains is well documented—in fact, the Walt Disney World Railroad, the Disneyland Railroad, and the Disneyland Paris Railroad are some of the most beloved attractions in the Disney Parks. Disneyland Resort Guests will soon be able to enjoy riding around on E.P. Ripley, one of the original steam engines on the railroad.
Named after one of the original founders of the Atchison and Topeka Railroad (the Santa Fe Railroad), Edward Payson Ripley, the train has been out of commission for the last five years for heavy restoration work, and a full restoration began in the summer of 2021. The train was one Walt Disney rode on opening day in 1955!
The renovation process required the team to replace the boiler, the headlamp, and the bell. Tarun Khanna, the lead engineer, shared with Disney Parks Blog, “We replicated some of the original parts, since they aren’t manufactured anymore. Everything is mechanical and runs like a steam engine from the past, from the boiler all the way down to the whistle.”
The Disneyland Railroad steam engine E.P. Ripley’s return is made even more special by the fact that it coincides with the Disney 100 Years of Wonder celebration; what better time to bring back one of Walt Disney’s favorite trains than during the celebration of the centennial of his company!