One of Walt Disney's childhood passions was trains. From the sight of the Santa Fe steam trains chugging down the tracks in Marceline, Mo., to the first whistle heard in the distance, it all became a beloved part of his legacy.
Many Disney family members worked in the railroad industry, including Walt's father, Elias,and his uncle, Mike Martin. Even Roy, his brother and co-founder of The Walt Disney Company, worked as a "news butcher" on board the Santa Fe, and Walt followed in his footsteps selling candy, soft drinks and newspapers on the Missouri Pacific line between Denver and Kansas City.
In fact, it was a one-way train trip that brought Walt to Los Angeles to join his brother and create Disneyland. After years of putting his love of trains aside, Walt was inspired by friends and employees of the Studios who shared his passion for trains and detailed miniatures.
With the assistance of the Studio's machine shop, Roger Broggie, Walt Disney's original Imagineer, built a miniature model based on the Central Pacific No.173-the first locomotive built in California-in 1872. The Carolwood Pacific Railroad debuted in 1950 at Walt's home in Holmby Hills, complete with a custom-built, steam-powered locomotive named Lilly Belle, named after Walt's wife, Lilly.
At 8-years-old, Michael Broggie, son of Roger, became part of Walt's personal crew. "We would spend weekends at the house and report to Walt," Michael said. "We would pull the freight cars out of the backyard, dust them off and make them nice and neat. Eventually poeple would just start showing up, sometimes 50 to 100 people would assemble to ride. Often, Walt never knew any of these people. We didn't think of it at the time, but we were riding Walt's first thrill ride."
P.S.Walt's birthday,was on December 5, 1901 !!!