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On Track

Toddler-Friendly Train Rides in Los Angeles

    —Photo by JellyBean Pictures

If you’ve got a train-crazy tot on your hands, you’re not alone. We’ve rounded up the best spots in LA to indulge the choo-choo obsession.

Toddlers can ride a 16-inch gauge miniature train on a two-loop, half-mile journey around the outside perimeter of the Travel Town Museum—ogling historically significant locomotives and passenger cars along the way. Inside, you’ll find dozens of old-time trains, freight cars, and cabooses from Southern California. And yes, they’re open for climbing.
Travel Town Museum
5200 Zoo Dr., Griffith Park
323.662.9678; traveltown.org
Operating times: 10am-3:15pm on weekdays; 10am-4:15pm on weekends and holidays
Cost: $2.50/train ride; museum admission and parking are free

Thomas (yes, that Thomas) will be making a special appearance at Fillmore & Western Railway Company this April for the 2012 “Day out with Thomas, Mystery on the Rails Tour.” Expect a 25-minute ride on a full-size Thomas the Tank Engine, plus Thomas-themed storytelling and the opportunity to meet Sir Topham Hatt, the Controller of the Railway on the Island of Sodor.
Fillmore & Western Railway Company
364 Main St., Fillmore
805.524.2546; fwry.com
Operating times: April 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 & 29 2012
Cost: $18/ticket; lap children under age 2 are free

If you really want to blow their minds, take ‘em on a seven-minute ride aboard Descanso Gardens’  iconic diesel train replica. Bonus: the gardens make for some nice scenery, too.
Descanso Gardens
1418 Descanso Dr., Glendale
Operating times: 10am-4pm, Saturdays and Sundays
Cost: $3 per rider, or $25 for a book of 10 tickets