Tuesday, March 17, 2009

All Aboard for the Future!

Fantasyland, 1957

The VIEWLINER was the earth-bound predecessor of Disneyland's Monorail, existing for only a year and a half, from 1957 to 1958. Billed as "the fastest miniature trains in the world," the salmon-colored Tomorrowland train and the blue Fantasyland train ran a figure-8 through the two lands on narrow gauge tracks.

Bob Gurr's concept sketch, 1956

Imagineer Bob Gurr patterned the sleek aluminum sides and big open windows after General Motors' Train of Tomorrow and the Aerotrain - in classic fifties future style. Powered by gasoline, courtesy of a Chevy Corvette V-8 Engine, the cab was practically built from old automobile parts, complete with a steering wheel, stick shift, and a reverse gear!

GM's Aerotrain, 1955

The single best place for information on the Viewliner and the Aerotrain can be found at the fascinating "Viewliner LTD" blog.

6 comments:

Viewliner Ltd. said...

WOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWW!!! What an awesome picture of my favorite train. The Viewliner... IT IS INCREDIBLE !!!

Thank you very much for the nice plug Kevin. I truly appreciate it, Richard.

WOW! I still can't get over this picture.

The Blue Parrot said...

Great view, Kevin!

The Portland Zoo Railway also has an Aerotrain clone.

http://lostoregon.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/rr2.jpg

And try this link for a full Google imagesearch --

http://images.google.com/images?client=safari&rls=en&q=Portland%20zoo%20Railway%20Zooliner&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi

Matt Hunter Ross said...

that's so incredibly cool!

Major Pepperidge said...

Wonderful post (as usual!), I love the short-lived Viewliner, and am always happy to see photos and artwork.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

WOW, that first photo is super! Where exactly was that taken? What's that tunnel thing? Was this back stage, but there's the Station, but there are work trucks on the left? Whereever it was taken, I sure like it, thanks Kevin! Oh, and the Viewliner's door handle looks right off a '55 Chevy!

Davelandweb said...

Kevin - That black and white image is fantastic (as if you didn't know)! I actually bought an HO model of the Aerotrain - probably as close as I'll get to having a model of the Viewliner. - Dave

davelandweb.com/viewliner