California Zephyr…

Parked between Condor Flats and the Sunshine Plaza at Disney’s California Adventure is the Western Pacific 804D, also known as The California Zephyr.

The California Zephyr has a storied past and this particular engine was traded back to General Electric for credit after a crash in 1972. I wasn’t able to verify if the train at DCA was the original–does anyone know for sure?

The California Zephyr was a passenger train known for its domes, which held an additional 24 passengers on a top level. The CZ operated from 1950 to 1970 and traveled from Chicago to San Francisco with stops in Denver and Salt Lake City. It was a two and a half day trip covering over 2,500 miles. At Disney’s California Adventure, they have modified a few passenger trains to serve in some new retail capacities.

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6 thoughts on “California Zephyr…

  1. From training materials provided to Cast Members:

    “The nose of the train engine is an actual 1954 EMD F-9 that was found by Imagineers in Moline, Illinois. The train cars behind the engines aren’t really train cars at all. They’re the stainless steel facade, with sheathed windows, of a building fashioned to look like train cars.”

    “A mural on the wall of the bakery depicts the California Zephyr, with the same 804-A engine nose as the one outside, coming through the mountains to California.”

  2. Great post. Only the California Zephyr still exists. It is the Amtrak train that runs from Chicago to San Fran. daily! It passes through my current home of Omaha, Nebraska!

  3. I love to go to the CZ to get my ice cream fix while at DCA – many a time have I waited in that long line… It’s one of my favourite details of the park!

  4. To add to the history, it was reportedly from an F9 from VIA Rail in Canada. The original 804A was scrapped after it was sent to GE. That unit was the one that hauled the final California Zephyr as a Western Pacific train.

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