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National Train Day Los Angeles 5/12/2012

by Chris Guenzler

I arose early and did my morning chores before driving to the Santa Ana station, parked then walked over to Track 1 to wait for Pacific Surfliner 763.

Pacific Surfliner 763 arrived and I boarded the cab car, finding AC Adam at a table and I joined him for the trip to National Train Day in Los Angeles, as well as riding the new Expo Line this morning. After Fullerton we were joined by Victor D'Agostino Senior, who rode with us to Los Angeles.

Santa Fe 4-8-4 3751 and train were still in the Amtrak 8th Street Coach Yard so I called Chris Parker, whom I would meet at the Cesar Chavez Street bridge. Once we arrived into LAUPT, AC Adam waited for us and Victor and I headed for the bridge.

History of National Train Day

Modern trains have developed rapidly since their invention some 200 years ago. Trains can be classified as one of the most important inventions of modern history. Train transport has drastically changed business, exploration and the way we travel daily.

In the 1800's, the steam train made its way to the railways of industrial England. Today, we have bullet trains that carry passengers at incredible speeds, with a distance of thousands of miles in no time. There are also freight trains that are used to transport goods, including food, post and fuel. Distant lands have become almost instantly reachable. Long distances can be covered in a matter of hours. The industrial revolution was hastened by the arrival of trains, which made the transport of raw materials and outgoing transport of finished goods an easy task. Even with the arrival of airplanes, trains still continue to do a fair haul of public and commercial transport around the world. Trains are used in a variety of ways – from trams, subway electric trains, distance trains and specialized tourist trains to freight trains and high-speed bullet trains that can go up to 275 miles an hour.

National Train Day marks the anniversary of the establishment of the Golden Spike in Promontory, Utah, at the Promontory summit. The day also observes the first anniversary of the rail route system in the United States. Events such as exhibitions of railroad layouts are organized on the day to celebrate the event.

You never know what you will find when you go for a walk. We then found Chris and we walked out onto the Cesar Chavez Street bridge.

It did not take long before we saw smoke coming our way.

Here is the display train reversing with "Silver Solarium" leading. I went to the other side.

Here are "Silver Rapids", "Silver Lariat" and "Silver Solarium".

Next came "Silver Splendor" and "Plaza Santa Fe".

They were followed by "Overland Trail" and "Royal Gorge".

Next was Amtrak P42DC 809 and "Gordon Zimmerman".

Finally, Santa Fe 4-8-4 3751.

Santa Fe 3751 reversing towards LAUPT. The train would be wyed before it pulling in.

Other railfans were also out on the bridge.

A Metrolink train for San Bernardino and all of the passengers had the opportunity to see Santa Fe 3751 across the Los Angeles River. We returned to LAUPT.

Santa Fe 4-8-4 3751 then arrived at LAUPT this morning.

Union Pacific 3GS21B 2738 was on display.

Pacific Harbor Lines SD18R 40, ex. Midwest Metallics, exx. Chicago and North Western 6629, exxx. Precision National 1812, nee Southern SD24 6312 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1960 was also on display.

The rear of the Santa Fe 3751 train.

Santa Fe 4-8-4 3751 built by Baldwin in 1927.

The Amtrak display train.

Amtrak P42DC 66, one of the 40th Anniversary heritage units.

Here comes a Cadillac.

The Cadillac and Amtrak 66.

The Cadillac and Santa Fe 3751.

Next came a Railway Express truck.

It reversed into the scene.

What a scene it was.

Santa Fe 3751 and the Railway Express truck.

Santa Fe 3751, Amtrak 66 and the Railway Express truck.

From here we went and rode the new Expo Line, which is the subject of the next story.

After that trip, the three of us returned to National Train Day.

Amtrak Police.

California High Speed Rail.

The Addams Family.

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.

New York Life Insurance Company.

Operation Lifesaver.

Rail Europe.

Train Riders Association of California.

The American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation with Randy, Steve Grande and famous wood carver Jackie Hadnot.

The American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation.

The Transit Coalition.

Southern California Transit Advocates.

Pacific Railroad Society.

Voto Latino.

Palm Springs.

Discover Los Angeles.

Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail.

California Science Center.

Santa Barbara Car Free.

Grand Canyon Railway.

Automobile Club of Southern California.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.



Explore Flagstaff.

Fillmore & Western Railway.


San Diego Metropolitan Transit System.

San Luis Obispo Car Free.

Orange County "N" Gineers.

One of their trains running.

Chef Bob Rosar.

A choir was performing when I arrived in former ticketing area of the station.

Ride-Along Amtrak Adventure.

Amtrakids Depot.


National Train Day staff.

Scenes along the Amtrak Rails.

East meets West. With that, it was time for lunch so we took the Gold Line to Pasadena and the Fillmore station for lunch after a pair of pictures.

Gold Line trains at the Fillmore station. We had lunch at the Sizzler and I enjoyed a really good steak, after which we then went out to the east end of the line and returned to LAUPT. The line for those without a reservation was too long this year to go through the display cars so I took a few more pictures of Santa Fe 3751 then just sat and enjoyed her company until it was time to board Surfliner 580.

Two views of the static Santa Fe 3751. We boarded Surfliner 580.

Santa Fe 3751, Amtrak 806 and 66. We left LAUPT on time and returned to Santa Ana a few minutes early, ending another fantastic National Train Day event in Los Angeles.