Wildlife Express Train

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Wildlife Express Train
Animal Kingdom Wildlife Express Train 01.jpg
Wildlife Express Locomotive
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Area Africa
Rafiki's Planet Watch
Coordinates 28°21′35″N 81°35′28″W / 28.35972°N 81.59111°W / 28.35972; -81.59111Coordinates: 28°21′35″N 81°35′28″W / 28.35972°N 81.59111°W / 28.35972; -81.59111
Status Operating
Soft opening date April 21, 1998
Opening date April 22, 1998
General statistics
Attraction type Train
Manufacturer Severn Lamb
Designer Walt Disney Imagineering
Duration 12:00
Track gauge 3 ft 4 in (1,016 mm)
Handicapped/disabled access Wheelchair accessible

The Wildlife Express Train to Rafiki's Planet Watch is a short railroad that takes guests at Disney's Animal Kingdom from Harambe, Africa to Rafiki's Planet Watch (known as Conservation Station at the park). On the ride, guests get the chance to see a little of the Animal Kingdom backlot, including animal holding buildings for rhinos and elephants, among other animals. It takes about seven minutes to go from Harambe railway station, Africa to Rafiki's Planet Watch and an additional five to return. The full journey is a 1.2 miles (1.9 km) round-trip.

The railway is part of the fictional Eastern Star Railway, running from Lusaka to Nairobi and Kisangani.


Wildlife Express Train
Rafiki's Planet Watch
(not open to public)
Bus transfer
(via short walk outside park)

There are three diesel-hydraulic, steam outline locomotives, built by Severn Lamb of Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom in 1997 before the park's opening the following year.[1] Two are colored a redish-brown, while the third is colored green. The two red-brown locomotives have a G-pitched whistle, while the green locomotive has a very high B-to-F#-pitched whistle. They have a wheel configuration of 2-4-2 and are based on John Aspinall's 2-4-2T engines built for the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway of England in 1898 at Horwich locomotive works, Lancashire. However, the builder's plates of the locomotives tell a different story, saying that the engines were built in 1926 by Beyer Peacock of Gorton Foundry, Manchester. Their numbers are 02594, 04982 and 00174, the former also being named, R. Baba Harpoor, in honour of Imagineer Bob Harpur.

The railway is built to a 3 ft 4 in (1,016 mm) narrow gauge,[1] a little wider than the 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge that was used on East African railways. There are two sets of coaches forming the passenger rolling stock, each with five vehicles and each seating around 250 people. These sets include a series of bins on the top of the train that simulate cargo that passengers are taking with them. One set of coaches has these bins green and the other red. This is a way for easy identification between trains.

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