Anyone who has visited a Disney theme park can attest to the preponderance of rail transportation — from the traditional locomotives found in various amusement park rides to the sleek monorails that shuttle visitors from one attraction to another.

Walt Disney‘s lifelong fascination with trains is well documented. Starting Wednesday, those of us in L.A. will be able to get a glimpse of some of his personal train memorabilia and art work in a new exhibition opening at the Travel Town Museum in Griffith Park.

The show, which runs for one week only, will feature approximately two dozen items including rare animation sketches and cells, historic photography and some of Walt’s personal train-related artifacts. As part of the exhibition, there will be photographs of Walt riding the “Lilly Belle” train — his backyard locomotive named after his wife — and Mickey Mouse rushing to catch a train in an early animation sketch from “Mr. Mouse Takes A Trip” (1940).

This being a Disney event, there is a corporate promotional tie-in. The show, which is sponsored by Disney Consumer Products, is intended to coincide with a new Disney train toy hitting retail shelves as well as the broadcast of a new television special, “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Choo Choo Express,” which will air on the Disney Channel on Oct. 25.

The travelling exhibition began in Kansas City, Mo., where Walt grew up. The exhibition pulled up stakes and moved cross country to L.A. Wednesday’s opening will be a private ceremony — a certain large, anthropomorphic rodent will be in attendance — that will take place from 10 a.m. to noon.

Source: Los Angeles Times