LiveSteamers is one of three miniature train stations located Griffith Park of Los Angeles. This particular station is run completely on donations by way of volunteer memberships, where members donate their time (for venue maintenance and train repairs) and money via an annual contribution of $40 (a yearly membership fee that is applied towards the cost of running and maintaining the trains). Public donations, by way of soliciting an optional $3 train ride fare from visitors, as well as renting the venue to the private sector to host special events, also help in keeping this Los Angeles staple up and running.
The 10 minute ride on these fully functioning, 7½” gauge locomotives, is really fun. The small scale steam trains that people straddle (you must be at least 38″tall to ride) pass through miniature towns, go over and under miniature bridges and through manmade tunnels. There are small Western themed towns, a graveyard with tombstones, real railroad gates that come down to help the flow of people needing to safely pass over the tracks and views of the Disney Barn, a Stationary Steam Plant, a 1929 Santa Fe 999355 (steel CE-2 caboose) and a 1942 Union Pacific 25064 (a steel CA-3 caboose). Every third Sunday of the month, the Disney Barn, steam plant and nearby true-to-size, vintage train cars are open to the public to explore and enjoy.
We used to frequent this train station every weekend since my son expressed an interest in trains at 18 months old. He has since moved on to race cars, so we have not been here in six months. Our cousins had an unusual free Sunday and decided spend that Sunday with us, so we thought of introducing them to LiveSteamers, the Disney Barn, etc. so that they can experience our once obsession of steam, local stock, diesel and electrical locomotives.
While our three year old cousin and our four year old son had fun riding the trains and exploring the grounds, the adults had a great time acting like kids for the day. I mean, who wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to be a lookie loo in Walt Disney’s former personal space wherein he tinkered with his passion for trains? Even the tracks were formerly laid out on Disney’s former home way back when.
This is definitely one Sunday well spent with family. Stop by when you can.
Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum
5202 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
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