Travel Town is part of the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. It is located at 5200 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA, in Griffith Park.
Travel Town began as a possible adjunct to an existing miniature train ride already operating at the location in the late 1940s. It was a fortuitous time to be scouting unwanted steam locomotives, however, as all the major railroads were moving to diesel power. As a result, the collection includes some interesting motive power, much of it donated by railroads that operated in the western US. The museum was formally dedicated on 14th December 1952, and the collection now includes locomotives from the 1880s to about 1930.
The museum is open daily from 10.00 am every day except Christmas Day. There is plenty of parking and no entrance fee, but this is another museum with a no-camera-tripods policy. On the plus side, because the collection is largely housed outdoors, that shouldn't be much of a problem. The place can also get quite crowded, particularly at weekends, so get there early if you want unimpeded shots of the equipment.
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This Consolidation (2-8-0) type is one of forty-five built by Baldwin in 1899 for the AT&SF. Originally #891, it was renumbered #664 in 1900. In 1910, it was loaned to the Pecos & Northern Texas Railway for a year but then returned to the AT&SF.
It hauled freight on AT&SF's Northern, Southern, Panhandle, Plains and Gulf Divisions, and was still in active service when donated to the museum in 1953.
#664 weighs 161,500 lbs. Its cylinders are 21" x 28", the drivers are 57" and it is equipped with Stephenson valve gear. An oil burner with a 143 sq ft firebox, 29 sq ft grate and 1,790 sq ft of heating surface, #664 operated at a boiler pressure of 180 psi, delivering tractive effort of 33,100 lbs.
The 98,000 lb tender held 5,000 gallons of water and 9 tons of oil.
#3025 is an Atlantic type (4-4-2), one of thirteen built for the Southern Pacific by Alco in 1904 and classed A-3.
The large 81" drivers were designed for speed, and it could reach speeds topping 100 mph. The locomotive probably hauled several name passenger services in California, including the Daylight, the Starlight and the Lark.
An oil burner, with 20" x 28" cylinders, #3025 operated at a boiler pressure of 210 psi, delivering 24,680 lbs tractive effort. It still has its inside Stephenson link motion and was the first standard gauge locomotive to go on display at Travel Town in 1952 after being donated to the museum by the Southern Pacific.
This is a Mikado type (2-8-2) locomotive built by Alco in 1920 as #4 for the Hetch Hetchy Railroad. The Hetch Hetchy's sixty-eight mile line was built by the City of San Francisco to develop the O'Shaughnessy Dam on the Tuolumne River in Hetch Hetchy Valley, Yosemite, CA.
In 1924, #4 was sold to the Newaukum Valley Railroad, a line owned and operated by the
Carlisle Lumber Company in Washington state, and was re-numbered #1000. The trailing axle of its 2-8-2 wheel arrangement permitted easy bi-directional operation, making it particularly suited to the demands of a logging concern.
In 1944, #1000 was sold to the Santa Maria Valley Railroad, which served
oil refineries in Santa Maria, CA, as well as hauling produce to the Southern Pacific's mainline at Guadalupe, CA.
The Santa Maria Valley Railroad donated #1000 to the museum in 1954 as it dieselised its operations. The railroad continues in business to this day, its fourteen mile line still hauling freight for customers in the Santa Maria Valley.
An oil burner, #1000 weighs 195,000 lbs and operated at a boiler pressure of 180 psi, delivering total tractive effort of 35,700 lbs. It has 48" drivers, and the cylinders are 20" x 28".
#1273 is one of thirty-two 0-6-0 locomotives built by the Southern Pacific at its Sacramento workshops. Six more were built at the railroad's Los Angeles shops.
#1273 was built in 1921. Classed as an S-12, it worked as a switcher in SP's Sacramento yards for most of its operating life.
#1273 was an oil burner. It weighs 153,000 lbs and has 20" x 26" cylinders and 51" drivers.
With a 30 sq ft grate and total heating surface of 1,250 sq ft, including 255 sq ft superheating, it operated at a boiler pressure of 200 psi, delivering tractive effort of 31,020 lbs.
The 0-6-0 dominated switching on US railroads right up to WWI, although heavier freight had already brought more orders for 0-8-0s, as well as diversion of older road engines to switching, both as-built and rebuilt with leading and trailing trucks removed.
After WWI, the success of the USRA
0-8-0 design resulted in reduced demand for 0-6-0s. Although orders continued right into the 1940s, they were relegated to lighter duties and smaller yards.
#1273 was retired in 1956 and, during thirty-five years of service, it logged over 1,500,000 miles. The following year, it was donated to the museum by Southern Pacific.
#31 is an (0-4-0T) saddle tank built in 1921 for the City of Los Angeles Harbor Authority by the Davenport Locomotive Works of Davenport, IA. It was an oil burner and weighs 42,000 lbs. Operating at a boiler pressure of 192 psi, it delivered tractive effort of 11,080 lbs, and has 11" x 16" cylinders and 28½" drivers.
#31 was bought to work on the development of the Los Angeles Port of San Pedro, mainly on the island of Catalina. It worked with #32, which is also in the Travel Town collection, and another little saddle tank, #33.
The locomotives hauled rock from a quarry to the shore of Catalina Island, but also worked on the main land at times.
Construction began on San Pedro Harbour in 1899, and the area was annexed to Los Angeles in 1909. By the 1920s, it was the US West Coast's busiest seaport. and, in the early 1930s, a massive expansion was begun including constructing a two mile long outer breakwater and a smaller inner breakwater with docks for sea going vessels.
The three engines continued in the development of the harbour until the early 1950s when dieselisation of the harbour motive power began. Destined for the scrap yard, #31 was identified as a candidate for the museum's collection and was donated by the Los Angeles Harbor Authority along with #32 in 1953.
#32 is another (0-4-0T) saddle tank.
An oil burner weighing 38,000 lbs
built for the City of Los Angeles by Alco in 1914, it operated at a boiler pressure of 165 psi, delivering tractive effort of 8,230 lbs. It has 33" drivers and 11" x 16" cylinders. It was donated to the museum by the Los Angeles Harbor Authority along with #31 in 1953.
#2 was built by the Heisler Locomotive Works, Erie, PA, in 1918 for the Hetch Hetchy Railroad to work on the O'Shaughnessy Dam in Yosemite, CA. An oil burning 3-truck Heisler, #2 weighs 150,000 lbs. It has 38" drivers and 17" x 15" cylinders. Operating at a boiler pressure of 200 psi, it delivered 30,000 lbs tractive effort.
In 1923, #2 was sold to Standard Lumber (later Pickering Lumber), who donated it to the museum in 1957. You can see other Heislers on the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania Train Shed, Cass Scenic Rail Road and South Eastern Railroad Museum pages of this website.
This 166,500 lb oil burning 3-truck Shay was built in 1922 by Lima as #4 for the Little River Redwood Company Railroad, a lumber concern based in Crannell, CA.
In 1935, the locomotive was sold
to the Camino, Placerville &
Lake Tahoe Railroad and renumbered #2.
The CP< operated an eight mile line owned by the Michigan-California Lumber Company. It
was primarily a lumber-hauling line, carrying milled timber from the company's planing mill in Camino in the Sierra Nevada Mountains east of Sacramento to a connection with the Placerville Branch of the Southern Pacific at Placerville, CA.
The placing of cylinders on the side of Shay locomotives gives them their characteristically "lop-sided" look. Piston rods are geared to a side shaft that drives the cogged wheels.
The drivers are 36" and the cylinders are 12" x 15".
Operating at 200 psi, #2 delivered 30,350 lbs tractive effort.
After a working life of thirty-three years, the last twenty-two with Michigan-California Lumber, #2 was donated to the museum in 1955.
#7 was an oil burner. It weighs 133,600 lbs, operated at a boiler pressure of 195 psi and produced tractive effort of 27,900 lbs. The drivers are 56" and the cylinders are 19" x 26"
Sharp Construction were a major railroad construction company, and #7 worked on double-tracking large parts of the AT&SF Railway System through Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and California.
During WWI, #7 worked at Camp Kearney, San Diego, CA. Built in 1917, Camp Kearney was a major training and mobilisation facility for the US Army. After the war, the camp was used as a demobilisation centre and was then closed in 1920.
This locomotive was originally built in 1902 as a Mogul (2-6-0) type by Alco. Originally #13, it was one of four Moguls (#10-#13) delivered to the Minnesota Land & Construction Company.
In 1903, the locomotive was sold to the Duluth, Virginia & Rainy Lake Railway, a subsidiary of the Canadian Northern with a line from Virginia to Silver Lake, MN. It was renumbered #13 and named "Virginia". In 1909, it was sold to the C. H. Sharp Construction Company, renumbered #1 and the two-wheel trailing truck was added to make it a Prairie (2-6-2) type. At some later date, it was renumbered by Sharp Construction as #7.
During WWII, #7 worked at various other US Army ordnance depots, including the munitions store at Fort Wingate, NM, and the Navajo Ordnance Plant at Flagstaff, AZ. The locomotive was donated to the museum by Sharp & Fellows, successor to C. H. Sharp Construction, in 1954 after forty-five years working for the company.
The company that is now Sharp & Fellows has been in existence since 1877, and still operates. It is currently headquartered in Gardena, CA, and has offices in Los Angeles and San Bernadino, CA. It provides railroad track design, construction, maintenance, inspection, repairs and removal. It includes BNSF, an AT&SF successor amongst its clients.
#4439 is one of forty-five oil burning
S-5 class 0-6-0 switchers built for the Union Pacific by Baldwin in 1918.
#4439 worked in Cheyenne, WY, and then on the Los Angeles Harbor Belt line until it had to cease operation by order of the Air Pollution Control Board in 1957. It was the last steam engine to operate in regular service in the greater Los Angeles area.
#26 is a Consolidation type
(2-8-0) locomotive. It is one of thirteen of these oil burners built by Alco in 1909 to haul freight on the Western Pacific.
The Western Pacific was a comparative late comer to California. Although conceived in the 1860s, construction did not begin until 1903, and #26 was already working in Utah and Nevada when road crews working eastward from Oakland, CA, met those coming west from Salt Lake City, UT. Driving of a golden spike at Spanish Creek trestle at Keddie in Northern California on 1st November 1909 signalled completion of WP's now famous Feather River Canyon route.
#26 spent its forty-five year service life working for the WP, and was one of the last Alco Consolidations retired by the railroad.
Donated by the Western Pacific to the "Children of Los Angeles", it joined the collection in 1954 and has been fulfilling its intended role admirably at Travel Town ever since!
Classed as a C-43, #26 is 69' 10" long. The engine weighs 203,000 lbs and the tender 157,000 light. It has
20" x 30" cylinders and 57" drivers. With a 200 sq ft firebox, a 33.6 sq ft grate area and 2,292 sq ft of heating surface (including 733 sq ft superheating), #26 operated at a boiler pressure of 200 psi, delivering 43,300 lbs tractive effort.
#1 is an American (4-4-0) type locomotive built by the Norris Locomotive Works of Lancaster, PA, for the first railroad to bear the name "Western Pacific". The Norris Works produced locomotives from 1832 to 1866 and was, during its peak in the 1850s, the largest locomotive maker in the US if not the world. Baldwin acquired the Norris factory site in 1873.
The Western Pacific was organised in 1862 to connect the Central
Pacific in Sacramento with San Jose, CA, and #1 was one of ten locomotives bought by the company. When received, they were lettered "A" to "J", and #1 was originally lettered "G" and nicknamed "Mariposa".
After forty years working for the Central Pacific, #1488 was sold to the newly formed Stockton, Terminal & Eastern Railroad in 1914 where it was renumbered #1.
The ST&E began operations on 5th September 1910, on a line built east from Stockton, CA, by a group of San Joaquin County farmers, merchants and promoters. #1 was the railroad's primary power for many years, and it ran continuously until the company donated it to the museum in 1953. The Stockton, Terminal & Eastern still operates 25 miles of track out of Stockton connecting to transfers with the BNSF, Union Pacific and Central California Traction Company.
#1 is an oil burner weighing 62,100 lb, which operated at a boiler pressure of 135 psi, producing 10,260 lbs tractive effort. It has 16" x 22" cylinders and 63" drivers.
In 1867, the Western Pacific ran out of money and halted work until it was absorbed by the Central Pacific in 1870. "Mariposa" was renumbered #31 and was the second Central Pacific locomotive to bear that number (the first #31 had suffered a boiler explosion in Nevada in 1870). In 1891, #31 was leased to the Southern Pacific as #1193. It was renumbered #1215 in 1901 and #1488 in 1907.
#1544 was built in the North Shore Railroad's Tiburon shops in Sausalito, CA, in 1902. The North Shore was established by the Pacific Gas & Electric Company after it had taken over the North Pacific Coast Railroad's narrow gauge Marin County to Sausalito, CA, line in 1902.
An early experiment in standard gauge electric locomotive design, #1544 is the only engine of its type, but was not entirely successful. When operating, it drew so much electricity that other cars along the line would slow to a crawl. It was therefore largely restricted to operating during the early morning. In 1906, #1544 was shipped across the Bay to help clear rubble after the San Francisco earthquake. At some time, the Central Pacific bought it and renumbered it #201, but it appears to have stayed in storage until 1917, when it was bought by Pacific Electric.
The Pacific Electric Railway was an interurban system that used streetcars, light rail and buses to carry freight, mail and passengers. A few years after formation in 1901, most PE stock was purchased by the Southern Pacific. By 1925, the railway had established interconnections with cities in Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County.
The "Electra", as #1544 was christened, weighs 50 tons. It has 33" drivers and could produce 500 hp. The sloped ends on either side of the cab were taken from steam locomotive tenders. One end was filled with water and the other with sand for ballast.
Pacific Electric used "Electra" as a work locomotive and switcher at various locations in the Los Angeles area. In 1925, it worked on construction of the Los Angeles subway system, specifically the subway tunnel running from Glendale and Beverly Boulevards to Fifth and Hill Streets (although stripped of its equipment, the tunnel still exists today). "Electra" saw its last service as a switcher at Pacific Electric's Torrance repair shops, south of Los Angeles, CA. Retired in 1952, it was donated to the museum by Pacific Electric the following year.
The PE was sold in 1953 to Metropolitan Coach Lines, a company intent on converting all rail service in the greater Los Angeles area to buses as quickly as possible. The last service on the former Pacific Electric ran from Los Angeles to Long Beach on 9th April 1961. However, Pacific Electric's freight service was continued by the Southern Pacific under the Pacific Electric name until 1964.
#1 is a 42 ton, 300 hp diesel-electric switcher, one of three built by EMD in 1942 for the United States Navy. However, only eleven of these locomotives were built between 1940 and 1943.
#1 hauled coal and supplies at the US Navy's Torpedo Station on Goat Island, RI, as well as at the North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego, CA.
In 1962, #1 transferred to the McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft Corporation's Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant at Torrance, CA, where it worked for another twenty-five years.
In March 1988, McDonnell-Douglas donated it to the museum, at which time #1 started a new career as a switcher at the museum. It was christened "Charley Atkins" in memory of the Los Angeles Recreation and Parks employee largely instrumental in forming Travel Town.
EMD's Model 40 is an early example of experimentation with diesel design. It is
unusual in that it has two Model 6-71 diesel engines, which both spin a single, centrally mounted DC traction generator that powers a second generator to supply power to a pair of four-wheeled trucks. To do this, one engine spins in the opposite rotational direction to the other. Most diesel switchers of this size were equipped with a single engine and two traction motors, one for each wheel set.