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About Us

Our Company History

The story of Whittle Shortline Railroad is many stories rolled into one.

It is the story of a family-owned company handcrafting children's wooden toys in a world that is all too often mass-produced.

It is the story of a business that literally started by accident. But start it did. And after ten years of constant growth, Whittle's product standards and operating philosophy remain 100% true to the original vision of its founder.

The Whittle Shortline Railroad story also resembles that of another railroad legend which overcame rather large odds to achieve the unthinkable - a certain little engine that turned the simple phrase "I think I can, I think I can!" into an inspiring, integral part of growing up in America.

In just over a decade, the "little engine" Whittle has become the #1 American wooden toy train maker. And, ironically, today finds the Whittle Shortline coupled with the very same railroad engine that has inspired so many generations since first appearing in 1930.

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Our Toys

Inspired by the past. Built for the future.

Whittle Shortline Railroad toys are made to last for generations, because they are made the way previous generations created toys.

Each railcar is handmade of reforested birch hardwood. The coupling pins on each of the railcars comes from the same manufacturer whose hardware helped to build America's first 13 colonies, not to mention the USS Bon Homme Richard, a World War II aircraft carrier.

As a result of this ongoing commitment to creating the ultimate wooden toys, our railcars are much heavier than other toy wooden railcars - a difference you will notice the first time you hold a Whittle toy in your hand.

You will also notice a level of detail and authenticity considered on the brink of extinction - by most toy manufacturers, at least.

Each railcar is painted with child-safe paints and sealers. After drying, appliques are then applied (again, by hand). Finally, each is balanced and designed to operate on Brio® or Thomas The Tank Engine™ track, never mind the track you can purchase online in our Toy Depot.

Our Guarantee

Because toys like ours are practically unheard of, our guarantee is, too.

Not that it happens very often, but if for any reason you are not satisfied with any Whittle Shortline Railroad toy, please return it within 30 days for a full refund.

You're probably saying something like "That's not unheard of." Well, that's only the beginning.

Once in a blue moon, we also have been known to repair our toys. Now, this happens only once in a blue moon simply because our toys tend to outlast most childhoods.

However, should you find yourself in the rare pickle of possessing a toy that needs some TLC - tender locomotive care - send it to us. We'll do our best to make it right, usually repairing your little one's heart in the process.

Finally, there are also times when we'll even buy back your Whittle railcars. Why, you ask? Read on.

Due to the painstaking steps we undergo to create the finest wooden toys in the marketplace, we often decide to manufacture a limited number of specific railcars. As a result of this ongoing policy, many Whittle railcars are considered "collectibles."

In those cases, many times we will offer to repurchase your Whittle railcars should you decide you no longer care to keep them. For more information about our repurchase program, give us a call.

Always the perfect gift!