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Miniature Trains

September 19, 2011

My 9-year-old boy son loves trains, as do most boys. We’ve taken him to model train conventions and even attended National Train Day at Union Station in Los Angeles.

But when you can’t ride the real thing, there are miniature trains, working trains built to about 1/8th scale. In Southern California, we are lucky enough to have 2 local miniature train clubs that offer free public rides. In Los Angeles, there is the Los Angeles Live Steamers in Griffith Park:

In the late 40s, Walt Disney operated a miniature railroad on the grounds of his estate in Holmby Hills. Neighborhood families would visit all the time to take rides, and it proved so popular that it was one of the inspirations that ultimately led him to create Disneyland. On his estate, he used to work on his train cars in a big red barn. Upon his wife’s death in 1997, the estate was sold and the barn donated to Griffith Park:

Down in Orange County, we have visited the Orange County Model Engineers in Costa Mesa a number of times. We even had my son’s 7th birthday there:

There are other miniature railroads throughout the country, and probably the world. If you live near one, go visit. Your inner child will thank you.


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