The Los Angeles Live Steamers have already begun work renovating and preparing for the construction of their new Sherwood Station. It will be the single largest and most important addition to the steam train park since it came into existence in 1956. And with the influence that Walt Disney has had on the park, it is befitting that the station be in the style of the disneyland railroad stations.
The new station will have a long canopy that will offer shade to all those in line to ride the steam trains. It will also have a second floor office and men’s and women’s restrooms. The park currently only provides an outhouse for the public to use. The designs have plans laid out for a beautiful turn of the century, victorian gingerbread style structure complete with a clock tower, decorative molding and windows. The two story structure will be visible from the 134 freeway which should attract a new audience that may not have even known it existed before.
This plan has been in the works for about 4 years. Roger Bacon from the LALS board of directors sent the proposal to the parks department in 2006 and only now is the project finally getting off the ground. The parks department insists on a certain classic look and feel about any structure being placed in Griffith park. And Sherwood Station will certainly be fitting in with that ideal. Preparations are already being made for the groundbreaking which is set to happen within about a month. If all goes as planned, the station is slated to be completed around Christmas time.
The LALS has run their steam and electric trains for 54 years and has been offering the public rides around the park all while asking only for a small donation($3.00 suggested donation per person) to keep the non-profit organization going. Those that operate the park are made up entirely of vollunteers and their passionate efforts are the reason the steam trains have kept chugging along for 54 years. They have several members, many of whom have been members for quite a long time. None more so than Gordon Sherwood from whom the new Sherwood Station will be named.
Gordon Sherwood helped found the LALS in 1956 and has been attending the historic park as a member ever since. He is set turn 100 years of age next March. He served in World War II in the army corps of engineers which is what gave him the expertise to help design and built the steam engine park. Well, that and his longtime passion for railroading and model trains. He is well known in the model railroading community and was on the cover of the1953 issue of Model Railroader magazine.
Sherwood was a fellow founder along with Walt Disney’s first Disney Imagineer Roger Broggie. Walt Disney himself was even a charter member. With Disney studios being just down the street in Burbank, he would spend a great deal of time at LASL. Walt had a large track in his backyard where he practiced his love of steam trains for many years. And when he pulled up his backyard track in 1964, he donated 1500 feet of it to the LASL. This large donation included the diamond crossing which is on display in Walt’s barn on the east end of the grounds.
And now with the Sherwood Station, along with the new Disneyland Railroad train car joining Walt’s Barn and the LA Live Steamers on the grounds, this hidden gem of Los Angeles is about it get a little less hidden.
To view a photo gallery of the Los Angeles Live Steamers park CLICK HERE
If you aren’t familiar with it’s location, it is just off the 134 freeway, west of the LA Zoo on Zoo drive and just east of the Travel Town museum(the place with the really big trains).
LALS is currently selling personalized engraved pavers for the walkway leading up to the station. If you would like to find out information on how to purchase a personalized paver CLICK HERE.
For more information visit the Los Angeles Live Steamers website.
And for most all other California Railroad related content, visit the Modesto Railroad Examiner page.