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Fullerton Railroad Days 2013 5/2/2013

by Chris Guenzler

After another good week of substiuting at Spurgeon Intermediate School, I drove to the Santa Ana station and parked in the shelter of the parking structure on a very hot early May day then went across the pedestrian bridge and bought a Orange County Day Pass for today and a Metrolink weekend pass for the rest of the weekend.

On the way there, Metrolink 811 left Santa Ana for San Juan Capistrano. I waited for Pacific Surfliner 573 to arrive, which it did, on time. That took me on a quick trip up to Fullerton where I detrained and walked up on the pedestrian bridge.

Both Pacific Surfliners 573 and 774 were in the station at Fullerton.

Pacific Surfliners 774 departed for San Diego.

Pacific Surfliner 573 departed Fullerton for Los Angeles.

The reason I came here was the Amtrak 40th Anniversary Train which would play a part in Fullerton Railroad Days 2013.

Fullerton Railroad Days History

The Fullerton depot's new parking lot and the installation of two sidings by the city provided the perfect site for what would be Fullerton Railway Plaza Association's (FRPA) inaugural Railroad Days weekend event in May 1999. It was a spectacular success, attracting 15,000 adults and children over the two days.

The annual event grew yearly to a record 40,000-plus visitors at its 10th anniversary in May 2008. The response verified FRPA's initial belief that a permanent, rail-related attraction at the depot would be well received by the public.

Meanwhile, in 2005, the City of Fullerton began preliminary planning to redevelop the area near the depot, and FRPA was encouraged by city fathers to present plans for a permanent destination attraction to be considered for inclusion in the project. FRPA hired attractions consultant Barry Howard - design concepts creator of the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento - to put the organization's dreams onto paper. His vision of an active, educational, learning-can-be-fun approach to the facility marked a new perspective to the static display concept of the past.

From Mr. Howard’s conceptual design study, FRPA developed a prospectus and a business plan for its newly named Southern California Railroad Experience and presented them to the city to be included in the Transportation Center’s planning process. Unfortunately, in December 2008 the proposal was not accepted by the city and FRPA was left to consider other options.

FRPA immediately refocused its efforts on a more regional basis. New vision, mission and goals were adopted; the organization name was changed to Southern California Railway Plaza Association, Inc. and the association began to search for alternative ideas for holding our events and creating a railcar display venue.

We decided that the best choice for the Railroad Days location should have access to the main line at the Fullerton Train Station lot. After several years of research and consideration, SCRPA has acquired six vintage railcars that are on permanent display and open for tours as the Fullerton Train Museum, at the east end of Fullerton train station.

The Amtrak 40th Anniversary Train at Fullerton.

Amtrak P40DC 822 built by General Electric in 1993.

Former Amtrak F40PHR 406 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1988 which is a non-powered control unit.

A view of both of the Amtrak heritage units.

Amtrak sleeper 10020 "Pacific Bend", ex. Amtrak Police Department Special Communications Car 10020 "Pacific Command" 2007, exx. Amtrak crew-dormitory car 2504 1997, exxx. Amtrak 2903 1977 (upgraded from steam heat to hend end power), exxxx. Amtrak 2603 1971, nee Union Pacific 10 roomette-6 bedroom sleeper 1404 "Pacific Bend" built by Budd Company in 1950. The original name has since been re-applied and the car served as a sleeper for Amtrak staff during the 40th Anniversary Exhibit Train's tour.

Display Car 10093, ex. Amtrak 1222 1978 (upgraded from steam heat to head end power), ex. Amtrak 1049 1971, nee Santa Fe baggage car 3535 built by Budd Company in 1953. Needing repair and no longer fit for service, the car was stored in 2007 at Beech Grove until selected as one of the three 40th Anniversary Exhibit Train display cars.

Sometimes BNSF freight trains can sneak into Fullerton with no warning and this happened.

The unknown westbound BNSF came through Fullerton.

Metrolink 704 for Riverside came and went, after which I walked over to the grounds of Fullerton Railroad Days as they were in set-up mode.

Brand new BNSF ES44DC 7118, built by General Electric in 2013, was on display this year.

Disneyland Railroad 2-4-0 4 "Ernest S Marsh", built by Baldwin in 1925 as Raritan Sand Company 10 in Nixon, Newe Jersey. It was sold to a scrap dealer in Newark, New Jersey before being sold to the Pine Creek Railroad in Freehold, New Jersey in 1952. In 1957, it was leased to the Cranberry Creek Railroad before being sold in 1958 to W.E.D. Enterprises.

A steam engine cut out was also on display. I walked back over the bridge for my train for home.

I boarded Metrolink 634 for Santa Ana.

One last look at Amtrak 822 before I headed home.

Fullerton Railroad Days 5/3/2013

I drove down to the Santa Ana station and spotted Winston Walker and his daughter Christy over on a bench at Track 1. I walked over to them and soon Pacific Surfliner 763 arrived but did a bad spot, putting the door in the depression so that the ramp for Winston could not be used. I boarded the cab car and our conductor walked the Walkers back to the lower level of the Superliner. It was a quick trip to Fullerton and soon I was reunited with them and we walked into Fullerton Railroad Days. I set up my computer to do Let's Talk Trains at 10:00 AM before walking the grounds getting my pictures of this year's event.

Jackie Hadnot's latest wood carving was on display at the American Passenger Rail Heritage booth. Jackie was on "California Gold" and was interviewed by Huell Howser on the California's Gold Television. His work is also in the Silver Rails Gallery in La Plata. This work will be displayed next Saturday at National Train Day in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Live Steamers.

Carolwood Foundation.

Steve Grande at the American Passenger Rail Heritage Booth, where I did Let's Talk Trains this morning.

Niles Gift Shop.

Sparky The Train with a Brian.

Milepost 38.

Orange Empire Railway Museum.

Imagination Depot.

Rail Giants Train Museum.

Daylight Sales.

A garden railway.

Fillmore & Western Railroad.

The other garden railway.

Pacific Southwest Railway Museum.

Rail Passengers Association of California and Southern California Transit Advocates.

Santa Fe 3751.

Signal Team.

BNSF Police.

Amtrak with 40th Anniversay Train merchandise.

Del Oro Pacific Modular Railroaders.

Toy Train Operating Society Southwest Division.

Southern California Lego Train Club.

ZoCal The Southern California Z Scale Modular Railway.

Pacific Coast Modular Club.

Orange County Tinplate Trackers.

NTrak Express.

Train Collectors Association Western Division.

Standard gauge trains.

Brian Stairs.

Orange County 'N'gineers.

Orange County Modular Railroaders.

Fullerton Railway Plaza Model Railroad.

Fullerton Railway Plaza.


The Orange County Register.

Walt's Trains.

The American Legion Fullerton Post 142.

I have returned to the American Passenger Rail Heritage Booth. From 10:00 to noon, I hosted Let's Talk Train and we had a good show, which included two walks around the grounds. Jackie Hadnot showed up after the show was over so I was not able to have him on the show. I stayed at the booth and visited with Chris Parker and we caught up on our Alaska plans for the National Railway Historical Society convention in September. I then walked over to Track 3 and waited for Metrolink 666, which took me home to Santa Ana, ending our coverage of Fullerton Railroad Days 2013.

For the Amtrak 40th Annivesary Train click here.