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Why Walt Disney World didn't go for Crown Metal

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For those of you who don't know, the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World has 4 live steam locomotives that were all built by the Baldwin Locomotives works based out of Pennsylvania.

 

WDW_first-decade_page_21_building_zpsl6b

 

When planning the Magic Kingdom Imangineer Roger Broggie discovered 5 narrow gauge steam locomotives down in Mexico ready to be scrapped. The company bought all five and took them to Tampa for restoration, (it should be noted that one of the locomotives was beyond repair and was thus not restored.)

 

sd072710c_zpss9fsjhwa.jpg

 

That being said, the other 4 locomotives were finished in time for the grand opening of the Magic Kingdom in 1971. I have seen endless videos and read tons of articles saying that Roger Broggie and fellow imagineers searched the whole continent for steam locomotives and were unsuccessful, for the most part, in doing so. Now after 45 years I thought of something I've never thought of before- why didn't Disney hire Crown Metal Products locomotive company to design their railroad? Though larger in length and size, the WDWRR's steam locomotives run on a narrow gauge line just like Kings Island.

 

KSCN0007_zpsqmqutawz.jpg

 

All I know for sure is that Roger Broggie wanted to have the locomotives designed to his specification so he hired a steam ship manager, go figure! He said, "If I hire a railroad worker they'll make them how they want to make them, I want them made my way." But still, I feel like Crown would have been very flexible in working with Disney Imagineers.

 

sd072710c_zpss9fsjhwa.jpg

 

My only solid theory is that Disney wanted to find original steam locomotives that were already existing.

 

What do you think?

 

Though I'm a coaster critic, I also know a great deal about steam locomotives as well.

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Narrow gauge trains are typically are cheaper to build and operate and also do not require as wide turns as a standard gauge track.. In my personal opinion i believe it had to due with the sheer size of the rolling stock of standard gauge that kept Disney away from using standard gauge. With Disney using optical illusions (forced perspective) of things being bigger than they are. I would not be suprise if they choose narrow gauge to play into that illusion that objects were bigger than they appeared because of the smaller size narrow gauge track and trains.

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Narrow gauge trains are typically are cheaper to build and operate and also do not require as wide turns as a standard gauge track.. In my personal opinion i believe it had to due with the sheer size of the rolling stock of standard gauge that kept Disney away from using standard gauge. With Disney using optical illusions (forced perspective) of things being bigger than they are. I would not be suprise if they choose narrow gauge to play into that illusion that objects were bigger than they appeared because of the smaller size narrow gauge track and trains.

Crown Metal Products are not and never were standard gauge, they sold them in 3 feet narrow gauge and 2 feet narrow gauge. I think they also made 16" gauge too.

Disney has stated many times in history that it was cheaper to buy and retore locomotives than buy them new. Crown locomotives in their original form were no less real steam locomotives than Tweetsie Railroad and Dollywood. Even Carowinds owned one locomotive that Crown rebuilt but was used Porter locomotive. By the time, Kings Island and Carowinds came about narrow gauge steam was near impossible to find.

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Narrow gauge trains are typically are cheaper to build and operate and also do not require as wide turns as a standard gauge track.. In my personal opinion i believe it had to due with the sheer size of the rolling stock of standard gauge that kept Disney away from using standard gauge. With Disney using optical illusions (forced perspective) of things being bigger than they are. I would not be suprise if they choose narrow gauge to play into that illusion that objects were bigger than they appeared because of the smaller size narrow gauge track and trains.

 

Like what I said earlier, WDWRR is the same gauge as KI and many other park trains. The trains at the Magic Kingdom have significantly longer boilers than a typical crown locomotive, mainly to accommodate more driving wheels.

 

See the Walter E. Disney for example

Walt-Disney-World-Railroad-Steam-Locomot

 

However the Roy O. Disney has the exact same wheel arrangement as a typical American style locomotive that Crown Metal Products based their designs off of. Notice how spaced out the driving wheels are to accommodate a larger boiler. 

 

4016279079_503b6f9843_b_zpspg9fsrlq.jpg

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Narrow gauge trains are typically are cheaper to build and operate and also do not require as wide turns as a standard gauge track.. In my personal opinion i believe it had to due with the sheer size of the rolling stock of standard gauge that kept Disney away from using standard gauge. With Disney using optical illusions (forced perspective) of things being bigger than they are. I would not be suprise if they choose narrow gauge to play into that illusion that objects were bigger than they appeared because of the smaller size narrow gauge track and trains.

Like what I said earlier, WDWRR is the same gauge as KI and many other park trains. The trains at the Magic Kingdom have significantly longer boilers than a typical crown locomotive, mainly to accommodate more driving wheels.

See the Walter E. Disney for example

Walt-Disney-World-Railroad-Steam-Locomot

However the Roy O. Disney has the exact same wheel arrangement as a typical American style locomotive that Crown Metal Products based their designs off of. Notice how spaced out the driving wheels are to accommodate a larger boiler.

4016279079_503b6f9843_b_zpspg9fsrlq.jpg

http://prrsteam.pennsyrr.com/images/prr6240.jpg

The likely model for Crown Metal Products 4-4-0

http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/p/65353/8408734/1296071588220/lillybellereplica1-2010.jpg?asGalleryImage=true&token=0ccOL5cIQuJ4vXCIPm%2Fa9ekQSMA%3D

Walt Disney's Lilybelle, Roy O. Disney is based off the Central Pacific 173 as is the Lilybelle. Disneyland RR numbers 1 and 2 are also based on this locomotive.

http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/p/65353/8408734/1296071588220/lillybellereplica1-2010.jpg?asGalleryImage=true&token=0ccOL5cIQuJ4vXCIPm%2Fa9ekQSMA%3D

C.P. 173

I am pretty sure Disney used the 4-6-0 locomotives instead of 4-4-0 because the WDW trains are longer and the track is too. Roy Disney personally requested that his locomotive be different from The Walter E. Disney.

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I can tell you the River Valley Railroad at Valleyfair was a Crown Metal; diesel-hydraulic hydro static drive; the "boiler" housed the tank for the air brakes... Kind-of a pile of... metal.

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While I don't know why Disney did not go with Crown. I do know Cedar Point does have a Disneyland train running in the park.

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While I don't know why Disney did not go with Crown. I do know Cedar Point does have a Disneyland train running in the park.

 

 

I believe that it is reverse.  Disneyland has a train running that used to reside at Cedar Point.  The Maud L as it was known at Cedar Point, is now known as the Ward Kimball at Disneyland.

 

Source: http://www.cplerr.com/erMaudL.html

 

While Maud L was sent to Disneyland, I believe Vortex may be referring to the locomotive known as "Davenport." Disneyland traded the Davenport for the Maud L because the Davenport engine was too big for Disneyland and too small for Disney World. Maud L was the perfect size for Disneyland as was the Davenport for Cedar Point.

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On 10/13/2016 at 1:37 PM, RollerNut said:

I am pretty sure Disney used the 4-6-0 locomotives instead of 4-4-0 because the WDW trains are longer and the track is too. Roy Disney personally requested that his locomotive be different from The Walter E. Disney.

It's true that Roy didn't want the twin locomotive of the Walter E Disney to be named after him because he didn't want to be compared to all the great things his younger brother had done. 

The picture below is a rendering of what the other 4-6-0 locomotive would have looked like if it was named after Roy instead of Roger Broggie 

Walt Disney World Railroad.JPG

In response to Disney's preference on locomotives, they took whatever they could get. It was a miracle that they found 5 narrow gauge locomotives for that time period with two of them being 4-6-0, one being a 2-6-0, and another being a 4-4-0. The fifth locomotive was a 2-6-0 "mogul" similar to the current Lilly Belle but built by a separate locomotive company from the other four. Deemed in too rough of shape to be restored to operating condition, it was sold to an outside party and presumably scrapped. It was rumored that the 5th locomotive was intended to be named "Ward Kimball." Imagineer Roger Brogie was skeptical about the 4-4-0 locomotive, now named the Roy O Disney, because he didn't think it would be able to conquer the 2% grade but it's done so for over 45 years. 

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Imagineer Roger Brogie was skeptical about the 4-4-0 locomotive, now named the Roy O Disney, because he didn't think it would be able to conquer the 2% grade but it's done so for over 45 years. 

Maybe that is why they choose not to use Crown Metal Products to build their engines. According to Crown Metal’s catalog the 36 inch gauge engine could only conquer a 2 percent grade with 4 cars being pulled behind it. If I’m not mistaken WDW trains pull 5 passenger cars behind it.

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1 hour ago, Tr0y said:


Maybe that is why they choose not to use Crown Metal Products to build their engines. According to Crown Metal’s catalog the 36 inch gauge engine could only conquer a 2 percent grade with 4 cars being pulled behind it. If I’m not mistaken WDW trains pull 5 passenger cars behind it.

Walt Disney World has a 2% grade so it wouldn't have been an issue. Besides, crown could have broken the status quo and built much bigger locomotives if they wanted to. They built standard open air coaches for Greenfield Village so I don't think it would be an issue for them to build a larger narrow gauge locomotive capable of conquering those grades. 4-4-0s have less driving power than 4-6-0 and 2-6-0 locomotives because where they have 6 driving wheels, a 4-4-0 only has 4 driving wheels.

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