September 5th, 2010


Travel Town


Travel Town
5200 Zoo Drive, Los Diablos, CA 90027

Trains... the legends of ghost trains come to mind, rumbling across the land, the sound of the distant horn, phantom passengers, etc., the magical Hogwarts Express from the Harry Potter series, even one of Gomez Addams favorite past times, & otherwise are simply a practical travel choice for others. I had a train set once I received for a birthday, until both use and experimentation brought it to its limit. Yet the fascination persists. I periodically hear a distant horn echo in the night...

So it is not surprising that a certain location became of interest:

Located as part of a Griffith Park attraction, and adjacent to the L.A. Zoo and Forest Lawn Cemetery just over the hill, is Travel Town, a train based total environment museum & veritable playground that Gomez would no doubt enjoy. The entire park is comprised of classic stationary train cars which one can peruse and pass through at ones leisure.

Haunted Griffith Park

The empty train cars give the park a rather eerie atmosphere, like an abandoned ghost town, especially when the wind blows through the cars. As a matter of fact, no theme park would be complete without its own ghost story. This story relates that while traveling across Indian land once, a conductor struck a buffalo, considered sacred to Native Americans, so he was consequently subject to an Indian Curse, which states that he must be confined to the rail car forever more.

It is said that a spectral conductor can now be spotted from time to time roaming about the park. I seem to remember a certain gentleman dressed thusly appearing by the driving section on occasion at one particular car on the far side of the park. Besides this story, haunted Griffith Park is delightfully rife with legends and nefarious history.

Griffith Park and Southern Railroad

One can also even board the various resident operable trains which surround the park, coursing throughout Griffith Park, as well as a children's train complete with tooting horn, and a tour guide offering a history of the establishment. Of note, special holiday modifications are available for Halloween and xmas, which feature displays of said occasions.*

Dracling Haunt

Fortunately, I had the pleasure of frequenting this location a couple of times a year while attending camp, running about therein, hiding, climbing, playing, pretending, taking the train ride, only stopping for lunch and drinks. Also, the fact that Travel Town is located nearby The Zoo lends one the benefit of hearing an occasional roar, or screech, cackle, and various calls once in awhile, all adding to its enchanted appeal.

For those who appreciate historical locomotives, Travel Town is educational and fun, recommended for families and friends, for picnicking & general amusement. ∞

* Special note to the reader: For a little extra amusement, listen carefully to the concluding statements made by anchor Asha Blake in both parts of these videos.