When the Roger E. Broggie locomotive passes by on the Walt Disney World Railroad (WDWRR), many people pause not knowing the locomotive’s namesake. While many may not recognize his name, Roger Edward Broggie is widely considered to be Walt Disney’s greatest Imagineer and played a key role in the development of the railroad attractions at both Disney Land and Walt Disney World.
In fact, it was Broggie who found and acquired the locomotives that would become part of the Walt Disney Railroad. To thank him for his hard work and impact to Disney World, Broggie was honored by having one of the locomotives on the WDWRR named after him.
A Brief History of the Roger E. Broggie Locomotive
Popularly known as Roger E. Broggie, Disney World Railroad No. 3 is a ten-wheeler type steam locomotive with a wheel arrangement of 4-6-0. It was constructed in 1925 by Baldwin Locomotive Works for use at the United Railways of Yucatan in Mexico.
Originally numbered No. 275, this locomotive served in Yucatan for several decades ferrying both
passengers and goods on the mountainous regions. After its retirement, Roger E. Broggie, through his
contacts in Mexico, helped acquire the the steam locomotive for Disney World in 1969.
After its acquisition, this steam locomotive was completely overhauled and placed in service at the Walt
Disney Railroad in 1971. Although it had striking similarities with the No. 1 steam locomotive, its distinctive red, green, and yellow colors made it quite attractive. It would operate at Walt Disney Railroad for several decades and is known as one of the “Brother Trains” together with No. 1, thanks to their similarities.
The original idea was to name No. 3 after Roy O. Disney, the older brother of Walt Disney. However, given the similarities to No. 1, Roy preferred to not have No. 3 named after him. So the train was named after Broggie as a token of gratitude to acknowledge his contributions.
In 2019, after nearly four decades of operation, No. 3 was transported to Strasburg Railroad Workshop in Pennsylvania for a major renovation and overhaul. While Disney has not publicly announced a time table for its return, every indication is that the No. 3 will return to service upon completion of the updates.
Be sure to check out the other steam locomotives of the Walt Disney World Railroad:
A longtime railfan, Bob enjoys the research that goes into his articles. He is knowledgeable on many railroad topics and enjoys learning about new topics. You can get a hold of Bob at his email link below.