Thursday, March 28, 2013

Traveling the town...

Waaaay back in early January, my wife, some good friends, and I went up to Los Angeles to celebrate a one of the friends birthday. The first stop on our outing was the Los Angeles rail museum, Travel Town, in Griffith Park.
Some of us had never been to Travel Town, and those who had, hadn't been there since childhood.

Travel Town main line. ©Mike Vega 2013
1985 Canon AE-1 100asa B/W film

Travel Town is located on the "backside" of Griffith Park. There are locomotives and rail cars from eras long past, reaching back nearly 100 years. Some of these are undergoing restoration, and the "inventory" changes with donations and trading with other railway museums.

Vintage Pullman car. ©Mike Vega 2013
1985 Canon AE-1 100asa B/W film

We wandered the park like grounds for a couple of hours, imagining the era when rail travel was the primary method of long distance travel... Chatting about the experience of traveling by train and its very tactile qualities. The motion, the sounds, the amenities... Sleeping cars, dining cars, observation cars, train stations, bridges...

Inside the belly of the beast... ©Mike Vega 2013
1985 Canon AE-1 100asa B/W film

The size of the trains cannot be easily ignored, the textures of the materials, iron, steel, wood, have all the character of a persons face who has lived life.
It is easy here to let your mind wander into what lives were like, for the rail men, engineers, conductors, and passengers of these times when you are standing in or next to these wonderful time capsules.

Style to spare... ©Mike Vega 2013
1985 Canon AE-1 100asa B/W film

Some of the cars have so much personality, it's almost as if they can talk. Many of the cars have biographies presented, some just have dates of operation. Pullman cars like this likely transported would be stars and starlets west to Los Angeles and Hollywood seeking fame, fortune and stardom. Many likely found ordinary lives or...

Locomotion. ©Mike Vega
1950 Tower 120 200asa film

These machines moved countless numbers of people, tons upon tons of freight and goods and helped to build this country, literally from the ground up. Trains are ingrained in our collective memories as characters from books, and films, as sources of inspiration, gateways to freedom and so much more. 
Thankfully, there are people who love trains and volunteer their time and efforts to keep them alive for future generations to enjoy.


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