Meet the Steam Engines of the Disneyland Railroad: Fred Gurley

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

We’ve already met our opening-day steam engines, C.K. Holliday and E.P. Ripley, but today we’ll meet the oldest of all the Disneyland Railroad steam engines – the Fred Gurley. It may have joined us in 1958, but this engine’s 119-year history began even before Walt Disney was born!

Fred Gurley, One of the Steam Engines of the Disneyland Railroad

The Fred Gurley was named after Fred G. Gurley, who was president of the Santa Fe Railway from 1944-1957. It is the oldest steam engine operating on the Disneyland Railroad, built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, Penn., in 1894. It was first put into service in August 1895, and began circling the Happiest Place on Earth on March 28, 1958. Next year, the Fred Gurley will celebrate its 120th year in service!

Here are some specs for the Fred Gurley:

  • Stack Design: Cap Stack
  • Scale: Full
  • Track Gauge: 36″
  • Wheel arrangement: Forney, converted to 2-4-4T
  • Weight: 21,600 lbs.

Stay tuned for more on the rest of the Disneyland Railroad steam engines here on the Disney Parks Blog.


  • Erin, It’s fantastic to hear the history behind the Disney Steam Trains like the Fred Gurley here. Just when Walt’s Disneyland was being created and built in the mid 50’s, so many steam engines were brought to Minnesota, and were being dismantled and scraped out for salvage in a huge yard. I saw this as a child passing through on a Southern Pacific train trip and my mother told me what was happening to them. Can’t help smiling when I see a Disney Steam Engine still going down the tracks. Glad to have been able to donate other endangered steam engines to the Disney parks.

  • I too love the steam trains. But as a child of the space age I’m really interested in electric trains. Any plans for a series on those?

  • Fantastic series of blogs, Erin! The Disneyland Railroad is iconic and it’s terrific to see the trains are still getting the love from you guys! 🙂

    • Thanks, Michael!

  • I’m loving these blogs! I love the Disney trains, and trains overall and was raised around model trains. My family even owns one of the large scale steam engines like what Walt had that you can ride on.

    I can’t wait for the next entry, the Ernest S. Marsh is my favorite engine. And I’m glad to see it running at the park again after it’s lengthy refurb!

    • I’m glad you enjoy them, Nathan! Stay tuned … I’ve got one coming up (in addition to the Ernest S. Marsh, of course) that you will really like. 😉

  • What a testament to enduring engineering! All aboard…

    • So true, Dustin!

  • Greetings Erin!

    We had the extreme honor and pleasure of being guests on the Lilly Belle at Disneyland Park during our most memorable Christmas Holidays in December 2011. My son, who has autism loves trains and what an experience that was for him!

    What a truly informative and exciting ride that was! I loved your post today.

    Thank you,
    Jacqueline (Jackie)

    • What a wonderful memory, Jackie! Thanks for sharing.

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