The iconic Wawona Express that for years has circled the Earl and Muriel Smittcamp property in Clovis made its last run at the ranch Thursday before donation to Rotary Storyland & Playland at Roeding Park.
Originally purchased by Earl Smittcamp to be used in a children’s amusement park that never came to be, the train has been used for parties and events over the last three decades.
The Wawona Express has an interim stop at Hillcrest Farms near Reedley, another iconic central San Joaquin Valley miniature train site. Operators there will do maintenance work on the Wawona Express.
Transporting the Smittcamp train to Storyland & Playland means there will now be two trains at the children’s amusement parks – ensuring there will always be a train available for guests to ride. Breakdowns do occur with the existing Storyland & Playland train, resulting in some sad young visitors. Bruce Batti, board chair of Storyland & Playland, said having a second train will help out a lot.