Travel Town Museum is a transport museum dedicated in the northwest corner of Los Angeles, California's Griffith Park. The history of railroad transportation in the western United States from 1880 to the 1930s is the primary focus of the museum's collection, with an emphasis on railroading in Southern California and the Los Angeles area. By NearEMPTiness - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61942990
Travel Town Museum
The Travel Town Museum is a railway museum dedicated on December 14, 1952, located in the northwest corner of Los Angeles, California's Griffith Park. The history of railroad transportation in the western United States from 1880 to the 1930s is the primary focus of the museum's collection, with an emphasis on railroading in Southern California and the Los Angeles area.
In the late 1940s, Charley Atkins, a Recreation and Parks employee, and some rail enthusiasts came up with the plan that a full-size steam locomotive would be an attractive addition to the miniature railroad ride at Griffith Park. The City of Los Angeles Harbor Department had two small locomotives destined for scrap that seemed to be suitable for this purpose. These locomotives had worked at a quarry on Santa Catalina Island, California carrying stone to be used building breakwaters for the Port of Los Angeles. With the support of former Recreation and Parks Department General Manager George Hjelte and Superintendent of Recreation William Frederickson, Atkins initiated contacts with major railroads in California to ask what equipment could donate. At that time, the steam locomotive era was drawing to a close, and Atkins found a good response. The earliest locomotives were made accessible for children to climb on them. Travel Town was inaugurated on 14 December 1952, in an area used as a prisoner-of-war camp during World War II. The locomotives were accessible day and night until fencing was installed in 1955 to prevent vandals from breaking glass windows and gauges. A Union Pacific Railroad dining car donated in 1954 was available for birthday parties. The park's 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge Crystal Springs and Southwestern Railroad operated two locomotives from Oahu on 0.62 miles (1 km) of track beginning in 1955, but these locomotives were later returned to Hawaii for display. In 1965, Travel Town’s exhibits were re-grouped, and the park re-dedicated. Today, Travel Town is in a state of new growth and development.
The railroad museum portion contains a large number full-scale railroad engines, cars and other rolling stock.
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Road Number and/or Name: LA-701 Little Nugget
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Description: Wooden caboose
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Description: Electric car
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Description: Side-dump Ballast Cars
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Description: Horse-drawn tram
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Description: Oil delivery cart
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Additional Railway Museum Collections and Examples:
Harvey House Display
Fred Harvey Company
Semaphore by Union Switch & Signal, Swissvale, Pennsylvania.
Wig-Wag grade crossing signal (unknown builder, perhaps Pacific Electric signal shops) from Pacific Electric Railroad.
Track Construction - Examples of three periods of 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge track construction:
Track switches - Various examples of switch points methods, frogs and switch stands/signals.
Tickets can be purchased to ride the Travel Town Railroad, a 16 in (406 mm) gauge miniature railway for two circles around the museum grounds. This railway originally ran a train known as the Melody Ranch Special, which was once owned by Gene Autry. Its namesake originates from the Gene Autry film Melody Ranch. The passenger coaches are now covered and the original steam engine (which was sabotaged beyond economical repair) has been replaced with Courage, a chain-driven internal combustion motor housed within a façade representing a steam locomotive. This railroad is one of three miniature railway train rides within Griffith Park. The others are the 18-1⁄2 inch (470 mm) gauge Griffith Park & Southern Railroad and the 7-1⁄2 inch (190.5 mm) gauge miniature railway at the Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum. The latter is independently operated.
Artifacts, documents, and ephemera are on display such as menus and chinaware, recollections and timetables, regarding the history of railroading in the United States.
Main Exhibit Hall
The Main Exhibit Hall houses additional transportation examples and exhibits including:
Cut-away boiler demonstration exhibit.
Hand drawn fire-hose cart.
Piano Box buggy
Coal Box buggy
Milk delivery dray
Milk delivery van
Chariot from Ben-Hur.
Oil Delivery (tank) wagon
Motor Vehicles & Automobiles:
Packard Sedan, 9th series, circa 1932
1948 Nash Ambassador Sedan
1918 Mack Dump Truck
Also in the hall are the following displays:
"Holden's Corner" railway safety interactive Children's Discovery Center.
The "Little General" locomotive demonstration engine.
Viewing platform for the East Valley Lines model railroad club N scale layout.
East Valley Lines
Located behind a roll-up door in the main exhibit hall, the East Valley Lines Model Rail-Road N Gauge Club operates their extensive layout.
Travel Town appearances in media
Travel Town is near many television and movie studios, which has prompted those production companies to include scenes requiring railroad equipment to be shot at Travel Town since it opened. A small sample of the thousands of Travel Town's screen appearances is represented below:
Adam-12 Episode 101 "Eyewitness" 1972
Columbo "Identity Crisis" 1975
CHiPs Episode 109
The band Foreigner's music video "Cold as Ice" 1977
Knight Rider Episode 36 "Diamonds Aren't a Girl's Best Friend" 1983
Quantum Leap (TV series) Episode 48 "A Hunting Will We Go" 1991
Royal Crown Revue's "Watts Local" music video was shot in several locations.
Six Feet Under Season 4 Episode 8 "Coming and Going"
Ghost Whisperer Season 5, Episode 9 "Lost in the Shadows"
"Kidsongs" "Play-along Songs", Down by the Station 1993 (Direct-to-Video only).
Travel Town Museum Overview
Established: December 14, 1952
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Text: wikipedia.org. Images: Public Domain; http://www.commons.wikimedia.org (unless otherwise specified) and 17 U.S. Code § 107 fair use. References: Lewis, Robert G. The Handbook of American Railroads. New York: Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation, 1951, 2nd Edition 1956. Site Map Contact webmaster HERE.