Disneyland railroad chugs along on used cooking oil


ANAHEIM, CA – As part of its ongoing commitment to the environment, Disneyland Resort announced two innovative environmental initiatives to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The resort has begun using recycled cooking oil to power its Disneyland Railroad steam trains and Mark Twain riverboat, as well as compressed natural gas to fuel its guest trams.

“These initiatives demonstrate Disneyland Resort’s ongoing commitment to balancing environmental stewardship throughout our operations,” said Michael O’Grattan, senior vice president of resort operations. “These are just a few steps in our ongoing journey to reduce Disneyland Resort’s environmental footprint.”

Beginning this week, the Disneyland Railroad is being fueled by a special biodiesel made from recycled cooking oil used throughout the resort. “We have been recycling our used kitchen grease for years, but this innovation takes recycling to another level,” said Frank Dela Vara, Disneyland Resort’s director of environmental affairs and conservation. “Now the oil used to cook french fries and other foods is processed to power our Disneyland Railroad and our Mark Twain Riverboat. This move allows the resort to save approximately 200,000 gallons of petroleum diesel per year.”

The Disneyland Railroad’s five trains have been using a soy-based biodiesel since April 2007. The B99.9 used cooking oil-based biodiesel will continue to reduce emissions by up to 80 percent. Disneyland Resort’s Mark Twain Riverboat also will begin using the new biodiesel within the next few weeks.

As of December 2008, all 16 Disneyland Resort trams, which transport guests between the two theme parks and parking facilities, are fueled by clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG). The switch to CNG from a hybrid engine was made possible through a US$1.17 million grant from the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program, which paid for nearly half the conversion costs. Using CNG will eliminate the need for approximately 50,000 gallons of diesel per year. For the 10 years prior to the conversion, diesel/hybrid engines powered Disneyland trams.

The Carl Moyer grant was created by the California state legislature in 1998 to encourage the use of alternative fuel vehicles. Each year, the California Air Resources board disburses money to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which administers Carl Moyer funds in Southern California to help grant recipients purchase new or convert existing engines or vehicles.

“We at Disneyland Resort are proud of our commitment to exploring and implementing new technologies for a cleaner environment and furthering the environmental legacy left by Walt Disney,” O’Grattan added.