Saturday, June 21, 2014

Corinne Loves Miniature Trains

Today we're going to visit and old friend… a little girl named "Corinne". She's appeared on this blog twice before; we saw her at Jungleland, and again at the Indio Date Festival. It looks like she had a swell SoCal childhood, visiting all of the local kid-friendly attractions. (No Disneyland or Knott's in the batch, unfortunately). 

In this first picture, Corinne and her mom (?) and pals (I'm guessing they aren't her brothers) ride a sleek blue miniature train. It's December 1959, but there was no label on the slide indicating the location. I was almost positive that this was from "Travel Town" ( a museum with 43 full-sized railroad engines, cars, and other rolling stock ) in Griffith Park (right near the Disney Studios), but how can I be sure?? I noticed the saw-toothed wooden detail in the upper left-hand corner, could that be part of the train station?

Eureka! After a brief Google search I found this vintage photo of the Travel Town station, and there's that same saw-toothed detail! Cool.

Just a few months later, Corinne and family headed up to Carpinteria, just south of Santa Barbara, to visit Santa Claus Lane. See an old post with photos HERE! At some point, a miniature railroad was added to circle the shops and restaurants at this roadside attraction. Corinne has her baby doll with her, which is pretty adorbs. 

We just might see Corinne again, someday! Stay tuned….


Nanook said...


Before I even scrolled down to the vintage image of Travel Town, I was willing to bet it could be none other than the place I visited many a time as a child. (Even had a birthday party aboard one of the train cars).

All aboard, Major-!

boxcarmike said...

The color picture you posted is of the Miniature Train Co. G16 train running on the Griffith Park Railroad. This incantation of the GPRR was in service until about 1966 when a new concessionaire built the railroad that is there today. The Black and White photo you have is also the GPRR while a second track was being constructed. Michael Phillips

Chuck said...

Love the "cutaway observation car" in SP Daylight Scheme in the second photo. I've never seen anything like it. I wonder what the whole thing looked like? Probably not too much fun in the rain or on a hot, sunny summer day, but a real treat for the eyes.

Chuck said...

...and I'm off on an Interweb quest again. [Insert appropriate sound effect here]

Here's what the OTHER side of the train looked like:

Interesting how it was designed to look "whole" from the outside of the loop of track, which is the first look visitors would get of the diminutive diesel and its tiny train. Also note how it ran clockwise, just like the contemporary Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad. Coincidence? You decide.

The SP Daylight scheme is particularly appropriate. Santa Claus Lane is sandwiched between US 101 and what in 1959 was still the Southern Pacific Railroad, and SP passenger trains wearing this paint (but with fully enclosed passenger cars) would have rumbled past several times a day.

I love learning stuff I didn't know I needed to know!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

I love train photos and you can never post too many.

I even rode the train Walt style (Amtrak)from AZ to Anaheim for the first D23 Expo.

Wish there were more photo's of the Knott's trains (personal fav's) but these are kind of rare.

Thanks for posting, happy rails.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I was reasonably sure, but there are so many places in SoCal that resemble each other, I thought there was a chance it could be somewhere else!

boxcarmike, it wasn't until I checked Wikipedia that there are (or were?) THREE miniature railroads in Griffith Park (including the Travel Town RR).

Chuck, it's the only way they could squeeze full-sized humans into those trains!

Chuck again, I have some other photos of the Santa Claus Lane trains (from a different lot), I need to scan those and share them here. I wonder if you could order your train with either side cut away, depending on the direction your track went?

Alonzo, wow, how long did it take to get from AZ to Anaheim? My one true long train ride (from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin) was uncomfortable and seemed to take forever. I have a few more Knott's train shots to share here, time to get scanning!

Melissa said...

I remember Corinne and her red babushka from Jungleland! She was one of the Babushka Scouts I sent to keep Susie company in the teacups!

That tiny dining car is the cutest thing. I bet the kids were clambering to ride in that one.

I love that "SANTA'S KITCHEN HOME MADE PIES" sign picture so much, Chuck! Too bad the train doesn't stop for pies...