up close with the ck holliday in fullerton

Last month, the CK Holliday made a very special appearance at the 2016 Fullerton Railroad Day. It was a momentous occasion because it was the engine’s first public appearance in quite a few years.

2016-04-30 09.36.09-me

Why the disappearance for so long? The Holliday recently underwent an extensive refurbishment at the Hillcrest Shop in Reedley, California. The engine received a new boiler, new plumbing and appliances, and many more improvements and changes. Indeed, she’s the “newest” that she’s ever been, since 1955 when she was “actually new”! This is truly an exciting moment for the engine.

Trivial rumors might also suggest that Pixar’s CEO John Lasseter had some say in the direction of the refurb, given that he’s an avid train fan and the Hillcrest Shop did work for him before.

Join me as I survey the engine up close and personal, and talk to the DRR crew. I also make some before-and-after comparisons to get an idea of what kind of work was done on the refurb (… and it’s indeed very extensive!)

In a later update, I’ll post a selection of pictures I find interesting. For now, enjoy the video…

…and this bonus picture (I had to do it!)

A picture of the CK Holliday cab with the Engine Study Plan Book (Author for scale)

A picture of the CK Holliday cab with the Engine Study Plan Book (Author for scale)

45: tender frame

I bet you didn’t think you’d see another CK Holliday build update! There’s so much going now on this blog between the virtual build, the simulator, and the Haunted Mansion. But, I thought I’d go ahead and post some pictures to show what I have so far for the long-waited Holliday tender.

2015-03-13 16_37_36-SolidWorks Premium 2012 x64 Edition - [1.1001_chassis _]

There are just four steel beams supporting the tender “tank” above. Can you tell which end is the front? Yes, there’s a difference!

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The trucks are detailed with their springs and pockets and saddles.

2015-03-13 16_38_46-SolidWorks Premium 2012 x64 Edition - [1.1001_chassis]

And of course the “Disneyland Railroad” and “Lovsted, Seattle” stamping!

Plan Books nearly sold out!


It’s been a long time since my last update. Not much has been going on. The tender is still on the drawing board, and there’s been some progress on the Haunted Mansion facade set. In fact, I actually redrafted that set.

You should know that both Regular and Special Edition of the CK Holliday Plan Book are nearly sold out. So, if you’ve been putting it off, get it now before they’re gone. Reprinting of the plan book is not being planned at this time.

new item: the ck holliday colorized poster

I’d like to introduce a new item: the CK Holliday colorized poster, showing three views of the engine in her 1955 colors along with text of the engine’s history, statistics. It also label the major (or what I find interesting on the engine) components with extensive description.

The drawings and text comes directly from the Plan Book. The poster will be priced much less than the book, so this will allow many more people to get a taste of the detail in the book.

Click on the small picture to see a larger version.

poster1_watermarked preview_large




And of course, the real poster does not have watermarking.

The poster will be available on ckhollidayplans.com for $35 plus S&H starting sometime next week. I will also be selling them for $30 at the coming Sacramento train show, and as usual, I’ll be there to sign them too!

the plan book special is now available for order!

The Plan Book Special Edition is printed on heavyweight paper and darker drawing lines. It comes shrink wrapped and has newly designed front and back covers, also on hard, heavyweight paper.

Earlier I had said that the Special Edition is hardcover. It’s not like textbook hardcover, but more like very stiff paper.

Here are some pictures comparing the thickness of the regular vs. special edition, and of the back cover. A preview of the inside has been posted earlier.



The Special Edition is now available for purchase at ckhollidayplans.com for $134 plus shipping and handling.

san diego and sacramento train shows!! (and the finished cab head)

GOOD NEWS! ckhollidayplans.com and whiskeybeforebreakfast will be showing and selling at the San Diego and Sacramento “Greatest Hobby In The World” Train Show in February!!!


Come meet your favorite author of the CK Holliday Engine Plan! HAVE YOUR BOOKS SIGNED!!!

We will also sell the Plan Book at a very special discounted show price of $79!! This special discount can’t be found anywhere else!!!!


Exclamation Points!!!!

Also, Plan Book Special Edition will be available at a special introductory price of $84! By Grabthar’s hammer, WHAT A SAVINGS!!!

There’s more! Steve Degaetano’s No. 5 Ward Kimball book, From Plantation to Theme Park, will also be available at an incredible $20 only! Not only that, the books will be specially signed by author and illustrator!


And finally, the CK Holliday Model will be ON DISPLAY!! Come see the actual model in person! If you really like it, you can order the CK Holliday Model Kit right at the show!!! And, you guessed it, it’ll be at a discounted show price!! (TBA soon). There will also be a sample of the kit for you to look at!

So special!!

Spent all your cash at the Indian Casino?? No problem!! We can take CREDIT CARDS!!!


So, whacha waiting for?! Better start running now to San Diego or Sacramento! Pack up your wife/husband/lover because you’re going to go see (and buy!) the best CK Holliday Plan Book and Model kit in the WORLD!!!!!!

San Diego:
February 9-10
Del Mar County Fairgrounds
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd
Del Mar, CA 92014

February 23-24
California Exposition & State Fair (CAL-EXPO)
1600 Exposition Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95852

Oh also the cab head’s done:


new special printing of the plan book coming

A new special, limited printing of the plan book is coming soon!

This set will be printed on heavy weight paper, with steel wire ring binding, and a special cover page. The result is a very sturdy (and heavy!) set of plans that will for sure survive years of reference use or display.


(The corner “clipping” is due to shadow, not the book).




Apparently, it’s hard to show the paper’s thickness and “feel” on camera, so you’ll just have to go by the pictures for now!

new eye glasses

For a long time now, I’ve been offering some of my Disneyland Railroad drawings for anyone to download for free. These drawings were made with the information that was available at the time, but they certainly weren’t “engineered” drawings.

My “rebuild” of the CK Holliday, however, was engineered from the ground up, starting with just the frames, and then built up and outward. This certainly is the most accurate way to portray the engine.

So, what happens if we compare the old drawings with the new? Well, it’s kind of like getting a new pair of eye glasses–suddenly there are details that just weren’t there before!

Let’s take a look at some of the comparison highlights.

The old drawing that you can still download today is in the background. Most obvious is is the driver: much more detailed and realistically proportioned. The air brake cylinder is properly attached to the frame. And we know that the spring equalizing system in the new drawing is correct and “just works”, because each piece was built in the CAD, not “guessed.”

The backhead detail–what is there more to say? Take a close look at the firedoor, throttle , and the gauges stand. The plumbing in the new version is also richly detailed because, again, they were actually “built.” Each bend is exactly as it should be. Components like the valve wheels and gauges were recreated to the manufacturer’s specs, too.

The new drawing doesn’t show the gauge faces here, but a detail is included in the Plan Book.

Everything here is more detailed. From the recessed cab paneling, the boiler’s front, pilot, and the array of pipes and fittings on the air compressor on the drawing’s right side. Also, the smokebox braces are thicker, and curves down correctly.

So, in conclusion, if you’re looking to approximate your model, or just want to get a general idea of the engine, the free drawing will get you there. But if you want a complete understanding of the engine, or want a model with correct details and proportions, I think, the Plan Book is a must.