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earsWalt Disney World Railroad

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Walt’s Lifelong Passion

A noted train enthusiast, Walt Disney built his very first railroad in his backyard. The Carolwood Pacific Railroad, a 1/8-scale train, debuted in 1950 and featured a custom-built, steam powered locomotive that encircled his property. Delighted with his miniature backyard railroad, Walt decided to share his love of trains with the whole world. The result was the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad, a favorite of Guests since the park opened in 1955. Today, railroads exist at every Disney park around the globe.

Walt Disney World

wdw_state An avid railroad enthusiast, Walt Disney included plans for a narrow-gauge railroad in the original design of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Those plans became a reality in 1968, when five Baldwin steamers were purchased from Ferrocarriles Unidos de Yucatan (United Railways of Yucatan). The backdated trains went into operation in the fall of 1971, when the park was opened to the public. Today, four locomotive train-sets ply a 1.5 mile signal-protected loop through the park, making three stops on each trip. Equipment is maintained in a shop facility shared with the Monorail system. Heavy overhaul of the steam locomotives is often outsourced to the shops at the Tweetsie Railroad in North Carolina.

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WDW theme park map / web

Steam Motive Power

Walt Disney World Railroad #3

  • builder:Baldwin Locomotive Works
  • arrangement:4-6-0 "Ten Wheeler"
  • built:1925, Baldwin #58445
  • fuel:oil/water
  • notes:
  • 44" drivers, narrow gauge
    blt United Railways of Yucatan #275
    to Walt Disney World #3, backdated
  • builder
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    A total of six locomotives have been associated with the railroad over the years:

    No. 1 — Walter E. Disney, formerly No. 274 of the United Railways of Yucatan. The Walter E. Disney is one of two 4-6-0 steam engines that pull passengers around the park. It was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1925.

    No. 2 — Lillie Belle, formerly No. 260 of the United Railways of Yucatan. The Lillie Belle is a 2-6-0 steam engine, also known as a Mogul. It was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1928.

    No. 3 — Roger E. Broggie, formerly No. 275 of the United Railways of Yucatan. Like engine No. 1, the Roger E. Broggie has a 4-6-0 wheel configuration. It was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1925 and was on the shop floor at the same time as it sister locomotive, the Walter E. Disney.

    No. 4 — Roy O. Disney, formerly No. 251 of the United Railways of Yucatan. The Roy O. Disney is the only 4-4-0 locomotive, commonly called an American style steam engine. It was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1916. During the initial refurbishment, a major crack in the Roy O. Disney’s frame had to be repaired.

    No. 5 — Ward Kimball, formerly of the N&S Coal Co. A collector traded the 2-4-4RT locomotive in exchange for a set of the original Disneyland Railroad passenger coaches. While the locomotive was obtained for the Walt Disney World Resort’s 25th anniversary in 1996, it was never placed in service, in part because it wasn’t big enough to pull trains up the 1 percent grade between Tomorrowland and Main Street. The locomotive was displayed for some time in Epcot Center in 1996 and later sat idle in the railroad roundhouse before it was sent to Cedar Point in exchange for a Forney locomotive that became Disneyland Railroad No. 5, also named “Ward Kimball.”

    Railfanning.org Trackside Guide

    Ride

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    Listen to the clamor of the engine, the chug of the wheels and the call of the whistle as you travel aboard the Walt Disney World Railroad. Offering convenient stops at Frontierland, Fantasyland and Main Street, U.S.A., it's the perfect way to preview the magic at Magic Kingdom park and take in the picturesque scenery.

    The Walt Disney World Railroad is also a handy way to get around quickly and easily. And because the trains are scheduled to arrive at each station every 4 to 10 minutes at most times throughout the day, you never have to worry about waiting a long time to ride one.

    Walt Disney World

    tag_pinLocations

    Click to see Main Street Station plotted on a Google Maps page
    Click to see the Disney steam and monorail shops plotted on a Google Maps page

    Video

    Orlando, Fl / Feb 2007 / RWH

    Orlando, Fl / Feb 2007 / RWH

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    Links / Sources

    This page was updated on 2017-08-22