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Ferrocarriles Unidos de Yucatán

A typical Baldwin 4-6-0 of the railway

Ferrocarriles Unidos de Yucatán was a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge[1] railroad that operated in the states of Yucatán and Campeche in Mexico from 1902 to 1975.

HistoryEdit

The Ferrocarriles Unidos de Yucatán (United Railways of Yucatan) was founded in 1902 by the merger of 3 rail lines operating in the Yucatan Peninsula.

No rail lines then connected the Yucatan to the rest of Mexico, so most commerce between the Peninsula and the rest of Mexico was by sea.

The last two 4-4-0 steam locomotives (Nos. 80 and 81) built by Baldwin Locomotive Works were made for this railroad in 1946.[2] Locals nicknamed its locomotives as toros de fuego (bulls of fire).[3][4] Other than a standard gauge line between Yucatán's capital city of Mérida and the port of Progreso, all lines in the Peninsula were narrow gauge. In 1950, rail lines were finally connected from the rest of Mexico, which used standard gauge. After the rail unification, the FUdeY line between Merida and Campeche and thence the rest of Mexico was converted to standard.

In 1975, the company was merged into Ferrocarriles Unidos del Sureste.

Disney connectionEdit

 
A 1916-built Baldwin 4-4-0 No. 66, later renumbered 251, now operating on the WDWRR as No. 4 Roy O. Disney

Five of the railroad's steam locomotives were bought by Roger Broggie on behalf of The Walt Disney Company in 1969.[3] Four of them built by Baldwin Locomotive Works between 1916 and 1928, were completely rebuilt and altered to resemble locomotives built in the 1880s, are currently operating on the Walt Disney World Railroad (WDWRR).[3][5][6] The remaining locomotive built in 1902 by Pittsburgh Locomotive and Car Works, was not restored due to its poor condition and was sold to an unknown locomotive broker.[3] Some of its parts were salvaged to repair the four Baldwin locomotives.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Surviving Steam Locomotive Search - Bay Lake, Florida
  2. ^ Leaphart (2016), p. 91.
  3. ^ a b c d Broggie, Michael. Walt Disney's Railroad Story: The Small-Scale Fascination That Led to a Full-Scale Kingdom, 4th ed., pp. 316-325, The Donning Company Publishers, 2014. ISBN 978-1-57864-914-3.
  4. ^ Best, Gerald M. (1968), Mexican Narrow Gauge (1st ed.), Howell North, ISBN 978-0831070731
  5. ^ Souza, Dave (September 6, 2007). "Train Ride or Time Travel? Disney's narrow-gauge steam trains still chug around park". The Ledger. Archived from the original on March 13, 2019. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  6. ^ Leaphart (2016), p. 106.
  7. ^ Leaphart (2016), p. 66.

BibliographyEdit

  • Leaphart, David (2016). Walt Disney World Railroads Part 3: Yucatan Jewels (1st ed.). Steel Wheel on Steel Rail Studio. ISBN 978-1-533-03707-7.

External linksEdit