Travel Town/Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum

Museums , Transportation Griffith Park
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Travel Town/Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum
Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum

The northwest corner of Griffith Park is the destination for train enthusiasts and curious kids. Travel Town, open all week, is a "railroad petting zoo" full of historic rail stock like an 1880 Southern Pacific locomotive and an 1881 Union Pacific caboose that also does a good job explaining how the railroads helped build Southern California.

Lovers of things that go choo-choo should be sure to visit the park on a Sunday, when the neighboring Los Angeles Live Steamers section is open for railheads. Kids clamor to come here again and again to ride a miniature train around more than a mile of track. The whimsy extends to the museum’s “buildings,” which are actually restored full-size train cars like the bright red 1929 Santa Fe Steel Caboose (which houses the caretaker’s residence) and the 1956 Union Pacific Sleeper Car (where official meetings are held). On the third Sunday of every month the museum puts its Stationary Steam Plant into operation for a live demo of turn of early 20th century steam technology.

LALS train rides are from 10:45am-3pm every Sun; closed the Sun before Memorial Day and the 1st Sun of Oct; $3 (suggested donation) for train rides; Travel Town is open from 10am-4pm Mon-Fri; 10am-6pm Sat, Sun; Travel Town entrance is free, $2.50 ticket for train rides.

Venue name: Travel Town/Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum
Contact:
Address: 5200 Zoo Dr
Los Angeles
90027
Opening hours: See annotation
Price: See annotation
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Haley S.
tastemaker

A fun spot for a picnic or birthday party (you can reserve picnic tables and grills)--probably best for family oriented events or if you just really love trains (or want a unique setting for a gathering).  Lots of out of commission cars and equipment to wander, and since it's just on the other side of Griffith, it's not that far out of the way.  Worth checking out once, but not something you'll find yourself checking out again and again (unless you love trains that much).

Eric L
tastemaker

I wouldn't exactly say this is a "Must-Do" in LA, but there were a few interesting pieces here. First of all, I highly recommend only visiting if you have children. My homie and I were thoroughly unaware of the overall ambiance and theme of this "museum" and assumed it would be more geared toward adults than it actually was.


Second, there are old, out-of-commission train cars that you can reserve for parties. Imagine hosting a New Year's Eve party in a stationary train car? 


There are no tours on site, so exploration on your own is key at Travel Town. There are a small handful of old trains and an indoor area with antique trucks/farm equipment but the real prize is a model train traveling miles of toy track. I felt as though I was peering into Santa's workshop because half of the tracks were under construction and the model was behind glass in a woodshop-like area. I could've easily watched the train loop for days. 


Toys aside, there's a unique gift shop with a lot of books (aka dad gift ideas) on trains, trucks, antiques, and railroads.


TT may be worth a visit if you're nearby and bored midday, but don't go out of the way.