|Station Story: Part Two
Part one of this story may be found
at this link.
In the move northward, the station gained six feet in elevation, currently
standing at 144 feet. But it also gained a companion: A "freight house" was
built next to the station, providing restroom and break facilities for the
engine crews. The architectural style was similar to the original station, but
didn't copy any element directly.
Various freight, in the form of barrels,
crates, sacks and milk cans, is scattered here and there, giving the illusion of
the hustle-and-bustle of a thriving freight house. The freight is shifted around
occasionally, providing "life."
The freight shed added to the Frontierland Station complex in the
Frontierland Station also features two elements necessary for the safe
operation of the steam engines of the Disneyland line--a functioning water tower,
and a "Steam Funnel." We'll get to the latter shortly. First, let's look at the
Interestingly, the water tower you see is the third incarnation of
this particular structure. The first was built next to the station in 1955, also
on the Park side of the tracks. I have never seen a spout attached to this tank,
and it appears that it may never even have been used.
This photo by Roger Broggie shows the first water tower, clearly
necessary spout. Photo courtesy Michael Broggie.
The next tower design to occupy the location was of a different design,
shorter and with a different number of strengthening steel hoops girding its
circumference. It also lacked the "dormer" seen on the roof of the tank in the
The second tower to occupy the same spot in the span of a year
visible behind the conductor. The vertical white board near the
left edge of the
tower indicated the water level inside the tank.
This tank had its ladder placed 90 degrees from the spout, on the right side
of the tank. It was used from the mid 1950s through the 1990s, and made the move
across the tracks with the rest of the station, where the engines, which needed
to take on water every several trips, used it quite frequently.
The fireman on the E.P. Ripley fills the tender tank with
Frontierland Station in this mid-1990s view.
When it came time for the tank to be refurbished in the late 1990s, a third
design was employed. The support framing was changed, apparently to a steel
support tower with wood planks surrounding the steel braces, mimicking wooden
timber supports. The ladder was also placed more to the rear of the tank. The
spout appears to be the same one used since the 1950s.
The water tower as it currently looks today.
If one studies the faux support timbers closely, one will notice that several
of the timbers appear to actually "pass through" each other, in an Escher-esque
twist of reality.
A bit of Disney "magic" at work. In the tangle of timber, three
"solid" wooden beams can apparently pass through
each other at the exact same
The new tower also gained something more than the ability to apparently merge
materials on the molecular level. The tank also gained a new herald, seemingly
meant to suggest an "old fashioned" take on the herald currently in use on the
trains, and the tank was "weathered" to a dark brown hue, complete with "water
stains" seeping through the planks (in reality, the tank is lined with a plastic
The new "old" herald of the Disneyland Railroad. Notice the nice
effectively making this rather new water tank look quite old indeed.