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Meet the Steam Engines of the Disneyland Railroad: Ward Kimball

Erin Glover

by , Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort

Well folks, our grand circle tour of the steam engines of the Disneyland Railroad is pulling into the station. We conclude our series with a very special one: Engine No. 5 – the Ward Kimball.

Meet the Steam Engines of the Disneyland Railroad: Engine No. 5 - the Ward Kimball

The Ward Kimball is unique among its fellow steam engines, as it was the first new engine to be added to the Disneyland Railroad in nearly 50 years. Also, unlike the other engines, it was named not for an icon of the railroad, but for an icon of the Walt Disney Company. Ward Kimball was a Disney animator and one of Walt Disney’s “Nine Old Men”; among his many achievements was the creation of Jiminy Cricket. He was named a Disney Legend in 1989. Ward was a railroad enthusiast, whose passion for the hobby inspired Walt’s own love of trains and railroading. The Ward Kimball steam engine was put into service on the Disneyland Railroad on June 25, 2005, and dedicated on February 15, 2006, as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Disneyland.

Meet the Steam Engines of the Disneyland Railroad: Engine No. 5 - the Ward Kimball

Another interesting note about Engine No. 5 – it is often operated by Ward Kimball’s own grandson, Nate Lord, who is now a steam train engineer on the Disneyland Railroad. Read more about Nate here.

Here are some specs for the Ward Kimball:

  • Stack Design: Cap
  • Scale: Full
  • Track Gauge: 36″
  • Wheel arrangement: 2-4-4T Forney
  • Weight: 20,000 lbs.

I hope you enjoyed meeting all of the steam engines of the Disneyland Railroad. Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Comments

  • Knowing the additional information and history on these trains will make for an even more fun time riding them at Disneyland! Thank you!

  • I believe I got a good photo of Nate Lord with his Grandpa Ward Kimball in the cab, back in the mid 80’s, when they fired up the Nevada and Chloe, for a race with Tom Sherman’s steam powered Iron man. Ward made me the brakeman just above them on the box car, as I dodged oranges when the train was pulling through his uncut grove of fruit trees. Glad Nate still rides the rails on No.5.

  • Thank you for such a great series! I really enjoyed the pictures and specifics for each locomotive. Each engine is rich in history. The steam train tour at Walt Disney World is on of my favorite tours.

    • Glad you enjoyed it, Kevin!

  • Fantastic series, Erin! Would LOVE to see a series like this on the Disneyland Monorail System.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks, Michael! That’s an interesting idea …

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