In previous installments of the Fred Gurley story, we looked at the
engine's early history on a Louisiana sugar plantation (link:
Part One), and followed her through
her rebuilding by Disney in the late 1950s (link:
Part Two). We also began to detail her more recent
years (link: Part Three), including an exclusive look at her rebuilding in 2007 and 2008
(link: Part Four). We now
conclude the Gurley Story...
The engine was completed at Boschan Boiler mid-November 2007, and
arrangements were made to transport it back to the Park. Disney was
determined to keep the shipment under tight wraps--fearing that over-zealous
Disney fans might somehow hinder the move if they knew it was a Disneyland
engine, or drive unsafely upon seeing the "Disneyland" name splashed all over
The nearly-completed engine as it prepares to leave Boschan
and Restorations, Inc. Photo courtesy Richard Harris.
All lettering and striping was taped under brown paper coverings--after Boschan convinced the Disney higher-ups who had wanted to cover the entire
engine in a tarp that the cloth would wear away the new paint in places where
it contacted the surface.
The crew responsible for rebuilding the Fred Gurley: Left to
right, Paul Boschan,
Jorge Vazquez, Alejandro Galeas, Victor Ayala, Ramon Vazquez, Daniel Vazquez
(in cab). Someone adds, "Note the shameless plug for Brad Leavens Trucking!"
The bell was not yet in place, and neither were the side rods, window sashes,
headlight, pilot and several other components. The move was made on Thursday,
November 15, during daylight hours.
The engine arriving at the gate at Disneyland, en route to the
Photo courtesy Richard Harris.
Brad Leavens Transport handled the move--the same trucking company that has
competently moved both the E.P. Ripley and the C.K. Holliday to
their engagements at the Fullerton Railroad Days train events. After an
uneventful drive down the 405 freeway, the engine arrived safely at Disneyland's
eastern backstage gate.
Thanks to the judicious use of brown paper, there is absolutely
no clue suggesting
that this is a Disneyland Railroad engine (right?). Photo
courtesy Richard Harris