After three years without it, the Walt Disney World Railroad at the Magic Kingdom will be returning soon for testing, according to the Orlando Sentinel. While we aren’t able to go “all aboard” quite yet, the park is set to start using a steam locomotive along select segments of the new pieces of track starting as soon as Wednesday.
- The Walt Disney World Railroad has been closed since December 2018 due to construction on Tron: Lightcycle Run in Tomorrowland.
- While we still don’t have a date for when we will be able to ride the train again, Disney confirms that they will be testing out the train on the new segments of track added to the railroad starting this week.
- Over the past three years of downtime, cast members have performed repairs, maintenance and refurbishment of the railroad.
- One major change being made is that the formerly wood railroad ties are being replaced with composite ties.
- Composite ties will greatly reduce the need for maintenance on the railroad in the future. Wooden railroad ties have a 3 to 5 year life span while the composite ones have an approximately 25 year life span.
- The locomotive named Walter E. Disney will be used for the railroad testing. The engine received and finished its refurbishment over this last year.
What They’re Saying:
- Here’s what Greg Keslaris, a project planner with the facility asset management department at Walt Disney World had to say about the railroad in his recent interview with Orlando Sentinel:
- “We’re doing a lot of things that either haven’t been done since Walt Disney World opened, or just kind of really revolutionary things.”
- “It was the first time that we actually took everything apart for the railroad. And we’re able to say, ‘OK, we have everything down to the bare bones. What can we do to either improve the guest experience with the ride, or bring it back to where it was, kind of, in the ‘70s when it first started?’”
- “What we’re looking to test is basically the elevation of the track to make sure the grading is correct … and kind of do all the adjustments that we’ll need to do before we open to guests again.”