A brief history of the Retlaw 1 Combine
“Combine” is a railroad term for a coach that carries both passengers and freight. One such car was used on the Missouri Pacific train upon which Walt Disney worked as a 14-year-old news butch. He’d take his breaks in the baggage half of the car. He’d sometimes go out the front door and climb over the tender to get to the cab. Walt would offer the engineer and fireman apples from his family’s farm in exchange for getting to ride with them. The crews took a liking to him and it was on this train that he learned how to operate a steam locomotive.
Walt had great memories of that combine. This is why one was part of the “Retlaw 1” passenger train at Disneyland. In 1992, Bill Norred acquired the Retlaw 1 cars, except for the Lilly Belle coach. A few years ago, four of these five coaches were sold, but Bill’s family retained the combine because of the special connection to Walt. The Norred family, concerned about the long term survival of the car, agreed to sell it to the Carolwood Foundation. We finalized that purchase on July 10, 2010. We have now completed the restoration that Bill started but still need to construct a permanent shelter to home for the combine next to Walt’s Barn.