Walt Disney World
Main Street USA
Walt Disney World Railroad
Walt Disney--The Man
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Walt was a railroad enthusiast. In 1950--five years before the opening of Disneyland-- Walt built a backyard, steam railroad line called the Carolwood Pacific Railroad; Carolwood was the name of the street the Disney's lived on. Walt's love a trains started during his teenage summers when he would sell newspapers, candy, and soda on the trains his Uncle Michael Martin engineered. Walt's backyard railroad was a 1/8 scale model with a working steam engine that pulled cars filled with friends and family around a 1/2 mile long track, including tunnels and bridges. Walt named his engine the Lilly Belle after his dear wife Lillian. A fullsize, steam engine railroad line was always part of Walt's plan for Disneyland; the railroad has also been included in each Disneyland style theme park since.
The railroad has four different locomotives each with its own set of passenger cars. The four locomotives are rebuilt narrow-gauge locomotives, originally built between 1916 and 1928 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia. In 1969 four Disney scouts, lead by Roger Broggie, purchased five locomotives from Ferrocarriles Unidos de Yucatan (United Railways of Yucatan) on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. It was decided that one of the four was in too poor of condition to be restored and was later sold. The other four were brought to Tampa Shipyards in Tampa, Florida and restored by a crew headed by Disney imagineer and accomplished live steam builder Bob Harpur. New boilers were constructed for the trains by Dixon Boiler Works of Los Angeles, California. The engines received cosmetic work to make them appear older than they were, this included the use of polished brass and bright colors. The trains went into use on opening day, October 1, 1971.
During 1989–1990, the train played different versions of a song called "Mickey's Birthdayland Express" and "Rollin' on the Walt Disney World Express". The train station order during this time was Main Street U.S.A., Frontierland,and then Duckberg Station in a land named Mickey's Birthdayland. During November 1990–1991, when Splash Mountain was under construction, the train only had one destination: it went backwards to Mickey's Starland (replacement of Birthdayland), and then back to the Main Street station. Upon completion of Splash Mountain, the train tracks went through the mountain and a new second story Frontierland Train-station opened.
In recent years it has become necessary for the locomotives and some of the passenger cars to be overhauled. Key modifications to the passenger coaches in the past have involved removing the PA system/conductor's panel from a position on the rear of the third car, to a panel on a deck of the trains 5th/last passenger car. Side panels were added to the outside-facing sides of the coaches to keep passengers' legs (and other body parts)in the cars. One set of coaches does not however, have the outside-facing barrier because this train is used in the Magic Kingdom's opening ceremonies held each morning, during which characters ride the train, disembark at the main street station on the side of the train away from the station platform, and participate in the opening song and dance performance.
A regular train consists of a steam locomotive, tender, and five passenger cars with a capacity of approximately 365 passengers and 2 wheelchairs. The tender can hold up to 1,837 U.S. gallons of water and 667 U.S. gallons of fuel oil. The tender needs to be refilled with water every two or three times around the park at the water tower located at the Story Book Circus Train-station. Since the trains are real steamers they must abide by the Fedral Railraod Administraion regulations. From time to time the trains receive overhauls at the Tweetsie Railroad Shops in North Carolina.
Each locomotive is named for someone important in the history of Disney. No. 1 "Walter E. Disney"--the man himself--is the same size as Engine No. 3. The two even have consecutive serial numbers (No. 1--58444, and No. 3--58445).
No. 2 "Lilly Belle"--Named for Walt's wife. This was also the name of Walt's engine in is backyard railroad, as well as the parlour car of the Disneyland Railroad.
No. 3 "Roger E. Broggie"--Named after Roger E. Broggie (1908–1991), who led the effort of acquiring the locomotives for the Walt Disney World Railroad and helped build Walt's Carolwood Pacific Railroad. Roger Broggie was also the original Disney Imagineer who worked on the EPCOT Project.
No. 4 "Roy O. Disney"--named in honor of Walt's older brother and bussines partner, after his death in late 1971.--The smallest of the engines @ 51,000 pounds.