Facebook Page

Irvine Park Railroad 8/8/2017

by Chris Guenzler

I was working out how to get my 1,500,00.0 Rail miles and was coming up 4.5 miles short. Then it dawned on my that the Irvine Park Railroad was 0.9 of a mile long so if I made five trips there, it would all work out. This is the same railroad that saved me on my first 1,000,000.0 trip so I would be honored to let then save me again. I called Robin Bowers and he wanted to ride it as well. I had a plan that I was going to try to stick to. On the Saturday before, Amtrak had engine problems with Pacific Surfliner 562 which meant I had to change my plans again and ride to Fullerton then Oceanside this morning and leave the Solana Beach round trip until Monday. Everything works out if you let it.

The Trip

Irvine Park Railroad, founded in April 1996, is a one-third scale train that takes both children and adults on a scenic ride through historic Irvine Regional Park.

I rode to Solana Beach this morning to get my missing miles returned home to put up the mileage then Robin was at my door and a few minutes later we drove to Irvine Regional Park. This was Robin's first visit to this unique park. We paid three dollars to get in on this weekday morning and parked at the railroad station parking lot. I went to the ticket window and came away with two free tokens to ride. We then set up for a picture of the train returning.

The bank, barber shop and general store.

Interesting tree.

The train station area.

The train came out of the tunnel {storage area} and returned to the station. We then boarded the train but a problem occurred with the train cars.

The braking system was having a major problem. They cut the air to all the cars and we were ready to go on my first trip of five here today.

The trip is under way.

A tractor on display.

The lawn across from the station.

Barrels in front of this building.

A water wheel near the tunnel entrance.

The tunnel next to some large cacti.

Mining equipment from a long ago era in Orange County.

The train took a curve.

The lower lake.

Waterfall from the upper lake to the lower lake.

People were having loads of fun out on the upper lake.

The train took the next curve along the line.

More action out on the upper lake.

Statue of James Irvine and his hunting dogs.

The train took the reversing loop on the east end of this railroad.

Across the upper lake is a memorial to the souls lost on the Maine who were Orange County residents. There is also a pre-Civil War cannon on display there.

Taking more curves on this unique railroad.

Crossing the park road complete with crossing gates.

Coming back into the station.

Two views of our engine, the CP Huntington. I went and paid for four more trips and I am off on trip 2.

A small handcar.

The phoney water tower.

Taking the curve to the railroad crossing.

The original Irvine Park sign.

The waterfall again.

Views from trip 2.

This oak tree is over 400 years old.

Views from trip 2.

Coming into the tunnel.

Inside the tunnel.

Exiting the tunnel.

By the general store and back to the station area. I next took the seat in the rear facing backwards and will take you down the tracks with me.

The trip looking back down the Irvine Park Railroad. Robin joined me on my fourth trip and I rode solo on trip five.

A peacock on trip five.

The train back at the station after all my rides were completed. We left the railroad but drove to a parking lot to set up for the next run of the train.

The train on the outbound trip.

The train on the return trip. We walked back to the car and I showed Robin more of Irvine Park before we left and drove to the Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park. Robin had never been here either, and I needed 0.4 rail miles to reach my goal.

The Santa Ana Zoo Train gave me 0.4 miles needed for my goal. I returned home and wrote this story.