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Train Festival at Los Angeles Union Station
September 9, 2023

Report and photos by Carl Morrison,

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Table of Contents

I.  Amtrak Pacific Surfliner ride from Fullerton to Los Angeles Union Station

II.  Los Angeles Union Station photos and festival map

Railroad Equipment Displays

Information Booths

Model Train Displays

VI.  Links to other reports

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner ride from Fullerton to Los Angeles Union Station

(Nearly all photos can be clicked for a larger copy: Click BACK to return to this page.)

I like to get my Amtrak tickets online so I do not have to find my phone copy when asked by the Conductor.  However, the printout did not have the return time, so I looked it up and wrote it on my paper copy.

The Fullerton Station is my preferred departure station for Pacific Surfliner  and Southwest Chiefs for several reasons.  First, the Fullerton Station has the Sante Fe Express Cafe managed by Jose and Anna with trackside seating.  Second, several trains will pass while you wait for your train including BNSF freights, Metrolinks, as well as Pacific Surfliners and twice a day the Southwest Chief.

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Passing BNSF double-stack from Long Beach/LA harbor.  Right, Lead power, Left, trailing DPUs.

It was not clear which Metrolink or Surfliner would arrive first on Track 3 so an announcement was made to be sure to get on the right train.

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We boarded but had to walk through the train to the first/crew cab car to find two upper level seats together.
The view forward from the cab car with the corner of the engineers area on the right.


Video of our ride from the flyover over the LA River to the Metro Building at the LAUS Station.


My ticket on my tray and a QR code for the Cafe Menu.

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The Metro headquarters and enlargeable map of where photo was taken.

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Los Angeles Union Station photos and festival map

In the Station, I noticed a line had already formed 1/2 hr. before the 10 a.m. opening of the Railroad Equipment Tours and Displays, so I proceeded to the Information Booths and Model Train Displays in the Station.

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I stopped at the Media Sign in table for my Media Pass, Union Station bag with a tee shirt, and program.


(Click for a larger copy: Click BACK in your browser to return to this page.)

Waiting Room at LAUS

Photographic displays in the Waiting area were viewable before 10 a.m.

Some years ago a piano was placed in the Waiting Area for impromptu concerts.




This photographic display was south of the Entry Vestibule.


It was still before opening at 10 a.m., so I stepped outside for some photos on Alameda St.

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Nice walking-time signs in front of the west side of the Station.

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Information Booths

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On the South Patio, Information Booths were open.


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The QR code upper left will get you to this @BuildHSR website upper right.
For further information, go to:


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Because the shade/sun spots on their large map made it almost unreadable, I found an online copy below.  Click to Enlarge:


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Morales Fresh Fruit and Mr. Popcorn Man were on the South Patio as well.

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Model Train Displays

The Ticket Concourse had extensive Model Train Displays.

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Several displays had stools, left, so the little ones could have a better view of the model trains.



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Railroad Equipment Displays

My main interest in attending the Train Festival was to again photograph Sante Fe 3751

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Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe 3751 is a class 3751 4-8-4 "Heavy Mountain" type steam locomotive built in May 1927 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Eddystone (Philadelphia), Pennsylvania for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (ATSF). No. 3751 was the first 4-8-4 steam locomotive built for the Santa Fe and was referenced in documentation as type: "Heavy Mountain", "New Mountain", or "Mountain 4-wheel trailer". No. 3751 served in passenger duties until being retired in 1953.

The locomotive was then placed on display in San Bernardino until it was restored to operating condition in 1991. It is currently located in the Central City East neighborhood of Los Angeles and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2000. It holds the distinction of being the oldest surviving 4-8-4 type steam locomotive in the world.

The locomotive is currently owned and operated by the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society, which uses the locomotive to haul occasional mainline excursion trains. However, a federally mandated 15-year inspection put it out of service for three to four years. No. 3751's overhaul was completed in September 2022, and it returned to service that month.


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Left, Metrolink F125 Locomotive

The EMDŽ F125 is the first new EPA Tier 4 passenger locomotive to be sold in the world. At 125 mph, it’s the highest performing diesel-electric locomotive in North America. And, while offering 4,700 horsepower, it still weighs only 280,000 pounds.  Download Brochure

Amtrak P-42 Locomotive #203 with "See Tracks Think Train! " address on the side

Amtrak has painted a P-42 locomotive in honor of Operation Lifesaver’s 50th anniversary. The locomotive is painted black and yellow with a large railroad crossing warning sign and the message “See Tracks? Think Train.” The locomotive was painted at the Beech Grove, Ind., shops recently and has been sent east. Officials say the locomotive will be seen on the point of Amtrak trains across the country.

“See Tracks? Think Train!” is one of several major campaigns the organization conducts to connect with the public to increase visibility and awareness around trains and railroad tracks. Over the past five decades, Operation Lifesaver and its safety partners have helped reduce railroad crossing incidents by 84 percent, from 12,000 in 1972, the year Operation Lifesaver started, to 1,900 in 2020, according to OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh.



ATSF 5704 American Freedom Train Locomotive

The Southern California Railroad Museum [Perris, California] has added a former Santa Fe bicentennial locomotive to its collection.

SD45-2 No. 5704, built in 1973, was one of five repainted locomotives repainted into red, white, and blue at Santa Fe’s San Bernardino shops in 1975 and 1976, and saw action on priority freight trains as well as in support of the American Freedom Train during its time on Santa Fe routes. It was repainted into the standard blue and yellow paint by late 1978, and continued to operate well after the merger than created BNSF Railway.

Recently retired and scheduled for scrap, the locomotive was saved through efforts by led by Stephen M. Priest, a former railroader, author, and historian in the Kansas City area.


BNSF Freight Locomotive 3755


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Since this giant was stationary, I noticed that many parts were labelled.





Two private railcars were on display as well.

Tioga Pass
National Forum PAR 1207

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