I'm a Los Angeles native and growing up, I have fond memories of the Griffith Park train, located next to the pony rides. Earlier this year, Dan introduced me to a much cooler train depot, also located in Griffith Park. The Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum is a club comprised of train enthusiast, who open their doors to the public for rides every Sunday (weather permitting) 10:45am-3pm.
This is the front of the newly remodeled train depot from our visit on November 25, 2012. They still had a lot of their decorations from their Halloween themed train rides, that they uses a fundraiser for this non-profit club.
The live steamers is the best deal in town. A train ride, lasting about fifteen minutes, is only three dollars a person. The child and adult prices are the same. The first time I visited the steamers was last February and I went in with fairly low expectations. The other Griffith Park train is dinky, completely geared towards kids. I was blown away by the elaborate set up at the Live Steamers. The club has quite a bit of land for the tracks in Griffith Park and the entire experience is far superior to the old Griffith Park trains. I feel like if people knew that this is down the road, that they wouldn't bother with the other train, as this one is really fun for both kids and adults.
On our February visit, we unwittingly visited on the third Sunday of the month and experience an extra surprise, Walt Disney's Carolwood Barn.
Here is my Dan in front of the Carolwood Barn.
The barn is located on the property of the Live Steamers and is only open for tours on the third Sunday of every month. I probably have to relinquish my Disney Fan Card, as I had no idea that this was even here.
Walt Disney was a train enthusiast and had his own live-steamer miniature in the backyard of his Holmby Hills estate located on Carolwood Drive. The Barn was originally located on the property and served as his workshop. It has been dubbed "The Birthplace of imagineering" as it was Walt's tinkering and thinking spot.
The barn was moved to Griffith park and is now filled with train and Disneyana memorabilia. There were plenty of enthusiastic volunteers on hand to answer all manner of Disney and train questions. The members of the club are one of the key components in making the visit to the Steamers special as they are so nice and welcoming. The suggested donation to visit the barn was five dollars and well-worth every penny.
We were given stickers for our donation!
Conductor Dan, standing in front of a car from the Disneyland Railroad.
I cannot say enough wonderful things about the Los Angeles Live Steamers. It's a great place for all ages and a bargain. It's definitely a hidden gem in Southern California.