The Oriental Land Company was forced to issue an apology today after discovering that one of the steam locomotives on the Western River Railroad attraction at Tokyo Disneyland ran for nearly a month after its safety checks expired.
Sole owners and operators of Tokyo Disney Resort, the Oriental Land Company posted an apology message on their official Twitter account as well as on their corporate website.
The boiler safety inspection for the Mississippi locomotive, pictured above, was operated for a period of 19 days after its official boiler safety permit expired. The previous term for the Mississippi’s boiler permit ran from May 18, 2022 to May 17, 2023. But the locomotive continued to ferry guests on a journey around Adventureland, Westernland, and Critter Country through June 5, carrying 58,069 guests during that time.
At around 9:00 a.m. on June 6, 2023, the boiler performance inspection list of the Mississippi locomotive was checked in preparation for planned maintenance, and it was discovered that the boiler performance inspection had expired. Out of the four locomotives on the Western River Railroad, the Mississippi was the only one with expired permits.
The Oriental Land Company issued the formal apology for not only carrying guests on the potentially-unsafe locomotive, but also for not having a management system in place to ensure boiler maintenance plans were double-checked in content and timeline.
Western River Railroad
Tokyo Disneyland is one of two castle parks to not feature a railroad encircling the entire park, the other being Shanghai Disneyland. When the park was under construction in the late 1970s and early 1980s, a law was in place in Japan which stated that any train which made two or more stops must adhere to national railroad regulations, including standards for enclosed car design, charging fares, issuing commuter passes, registering with the national transportation bureau, and much more.
This law was repealed in 1987, which enabled the DisneySea Electric Railway to operate between two stations when Tokyo DisneySea opened in 2001.
As a result, Tokyo Disneyland’s steam engine locomotive only encircles about a quarter of the park, taking guests through the jungles of Adventureland, past a Native American encampment, almost entirely around the Rivers of America, past Splash Mountain and Critter Country, Westernland, and Big Thunder Mountain before guests experience the Primeval World diorama, cloned straight from Disneyland.
The Western River Railroad opened with Tokyo Disneyland on April 15, 1983, and is technically an Adventureland attraction since its station is directly above the Jungle Cruise dock. Each of its four locomotives — Mississippi, Colorado, Missouri, and Rio Grande — are named for great American rivers. All of the locomotives except Mississippi were built in 1982 for Tokyo Disneyland, while Mississippi joined the fleet in October 1991.