The Walt Disney World Railroad
for short) is a narrow gauge railroad
circling the Magic Kingdom
theme park at Walt Disney World Resort
. Operated by Main Street Operations, the gauge, 1.5-mile (2.4 km) railroad circles the entire park with stations at Main Street, U.S.A.
, and formerly at the now-closed Mickey's Toontown Fair
. One of the busiest steam-powered railroads, it transports over 1.5 million passengers each year.
was an avid railroad enthusiast, who had built a miniature steam railroad, called the Carolwood Pacific Railroad
in his backyard. A full-size, narrow gauge railroad known as the Disneyland Railroad
had been included in the design of Disneyland
, and would be included in later parks in Paris
and Hong Kong. Disney scouts Roger Broggie
and Earl Vilmer found and purchased five locomotives from Ferrocarriles Unidos de Yucatan
(United Railways of Yucatan) on Mexico's Yucatan
peninsula in 1969.
One of the five was deemed to be in too poor a condition to be restored, was sold and eventually scrapped; 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
and the trains themselves were cosmetically backdated to appear older, including the use of bright colors and polished brass. The trains went into use with the... Read More