Disneyland '55

Although technically not an opening day attraction, Casey Jr. was operational on July 17th 1955. Just three days before Disneyland's opening day, the design of the ride had to be revisited. The locomotive nearly tipped backwards as it crested the peak of the 25% grade of the first steep hill. A nearby construction worker saved the operator, imagineer and Disney legend, Roger Broggie, from catastrophe by catching the front of the engine and returning it back down to its rails. With no time for major retrofitting, lead weights were attached under the pilot of the locomotive. On opening day, Rogger Broggie himself solely ran the train around the tracks for fear that anyone else may get hurt. Following black sunday, Casey Jr. remained closed for six weeks in order to slightly level off the hills. The ride reopened on July 31st, 1955. 

This model was created for the 50th anniversary of Disneyland showing how the park looked in 1955. Without the Storybook Land additions the landscaping looked rather bare. The wood trestles do more closely represent the film incarnations of Casey Jr. though. These were replaced with arched stone bridges during the renovations in 1956.

The locomotive #9 shown here in a publicity shot. Without a bell, eyes, leading truck or cow catcher, Casey also sports a striped paint scheme on the steam dome.

Casey is lowered on to the tracks with the help of a 2x4. Eyes, bell, and cow catcher are still missing, but the steam dome has been repainted. The calliope car can be seen in the background with the side service panel removed.

Here is how little Casey #7 looks today. He has gone through a few changes cosmetically since 1955. But that story will be coming soon.

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