The attraction commenced operation on June 26, 1957 and was billed by Disneyland as "the fastest miniature train in the world." Two separate trains, designed by Disney ImagineerBob Gurr, and built as scale replicas of General Motors' futuristic Aerotrain, traveled along a dog-bone track circuit (rail line with a turnaround loop at each end) through parts of Tomorrowland and Fantasyland. The Tomorrowland train featured cars that were named for the planets, while the cars of the Fantasyland train were named after various Disney characters.
The modern, streamlined trains were placed into service to represent the future of rail travel, in contrast to the steam-powered DRR which represented its past. Motive power for each train consisted of an integral head-end unit driven by a Chevrolet 265 cu in (4.3 L) displacement V8 gasoline engine, mated to a Jeep transfer case powering drive-shafts to both the front and rear wheel trucks. Two 1954 Oldsmobile 88 2-dr coupes furnished the windscreen, doors and instrument console for each of the two 5,000-pound (2,270 kg) locomotives. The attraction operated until September 15, 1958 when construction began on the Matterhorn and Submarine Voyage; the Disneyland Monorail System ultimately took the place of the Viewliner in June 1959, thereby making it one of the shortest-lived rides in the park's history.
Tomorrowland Viewliner station under construction.