View Full Version : All aboard for a trip to the glory days

10-17-2010, 05:46 AM
All aboard for a trip to the glory days

John Weeks, Staff Writer


I've been on some memorable train trips in my life. There was my fifth birthday, for example, when my Dad took me on a just-us-guys train trip from Los Angeles to San Diego and back. Of course, three years later, when my younger brother turned 5, Dad took him on a plane ride! My thunder totally was stolen.

Then there was my honeymoon trip. We took the train from Los Angeles to romantic Carmel-by-the-Sea. Of course, the train doesn't actually go to romantic Carmel-by-the-Sea. It goes to less-romantic Salinas, where we were obliged to spend more than an hour of our first day of wedded bliss in a car rental office, arranging the final leg of our journey.

And I'll never forget the overnight commuter train from London to Edinburgh in the spring of 1984. The trip is timed so that the train will arrive at its destination in the morning. Trouble is, the distance is way too short, so the train has to kill a lot of time to make the trip last that long. It accomplishes this by actually coming to a complete stop, engines off, in the middle of the night, in the middle of the open countryside, where everyone goes to sleep for several hours. Weird.

My best train trip ever, I think, is the one coming up next weekend. Actually, I hope you'll join me. It's going to be perfect.

The historic Santa Fe Engine 3751, a fully restored steam locomotive that served San Bernardino for decades during the glory days of railroading, is taking passenger cars on a commemorative ride between San Bernardino and Los Angeles as part of "Railroad Days" May 8-9 at the San Bernardino Depot.

There will be plenty of fun all weekend. "Railroad Days" is one of the featured events of San Bernardino's year-long bicentennial celebration, and it will include exhibits and demonstrations, a classic car show, a model train show, live music, food and merchandise and memorabilia vendors, plus tours of the San Bernardino History and Railroad Museum located at the depot, 1170 W. Third St. Hours both days are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is free.

The restored Engine 3751, built for Santa Fe Railway in 1926 and in service until the 1950s, will depart Union Station in Los Angeles with passenger cars full of revelers between 9 and 9:30 a.m. on May 8 for the trip to San Bernardino, where it will be on exhibit until the afternoon of the following day. Between 3 and 3:30 p.m. on May 9 the train will take passengers from San Bernardino to Los Angeles. Tickets still are available for both rides, and the price includes a return trip on Metrolink.

Passengers on Saturday can take the morning Metrolink train from San Bernardino to Los Angeles, then catch the Engine 3751 trip back to San Bernardino. Passengers on Sunday afternoon can take the Engine 3751 trip from San Bernardino to Los Angeles, then catch a Metrolink train back to San Bernardino. There will be adequate time in Los Angeles to stroll Olvera Street and have dinner, for those who wish to do so.

San Bernardino's railroad history is a key element of its past. "The railroads were crucial," said Steven Shaw, president of the San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society and the co-founder, with Allen Bone, of the San Bernardino History and Railroad Museum. "The railroad arrived in 1883, putting San Bernardino on the map. The city's population grew by leaps and bounds because of the railroads."

I can't wait to ride that train next weekend. Like I said, I expect it to be my best train trip ever, and I hope a lot of my friends will join me. Hopefully, that means you.

We'll have a blast.

Regular tickets are $85. Premium tickets, $105, allow access to special cars including an old glass-domed car. Again, your ticket price includes the return trip on Metrolink.

To order tickets, visit online at www.sbdepotmuseum.com, or call Allen Bone at 909-260-5745.

10-17-2010, 08:48 AM
Now that sounds like a fun trip. Too bad this is mid Oct.