Walt Disney’s Railroad Story

Walt Disney's Railroad Story - 79859 | Marceline Emporium

Dave’s story of Walt Disney’s Railroad Story
by Dave Tavres

If you’re a Walt Disney, Disney, and Railroad fan, this is a MUST-HAVE book! Michael Broggie created one of the all-time best books about Walt Disney’s love of trains, and the Disneyland Railroad – “Walt Disney’s Railroad Story – The Small-Scale Fascination That Led to a Full-Scale Kingdom.”

The first time I got to see a copy of this book in person, I was at my friend Rod Duff’s cabin. I’d seen the book online, as it had been out about a year, but the first printing was already gone, so the price had jumped to over $400. There was no way I could spend that much on a book. Luckily, I was at Rod’s place for many hours, so I got a chance to read some passages and review the book. It was amazing! But again, it was out of my price range, so I’d have to wait until I found a copy I could afford.

Michael signing my first copy of his book at Walt's Barn on December 19, 2004. | Marceline Emporium
Michael signing my first copy of his book at Walt’s Barn on December 19, 2004.

Many months later I finally made my first visit to Walt Disney’s Barn in Burbank on December 19, 2004. Upon entering the part of the Los Angeles Live Streamers park where the Barn was on display, I talked to one of the volunteers, and we chatted about several things, including an amazing book I had recently seen called Walt Disney’s Railroad Story, but that I couldn’t afford it. The volunteer told me that the author was here in the Barn today. I was excited and went inside to see Michael Broggie talking to people. When I finally had the chance to visit with him, I told him how much I loved his book and I looked forward to buying one some day when it was within my budget. He told me I was in luck, as he’d just gotten several cases of the second printing of the book, and they were in his car – and they were only $65.

Being my first visit to the Barn, I didn’t know that it was fairly isolated in Griffith Park. I asked where the nearest ATM was so I could get some cash, but Michael informed me that the nearest one would probably take 20 minutes or more to get to and come back, and he was getting ready to leave. Unfortunately, the Barn was only open one day per month, and he didn’t come very often. I was brokenhearted! But, Michael was gracious enough to allow this (current) Disneyland Tour Guide to take a copy of his book and mail him a check. Considering he and no one at the Barn had ever talked to me before, it was a very nice gesture. He grabbed a brand new book out of his car and signed it for me, and we got a photo together.

Over the next years, I bought several copies of the book so that I could have a reader edition that I could mark up with notes, one I could loan out, and my original, pristine, signed version.

Walt Disney’s Railroad Story is full of history and information about Walt Disney’s love of trains, how he got started in them as an adult, the story of the Carolwood Pacific Railroad, his Uncle Mike the engineer for the Santa Fe Railroad, as well as great details about the Disneyland Railroad. The photos are also amazing, and I just cannot express how beautifully laid-out and wonderfully written the book is,  even compared to other books of any genre.

Trust me – you need a copy of this book on your shelf as a reference, and as a way to further study Walt Disney’s life.

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