Yeah I wasn't that impressed by the railroad the last time I was there. The Railroad would have been so much nicer if it had been used as a way of getting around the park. Since the park is so large in the first place having a train around the park would have been a faster way to move from one side of the park to another.
Well, when the park first opened, they had the Discovery River boats that guests thought were supposed to be transportation around the park. There's two loading docks, one at the front of the park, and one back between Africa and Asia. The boats made a round trip, passing by the other dock while guests there wondered why the boat didn't stop. The queues got so backed up that it would become well over a two-hour wait. And yes, there were things to see along way: Dragon Rock, the cave with flames shooting out of it, the geysers...and there may have been more.
Then they decided to make it into a "Radio Disney cruise", which turned off a lot of guests. They would bring these "experts" onto the boats with small cages or boxes of smaller animals or insects, hoping to "teach" people about conservation, etc. They finally got rid of them early on in the park's history.
Let me see if I can find a link to what happened to the boats:
Here's a WkiPedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_River_Boats