Live Steam – UP – Amtrak – BNSF – Metrolink – All in One Day!

Friday – March 6, 2015

A full day of railroading begins at the METRO Bus Plaza aboard our Fast Deer Charter motorcoach. At 8:30 a.m. sharp the coach will pull out and head for Knott’s Berry Farm’s Ghost Town & Calico Railroad engine house.

MTA METRO bus plaza

MTA METRO bus plaza where LARHF’s Fast Deer motorcoach will be waiting.
– Photo from the LARHF Collection

GHOST TOWN & CALICO RAILROAD – KNOTT’S BERRY FARM

Upon arrival at Knott’s, a continental breakfast will be served to get us “up to speed” for the morning’s activities. Tom Unfried, Shift Leader, will lead a behind-the-scenes tour of the railroad facility. Here the two steam locomotives; the Galloping Goose and passenger cars are regularly overhauled and maintained for their daily use on the railroad.

Breakfast at machine shop

What tastier breakfast could we imagine than with the aroma of the locomotives and machine shop permeating the air?
– Photo from the LARHF Collection

Ghost Town &; Calico railroads

Unlike many other theme park railroads, the locomotives and most of the other equipment of the Ghost Town &; Calico has been restored to its original paint schemes and appearance on Colorado's Rio Grande Southern and Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroads.
– Photos from the LARHF Collection

Ghost Town &; Calico railroads

Ghost Town &; Calico railroads

Also unlike most theme park railroads, the trains and Goose travel in a circle and passengers get off at the same place they got on.
– Photo from the Knott’s Berry Farm Archive

Ghost Town &; Calico railroads

Walter Knott brought the equipment to Buena Park in 1952 and completed it the following year. The roster includes two Class C-19 Consolidation (2-8-0) locomotives, both originally constructed for the Denver & Rio Grande in 1881. When retired from service in Colorado, they were D&RGW #340 and RGS #41.
– Photo by Richard Unfried

The Galloping Geese were utilized for light rail repairs, delivering the United States Mail, hauling limited amounts of freight, and providing access to medical services for remote rural communities. A couple of the Geese, including No. 3, were even used to dismantle the R.G.S. Their freight boxes were removed, car bodies cut behind the operator’s seat, and flatbeds installed. Goose No. 3 was reassembled for sale to Knott’s Berry Farm and delivered in 1953.

Galloping Goose rail trucks

Knott also purchased one of the famed Galloping Goose rail trucks used on the narrow-gauge lines of Colorado in the 1920s and 1930s for passengers and mail when patronage did not justify an entire train.
– Photo from the LARHF Collections

Locomotive No. 41, originally a Rio Grande Southern built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1881

For this visit, locomotive No. 41, originally a Rio Grande Southern built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1881 will pull our train as we ride around Knott’s Berry Farm Ghost Town.
– Photos from the Knott’s Berry Farm Archive and LARHF Collections

Locomotive No. 41, originally a Rio Grande Southern built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1881

FULLERTON SANTA FE (AMTRAK – METROLINK) DEPOT

Now you are in for variety of trains speeding in and out of the Fullerton Depot. It’s a great train watching location with a pedestrian bridge (elevator for anyone who doesn’t care to climb a bunch of stairs) to view the trains from over head or from either side of the right-of way.

The present Santa Fe Depot replaced the original Victorian depot that was constructed in 1888, a year after the arrival of the railroad in Fullerton. Built slightly east of the old depot, this poured-in-place concrete structure is about 256 feet long (plus a 150-long covered platform), designed in a Spanish Colonial style.

Santa Fe Depot

The Santa Fe Depot, along with the railroad, is directly linked to the city's historical development. The Amerige Brothers founded the city only after they were assured that the Santa Fe Railroad Company would build its new line through the land they wanted to buy. The first depot was constructed in 1888, as the town was being laid out, and the railroad tracts reached Fullerton the following year. The Amerige Brothers named their 490-acre platted townsite after George Fullerton, the manager of the real estate subsidiary of the railroad, the Santa Fe Land Company.
– Photo from the LARHF Collections

Santa Fe Depot

Since 1930, and particularly during the 1940s, the depot has been the first building people see when they arrive in Fullerton by train. The unique character of the building carries a lasting impression — now a very favorable one for the city — given its recent rehabilitation.
– Photo from the LARHF Collections

Fullerton Depot

Today, the Fullerton Depot is a hub of traffic with both BNSF freight trains and Amtrak and Metrolink passenger trains flowing through the Depot throughout the day. Rail traffic, particularly in the morning hours, is impressively heavy. Departing from Los Angeles with destinations to San Diego, Chicago, and all points east. Just find a seat and enjoy!
– Photos from the LARHF Collections

Fullerton Depot

FULLERTON UNION PACIFIC DEPOT

The Fullerton Union Pacific Railroad Depot was constructed in 1923 on the opposite side of Harbor Boulevard from its current location. The Union Pacific Railroad was the third rail company to lay tracks through Fullerton and to build a depot, which firmly established the city as the regional rail center for northern Orange County. By 1972, the Depot was virtually no longer in service.

Redevelopment Agency

To avoid its demolition, the Redevelopment Agency successfully moved the building to its present site in 1980, and it was subsequently rehabilitated and converted for use as a sit down restaurant. Some additional construction was needed in this conversion, but all of the character-defining features of the structure's original architecture were retained.
– Photo from the Fullerton Public Library Archive

Santa Fe Fullerton Depot

Just west along the tracks from the Santa Fe Fullerton Depot is the last Union Pacific Depot built in Fullerton. Originally it was located on the south side of the present right-of-way. Today the restored building is Fullerton’s Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant. It also houses a pair of LARHF’s satellite displays.
– Photo from the LARHF Collections

ANAHEIM PACKING HOUSE

With all of this railroading, we should be hungry for lunch and a special treat is the almost new Anaheim Packing House double story food court. Today, you make your choice what you would like to eat. After you have had a chance to look around and eat, don’t miss, on the lower floor LARHF’s “satellite” displaying The Food on Your Table.

A classical Spanish revival citrus plant

A classical Spanish revival citrus plant is one of many that once operated in practically every community in Orange County. Using $9 million in redevelopment funds, it has been completely restored. The two-story 42,000 square-feet building has its original rail siding used for loading citrus in refrigerator freight cars. Today, flatcars are used for outdoor dining.
– Photo from the LARHF Collections

Anaheim Packing House

The grand opening of the Anaheim Packing House was May 31, 2014. After four years of remodeling, more than 20 vendors inside the 1919 citrus plant present an exciting “foodie“ experience.
– Photos from the LARHF Collections

Anaheim Packing House

Instead of a list of occupants, the Anaheim Packing House created a colorful display of hand-painted ceramic tiles with the names of each food vendor.
– Photo from the LARHF Collections

You have a choice for lunch at one of the following vendors: Sawleaf — Vietnamese Café, The Kraft — Comfort Food Reinvented, The Chippy Fish and Grill, or Black Sheep – Grilled Cheese Bar.

Anaheim Packing House

Each food vendor has its own distinctive design for their food dispensing. The original wooden floors have been beautifully sanded and varnished. Wondering around on two floors not only makes one hungry and it’s difficult to decide where to eat.
– Photo from the LARHF Collections

THE ROAR OF THE AEOLIAN

Richard Unfried’s Aeolian organ was built in 1927 for a large residence in the exclusive Hancock Park district of Los Angeles. After installations in two previous homes, in the summer of 1977, the organ was relocated to the Unfried’s present music room. It would, however, remain little more than a conversation piece for over two more decades. When Richard retired in 1998 after forty-one years on the Biola University Music Faculty, the Aeolian organ became a potential rehearsal instrument that could prolong his concert and church organist career. The organ would however require an extensive upgrade of its electrical systems, as well as a complete revision of its tonal resources. The result is not only a more than adequate rehearsal organ, but a viable concert instrument as well… so much so that it has inspired a home concert presentation that Richard calls Sound Tracks and Train Tracks, which we are going to hear today.

Richard Unfried

Richard Unfried, a charter member of LARHF and long time railroad aficionado, has been the resident organist in several major churches around the southland. Stepping from his bedroom, just a few seconds away, to this awesome organ makes practicing and performing a continuing pleasure.
– Photo from Richard Unfried

SUEHER CITY MODEL TRAIN LAYOUT

Although the Unfried’s three rail (Lionel type) O Gauge model train layout is relatively small, it offers many delightful features including a tiny traveling TV camera that affords guests an engineer’s view from a cab 1/48th the size of a real one. Accordingly, Richard suspects the trains are often a better draw than his organ concerts in the adjoining music room.

The Sueher City theme flows from a miniature Sueher Pipe Organ Builders

The Sueher City theme flows from a miniature Sueher Pipe Organ Builders, NLC factory complex at one end of the layout to Sueher Central Station, a hub of passenger activity. When a train arrival is announced the citizens of Sueher City turn out in great numbers to greet the tourist and business people visiting the town and the Sueher Pipe Organ Builders.
– Photo from Richard Unfried

Belmont Sation Apartments

The Fulluda Station at the opposite end of the layout is mostly for commuters trying to find clean air and a less hectic environment than working in central Sueher.
– Photo from Richard Unfried

Time to go home. After so many trains the ride back to Los Angeles is restful. We hope you enjoyed the non-stop rail activity and watch the LARHF website for an announcement of the next member’s rail outing.

That’s all folks!

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LARHF installed its 9th Satellite in the Anaheim Packing House

As the ninth satellite located in the greater Los Angeles Basin, the Anaheim Packing House exhibit displays “The Food on Your Table.” Surrounding the display are more than 20 vendors inspired by Old World markets. The citrus packinghouse was built nearly 100 years ago and today is a culinary walkabout.

In the exhibit are archive photographs and train models of the various kinds of freight cars designed specifically for the transportation of food or animals. Visitors viewing the display will better understand how the railroads transported foodstuffs in the early years of the 20th century.

Gold Line “San Diego 3-Railers Club – Marvin Wait placing cut out curved roadbed

The grand opening of the Anaheim Packing House was May 31, 2014. After four years of remodeling, more than 20 vendors inside the 1919 citrus plant present an exciting “foodie” experience.

Anaheim Packing House

Anaheim Packing House

A classical Spanish revival citrus plant is one of many that once operated in practically every community in Orange County. Using $9 million in redevelopment funds, it has been completely restored. The two-story 42,000 square-feet building has its original rail siding used for loading citrus in refrigerator freight cars. Today, flatcars are used for outdoor dining.

Anaheim Packing House

The Packing Plant is located in a park-like setting with plenty of free parking and a Packard Auto Showroom now converted into a Umami Burger restaurant and the Anaheim Brewery. A Sunday farmer’s market will be located between the Packing House and the Packard building.

Anaheim Packing House

Each food vendor has its own distinctive design for their food dispensing. The original wooden floors have been beautifully sanded and varnished. Wondering around on two floors not only makes one hungry but makes it difficult to decide what to eat.

Anaheim Packing House

Decorated for a relaxed eating experience, much of the interior structure is from the original packing house and together with lots of planters and comfortable seating guarantees a leisurely experience and a desire to return and try a different food vendor.

Anaheim Packing House

The LARHF “satellite” display combines archive photos of food rail shipping with O-scale models of the freight equipment and motive power that delivered the food products throughout the United States.

Lettuce fresh from the fields and boxed is being loaded into Santa Fe - Super Shock Control - Mechanical Temperature Controlled (MTC) cars for delivery to eastern markets.

Lettuce fresh from the fields and boxed is being loaded into Santa Fe - Super Shock Control - Mechanical Temperature Controlled (MTC) cars for delivery to eastern markets. The letters SFRC identify the car as a Mechanical Refrigerator car equipped with load dividers.
Photograph by the Santa Fe Railway

Santa Fe’s transloading facility in Barstow, California

When logistical economics called for transloading services between truck and rail or rail-to-rail, it required special facilities and experience. In the 1970s, the Santa Fe’s transloading facility in Barstow, California, would take several cars of canned goods - Chicken of the Sea – Chunk Light Tuna, A&P Yellow Peaches, and consolidate them into single combined shipments.
Photograph by the Santa Fe Railway from the John Signor Collection

California Avocado Growers Exchange

In 1924, the California Avocado Growers Exchange  - soon renamed Calavo Growers of California was established. In 1931, the avocado was advertised as The Aristocrat of Salad Fruits. Today, Calavo’s processed products division manufactures close to 100 brand name and proprietary flavors of guacamole.
Photograph from the Security Pacific Collection/ Los Angeles Public Library

Union Pacific stockcar unit train Extra No. 3095

This Union Pacific stockcar unit train Extra No. 3095 slowly passes by the washers located at appropriately or inappropriately Dry Lake, Nevada. The washers revived the porkers “on-the-hoof” en route to Farmer John’s in Los Angeles. July 1977
Photograph by Steve Patterson from the John Signor Collection

Transfer facility, Sargent Station

From planting to the harvest, sugarbeets take approximately 270 days of growth before they are harvested by tractors and trucked to a transfer facility like this one Sargent Station. Here the sugarbeets are loaded into railroad gondola cars and again transferred to a sugar factory. The crop is of little value without a processor to extract the sugar therefore there is a more cooperative relationship among growers and companies than is found with other agriculture commodities.
Photograph from the John Signor Collection

Santa Fe Refrigerator Despatch’s - S.F.R.D., early ice refrigerator cars were known as wood-sided reefers.

Santa Fe Refrigerator Despatch’s - S.F.R.D., early ice refrigerator cars were known as wood-sided reefers. The car, in this picture, first saw service in 1905. This fresh celery being loaded was probably iced at its origin of loading and then again re-iced at plants along the way from Southern California to Chicago.
Photograph from the Security Pacific Collection/ Los Angeles Public Library

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Happy 75th Birthday – Los Angeles Union Station

Currently, the Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation has installed a new display in Philippe’s French Dip Restaurant. The exhibit displays archival photographs documenting the construction of the Union Station from 1937 through 1939 and the Station’s opening on May 3, 1939. Twelve stunning photographs enhance the display. The miniature railroad equipment displayed was selected from LARHF’s vast collection of O-scale trains. Locomotives and vintage passenger cars including the Santa Fe’s mighty steam, Southern Pacific’s gorgeous Daylight steam locomotive and the Union Pacific’s Challenger type steam represent the rail equipment that were seen at the Station’s opening.

Gold Line “San Diego 3-Railers Club – Marvin Wait placing cut out curved roadbed

Early stage of construction of the Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal looking north west from the future track platforms.
June 13, 1937
Photo by Ralph Melching

Gold Line “San Diego 3-Railers Club – Marvin Wait placing cut out curved roadbed

Macy Street viaduct in construction viewed from the west . Los Angeles Railway No. 4 rolling over the shoo-fly.
June 13, 1937
Photo by Ralph Melching

Gold Line “San Diego 3-Railers Club – Marvin Wait placing cut out curved roadbed

Viewing the track platforms looking south from College Street.
May 8, 1938
Photo by Ralph Melching

Gold Line “San Diego 3-Railers Club – Marvin Wait placing cut out curved roadbed

The south end of the track platforms with Aliso Street on the left and the civic center in the background.
November 28, 19377
Photo by Ralph Melching

Gold Line “San Diego 3-Railers Club – Marvin Wait placing cut out curved roadbed

The steel framework for the new LAUPT is complete viewed from Alameda Street.
November 7, 1937
Photo by Ralph Melching

Gold Line “San Diego 3-Railers Club – Marvin Wait placing cut out curved roadbed

Approaching the LAUPT from the north. Terminal Control Tower on the left.
July 17, 1938
Photo by Ralph Melching

Gold Line “San Diego 3-Railers Club – Marvin Wait placing cut out curved roadbed

Santa Fe locomotive backing into the LAUPT lining up for the opening day ceremonies.
May 3, 1939
Photo by Ralph Melching

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Lance M. Fritz - elected UP President and Chief Operating Officer
of the Union Pacific Railroad

Lance M. Fritz has become the new President of the Union Pacific Railroad. At the Union Pacific family days event held on April 28, 2012 at the Orange Empire Museum, Mr. Fritz and John Ready (General Superintendent of the LA Service Unit) visited the LARHF display. Joe Lesser had the opportunity of explaining to them the mission of the Foundation and its activities.

Gold Line “San Diego 3-Railers Club – Marvin Wait placing cut out curved roadbed

left to right - Lance M. Fritz, John Ready and Joe Lesser

Gold Line “San Diego 3-Railers Club – Marvin Wait placing cut out curved roadbed

left to right - Fritz, Lesser, Ready

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Marvin Wait – A man who liked any train he saw!

A remembrance by Josef Lesser

Last May 2012, LARHF lost one of its dear friends and devoted LARHF Board Members. I had many opportunities to share a variety of railroad experiences with Marvin. We first met in 1999 at the San Diego 3-Railers Club in the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. The members decided that a new layout should be built. Once a design was finalized we began the construction with a fury! Marvin cut out the composite board roadbed curves for the layout. He and his wife’s company, Doors Unlimited went on to design, build and install display cases that would complement the woodwork in the Toy Train Gallery.

Gold Line “San Diego 3-Railers Club – Marvin Wait placing cut out curved roadbed

San Diego 3-Railers Club – Marvin Wait placing cut out curved roadbed
Photo by Mike Hays

Learn More

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LARHF Elects New President – Wendell "Mort” Mortimer

LARHF President, Wendell “Mort” Mortimer aboard the No. 3751 special train seated in a Vista Dome car on it’s way to San Diego.

LARHF President, Wendell "Mort" Mortimer aboard the No. 3751 special train seated in a Vista Dome car on it’s way to San Diego.
Photo by Ceil Mortimer

Wendell Mortimer who likes to be called "Mort" is quoted, "It is a great honor and privilege to have been elected president of the Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation. It seems that my life as a railroad enthusiast has come full circle."

Growing up with the railroads

"When I was 10 years old, I was president of the Southern Pacific Junior Engineer’s Club. Sponsored by the Southern Pacific, a dozen or so of us met monthly in a passenger car in Taylor Yard, Los Angeles. We learned about trains, shared photos and took field trips. Now, these many years later, I find myself again leading a railroad organization, and I am very excited about the future of this great group. We have had fine leadership and have a great Board of Directors. As with any organization, there are challenges and opportunities. For those who do not know me, I will provide a brief background."

"I was born in Alhambra, and moved to South Pasadena when I was three years old. My father was a lifetime rail fan and held a master’s degree in Railroad Transportation from Harvard University. All of our outings growing up centered on seeing trains. I took photos and collected locomotive and interurban numbers in little notebooks. In South Pasadena, we lived near Pacific Electric’s Pasadena Short Line, and Southern Pacific’s Pasadena line, which ran a steam freight train every week-day. The Santa Fe and Union Pacific also went through town, so we had plenty of opportunity to see railroads in action. Summers we would take a long train trip in the United States and Canada. My father and I built (but never finished) an HO gauge layout in our ."train room.” The Pacific Electric interurban lines were abandoned in our area in 1951, the railroads went from steam power to diesel, and I left to go to college. My interest in railroading was still there, but on the back burner."

Mort posing with the Zephyr Observation Vista Dome car at the Los Angeles Union Station

Mort posing with the Zephyr Observation Vista Dome car at the Los Angeles Union Station.
Photo by Ceil Mortimer

College & Career

After graduating from Occidental College, Mort worked in business for two years and was drafted into the Army for two years. He then went to University of Southern California Law School and became a civil trial lawyer in Los Angeles for 30 years. He was then appointed as a Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court where he served for twelve years. With more free time, he gradually resumed his hobby of trains. A good friend of his from the third grade who lives near Seattle, Jim Roodhouse, said that when we retire, we should ride the trains in Colorado. Three years ago they did just that, riding 14 trains in 12 days, and had cab rides in both steam and diesel locomotives. It was Jim who put him in touch with the people at the Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation. And Mort commented, ."And so here I am back where I was many years ago in the same city where I was born."

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LARHF Boy Scout Merit Badge Classes

The Barn Burner, A typical Texas type BBQ joint

Left – Boy Scouts in front of LARHF

Below
Photo 1 – Mark Wille showing a Merit Badge class an actual piece of railroad equipment.
Photo 2 – J Keeley explaining to the class the features of a streamliner passenger car.
Photo 3 – Gary McClain, a Union Pacific employee, demonstrating railroad hand signals for a carman to communicate with the train engineer.
Photo 4 – J Keeley showing the class, examples if different track gauges in model railroading.

Repairs in progressTrain Repairs

Repairs in progressTrain Repairs

Earn your Boy Scout Railroading Merit Badge with the assistance of the Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation. Beginning at 8:30 AM on a Saturday and ending by 3:30 PM, each Scout attending the class and field trip will have completed his Railroading Merit Badge requirements in accordance with the Railroading Merit Badge Work Book and certified by a Merit Badge Counselor.

The Foundation’s superb learning center gives each Scout the opportunity of seeing multiple railroad displays and miniature models complement the Merit Badge Booklet. The teaching staff consists of an Eagle Scout who has taught and been involved in railroading for over thirty years. Another staff member is presently an employee of the Union Pacific Railroad and the team leader has been involved with all facets of railroading his entire life.

A series of written learning aids called “Spikes” are distributed to the attending groups for each of their Scouts signed up for the class, to provide a solid background prior to their class experience. The Field Trip part of the day begins with lunch at a 100-year-old Los Angeles icon restaurant and is followed by a ride on the MTA METRO Gold Line to Pasadena and back.

Contact LARHF at (626) 458-4449 or jlatsf@gmail.com for more details.

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LARHF Opens 6th “Satellite”

LARHF's Number One Mission is public outreach. That is, to bring to the attention of the public, casual interested parties both children and adults, the importance of the railroad in shaping the history of the greater Los Angeles basin! An idea over ten years ago has shown that LARHF’s “satellite” displays are attention getters in all kinds of places other than traditional museums and locomotive equipment displays. The satellite’s are installed where lots of people gather on a daily basis and where else could be better than a busy restaurant?

The Barn Burner BBQ located at 1000 South Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena is just such a place. LARHF opened its newest satellite with an exhibit entitled Passenger Trains in Pasadena.

Barn Burner BBQ

The Barn Burner BBQ just a few blocks north of the Arroyo Seco Parkway (Pasadena Freeway) and south of Colorado Avenue in Pasadena.
Photo from LARHF

Each satellite is located in the close proximity of railroad activity, either today or in the past. The Pacific Electric ran down the center of Fair Oaks Avenue and the Santa Fe and Union Pacific closely paralleled the street. Today the MTA METRO Gold Line runs directly behind the Barn Burner building.

This is a view looking north up Fair Oaks Avenue photographed by Ralph Melching on New Years Day 1937.

Fair Oaks Avenue began right here at the Oneonta Junction on Huntington Drive. This is a view looking north up Fair Oaks Avenue photographed by Ralph Melching on New Years Day 1937.
Photo from the Ralph Melching Collection of LARHF

The archive photographs in the exhibit concentrate on the Santa Fe Pasadena Depot operation: a photo of the earlier depot used up to 1936 and a photo of the first Santa Fe Super Chief train arriving at the depot. The model miniatures display a Southern Pacific locomotive, the now famous “3751” steamer and an early example of an Amtrak Southwest Chief.

The first LARHF satellite display at the Barn Burner BBQ in Pasadena

The first LARHF satellite display at the Barn Burner BBQ in Pasadena location offers some miniature model examples of the passenger trains and their locomotives that pulled in and out of the Santa Fe Depot in Pasadena.
Photo from LARHF

The exhibit Passenger Trains in Pasadena will change on the first of September 2010 to a new display, Trolleys in Pasadena.

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