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[img]Former owner Ward Kimball (center) and crew members honored the 100th birthday of Grizzly Flats Railroad car No. 2 (Emma Nevada, right) in 1981.[/img]

Walt Disney animator Ward Kimball and his wife, Betty, have donated their Grizzly Flats Railroad collection to the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, Calif.

Theirs is one of the most extensive collections of narrow-gauge steam railroad equipment from California and Nevada in existence, says Paul Hammond, vice president in charge of the physical plant and editor of Orange Empire Railway Museum Gazette. It includes Grizzly Flats Railroad car No. 2, formerly Nevada Central Railway car No. 2, built in 1881; Grizzly Flats Railroad coach No. 5, formerly Carson and Colorado Railroad coach No. 5, also built in 1881; Grizzly Flats Railroad locomotive No. 1, from Hawaii, formerly used in sugar plantation railroading; and a collection of narrow-gauge and Pacific Coast Railway freight cars, including a boxcar, stock car, and flat-bottom gondola. The museum eventually also will display the Grizzly Flats Depot, windmill, and water towe – ll of which are part of the newly acquired collection. The Orange Empire Railway Museum already boasts a collection of 150 locomotives, passenger cars, freight cars, and work equipment from standard-gauge main and short-line railroads of the American West, in addition to standard-gauge and narrow-gauge city, suburban, and interurban electric and cable cars from California. Narrowgauge streetcars have three feet six inches between the rails, and narrowgauge railroads have just three feet.

"These newest additions to our collection each have fascinating individual histories," says Hammond, "but taken as a whole, they illustrate the story of early western railroad development and its subsequent effect not only on Southern California, California, and Nevada, but all of the Southwest.'