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Orange County Train Travel Meetup Group

Train Travel Meetup Group

The next Train Travel Meetup will be held at 5pm on Monday, April 24, 2006 at The Rail Restaurant in Fullerton, California. The meeting after that will be on Monday, May 22, 2006, same time, same place (The meeting is on the 4th Monday of each month, which is NOT necessarily the last Monday of each month).

If you live in Southern California and like to travel by rail, then come to the Train Travel Meetup held on the 4th Monday of every month at 5pm at The Rail Restaurant across from the Amtrak / Metrolink Station in Fullerton, California! If you can't get to the meeting until 6pm, that is OK. Some of the existing members that can't quite get to the meeting by 5pm also arrive around that time. If you live outside the area but just happen to be visiting Southern California that day, please attend our Meetup! Everyone that loves rail travel is always welcome!

We are not a passenger rail advocacy group nor a nuts & bolts railfan group. We are just a bunch of people that like to get together and discuss our rail travel experiences in a relaxed atmosphere over some food and drinks! If you like to travel by rail, or are interested in getting started in rail travel, then you should come to our meeting! If you have questions about travel on Amtrak, VIA Rail Canada, or on most other excursion and tourist railways, bring your questions to the meeting. Someone will probably have answers to your questions!

There are no application forms and no dues. This is a "no pressure" meeting without speakers or any set agenda. We'll just be talking about wherever the conversation takes us, though we will try our best to keep the topic on rail travel! Just show up at The Rail Restaurant on the 4th Monday of each month at 6pm whenever it fits your schedule. Some of us will be there at almost every meeting!

Each meeting will end around 7:30pm. You are welcome to join some of the members who plan to wander over to the Fullerton Amtrak Station after the meeting to watch the arrival and departure of the eastbound Amtrak Southwest Chief. What a great way to end the evening!

The Rail Restaurant is located across the parking lot from the Amtrak / Metrolink Santa Fe Depot. There is an awning over the rear entrance to the restaurant, the entrance that is closest to the parking lot between the restaurant and the station. There is a big "W" on that awning. The address of The Rail Restaurant is 110 East Commonwealth Avenue, Fullerton, California 92832 and their phone number is: 714-870-5475. You can find more information about the restaurant, including their menu, at their website at: www.TheRailRestaurant.com. Some of us that attend just order drinks and appetizers and others order a regular dinner from The Rail Restaurant's full dinner menu.

The Rail Restaurant is real easy to get to by rail, bus or car. There is plenty of free parking on Monday evening behind the restaurant. Driving, take the 91 Freeway to Harbor Blvd. in Fullerton. If you are coming from the east, take a right on Harbor Blvd. to head north. If you are coming from the west, take a left on Harbor Blvd. to head north. After about a mile or so up Harbor, you will go under the only bridge on Harbor, the railroad bridge. Take a right at the first traffic light after the bridge onto Commonwealth Ave. The Rail Restaurant is one half block down. If there isn't parking right in front of the restaurant, then take your first right onto Pomona Street to enter the Free Public Parking Lot behind the restaurant.

As mentioned above, The Rail Restaurant is right across from the Fullerton Amtrak / Metrolink Train Station. Northbound Amtrak Pacific Surfliner Train #583 departs San Diego at 3pm and arrives into Fullerton at 5:08pm. Southbound Amtrak Pacific Surfliner Train #582 departs Los Angeles at 4:05pm and arrives into Fullerton at 4:37pm. Or, you can take southbound Train #784 that departs Goleta at 1:45pm and arrives into Fullerton at 5:42pm. After the meeting, you can take southbound Train #590 at 7:32pm or Train #792 at 8:31pm. Northbound, you can take Train #587 at 8:13pm to Los Angeles which has a bus connection to cities as far north as Goleta. So, it is possible to get to the meeting from as far north as Santa Barbara or as far south as San Diego and return home the same evening! A great excuse for a rail outing!

There are 2 Metrolink trains that arrive into Fullerton from the south between 4pm and 6pm, one from Oceanside and one from Irvine. There are 6 Metrolink trains that arrive into Fullerton from the north between 4pm and 6pm, so you have a number of options to arrive by Metrolink. Unfortunately, the last southbound Metrolink train leaves Fullerton at 7:02pm, and the last northbound Metrolink train leaves Fullerton around 6:30pm, so you'll have to leave early if you come by Metrolink or else take an Amtrak train home. For more Metrolink info, see: www.metrolinktrains.com

Do you live in Riverside? No problem! You can take Metrolink 91 Line Train #705 that departs Downtown Riverside at 2:27pm (on the south platform) and arrives into Fullerton at 3:14pm. Or, you can take Metrolink Inland Empire Train #813 from Downtown Riverside at 3:27pm (on the south platform), change trains in Orange, and be to Fullerton before 5pm. How do you get home? Take the westbound Amtrak Southwest Chief departing Fullerton at 7:20pm and arriving back into Riverside at 8:03pm!

Fullerton has extensive OCTA bus service. There are many direct routes to the Fullerton Transportation Center or to Downtown Fullerton from many parts of Orange County and connections to the entire OCTA bus system. The Rail Restaurant is right across the parking lot from the Fullerton Transportation Center OCTA Bus Terminal. For more OCTA info, see: www.OCTA.net

If you would like to find out more about the Train Travel Meetup Group and some of its members, click here to go to the Train Travel Meetup Group website. Although not required in order to attend the meetings, you can "officially" join the "Train Travel Meetup Group" at the above link and will then be able to let the rest of the group know more about yourself and will be kept informed about group activities and members.

If you come to this meeting, be sure to put your name on the "sign-in" sheet. Periodically, there will be significant rail related rewards provided to several of those people that attend the most Train Travel Meetups! See you there!



Click each of the above images for stories and photos of the Train Travel Meetup Group outing on the Inaugural Daylight Eastbound Amtrak Sunset Limited on March 9, 2005!

The October 24, 2005, Orange County Train Travel Meetup was the most successful ever! With 16 people at the event, including 4 visiting from the Bay Area, it was the largest turnout ever! After the meeting, we all went to the Fullerton Santa Fe Depot to greet Amtrak President David Gunn as he arrived in the Amtrak corporate car on the tail of the eastbound Amtrak Southwest Chief. People at the event included: Ken Ruben, Chris Parker, Harold Penensen, Dan Dalke, William Puhl, Mary Pearl Puhl, Stephen Grande, Ray Burns, Margaret Monroe, Daniel Monroe, Pat Moran, L.R. Smithline, Chris Guenzler, Winston W. Walker, Art Tomlin, and Ross Moore, Jr. Click each of the below images for larger photos from the Oct 24, 2005 OC Train Travel Meetup.


At the November 29, 2005 Meetup, we celebrated Chris Guenzler having completed 900,000 miles of rail travel. Click here to view photos from that celebration!