Museums & Preservation
Southern California Railway Museum – Perris
Formerly the Orange Empire Railway Museum, this is home to the west’s largest collection of railway locomotives, passenger and freight cars, streetcars, interurban electric cars, buildings and other artifacts dating from the 1870s. Ride midcentury trains, streetcars, and interurban electric cars on the museum railway. Visit SCRM’s collection of more than 200 streetcars and railway vehicles to experience the early days of electric, steam, and diesel railway transportation in and around Los Angeles.
Pacific Railroad Society – San Dimas
One of the oldest and largest independent rail enthusiast organizations, PRS is composed of more than 450 people from all walks of life with a common interest in railroads. Membership is open to anyone interested in railroads or rail transit. Donations are tax deductible. Train travel, history, preservation, equipment restoration and photography are among the interests and activities of volunteers.
Travel Town – Los Angeles
In the late 1940s, Charley Atkins, a Recreation and Parks employee, along with a handful of rail enthusiast friends, had the idea that a steam locomotive would make an attractive addition at the Griffith Park miniature railroad ride. Travel Town was dedicated on December 14, 1952. The concept of a combined transportation museum and recreation center blossomed, and wishes for donations were generously fulfilled. In 1965, Travel Town's exhibits were re-grouped, and the park re-dedicated. Today, Travel Town is in a state of new growth and development.
San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society
Headlined by former Santa Fe 4-8-4 no. 3751, the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society’s mission is to engage in the preservation, restoration, public exhibition, and operation of Santa Fe Railway history and equipment. Founded in 1981 to restore no. 3751 to operation, SBRHS purchased the 1927 Baldwin from the City of San Bernardino for $1; in 1991 a fire was lit in the firebox for the first time in 38 years. Since then no. 3751 has become one of the premiere steam locomotives in the US and has traveled across the Southwest, regularly appearing at LA Union Station events and powering Metrolink and Amtrak excursions.
Rail Giants Museum – Pomona
RailGiants Train Museum is located at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds and houses significant and well-preserved locomotives, including several lone survivors of their respective classes. The collection contains two of the four surviving 3-Cylinder steam locomotives: SP no. 5021 and UP no. 9000, as well as the world’s largest diesel locomotive, Union Pacific “Centennial” no. 6915. Various freight and passenger cars share space with the historic Arcadia Depot, library archives, and more. Rail Giants is famous for returning “Big Boy” no. 4014 to Union Pacific, which restored the massive 4-8-8-4 to service in May 2019. Visit Rail Giants' website here.
San Bernardino Railroad History Museum
The San Bernardino History and Railroad Museum is located in the magnificent restored 1918 Santa Fe depot that serves Amtrak and Metrolink passengers and is across the tracks from the BNSF intermodal facility. The museum houses the Santa Fe Western Archives and unique artifacts, surrounded by hundreds of historic photographs. Special events are held throughout the year and up to 100 BNSF and UP freight trains pass by the depot daily.
Visit SBRHM's website here.