Many folks think that Los Angeles got off the ground when Hollywood came of age.
Truth is, it was the railroads that put LA on the map. And the ports and railways are the backbone of the local economy today.
But that’s the boring stuff.
Nearly every kid I’ve ever met gets a little excited about trains. And the good news is, we’ve got one of the very best train rides around right here in our backyard.
So hop on board and let Sandi tell you all about her experience at Travel Town.
My best friend had come all the way from New York just to celebrate my first birthday in LA, and deferred all decisions about activities and meals to me, the birthday girl.
I meekly mentioned that there was this place called Travel Town with a tiny train you can ride, and she immediately jumped in and said, “Yes, let’s go there.”
I’d been considering going alone for quite some time, it being one of the only remaining areas of Griffith Park I had not yet visited. But given our mutual history riding trains and hiking rail trails, she was the perfect companion.
And there was probably nothing I’d rather do on my birthday than go to Griffith Park.
Travel Town consists largely of old box cars, passenger cars, engines, and cabooses in a rail yard, parked along an actual historic, abandoned rail line. It’s actually one of three rail-centric attractions in Griffith Park, which seem to be designed mostly for family entertainment.
Its tiny size did not keep me nor Edith off “The Courage,” a miniature locomotive you can ride for 3/8 of a mile around Travel Town, twice.
I might’ve gone to Travel Town on my own anyway, but I might not have swallowed my pride to hop on the Travel Town Railroad alone. But to anyone who hasn’t been yet, I say “GO.” It doesn’t matter if you have kids to bring or a date to take you. Just, go.
Every Halloween, Travel Town hosts a special ghost train ride.check out Sandi’s video.
For hours and directions to Travel Town, visit Griffith Park Train Rides.
All photos by the author.