Sonoma TrainTown Railroad
|Industry||Tourism and recreation|
The Sonoma TrainTown Railroad (commonly called "Sonoma Train Town") is a tourist railroad and small amusement park in Sonoma, California, USA. Its logo is based on the logo for the New York Central Railroad. Its main feature is a 15 in (381 mm) gauge miniature railway, which closely corresponds to a 1:4 scale model of a standard gauge railroad.
TrainTown was built by Stanley Frank, a printer from Oakland, California, who in 1958 "began bringing his dream railroad to life, building everything himself, from the houses and landscaping to the line's two steam locomotives and one electric engine." The railroad opened to the public in 1968. Frank died in 1977, and his relatives have continued the business, adding more locomotives, landscaping and amusement park rides.
Called "an endearing and surprising modern tribute to trains", TrainTown is "an obsessively accurate model railroad". It has been described as "the most well-developed miniature railroad" in the Americas. It operates in "a wooded 10-acre park on a 20-minute ride past waterfalls and beautifully detailed houses, over a trestle and through several tunnels, all precisely one-quarter the size of the real thing." It carries up to 90 passengers on each ride, and includes four miles of track.
TrainTown features an operating replica of a New York Central Hudson locomotive, but numbered 5212, which no New York Central steam locomotive was ever numbered. This is considered by some to be the "most beautiful steam locomotive of the 1930s".
A travel writer said that "the whole layout is so cleverly crafted that it's a marvel of dedication to the art of the train buff".
In 2009, steam locomotive 4-6-4 Hudson, number 6088, arrived at Sonoma TrainTown. It was built in the 1980s and originally ran on the 15 in (381 mm) gauge Goleta Valley Railroad.
The park features a 46 foot Ferris wheel, carousel and vintage amusement rides and a petting zoo.
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- "GET ON TRACK - VISIT A TRAIN MUSEUM". Contra Costa Sun. May 14, 2003. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
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