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Travel Town (continued)

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On August 17, 1953, No. 1 was officially presented to the City by Dr. Hiss, and it has been on eof the parks major attractions ever since. But Travel Town did not stop growing, for in 1954, it recieved many notable additions. The first was Western Pacific 26, a consolidation somewhat heavier than Santa Fe 664. With it came another priceless relic, an ancient S.P. shop switcher which had once been a steam dummy, built by baldwin in 1882. Donated originally by the Southern Pacific to the Pacific Coast Chapter of the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society, No. 2 had been stored in the Western Pacific shops in Sacramento, waiting for a suitable place to exhibit it. The Chapter decided to donate it to Travel Town, to take it's place with S. T. and E No. 1 and W.P. 26 as Northern California's contribution to the rapidly growing transportation museum.

The arrival of 26 at the gates of Travel Town on a rainy morning in March 1954, almost caused Belyea to give up locomotive hauling, for when the multi-wheeled trailer was backed through the parking lot to the unloading ramp, it became bogged down in the mud, in it was neccessary to bring several additional tractors from the Belyea yards to work in tandem with the stalled tractor. The engine was left on the trailer overnight, and as the rain had stopped and the ground dried out somewhat, the combined efforts of several tractors won a victory over the mud, and the 26 was finally wheeled into place and backed off the trailer. The little 0-4-0 No. 2 presented no problem and was quickly unloaded and placed alongside 26. These two engines were officially presented to Travel Town on March 21, 1954, with Gilbert H. Kneiss, Assistant to the President of the Western Pacific dedicating 26, and Jerry Best, Vice Chairman of the Pacific Coast Chapter doing the honors for the two-spot.

On may 10th, 1954, not to be outdone by his fellow shortline president, Dr. John Hiss, Mr. G. Allen Hancock, President of the Santa Maria Valley RR. presented Travel Town with Engine 1000, a light mikado, or 2-8-2, which had once operated on the Hetch Hetchy RR. and later on the Newaukum Valley RR. in Wasshington. This too was hauled free by the Southern Pacific from Guadalupe to Glendale, and by Belyea to the park.

At this time, the Union Pacific, still unable to add a locomotive to Travel Town's fleet, presented what is probably the most useful single piece of equipment in the place. This was dining car 3669, an 86 ton steel car built in 1920 and modernized in the late 1930's. It came completely furnished, and since that date, the car has been used for hundreds of childrens' birthday parties. For a very small sum, parents can stage a birthday party for forty or fifty children with a cake, soft drinks, ice cream, and a ride on the narrow gauge train all included. As a result, the car is reserved for certain hours of the day, weeks in advance, and it is common to have 12 to 15 parties on a Saturday.

The Crystal Springs and Southwestern limited, hauled by Oahu Ry. 85 on a trial run in April, 1955, half a mile east of Travel Town.

The old Southern Pacific freight station at Arcadia, after spending years at Parker Lyon's Pony Express Museum, has now found a home in Travel Town.

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