In 2016, the Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum announced that its beloved Ghost Train event would not be returning as one of the city’s only family-centric Halloween attractions after 15 years of operation. Theme Park Adventure covered this unfortunate turn of events closely, raising the ire of the club’s then Board of Directors when public outcry ensued. By all accounts, it seemed like a most unfortunate – and unwanted – end to a spooky event that people across the Southland absolutely adored; the Ghost Train had made its final whistle stop before rolling into oblivion.
We are thrilled to announce that the LA Live Steamers Railroad Museum has a new Board, and under the direction of its new leadership, Ghost Train is returning to Griffith Park once again, beginning this year!
“With unanimous consensus from the LA Live Steamers Railroad Museum Board of Directors, this Halloween fundraiser will reemerge from the shadows on Friday the 13th in October,”says Ron Hitchcock, LA Live Steamers Board President. “This ghoulish-but-not-gory event has been our most popular community outreach and the most significant fundraiser for our Museum by far. We do it to fund our love for trains, we do it for our community, and we especially do it for the children.”
This is perhaps the happiest news possible for the 2017 Halloween season here in Southern California, especially just before a season that seems to be a little on the light side regarding new haunted attractions. Now, Ghost Train is suddenly very high on our must-do haunt list for this year – and it should be on yours, as well. It’s one of our favorite events of the season, and we cannot express how grateful we are to Ron and the rest of the LA Live Steamers group who understand the importance of its Ghost Train event and the positive role it plays each year here in the Greater Los Angeles region – which ironically, is lacking when it comes to a wide variety of family-friendly Halloween events each season.
Gary Baker will resume his role as Ghost Train’s Producer this year. Yes, it’s the same Gary Baker who serves as Executive Producer for Midsummer Scream; he is a huge fan of all things Halloween, and has fought long and hard to see Ghost Train’s return to Southern California.
“For me, the heart and soul of the Ghost Train has always been the friends, fans, and families that have supported us for 15 years,” says Gary. “It was that appreciation of what we do that makes it so worth the labor of love – from our sets and decorations to our very talented volunteer team. This year, we will bring back family-friendly, traditional vignettes of Halloween as in the past, and as always, add some new surprises!”
Sadly, some of the members of LA Live Steamers who were working with the old Board regime took matters into their own hands, and destroyed a few key sets and components that were part of the Ghost Train experience. The good news is, those folks are long gone from the organization, and the current Board and members are already hard at work getting Ghost Train ready for its re-materialization on Friday, October 13, 2017. The attraction will operate on select nights during October – please see the official LA Live Steamers Railroad Museum website for dates, times, and ticketing information.
Fans should expect the return of old favorites such as the massive Number 8 Steam Engine (manned by a team of skeletons), the explosive Abandoned Davis Mine sequence, and the stormy Pirates Cove scene, along with others. An all-new Zombie Containment Zone will be one of the new features riders pass through during the 25-minute excursion!
Theme Park Adventure applauds Ron, Gary, and the rest of the LA Live Steamers team that never gave up on Ghost Train or its fans. It’s truly going to be a very Happy Halloween in Los Angeles!
- Rick West
Be sure to bookmark and reference our 2017 SoCal Haunt Directory for all your Halloween haunt planning!