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Amtrak Presents - TRAINS MATTER National Train Day Los Angeles May 11, 2013


--Logo from National Train Day Website

Amtrak Presents - TRAINS MATTER

The Sixth National Train Day

Los Angeles -May 11, 2013

Photos by Carl Morrison,

From an Amtrak Press Release:

About Amtrak®
Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. A record 31.2 million passengers traveled on Amtrak in FY 2012 on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Amtrak operates intercity trains in partnership with 15 states and contracts with 13 commuter rail agencies to provide a variety of services. Enjoy the journey® at or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information.Join us on and follow us at

Amtrak Fact Sheet, Fiscal Year 2012
State of California

California FY12 at a Glance

Amtrak Service & Ridership

Amtrak operates approximately 70 intercity trains and 100 commuter trains per day in California. This includes the following long-distance trains through California:

•The California Zephyr (daily San Francisco Bay Area-Salt Lake City-Chicago)

The Coast Starlight (daily Los Angeles-Oakland-Seattle)

The Southwest Chief (daily Los Angeles-Albuquerque-Chicago)

The Sunset Limited (tri-weekly Los Angeles-New Orleans-Orlando)*
* Sunset Limited service suspended east of New Orleans.

Amtrak also partners with the State of California to operate these high-frequency, state-supported trains:

Capitol Corridor (San Jose-Oakland-Sacramento-Auburn) 7 daily round trips San Jose-Oakland, 15 round trips Oakland-Sacramento (11 on weekends) with one extending to Auburn.

Pacific Surfliner (San Diego-Los Angeles-Santa Barbara-San Luis Obispo) 11 daily round trips San Diego-Los Angeles (12 on weekends), 5 round trips Los Angeles-Santa Barbara-Goleta, with 2 extending to San Luis Obispo.

San Joaquins (Oakland/Sacramento-Fresno-Bakersfield, with motorcoach connections to Los Angeles) 4 daily round trips Bakersfield-Oakland, 2 daily round trips Bakersfield-Sacramento.

During Fiscal Year 2012 Amtrak served the following California locations:

City Rail Boardings + Alightings (Amtrak Government Affairs: November 2012)

Anaheim  358,810

Antioch-Pittsburg  39,001

Auburn  28,396

Bakersfield  507,058

Barstow  3,433

Berkeley  152,096

Burbank  47,217

Camarillo  37,393

Carpinteria  20,587

Chatsworth  52,543

Chico  11,009

Colfax  4,377

Corcoran  29,072

Davis  445,416

Dunsmuir  5,385

Emeryville  586,876

Fremont  43,737

Fresno  394,074

Fullerton  310,694

Glendale  40,070

Goleta  57,033

Great America (Santa Clara)  121,246

Grover Beach  18,005

Guadalupe  11,250

Hanford  210,682

Hayward  35,342

Irvine  421,619

Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo  2,125

Lodi  8,439

Lompoc-Surf  7,096

Los Angeles  1,657,446

Madera  24,770

Martinez  475,909

Merced  125,316

Modesto  118,226

Moorpark  14,431

Needles  9,118

Oakland  416,800

Oakland Coliseum  26,272

Oceanside  344,562

Ontario  5,185

Orange  2,302

Oxnard  81,231

Palm Springs  4,945

Paso Robles  11,728

Pomona  1,614

Redding  12,059

Richmond  281,999

Riverside  12,197

Rocklin  32,993

Roseville  62,233

Sacramento (b)  1,186,958

Salinas  19,879

San Bernardino  11,554

San Clemente Pier  9,912

San Diego (c)  708,934

San Diego-Old Town 61,188

San Jose 234,767

San Juan Capistrano  244,992

San Luis Obispo  108,439

Santa Ana  201,842

Santa Barbara  304,382

Santa Clara (University) (d)  1,633

Simi Valley  40,697

Solana Beach  421,614

Stockton (Downtown)  40,056

Stockton (San Joaquin St.)  277,926

Suisun-Fairfield  200,402

Truckee  9,450

Turlock-Denair  25,308

Van Nuys 73,665

Ventura  47,482

Victorville 6,764

Wasco  21,117

Total California Station Rail Usage:  11,990,378

Ridership notes:

a)  Los Angeles is the 5th busiest station in the national Amtrak System

b)  Sacramento is the 7th busiest stati
on in the national Amtrak System

c)  San Diego is the 12th busiest station in the national Amtrak System


Amtrak spent $170,241,943 on goods and services in California in FY12. Much of this amount was in the following locations:

On October 28, 2010, Amtrak announced an order of 70 new electric locomotives from Siemens AG. The six-year, $466 million contract will create 250 jobs, primarily at a facility in Sacramento, but also at plants in Norwood, Ohio, and Alpharetta, Georgia.

American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation (APRHF) display
featured Jackie Hadnot's
 13 ft. x 4 ft. Golden Spike Ceremony wood relief carving.


Many more of Jackie Hadnot's rail-related wood carvings are in the Silver Rails Gallery in La Plata, Missouri.  This piece will probably tour some railroad museums then find a permanent home in La Plata, Missouri's Silver Rails Gallery.



LA Rail's Booth


LA Rail's booth was directly in front of the former Harvey House.  The Harvey House had no activities taking place within and was not even open for tours.


Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau had a nice display, magnets, maps, and brochures.


I was happy to see Reno Gazzola with the Pullman Rail Journeys display.


All the booths were located between the Station and the Harvey House in the high-ceilinged open portico.


Through the Great Hall, and tunnel to the tracks, was the Equipment Tour.  Left in the above photo was the Traxx Restaurant where I selected an outdoor table on the north patio for lunch.


Reuben sandwich at Traxx Restaurant in Los Angeles Union Station.


On the platforms, the guests could tour several Amtrak cars, above, including the Pacific Parlour Car from the Coast Starlight.

Equipment List from National Train Day's Facebook Page:



A highlight in the Equipment Tour for me and many other railfans, were the Santa Fe No. 3751 and Silver Solarium - Dome/Observation car (above).






No. 3751, which ran in the 1930 - 1950s, seemed perfectly aligned with the 1948 Silver Solarium to make a historically correct photo.


Inside the rounded end-car Silver Solarium.  The tracks in Los Angeles stub up to a position above Hwy. 101.  You can see green freeway exit signs through the Solarium's right window.  More information at


Silver Splendor - Dome/Lounge/Dining - features a full kitchen and bar and has a daytime capacity of 60 guests.  The car can also accommodate 48 people for sit-down dining with 24 in the dome and 24 on the main level.  Learn more at


The ACOMA was the first full-sized, all stainless steel streamlined Lounge car built for any railroad. It was named after a southwestern American Indian pueblo.  It has a central cocktail lounge seating 29, with a barber shop and crew dormitory at either end.  Furnished with exotic materials such as zebrawood veneer on the bar.


Ron, one of the ACOMA owners, is standing at the bar.  Interiors are authentic to this 1936 car.  More information at Southwest Rail Car Limited.


A historic 1940s Railway Express Truck, luggage cart, and Cadillac made a nice vignette next to the Santa Fe 3751.




Riverside Live Steamers had an excellent display as well.  This looks like the same size as the No. 3751, but notice the head of one of the workers above the tender.


Nearby were modern locomotives on display.





I had left Fullerton, CA, at 9:13 to come to Los Angeles Station, arriving before 10 a.m.  There was a returning surfliner about noon, but I stayed at the LA Station to have lunch and a refreshing frappachino at the Starbucks in the station before heading for my 3 pm departing train.  It was too warm to wait between the idling locomotives, so I walked to the north end of the platforms and with about 40 minutes waiting time, I took some more HDR photographs of the locomotives positioned to highball it out of Los Angeles when their work was done there.


No. 456 was eventually on point to lead my Surfliner 580 and drop me at Fullerton and head on south to San Diego.


No. 461, stationary with the display Amtrak train, obviously had been repainted and had yet to go out on the road.


Next to No. 461was a Genesis in 40th Anniversary paint scheme.


Because No. 461 was tied up to the stationary display cars, this becomes an unusual photo with three Surfliners abreast in LA Station.  Both locomotives left about 3 pm, one headed to San Luis Obispo, north, and the other for San Diego, south.

This was an excellent train-related adventure for me.  With Los Angeles Union Station being only a half-hour Amtrak Surfliner ride from my home station, Fullerton, California, it was a trip I take often.  The number of planned activities at LAUS seemed less in number than in past years, but it was still large enough to attract a large crowd with more activities for kids and plenty of free information to pick up for the railfans and families.  The information booths were informative about towns along Amtrak routes who would like for you to stop and visit them, offering package deals like Santa Barbara Car-Free.  Tourist trains and advocacy groups were represented as well.  Plan to go to one of the many Amtrak stations around the country hosting activities next year.

I have written over 100 rail reports about different Amtrak routes and rail destination cities.  An index of all those reports is at:


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