The rails were singing again with the sounds of whistles and bells as engineers and conductors started testing trains on the new route for the Disneyland Railroad.
The route for the opening day attraction underwent a major modification in the Frontierland area to make room for the 14-acre “Star Wars” land project.
Now the route skirts the edge of the shortened Rivers of America, along the Big Thunder Trail, and then makes a left-hand turn for the first time in its history to head for Mickey’s Toontown Station in Fantasyland.
Because it is such a major change to the rail line’s route, park officials wanted to give the crews plenty of time to get accustomed to the new route. Also, the computer signals, which lets crews know when the rails are clear ahead, have to undergo testing to make sure they are all working properly.
Besides the new signal system, the engines and rail cars have been static for more than a year, and need to be tested to make sure everything is in working order.
Sometimes during testing, crews will stop the train along the route, and not at a station, then reverse the train to check that the signal…