This is a compendium of
Disney Theme Park Locomotives.
Click on the image to see a larger
Some of the text is reproduced from the
set of display posters under
The Main Street Station in Walt Disney World.
The Walter E. Disney a 4-6-0 Ten-Wheeler type
Walter E. Disney – Engine Number 1
“Old Number 1, The Walter E. Disney, is known as a
ten-wheeler. It has four wheels at the front of the engine, six in the middle
and none at the rear (4-6-0).
Build by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1925,
the locomotive that later became the Walter E. Disney worked as number
274 on the United Railways of Yucatan, Mexico. Years later, Imagineer Roger Broggie
went searching for existing narrow gauge steam engines that could be converted
to the exacting standards required for a Disney theme park attraction. In 1969
he found what he was looking for in a railway equipment boneyard in Merida,
Mexico. He shipped the
engine to Florida where it was
reworked, refurbished and rechristened with a new name and number: Walter E.
Disney Number 1.
Walt Disney was a dreamer. As a boy, he traveled the rails
of the Missouri Pacific Railroad selling newspapers and candy to the
passengers. His older brother Roy and his Uncle Mike Martin obtained employment
with the Santa Fe railroad and Walt
dreamed of becoming an engineer. His future took a different path, but his love
of railroading never diminished. In the late 40’s, with Walt Disney Productions
a very successful venture, he focused on building his own railroad, the
Carolwood Pacific, a 1/8 scale, live steam railway that traveled over 2,600
feet of track around his backyard. This miniature railroad served as the model for
the Disneyland railroad and the inspiration for the Walt
Disney World Railroad.
In 1804, mechanic Richard Trevithick first introduced steam
power to the railways of England.
By 1830 the United States
had also embraced the concept of travel by rail. Within forty years, on May 10, 1869 the Atlantic
and Pacific coasts were linked together by a standard gauge transcontinental
railroad. The narrow gauge railway came into its own with the desire to run
trains north and south, as well as east and west. Because narrow gauge track is
only 3 feet wide, compared to standard gauge of 4 feet 8 ½ inches, narrow gauge
locomotives and cars are smaller, making them lighter and less expensive to
build. Of even greater importance are the narrower roadbeds which are easier to
lay along sheer rocky chasms and treacherous, turning mountain slopes.
Surprisingly, Florida is not as
flat as it sometimes appears and the WDW Railroad has to deal with grades of up
to two percent.”
E. Broggie a 4-6-0 Ten-Wheeler type
Roger E. Broggie – Engine Number 3
“Like its counterpart, the Walter E. Disney, the Roger
E. Broggie is a ten-wheeler. It has four wheels at the front of the
engine, six in the middle and none at the rear (4-6-0). It came out of the Baldwin Locomotive Works of
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in May of 1925, destined for the jungles of Mexico
as engine number 275. In 1969, its namesake, Imagineer Roger E. Broggie, found
it discarded and abandoned in the boneyard of a Yucatan
railroad equipment storage area. Shortly before his death in 1966, Walt Disney
personally authorized the construction of the Walt Disney World Railroad for
the new theme park he was building in Florida.
Roger Broggie suggested using existing narrow gauge steam engines that could be
converted to Walt’s exacting standards, rather than building new trains, as
they had for the opening of Disneyland. When Roger found
what he was looking for in Mexico,
he shipped engine number 275 to Tampa, Florida
where it was transformed under his direct supervision into the Roger E.
Broggie Number 3.
Roger Broggie’s career as a railroad man began with Walt
Disney and the planning and construction of the Carolwood Pacific Railroad.
Along with Disney studio craftsman Ed Sargent and animators Ward Kimball and
Ollie Johnston, Roger helped Walt create a 1/8 scale, steam train that would
travel along 2,600 feet of track around Walt’s backyard. This miniature
railroad served as the model for Disneyland railroad and
the inspiration for the Walt Disney World Railroad. In 1952 Roger Broggie
became Walt’s first Imagineer and helped develop the technology used for
Audio-Animatronics and all Disneyland theme park
conveyance systems. Roger retired in 1975 as vice president of research and development
for Walt Disney Imagineering and was recognized by the company in 1990 as a
true Disney legend.
The Roger E. Broggie has what is known as a diamond
stack, so named for the shape fashioned at the top of the exhaust stack. Very
early in the evolution of steam locomotion, it was discovered that smoke was
not the only thing exiting the exhaust stack. Red hot cinders, particularly
adept at setting the countryside ablaze, would also blow out. In order to
appease angry farmers and town fathers affected by these rolling fire storms,
these large stacks were designed with an internal array of baffles and screen
that would allow smoke to pour from the stack, but keep the cinders trapped
The Roy O. Disney a 4-4-0 American type
Roy O. Disney – Engine Number 4
The Roy O. Disney is considered an American Standard,
which means it has four wheels at the front of the engine, four in the middle
and none at the rear (4-4-0).
It is both the oldest and newest steam train at the park. Build in 1916, almost
a decade earlier than the Walter E. Disney and Roger E. Broggie,
it was the only steam engine that did not debut at the Magic
Kingdom’s opening on October 1, 1971, It was not until
December of that year that it joined its three fellow passenger trains on the
tracks of the Walt Disney World Railroad. Originally, it was built by the
Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It worked on the United
Railways of Yucatan as engine number 251. Imagineer Roger Broggie found it in
their boneyard in Merida, Mexico
in 1969. He shipped the battered steam train to Florida
where it was reworked to his exacting standards. The new train missed the Magic
Kingdom opening date by two months
and instead made the perfect Christmas gift for the new park: Roy O. Disney
Roy Disney was Walt’s older brother, mentor and lifelong
business partner. Roy’s association
with railroading began in 1915 when he worked as a candy butcher on the Atchison,
Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. In
1923, he and Walt co-founded the Disney brother’s cartooning enterprise. Roy
chose to stay in the background, astutely managing the growing entertainment
company, while Walt lead it creatively. In 1966, Roy
assumed leadership of the company upon Walt’s death. He vowed he would open
Walt Disney World in Florida and
on October 1, 1971 he kept
his promise to all.
The pilot, as it is properly known, or the cow catcher, to
which it is more commonly referred, began appearing on locomotives as a
defensive measure. The scoop-shaped contraption was designed to clear from the
track objects that might derail the locomotive and its cars. This was
especially important to small, narrow gauge engines that sometimes came up against
large, wide gauge bulls. Railroad myths had it that the larger the cow the more
stubborn its nature. Sometimes a blast from the locomotive’s whistle or the
clanging of a train’s bell was not enough to persuade them to move from the
tracks, and so the cow catcher was born.
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