LARHF satellite exhibits around the Southland

The Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation curates public exhibits at popular “Satellite” locations around the Southland. The satellites feature themed photography from LARHF's archives and scale models blended into displays that convey Southern California's rich railroad history. Displays are changed every ten months. Presently LARHF has ten Satellite locations and we hope you'll visit them all!

Philippe's French Dip Restaurant
1001 N. Alameda Street | Los Angeles, CA 90012 

Santa Monica    Santa Monica

Currently, a new display has been installed in Philippe's French Dip Restaurant. “Once Upon a Streetcar” brings to Philippe's an entirely new “satellite” exhibit that illustrates the local streetcar scene across western US cities in the early 20th century. Some of the cities pictured have restored and preserved these early modes of transportation, in particular San Francisco and its colorful streetcar fleet.

A western US map with numbered pins and corresponding numbers on the model's label makes it easy to find a particular city's streetcar. All of the models were scratchbuilt (unlike assembling a kit) by master modeler Bill Everett. Of the 72 western models that Bill has gifted to LARHF, 32 are currently on display.
View previous exhibits | Visit Philippe's site

 

Pacific Electric Building 
610 S. Main Street | Los Angeles, CA 90014 

Santa Monica    Santa Monica

Santa Monica    Santa Monica

Known as Mr. Huntington's Pacific Electric Headquarters located at the corner of 6th and Main Streets in downtown Los Angeles, this stately building has been restored and remodeled with spacious apartments and amenities tailored to the new downtown urbanite population. 

The building's lobby is the busy hub and LARHF's new satellite prominently faces the lobby with a display of archival photographs of the Building as it appeared in the 1910s and 20s. Many of LARHF's satellites feature O-scale Pacific Electric (PE) models handcrafted by Bill Everett. The models help to envision in three dimensions the great PE fleet. Fortunately a few of those rail cars may be seen today at the Orange Empire Railroad Museum in Perris, California. LARHF also has an elaborate display, where once the PE Subway tunnel and Toluca Yard were located which is now the Belmont Station Apartment Homes. Both displays are open to the public. 
Directions | Visit The Pacific Electric Building's site

 

Belmont Apartments

1304 W. 2nd Street | Los Angeles, CA 90026

Santa Monica    Santa Monica

Santa Monica    Santa Monica

                              1926                                                                      2016

The Belmont Apartments, on Beverly and Glendale Boulevards near downtown Los Angeles house one of LARHF’s ten satellite displays. On exhibit are forty-nine archival photographs, many of which have never been seen before. The display traces the construction of the Subway Terminal Building, the PE Tunnel and the Toluca Yard. Visitors may stand on what was once the Toluca Yard, and be able to view the original Substation and mouth of the Subway Terminal Tunnel. A display case contains such artifacts as: PE watch fob, morterman’s hat, badges 3- barrel coin changer plus twenty other artifacts.
Directions

Old Spaghetti Factory Fullerton

110 E. Santa Fe | Fullerton, CA 92832

Santa Monica    Santa Monica

Santa Monica    Santa Monica

Located in the original Union Pacific Depot in Fullerton, only 25 feet from the railroad mainlines of the BNSF, Metrolink and Amtrak, visitors may watch a parade of trains practically all day long. Inside the restaurant, near the main entrance are two displays –depicting Fullerton as the “center of the compass” for trains radiating out in all directions – making this location the crossroads of Southern California railroading. The changing exhibits may display such models as a BNSF Dash 8, the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, Santa Fe locomotive No. 3751 with heavyweight cars, and Union Pacific “Consolidation” No. 329.
Directions | Visit OSF's site

 

Old Spaghetti Factory Newport Beach

2110 Newport Blvd. | Newport Beach, CA 92663

Santa Monica    Santa Monica

Santa Monica    Santa Monica

Although the LARHF satellite exhibit in Newport Beach is not located in the vicinity of a railroad mainline, the Old Spaghetti Factory building is immediately adjacent, on Newport Boulevard, where the Pacific Electric ran its famous “red” cars. The exhibit displays three types of railroad freight trains, Unit, Manifest and MOW (Maintenance of Way). Informational panels explain the make-up of these trains. The exhibit may be seen through January 2014. Twelve stunning photographs, of Unit and Manifest Trains, by employees of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and the Union Pacific Railroad enhance the display. The model railroad equipment was selected from LARHF's vast collection of O-scale trains. A knowledge of the freight car terminology in this exhibit is also a requirement for the Boy Scout's Railroad Merit Badge. LARHF conducts Merit Badge classes throughout the year..
Directions | Visit OSF's site

 

Old Spaghetti Factory Riverside

3191 Mission Inn Avenue | Riverside, CA 92507

Santa Monica    Santa Monica

LARHF’s Riverside satellite is in what used to be a very busy citrus packing house. The plant is located equidistant from the old Santa Fe and Union Pacific Depots. Sadly, they are no longer in use, but the mainline for Amtrak, Metrolink and BNSF is immediately behind the restaurant and it seems like the crossing gate and diesel horns are sounding off every few minute. The exhibit displays three types of railroad freight trains, Unit, Manifest and MOW (Maintenance of Way). Informational panels explain the make-up of these trains. The exhibit may be seen through January 2014. Twelve stunning photographs, of Unit and Manifest Trains, by employees of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and the Union Pacific Railroad enhance the display. The model railroad equipment was selected from LARHF's vast collection of O-scale trains. A knowledge of the freight car terminology in this exhibit is also a requirement for the Boy Scout's Railroad Merit Badge. LARHF conducts Merit Badge classes throughout the year.
Directions | Visit OSF's site

 

Lordsburg Taphouse and Grill 
2335 D Street | La Verne, CA 91750 

Santa Monica    Santa Monica

LARHF's newest satellite exhibit - the tenth in our popular series throughout Southern California - was unveiled in December at the Lordsburg Taphouse and Grill in, located at 2335 D Street in the heart of Old Town La Verne. The restaurant is just a few blocks from the former Santa Fe Pasadena Subdivision (previously the Second District) mainline that hosted hotshot freight and passenger trains from Chicago to Los Angeles. 

The premier display depicts LARHF archival photos of Santa Fe trains and stations on this historic route between San Bernardino and Los Angeles. O-scale models include Santa Fe streamliner passenger cars and locomotives - both steam and diesel - seen on this line. Several locomotives show off the famous Warbonnet paint scheme. Plan a stop on your next road trip to visit the exhibit. With the right timing on weekdays, you can also catch the late morning passage of the Pasadena Local to Irwindale, led by "vintage" GP60 diesels in both Warbonnet and BNSF heritage colors. 
Directions | Visit The Lordsburg Taphouse site

 

Bellflower Pacific Electric Depot 

Santa Monica    Santa Monica

The Bellflower Pacific Electric Depot was completely rebuilt using the original Pacific Electric building plans. The depot located beside the Santa Ana Line, was a 34-mile ride from Los Angeles to Santa Ana with about 30 stops along the way. Today a photo display is mounted in the Depot depicting the Santa Ana Line in its glory days. 

It was a dark day for Pacific Electric fans on July 24, 1958. It is true a tremendous black cloud of smoke lay over much of the route from Bellflower to Los Angeles caused by the Hancock Oil Refinery Fire in the city of Signal Hill. It was a devastating blaze that burned for two days. And that was the last day of operation for this PE Line. All service east of Bellflower had already been eliminated on July 2, 1950. It had been a glorious history dating all the way back to November 1905. 

Outside the restored Bellflower PE Depot, both the outbound and inbound location of the tracks can still be imagined on either side of Bellflower Boulevard where today there is an excellent bicycle trail. 

 

Fallen Flags 

The identity "Fallen Flags" refers to railroads that no longer exist. The term was first used with the Wabash Railroad because its logo was a waving flag on its locomotive tender. LARHF uses this term to identify Satellites that are no longer on display.

Santa Monica

Two of LARHF's satellites no longer exist. In each case, the restaurants were taken over by other purveyors. However, satellites were located in these two locations for several years and should be remembered as part of the extensive LARHF chain.

 

Anaheim Packing House
440 S. Anaheim Blvd. | Anaheim, CA 92805 

Santa Monica    Santa Monica

The Anaheim Packing House exhibit housed many of LARHF's iconic displays, including, "The Food on Your Table." Surrounding the display were more than 20 vendors inspired by Old World markets. The citrus packinghouse was built nearly 100 years ago and today is a culinary walkabout.

The exhibit included archival photographs and train models of the various kinds of freight cars designed specifically for the transportation of food or animals. The display served to inform visitors how the railroads transported foodstuffs in the early years of the 20th century.
Directions | Visit The Anaheim Packing House site

 

Barn Burner Pasadena 

Santa Monica    Santa Monica

Texas BBQ is hard to find outside of Texas. It's like eating Chicago style pizza outside of Chicago. It's never just right, you know what I mean? The Barn Burner served up authentic Texas BBQ in the heart of Southern California. It was conveniently located in sunny Pasadena, California.

 

The Original Pantry 

Santa Monica    Santa Monica

Established in 1924, The Original Pantry has spent eight decades providing its customers with generous portions of traditional American cuisine. The restaurant started with 5 employees in a building at 9th and Figueroa St. It consisted of one room -- a 15-stool counter, a grill and a hot plate. It wasn't long before patrons were forming lines for seats.

More than just a casual eatery, The Pantry offers diners an atmosphere rich in character and history. An integral piece of Los Angeles culture, The Pantry has served many movie stars, politicians and other celebrities and continues to be a gathering spot for the city's movers and shakers. As The Pantry's current owner, former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan likes to boast, "We never close. We're never without a customer."

 

Rail Preservation Organizations: Groups dedicated to preserving rail equipment

Southern California is blessed with a wealth of active, vibrant historical organizations focused on the preservation of our collective rail history. Many focus on the preservation of railroad equipment and have public access to their collections. We encourage you to visit and support these organizations and their missions; their strength benefits all who value the preservation of history.

Orange Empire Railway Museum | Visit their site

Located in Perris, the Orange Empire Railway Museum owns and operates the largest collection of vintage Pacific Electric and Los Angeles Railway equipment as well as select examples of mainline railroad equipment from AT&SF, Southern Pacific and Union Pacific. A treat for any railfan, the Orange Empire Railway Museum is fun for the entire family.

Southern California Railway Plaza Association | Visit their site

The SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA RAILWAY PLAZA® ASSOCIATION, INC., or SCRPA, is a volunteer organization focused on the promotion of train-related educational programs for our youth, plus activities and exhibits for people of all ages – dedicated to the preservation of the rail heritage of Southern California.

San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society | Visit their site

The San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society is the proud owner/operator of AT&SF 3751, a Northern-type steam locomotove rescued from a San Bernardino park and restored to its original glory.

Travel Town Visit their site

The City of Los Angeles' Travel Town Museum, located in Griffith Park just off the 134 Freeway near Burbank, boasts the largest collection of historic rail equipment within the city limits. 

Los Angeles Live Steamers | Visit their site

Located in Griffith Park, the Los Angeles Live Steamers; a great group that operates miniature live-steam and diesel locomotives on weekends, which you're invited to ride for a nominal fee.

San Diego Electric Railway Association | Visit their site

The San Diego Electric Railway Association is dedicated to the preservation of the history of the San Diego Electric Railway - San Diego's primary streetcar system which operated from the late 1800s to 1949. SDERA is also the operator of the National City depot, an historic Santa Fe railroad station.

California State Railroad Museum | Visit their site

The granddaddy of them all, the California State Railroad Museum is a must-visit for all Californians. Their interpretive studies of actual equipment, historical artifacts, and a generous archive make this Sacramento destination a crown jewel of the state park system.