At our April meeting of the Fullerton train
riders meet-up group, we discussed the upcoming Fullerton Railroad
Days 2016 this weekend. Train Day is usually held around the first
or second weekend of May. There was not going to be a Train Day at
Los Angeles Union Station this year, so the Fullerton event would be
the only local Train Day celebration.
I had made a commitment to help clean up a
storeroom at a non-profit in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday April
30. So I planned to attend the Train Day on Sunday and talked with
several other meet-up folks about getting together on Sunday
afternoon and staying late to watch the firing up of ATSF 3751 for
its run back to the yard at Los Angeles. Also at our Monday night
meeting, we found out that our meeting place, Knowlwood Fullerton
had closed and went out of business so we needed to find a new
meeting place. We choose to go to the Santa Fe Cafe next to the
Fullerton Amtrak station. We gathered on the patio and watched the
trains coming and going by the station. We could also watch
eastbound Southwest Chief (#4) at its Fullerton stop which is about
35 minutes after departing Los Angeles.
Several days before Saturday I was informed that
help was needed from 2-4 PM. The rest of times had sufficient help
for the 10-2 spots. As I was planing to use Metrolink's Saturday all
day pass to go to Los Angeles, I could stop at Fullerton for a
couple of hours and resume my trip to Los Angeles. This would
eliminate a drive to Fullerton on Sunday. I would take the same
train to Los Angeles that I planned to take to be up there at 10AM
but with a stop over in Fullerton.
Saturday I was at the Santa Ana station to board
the Metrolink 661 at 9:12 AM and arrived in Fullerton at 9:29AM.
Walking along the platform I heard my name called and turned to see
Chris Guenzler who was on the same train having boarded in
Oceanside. We joined up and waked to the entrance of Fullerton Train
Day. We separated and took our pictures.
There was a huge crowd and
long queue to tour BNSF Loco #4279 cab, vintage rail cars and
two cabooses. I decided to pass on this because I had done it
in past years.
For a small donation you can climb up and into the 3751 cab.
You're never too young to watch trains.
A family portrait in the making.
Amtrak bus with wheelchair lift.
The lift folds up and fits into small slot. Very clever.
The next stop was at
the Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad booth along with Walt's
Barn. Had a nice chat with the representative and again put
these two places on my list of places to visit. And soon.
Now it is time to enter the big tent and see the
small trains. Enjoy.
Fullerton station in the past.
Exiting the big tent and the
grounds and then through the station's breezeway to the platform
elevator, I went up and across to the southbound platform and to
track 4. Walking along track 4, I was trying to get another
point of view of the big stars of the show.
Walking back to the north end
of the platform, I saw Chris and walked over asking where he was
headed to which he relied Oceanside and then back to Santa Ana
to get some mileage out of that Saturday pass. He suggested that
if I was done with Train Day, I should ride down to Oceanside
with him and get off at Irvine and then wait for the returning
train twenty minutes later. It would be the same train I would
board in Fullerton. I thought that a twenty minute layover would
give me time to stop at the little snack shop at the Irvine
station for a bite. So at 11:18AM, Chris and I boarded Metrolink
train #662 heading to Oceanside.
Shortly after Anaheim, Chris said that he would
be getting off in Santa Ana and going home as he had his train fix
for the day. The deputy sheriffs were riding on our train checking
for tickets or passes and I showed them my pass. Arriving at Irvine,
both deputies and I left the train and I walked over to the snack
shop only to find it was dark and closed. Bummer. So it was I and
the deputies around the candy bar machine looking for out
nutritional substance. The snack shop, when open, is part doughnut
and part Chinese carry out. The outside dining area is a good place
to sit, eat and watch trains. As I entered the elevator I was joined
by one of the deputies for the ride to the bridge. Near 12:10PM
train # 666 arrived in Irvine. And I got checked for my fare again
by same deputy, twice.
At 12:41 PM we stopped in Fullerton and it was my
second time here today. Shorty after, I was crossing over the Los
Angeles River and nearing Union Station, arriving on time at 1:35PM.
It was a quick trip downstairs to the Metro Red Line platform and I
tapped Metrolink pass on the Metro turnstile. It said "Welcome" and
I went down to the platform and took the next train, getting off at
the Pershing Square Station. Walking up Hill Street, I stopped at
Taco House # 1 and ordered a steak torta. Finishing my sandwich, I
then walked to Third Street and to my work place for the next
several hours. Finishing up our work near 4:00PM, I will be able to
make the 4:40 PM Metrolink train.
Angel's Flight on Hill Street between Third and Fourth Streets.
They haven't moved in years. Shameful.
Walking back to the 4th Street station, I was
again welcomed when I tapped my Metrolink pass. Arriving at Union
Station, I went upstairs to the East Portal and to the Metrolink
platforms. Finding the train 666 on the information board, I walked
to correct track. The train was there but not boarding. While
waiting saw this freight engine on point of a Metrolink train.
Then the doors opened and
there was a mad scramble as everyone got settled. Departure was
on time and 30 minutes later I was again in Fullerton, third
At 5:30 PM I was in Santa Ana and walking to my
It was a very good train day. Lots of different
trains and most of the day spent riding on the trains.