Fastpass To History: Walt’s Backyard Railroad

Walt's Backyard Railroad

Walt Disney loved trains! So much so that, after being inspired by the backyard railroads of animators Ward Kimball and Ollie Johnston, he developed plans for his own backyard railroad. He would construct a one-eighth scale locomotive, The Carolwood Pacific, to encircle his property.

Walt was thrilled about the idea of having his very own train! However, his wife Lillian, was opposed to the idea. She made it very clear she did not want a train going around the house. So Walt had his lawyer draw up an agreement allowing the train right-of-way on the property. Lillian and Walt both signed the agreement with their daughters as witnesses.

The route Walt designed for his backyard train required a six-foot cut into one of the slopes of the yard. When Lillian simply would not allow it, Walt compromised and built a 90-foot long tunnel instead. Knowing the construction of the tunnel would not be cheap, Walt instructed his secretary not to tell him how expensive that part of his project would be.

Watch the video below of Walt trying out The Carolwood Pacific! Would you like to have a backyard railroad at your house?

 



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Photo credit: Sam Howzit / Foter / CC BY

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Kimberly's love of Disney began at an early age and grew even more when her family won a Walt Disney World vacation from a local radio station. She grew up visiting the parks every one to two years and is fascinated by Disney history and trivia. Whether at the parks or at home, Kimberly is constantly looking for hidden Mickeys. She enjoys sharing tips and helping others plan their Disney vacations. In addition to Frontierland Station, she can also be found writing for Park World Travel and selecting music for Park World Radio.

Latest posts by Kimberly (see all)

  • I really enjoyed reading this post Kim! This month my family and I will be visiting Walt’s barn that now is located in Griffith park! I can’t wait! I shared your link with my family to pump up the excitement!

    • How cool! I would love to visit there someday!

  • I am fascinated by the trains at WDW. I love watching them and riding around the MK – I would love to have one in my back yard.

    • Me too! There’s a house near my parents that has a train layout in the front yard. It’s pretty cool! I know my dad would love to have a backyard train like Walt’s. He has quite a few trains inside.

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