random thoughts on railroad photography, railfanning, technology, and such

Entries from March 14, 2010 - March 20, 2010


Rare Railroad Photo and Family Opportunity in Southern California

One very special event is coming to southern California and presents a rare opportunity for many, railfans and the general public alike.

On May 1, 2010 a former Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway steam locomotive will make a run, complete with a passenger train set, from Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal to San Diego, California and make a return trip the following day.

The locomotive, known as Santa Fe #3751, was delivered to the Santa Fe Railway in May, 1927.  It is known as a 4-8-4 type locomotive; four leading wheels, eight driving wheels and four trailing wheels. The locomotive and tender weigh nearly 875,000 pounds when loaded with water and fuel.  The 3751 was retired from service in 1957 and donated to the city of San Bernardino.

The San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society (SBRHS) acquired the 3751 from San Bernardino for $1 in 1985 and began extensive restoration efforts.  The SBHRS finished restoring the 3751 in 1991 and she has been making occasional runs ever since.

This particular run of the 3751 is called the San Diego Steam Special II and is a joint effort of Central Coast Railway Club and the Pacific Locomotive Association.  You can purchase tickets to ride the train, if you wish.  The current schedule calls for the train to leave Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal mid-morning on May 1, 2010 and arriving in San Diego, California in the mid-afternoon.  A return trip is planned for the next day with the train leaving San Diego mid-morning and arriving at Union Station in Los Angeles mid-afternoon.

This is a rather rare opportunity for you and your family to see a steam locomotive at speed hauling a train set.  It might even be something that your younger kids have not seen before.  It really is a very thrilling site to behold.  A glimpse of days gone-by and one that shouldn’t be missed.  Find a scenic and SAFE spot near the tracks and make an event of it.  I’ll be trackside! 

Check out this video from YouTube showing a previous run of the 3751 and some of the folks stopped to see the majestic locomotive blow by.



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Yeah!. I can't wait for April 3rd. I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas...