The Disneyland Railroad#4 Ernest S. Marsh was named after Ernest Marsh, president of the Santa Fe Railway from 1957 to 1967. He was born in Lynchburg, Virginia on January 10, 1903. In 1918 he went to work for Santa Fe and worked his way through the ranks to replace Fred Gurley as President on April 1, 1957. He passed away on October 9, 1975 at the age of 72. He served as President from 1957 through 1966.
The engine was purchased by Disney in 1958 for about $2,000 and was converted to the 2-4-0 wheel arrangement that we all know and love today. It is a 36″ gauge with 28″ drivers and 9″ x 14″ cylinders and went into operation at Disneyland on July 25, 1959.
2-4-0 wheel arrangement, 36″ gauge, 28″ drivers and 9″ x 14″ cylinders
Engineers run the engine at an average of 150 psi, the tender holds approximately 400 gallons of water and 175 gallons of modified #2 bio-diesel fuel
The photo to the right IS Walt Disney, but he’s NOT posing next to his miniature live steam engine CP #173 Lilly Belle – it’s a composite photo.
This synthesized photo was created by a MAPO employee who combined Roger Broggie’s photo of Walt and a fellow steam enthusiast, along with a photo he took of #173 Lilly Belle at the Disney studios. The image is so well done, people are fooled by it all the time. A copy is even hanging in Main Street Station at Disneyland!
It happened on May 4th, 1977 – Disneyland opened Space Mountain – though not ‘officially’… The attraction was open to guests to ride for an “E” ticket, but the park’s second ‘mountain’ wasn’t dedicated until a few weeks later on May 27, 1977.
It’s also interesting to note that Disney World opened their version of Space Mountain in 1975 – BEFORE Disneyland! Though Disneyland’s version is only about 2/3 the size of the one in Florida.
Disney Imagineers came up with a version of high-speed roller coaster in the 1960s, but construction of the Mountain didn’t start until June of 1975. It’s 173 feet tall and with the spire, it’s the highest point in the park.
In 1993 Federal Express started sponsoring the space port and displayed signs with a twist on their original slogan. Instead of “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” it was something like “When it absolutely, positively has to be there in .5 seconds.” In April of 2003 FedEx dropped their sponsorship.
This engine, Lilly Belle 2, was going to be the 2nd locomotive at Walt Disney’s “Carolwood Pacific Railroad“. Walt’s CPRR was a 1/8th scale miniature live steam railroad that Walt built around his home in Holmby Hills. The engine was started in 1950 by Roger Broggie and was conceived as a 4-6-0 (two pilot/front wheels on each side, three ‘driver’ wheels on each side and zero trailing wheels) but once Walt got busy with Disneyland and had a big train set to play with, the CPRR was sidetracked and the project was put on hold.
The 4-6-0 design was abandoned in favor of a duplicate of the original Lilly Belle locomotive. Roger Broggie Jr. and a dedicated crew completed the replica in 1995 – 45 years after the work originally began. The photo below is Roger Broggie Jr. with the completed Lilly Belle 2; below that the engine on display at Main Street Station in Disneyland.