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Travel Town Museum

Travel Town Museum
Established December 14, 1952
Location 5200 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, California 90027
United States
Founder Charley Atkins

Travel Town Museum is a transport museum dedicated on December 14, 1952 and located within 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.


  • Railway collection 1
    • Locomotives 1.1
    • Freight cars and cabooses 1.2
    • Passenger cars 1.3
    • Trolleys, cable cars, and motorcars 1.4
    • Maintenance-Of-Way equipment 1.5
    • Motor vehicles 1.6
  • Additional railway museum collections and examples 2
  • Miniature train excursions 3
  • Exhibit room 4
  • Main exhibit hall 5
  • East Valley Lines 6
  • Travel Town appearances in media 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Railway collection

The railroad museum portion contains 43 full-scale railroad engines, cars and other rolling stock.


Stockton Terminal Eastern locomotive No. 1

Their collection of 17 locomotives includes:

The Travel Town Museum's full locomotive roster can be seen here [3].

Freight cars and cabooses

Passenger cars

OR&L equipment preserved at Travel Town

There are 9 examples of passenger train equipment:

The Travel Town Museum's full Passenger Car roster can be seen here [4].

Trolleys, cable cars, and motorcars

Four various other passenger equipment examples:

Maintenance-Of-Way equipment

  • U.S. Navy No. CSCV1887, 1942 American Hoist and Derrick self-propelled Diesel wrecker crane, Serial No. 1887.[37]
  • U.S. Navy No. 61-02011, (unknown year)(unknown builder) Boom Car, utility flat car for support of the wrecker crane.
  • Track inspection Speeder, motorized.
  • Kalamazoo handcar, four-man pump-action powered.
  • Velocipede, one-man pump-action powered track inspection "bicycle" with outrigger.[38]

Motor vehicles

Additional railway museum collections and examples

  • 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 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge track construction, and wheels on axle.
    • Log sleepers (ties) nailed to (unknown weight) rail. Earliest method.
    • Sleepers, uniform and square cut wood soaked in creosote preservative and surrounded by ballast, spiked to (unknown weight) 'T' rail which is joined with fishplates.
    • Concrete sleepers, spring clipped to (unknown weight) rail which is joined with welds.
  • Track switches - Various examples of switch points methods, frogs and switch stands/signals.

Miniature train excursions

Tickets can be purchased to ride the Travel Town Railroad, a 16 in (406 mm) gauge miniature railway[40] 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 12 in (470 mm) gauge[41] Griffith Park & Southern Railroad and the 7 12 in (190.5 mm) gauge miniature railway at the Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum. The latter is independently operated.

Exhibit room

  • 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

Houses additional transportation examples and exhibits.

  • Cut-away boiler demonstration exhibit.
  • Hand drawn fire-hose cart.
  • Horse-drawn wagons
    • Piano Box buggy
    • Coal Box buggy
    • Milk delivery dray
    • milk delivery van
    • chariot from Ben-Hur.
    • Circus Wagon
    • Oil Delivery (tank) wagon
  • Motor Vehicles & Automobiles.
    • Packard Sedan, 9th series, circa 1932
    • 1948 Nash Ambassador Sedan
    • 1918 Mack Dump Truck
    • Fire Engine
  • "Holden's Corner" railway safety interactive Children's Discovery Center.[42]
  • The "Little General" locomotive demonstration engine.[43]
  • 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[44] 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:


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  2. ^ "calwestern". Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
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  8. ^ "pickering". Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
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  19. ^ "laharbor-ballastcars". Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  20. ^ "oahucaboose". Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  21. ^ "oiltank". Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  22. ^ "southboxcar1". Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  23. ^ "southrailwaymail". 1977-06-30. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  24. ^ "southstockcar163". Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
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  26. ^ "SOME INTERESTING FACTS about SP Caboose 4049". 1989-10-12. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  27. ^ "Boxcar". 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  28. ^ "westernpacific". Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  29. ^ "Diner". 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  30. ^ "Nugget". 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  31. ^ "Hunter". 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  32. ^ "Rosebowl". 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  33. ^ "M177". 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  34. ^ "mta1543". Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  35. ^ "San Francisco California Street Cable Car Rosters." San Francisco Cable Car Museum.
  36. ^ a b "California Street Cable Railroad" by Joe Thompson.
  37. ^ "Crane". 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  38. ^ "Velocipede". Tom Margie. 2008-04-21. Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  39. ^ "REA". 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  40. ^ The Griffith Park Train Rides - Travel Town Railroad
  41. ^ The Griffith Park Train Rides - Griffith Park & Southern Railroad
  42. ^ "Calendar". 2011-09-07. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  43. ^ "Village of silver lake Ohio". Village of silver lake Ohio. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  44. ^ "East Valley Lines N scale model railroad club". Retrieved 2012-01-06. 

External links

  • Travel Town Museum
  • Travel Town Museum Foundation
  • "Paradise for Casey Jones Jr. Popular Mechanics, April 1956, pp. 142–143
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