Walt Disney, the creator of the Disney empire, really loved trains. In fact he even had a large toy railroad built in his own backyard which he named the Carolwood Pacific Railroad. Keeping this in mind, it is not surprising that Walt included a railroad when he created his first theme park, Disneyland.
As the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World is based on Disneyland, we also find a train system there called the Walt Disney World Railroad. Considered a narrow gauge system because of its three foot wide track, the whole system encircles the Magic Kingdom and carries an estimated 1.5 million passengers annually.
With a railroad in mind for the creation of the new Disney World project, buyers bought five steam locomotives in Mexico to be shipped to Florida. One of these units was considered in extremely poor shape and was later resold, but the remaining four were completely overhauled and repainted to give them a turn-of-the-century look. The four locomotives still in operation today are named:
- No. 1 – Walter E. Disney – named after the founder himself
- No. 2 – Lilly Belle – named after Walt Disney’s wife Lillian
- No. 3 – Roger E. Broggie – named after the Disney Imagineer who led the railroad project
- No. 4 – Roy O. Disney – named after Walt Disney’s brother and co-founder of the company.
The railroad completes a 1.5 mile circle around the Magic Kingdom and includes stops at Main Street Station, Frontierland and Mickey’s Toontown fair. A complete ride around the kingdom takes approximately 20 minutes including stops.
For a nice look at the Walt Disney World Railroad, see the video above (thanks to Penn Rail Videos for providing it).