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Pacific Electric, Disneyfied


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#1 WhoozOn1st

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 03:15 AM

Come June, SoCal Disney's rebuilt California Adventure park will include running replicas of Pacific Electric's "Hollywood Cars" that for many years provided urban and suburban rail service for what was once geographically the world's largest rapid transit system. The little park trains were manufactured by Brookville Equipment in Pennsylvania and operate on batteries. The link includes a YouTube video of construction and operation, as well as a number of photos and a clearly misleading conceptual rendition based on an entirely different class of P.E. cars.

Riding the Red Car Trolley on Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure

An image of a Disney Hollywood Car replica from the video, and a real one at the Orange Empire Railway Museum, Perris, CA (photo by John Smatlak):



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#2 WhoozOn1st

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:57 PM

An update on P.E. replicas at the reworked Cal Adventure, from the Orange County Register...

Red Car Trolleys aim for L.A. nostalgia

"The high-tech Buena Vista Street trolleys are about half the length of the real ones and run on batteries. But for authenticity, the juiceless wires that connect to an overhead cable were designed and installed by companies that do electrical wiring for light rail and transit systems..."

"The replicas have doors at their middle, just like the 'Hollywood Cars' they are modeled after. But passengers sit on benches to either side rather than the front-to-back bus-style seating of the originals."

Disney Red Cars Slideshow


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Lisa Girolami, left, director and senior show producer, and Ray Spencer, creative director of Buena Vista Street, talk about the changes at Disney California Adventure. Spencer is an avid fan of trains and oversaw the trolley car project. Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register.


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#3 WhoozOn1st

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 02:10 PM

Another story about the replica P.E. Hollywood cars - the light rail of their day - at Disney's refurbed California Adventure park, this one with an emphasis on the real thing out at the Orange Empire Railway Museum. The story from the Orange County Register includes a video (at the bottom) of both replica and real deal in operation. Interestingly pitched whistles; very horn-like!

Disney rides the rails at Orange Empire museum

"The museum boasts one of the largest collections of Pacific Electric Red Cars, similar to the ones that now run at Disney California Adventure. Many of the cars also run on the museum's tracks.

"While researching the project, Disney Imagineers paid several visits to the museum to research the Red Cars prior to building the Disney versions.

"The museum was originally started because of the Red Cars. People riding the Red Cars in the late fifties realized the trolleys would soon disappear as the freeway system expanded. They formed a group known as the Electric Railway Historical Association of Southern California."


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Pacific Electric Red Car, operated by Earl Nickels, rolls into the station at the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, CA. Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register.


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#4 WhoozOn1st

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:18 PM

Thanks to John Smatlak of the Orange Empire Railway Museum we have the best pics I've seen of the scale replica P.E. "Hollywood" cars now running at Disney's California Adventure amusement park, adjacent to the Tragic Kingdom at Anaheim.

 

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The background is a matte painting of the type often used in movie production.

 

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Compare with the earlier paint scheme shown in above posts.  The cars run on batteries, with the inert overhead there for a more authentic look.


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#5 BCL

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 08:45 PM

Saw these a few months ago.  It's kind of strange how they run them.  They do run passengers, but some of the time they run them with "news boy" characters (and Mickey Mouse).  They're "singing" (more like lip-syncing) "California Here We Come" while the car moves, and come out of the car with the car as a background for a song and dance number.





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