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A Model of Walt's "Lilly Belle"

From my book The Hidden Secrets & Stories of Disneyland

As you enter the Disneyland Railroad Station, you'll see directly in front of you what many guests simply assume to be a model train used as a decoration, but it is far, far more than that. In fact, it's a tribute to Walt Disney's love of trains and an important piece of Disneyland history.

Of all the "rolling stock" Walt Disney ran on his "Carolwood Pacific" railroad in the backyard of his Holmby Hills home, none was more important to him than the "Lilly Belle" steam engine. Hand-built by Walt and Disney Imagineers and named after his wife, Lillian, this detailed 1/8 scale reproduction of the Central Pacific #173 pulled guests riding atop railcars along 2,615' of track, which wound its way around bends, over long trestles and even through a 90' tunnel under Lillian Disney's treasured flower beds.

The model train inside the case at the Disneyland Railroad Station in Town Square is a full-sized reproduction of Walt Disney's prized "Lilly Belle" steam engine and Tender, the very inspiration for the trains which today encircle Disney theme parks around the world.

Here's a photo of Walt Disney's original Lilly Belle steam engine cab as seen on display at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco...

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