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WDWRR closing, Thoughts?

Disneyrailfan1996

Active Member
Original Poster
So since the WDWRR is closing after today (Dec. 2) for tron’s construction. I thought now might be a good time to express some feelings about it now and what’s to come.
First off, why not try to run it backwards like they did in the 90’s for the construction of the current Frontierland Station? I mean, sure it’s possible that there could be safety concerns due to the various crossings along the route, and the MAPO system may not work as intended when running backwards (the brakes could apply since the light could be red since it may detect the next block being occupied) among other things.
I also feel like the current narration needs an update: it mentions/references the following Tomorrowland attractions: Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, Peoplemover, Stitch, Astro Orbiter, Speedway, Space Mountain, and Buzz Lightyear. Two things: 1, stitch has been removed (although he has a meet and greet so that could justify the keeping it), and there’s 1 attraction missing: Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. I mean, that attraction is historic (it’s the only one at WDW Walt has been in), so it deserves to be mentioned! Also why not mention the Main Street Vehicles on the way up to Main Street? I mean sure, they don’t run that often, but wouldn’t mentioning them in the narration tie in the idea of being old fashioned? Finally, there’s one thing about the narration that I miss: the music! I mean, I feel very nostalgic when I randomly think of and hear the old narration in my head. Okay, so maybe the old one didn’t quite mention the idea of “pure steam power” in the beginning, but maybe a little bit of music wouldn’t hurt while still keeping “steam power” in there?
And the coaches: I’m sure this is normal, but the squealing breaks from the coaches is really loud sometimes (especially at Main Street). Would it hurt to figure out a way to reduce the squealing? Not that I mind the brakes, but I’m sure that it may annoy some people. So maybe work on the squealing unless of course there are certain factors that cause the squealing that can’t be controlled/fixed (e.g. nature).
 

Disneyrailfan1996

Active Member
Original Poster
Running backwards to Starland was easier and safer than running backwards through Adventureland.
I figured that. It was likely easier since they could just pull the train out and not need to reverse (a bit of a time saver). Plus there’s the question of the likelihood of running out of water during a trip due to the distance from Main Street being doubled since they’d stop at Frontierland twice after departing fantasyland or mainstreet (I.e. after leaving and before returning). Unlike most US crossings too, the gates close just after the end of the last car has cleared. Sorunning backwards, assuming it activates the crossing, would not leave enough time between the gates closing and the train entering the crossing. I figured that would be a limitation. If the crossings as like most MOST USA crossings where the gates don’t reopen until the train is further away from the crossing, then they could run backwards assuming the issue with the MAPO system and red lights I mentioned previously would not be present.
 

Disneyrailfan1996

Active Member
Original Poster
Well, today, I checked the website for WDW. It does not list the railroad as being under refurbishment, rather it says “Schedule unavailable.” I do recall reading that there would be a train displayed at Main Street during the closure–similar to how it was during the construction of Star Wars land at Disneyland. So I’m guessing that “Schedule unavailable” is just there since there’s no schedule as to when the train is there and when they have to put it away (assuming that’s what will happen and they won’t just keep 1 train up there the whole time). Who knows what the train on display at Main Street will likely allow. Maybe they’ll let us in the cab or let us get a little more up close with the loco(s) on display. I’m not certain that’ll happen because of safety concerns, but you never know! And maybe the closing may have us thinking less about the Walter E Disney’s return and hoping more for a reopening of the railroad!
 

Disneyrailfan1996

Active Member
Original Poster
Really, really sad. I'm going in Jan-Feb and this was something I really wanted to experience.
Yeah, the only railroad that will be running at WDW besides the monorail will be the horse drawn trolley, and that only runs for part of the morning, then they have the show, and then the horse goes back to fort wilderness. So you REALLY have to plan around that, and aim to do that first! There’s no place else in the country besides Disneyland and WDW where you can ride a horse drawn trolley.
Also, The peoplemover is considered “rail transportation in Disney parks” by Wikipedia, but it isn’t exactly a railroad. Well.... maybe it is. It’s more of a self propelled driverless train (except there’s no computer like the ones you see at airports).
The Wildlife express is closed during the Rafiki’s Planet Watch refurbishment, and then there’s the WDWRR as I just mentioned. Real shame. If only they could figure someway around this construction roadblock, so to speak (track block? Rail block?)
 

KDM31091

Active Member
Between Disneyland and WDW it seems the Railroads are both closed more than they are open. While I understand the construction reasoning it seems Disney could come up with ways around it (run backwards, block views of construction, etc). It's better than having a signature attraction constantly down for months on end.
 

Disone

Well-Known Member
I figured that. It was likely easier since they could just pull the train out and not need to reverse (a bit of a time saver). Plus there’s the question of the likelihood of running out of water during a trip due to the distance from Main Street being doubled since they’d stop at Frontierland twice after departing fantasyland or mainstreet (I.e. after leaving and before returning). Unlike most US crossings too, the gates close just after the end of the last car has cleared. Sorunning backwards, assuming it activates the crossing, would not leave enough time between the gates closing and the train entering the crossing. I figured that would be a limitation. If the crossings as like most MOST USA crossings where the gates don’t reopen until the train is further away from the crossing, then they could run backwards assuming the issue with the MAPO system and red lights I mentioned previously would not be present.
Fyi. there would be no risk of running out of water. The trains can do several Loops without stopping for water. Typically under normal rotation they will refill every two Loops, but this is not needed. It is done largely for show and to reduce the amount of time needed to refill the tender while at a routine stop. After two loops all they need to do is top it off, by continuing to do this they avoid a scenario where a prolonged station stop is necessary to refill the tender.
 

celluloid

Well-Known Member
Yeah, the only railroad that will be running at WDW besides the monorail will be the horse drawn trolley, and that only runs for part of the morning, then they have the show, and then the horse goes back to fort wilderness. So you REALLY have to plan around that, and aim to do that first! There’s no place else in the country besides Disneyland and WDW where you can ride a horse drawn trolley.
Also, The peoplemover is considered “rail transportation in Disney parks”
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the other coasters, the mall style train ride at Downtown Disney and the sometimes operational scale models seen around the resort. I mean, if the people mover is considered.:p
 

MaryJaneP

Well-Known Member
We gotta jump on the "put a locomotive on both ends of the train" crowd here as a push-me/pull-you arrangement would seem to solve most of the problems here. There would seemingly be no need to double staff this arrangement as the engine staff could mosey from one drive locomotive to the other end upon reaching the last stop prior to the closure and the passenger car staff could do their normal tasks by just changing their signaling to the locomotive in the direction they are headed. Of course, this assumes they can put the trailing locomotive into neutral to free-wheel it while being pulled along .
 

Disone

Well-Known Member
The schedule also says it's supposed to reopen on January 5th, so it appears it's just impacting December travelers at this time.

https://www.wdwmagic.com/attractions/walt-disney-world-railroad/news/26nov2018-upcoming-walt-disney-world-railroad-closures-dates.htm

Regards! Michaelson
I really wanted to ride it with my niece and nephew in January (first trips for both of them). Alas, we'll pose for a photo and I'll sing, "ding ding ding went the bell".
It is not reopening in January. MDX is being a bit grey on this but cast of the railroad know they have not been giving a reopening date. As far as they have been told, it is not expected to be open in 2019.
 

thomas998

Well-Known Member
I’m sure this is normal, but the squealing breaks from the coaches is really loud sometimes (especially at Main Street). Would it hurt to figure out a way to reduce the squealing? Not that I mind the brakes, but I’m sure that it may annoy some people. So maybe work on the squealing unless of course there are certain factors that cause the squealing that can’t be controlled/fixed (e.g. nature).
You have steel wheels on steel tracks, no way to stop the squealing. If you've ever been to a railroad yard you hear the sound a lot and as far as I know there is no way to stop it from happening. As for why it happens, the brakes are slowing the wheels but the wheels slip against the track as the train gradually slows down, the sound is from the wheel slipping against the rail.
 

Raineman

Well-Known Member
I think I am in the minority when I say that the RR being down really doesn't affect me that much. It's never been a "must do" for me and my family-it's a good way to take a load off and kill some time, but there are a few sections where there isn't much to see. I would, however, miss hearing the train whistle while walking around MK-it's one of those background sounds that contributes to the overall audio experience at MK, like hearing the TTA narration while walking through TL, or hearing the music on MSUSA.
 
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