Hi RMT’ers! I just wanted to check in and let you know about another free train ride this weekend. Yes, you heard me, there’s another FREE TRAIN RIDE this weekend other than the trains that I mentioned yesterday!
The Southern California Live Steamers (SCLS) model railroad club meets and operates out of Wilson Park in Torrance, CA. Their public runs are the first Sunday and the third Saturday of each month. Their calendar is a little more difficult to remember because of the split weekend schedule, but I have to imagine there’s a reason for this that we just do not know about. Perhaps it’s because all the workers you will see here – just as with most if not all of the other model railroading clubs in the area – are volunteers and members of the train club of the same name. And because they are volunteering their time and expertise, I say they are welcome to set up whatever schedule for free rides that they wish!
Our family is more than happy to take note of when we can go enjoy the SCLS trains. Just like the two other ride-on clubs in the area that we’ve visited (LALS and OCME), SCLS offers their public runs as outreach to let the public know that these railroading clubs are truly open to all-ages and to everyone, whatever their train-related level of interest and/or skill. From these rides, you can see SCLS’s working train yards and other model structures where the club has obviously put forth a great amount of time and skill to make the rides that much more enjoyable not just for them but for the community.
The most remarkable part about SCLS’s train ride is their working turntable. Yes, that’s right; the train needs to turn around at the end of the line in one direction as the track doesn’t form a complete loop. This means the engineer and driver transfer the engine via manual turntable from one end of the train to the other (and it means we all need to get up and turn ourselves around, too). It was actually pretty fascinating and fun to be a part of!
The SCLS club also was a lot more lax about photography from the train. I was able to take photos the entire time during the ride without anyone hollering at me about it. But having said that, the staff are quite clear that if you should drop anything during your ride that you are never to lean over to grab it for fear of derailment or injury, so proceed with caution as far as photos go and know that someone will eventually retrieve your item(s) once the train comes to a complete stop. I say it’s much more important to hold onto your little ones than capture a picture or two (your judgment call there, RMT’ers).
Another wonderful attraction in nearby Wilson Park is the Charles Wilson Park Community Treehouse. The first of its kind in California, this mostly wooden play structure was made possible by a generous donation from the Annenberg Foundation and their and the park’s three-year relationship with Forever Young Treehouses. It is a double-format treehouse with meandering paths and whimsical roof lines. T had a blast running across the decks of this structure while C and I hung out and enjoyed the views of the park from the tree tops.
Wow, I just realized something… I really hope my RMT readers like trains! Obviously, we can’t get enough of them. Well, if you are as train-crazed as we are, care to share anything train-related with us that we might not already know about (either in Southern California or abroad)? I’d love to check it out and pass the information along… choo choo!
The Southern California Live Steamers railroad club is in the southeast corner of Wilson Park at 2100 Washington Ave.
Torrance, CA 90510. Public run hours are the first Sunday of the month from 11 a.m.-to-3 p.m. and the third Saturday of the month from Noon-to-3 p.m. Like the free trains down at Orange County Model Engineers, nothing is ever truly free, so please plan on donating a buck or two per ride so SCLS can keep these wonderful trains running for our families!