Boy Scout Merit Badge Class


Saturday – March 18, 2017

8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Boy Scouts – $25.00 each

(Fee includes Workbook - Notebook - Morning Snack - Spikes - Handouts)


The Class was held in the METRO Headquarters building at One Gateway Plaza on the 3rd floor in the Henry Huntington Room

(The building is located at the east end of the LA Union Station above the parking garages)


The Merit Badge class began promptly at 8:30 a.m. Following lunch we rode the METRO Gold Line to the Del Mar Station in Pasadena to see an early Santa Fe Depot and experience, 1st hand, rail safety. Following the Gold Line ride, we returned to the Los Angeles Union Station for a tour and the signing of your “blue” card by LARHF’s Merit Badge counselors.

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Field Trip – Metro Red to Blue to the ROC


Friday – February 24, 2017

9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


    Lordsburg         Lordsburg
                             Control Tower – Red Line                                                                 View of the Red Line Yard


The group met at the "fish aquarium" near the Red Line Subway and set off for a once in a lifetime adventure. We boarded the Subway as a group, with a Metro guide, who took us up to the Red Line Ops Yard, site of the original Santa Fe Railway, La Grande Station. After a morning at the yard, our motorcouch took us to the ROC operations.


    Lordsburg         Lordsburg
                The ROC shown from the Blue Line Station                                                    The ROC operations


Concluding our visit to the ROC, we returned to the Union Station via the Blue and Red Lines.

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October 30th – 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.


825 Colorado Blvd. Los Angeles, CA, 90041

Eagle Rock (nearest cross street - Figueroa Ave.)

Outside - Lower walkway area - Free Parking



Bring your own bags or boxes for purchased items






















                       Salon Prints          























Sale also includes...


Framed Posters

Apple Computer & Peripherals including...

-  Data Back-Up Systems

-  Apple Monitors


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"Riding the Local Historic Railroads"



San Marino Historical Society Talk

Crowell Public Library, San Marino

October 24, 2016 at 7:00pm


Wendell 'Mort' Mortimer has had a lifelong interest in railroads, streetcars and everything that runs on rails. As a 4th-grader, his father led a train club attended by many in his class who remain lifelong friends. Mort was also President of the Southern Pacific Junior Engineers, taking many local trips. He is a member of the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society and currently serves a President of the Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation. Mort has travelled by train across the United States, Canada, Europe and rode the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Moscow to the Pacific Ocean. This year, he will go by train across South Africa and next year across Spain.

Mort grew up in South Pasadena and now has resided in the same house in San Marino for the past 50 years. He is a graduate of Occidental College, and USC School of Law. He is a lawyer who specializes in civil jury trials, and served 12 years as a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge. Mort currently works as a private judge with ADR Services handling Arbitrations, Mediations and Court Appointments. He is an active member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, serving on the Executive Committee and the National Board of Directors. He presides over demonstration jury trials throughout the world. He is on the Board of Governers of Occidental College and a member of San Marino Community Church, the Twilight Club and is a past president of the San Marino City Club. Mort is president-elect of the international Academy of Trial Judges.

In preparation for the presentation, Mort went thru the ten thousand plus significant historical photographs in the archives of the Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation to be able to present local pictures of trains, interurbans and streetcars in San Marino, Pasadena and South Pasadena. Many of these interesting photos are 100 or more years old. This is a unique opportunity to see these historic pictures of places that you will recognize, most of which have never been published or seen by the public. 

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LARHF Installed its 10th Satellite in

the Lordsburg Taphouse & Grill in La Verne

   Lordsburg    Lordsburg

Have a beer and gaze at the Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation's latest "Satellite" display of archive photographs and beautiful O-scale models of the Santa Fe trains that once ran along the mainline tracks from Chicago to Los Angeles just minutes from the Lordsburg Taphouse and Grill.

LARHF's newest "Satellite exhibit" – the tenth in our popular series throughout Southern California – was unveiled in December at the Lordsburg Taphouse and Grill, 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.


The following archive photographs may be seen in this satellite:


San Bernardino Yard & Depot

San Bernardino was a focal point for the Santa Fe in Southern California. The location was selected for its climatic conditions, supply of water and plentiful labor. The Santa Fe facility was first established in 1886 when a wood depot was built. Within a year, extensive shops and a large roundhouse were constructed. Today Amtrak, Metrolink and BNSF use this facility. 

Photograph from the Library of Congress - 1942



Glendora Depot

The City of Glendora was founded in 1887, 23 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. A year later a station was built, twice rebuilt and finally closed in 1962. Glendora was a large citrus shipping point in the early 1900's "Selling the Gold." On the Santa Fe mainline, the famous Chief is seen pounding at 70-miles per hour passing the Glendora station eastbound to Chicago. 

Photograph by Ralph Melching - 1940




La Verne Orange Association Steam Passenger Train

In the mid-1880's, entrepreneur Isaac W. Lord purchased a tract of land and convinced the Santa Fe Railroad to run it's mainline through the city to LA. In 1887, Lord named the new town Lordsburg. In 1906, the town was incorporated as La Verne. Residents first grew field crops, and then began planting citrus trees. La Verne became known as the "Heart of the Orange Empire." Citrus packinghouses lined the right-of-way. Train No. 24, the Grand Canyon Limited races through town.

Photograph by Ralph Melching - 1936



Monrovias Station

The Santa Fe built this station in Monrovia in 1926. It is the only station along the Metro Gold Line that has been fully restored. Motor-car M181 was a Santa Fe "doodlebug" built by the Electro-Motive Corporation in 1929. Part baggage-mail and coach, it operated daily in the 1950's as the Los Angeles to San Bernardino local. The M181 ran eastbound via Pasadena and returned westbound via Fullerton. 

Photograph by Donald Duke - 1952




Arcadia Station

E.J. "Lucky" Baldwin was insistent that a railroad station be built to his specification on the Santa Fe mainline that passed through his ranch. The railroad basically used the same plan to design its Arcadia station that was opened in the same year, June 1887. Locomotive No. 3445 is pulling the San Bernardino "local."

Photograph by Ralph Melching





La Grande Orange Cafe

In 1936, the Santa Fe to replaced its Pasadena Victorian brick structure. During the late 1930's and following World War II, ten transcontinental trains plus two locals between Los Angeles and San Bernardino passed through Pasadena on a daily basis. It all came to an end in 1994. Today, the Metro Gold Line stops here, which is now known as the Del Mar station. This photograph is a rare view of the station from Raymond Street. 

Photograph from the Bison Archives


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The Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation is Moving!

On Sunday the 3rd of May, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., the Foundation held its first ever sale of books, a-v equipment, ephemera and more at its Headquarters Building - 1500 W. Alhambra Road at the corner of Electric Avenue. The sale will be held in its private alley immediately behind the building.

LARHF members and guests welcome!

Fabulous mint copies of books at $1.00 each - CASH ONLY

Books published by Signature Press, Golden West Books, Valley Rail Press, McMillan Publications, Morning Sun Books, Howell-North, and many other publishers.

Railroad themed coffee cups - 50-cents each

Bring your own bag or box for purchased books, etc


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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

In 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 Engineers 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 masters 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

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 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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Boy Scout Railroading Merit Badge Programs Get Underway – November 2009

LARHF will soon hold its first all-day class for Boy Scouts who wish to earn their RAILROADING Merit Badge. Twenty to thirty Scouts will meet at LARHF’s headquarters in Alhambra on November 7th and spend the morning learning the railroad material required for their merit badge. Then, in the afternoon, they’ll take a field trip. In preparation for the LARHF class, each week at their troop meeting, the Scouts will receive "notes" covering general railroad information. Mark Willie, who is a benefactor of LARHF and a Boy Scout director in Orange County, came up with the name “SPIKES” for these Notes. A total of 7 SPIKES will be handed out prior to November 7th. The first Spike will highlights that “Look, Listen Live!” is an urgent Operation Lifesaver message. The second Spike will detail, “Track and Facts,” with explanations about Rail - Spike & Ballast, Tangent Track, Track Profile, etc. Each SPIKE will include a “Vocabulary to Learn.”

During their LARHF day, at noon, the Scouts will head for Philippe’s French Dip for lunch and to see the latest LARHF Satellite display. From Philippe’s, there will be a tour for Scout’s through the Los Angeles Union Station before they climb aboard the METRO Gold Line to Pasadena. During the ride, the group will learn and discuss the history of the route, the Santa Fe, and the meaning of right of way and public transportation today.

We plan to exit the Gold Line at the Del Mar stop (the old Santa Fe Depot), concluding the day’s activities and providing, we anticipate, a very good introduction to Railroading that leaves each Scout more than qualified to receive his Merit Badge.

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Grant allows LARHF to hire historian – August 2009

A recent grant from the Jonathan Heritage Foundation generously provided LARHF with the opportunity to contract with historian Paul R. Spitzzeri to write an informational booklet and PowerPoint script about the Pacific Electric Club, which was an employee’s club created by PE in 1916.

The Club’s baseball team

The Club’s baseball team
Photograph from the Henry E. Huntington Library Collection

This PowerPoint program will be narrated by a professional voice over and a music track will be added. The program will become a DVD for easy projection.

Paul is Collections Manager at the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum in the City of Industry, California.

Paul R. Spitzzeri, author of several history books is the Collections Manager at the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum

Paul R. Spitzzeri, author of several history books is the Collections Manager at the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum
Photo by Ariel van Zandweghe

He received his B.A. and M.A. in History from California State University, Fullerton and has published on such topics as railroad development and regulation, criminal justice, citizenship issues and overland emigration. He is now writing a book on criminal justice administration in Los Angeles from 1850 to 1875. Paul is also Treasurer and Past-President of the California Council for the Promotion of History and is on the Board of Directors of the Historical Society of Southern California.

Paul found the historical documents for his Pacific Electric Club work in LARHF’s extensive library and ephemera collections. The William Everett Collection, for example, includes books as well as a vast collection of periodicals; maps and miniature models that help trace more than 100 years of rail/traction history. To learn more about Paul's booklet and PowerPoint program, please contact LARHF.

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LARHF featured in the LA Times

Read the new LA Times article "A tour of L.A.'s rich rail history".

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Belmont Station Mini-Museum to Open

What used to be the Pacific Electric Toluca Yard, in downtown Los Angeles, has been transformed into 275 rental apartments. The PE Subway Terminal tunnel portal and sub-station generator building are unique sights on the Belmont Station’s apartment property.

Belmont Sation Apartments

Belmont Station Apartments in construction located on 2nd Street at Glendale Avenue.

LARHF has been invited to create a mini-museum in Belmont Station’s Rental and Welcoming Center. This will entail over 40 archive photographs detailing the construction of the PE subway as well as the Terminal building and the area along the route of the PE cars that operated out of the Terminal.

A majority of the photographs to be displayed have not been seen by the general public before. LARHF in an alliance with the Huntington Library has been given access to the Huntington’s incredible collection of Pacific Electric and Los Angeles Railway photographs.

Pacific Electric construction

Pacific Electric – Future Toluca Yard showing construction preparations for the boring of the subway’s west portal, 1924.
Photo from the Henry E. Huntington Library

LARHF’s archivists and curator have spent many hours in the Huntington photographic vaults viewing this collection and selecting a number of photographs to be reproduced and displayed at the Belmont Station Apartments.

Opening Day Ceremony and first Pacific Electric car to run through the tunnel.

Opening Day Ceremony and first Pacific Electric car to run through the tunnel.
Photo from the Henry E. Huntington Library

Pacific Electric ephemera and artifacts will accompany the photographs.

The display will be open to the public and special interest groups desiring to visit the mini-museum.

Further details to follow.

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Vroman’s Bookstore Signing – February 28, 2009

Elrond LawrenceVroman’s Bookstore is located on Colorado Blvd. in Old Town Pasadena, less than a mile from where Santa Fe Chiefs once crossed this early stretch of Route 66. What better setting is there for Elrond Lawrence, author and photographer of Route 66 Railway? Elrond will be signing copies of his critically-acclaimed book at Vroman’s on Saturday, February 28th, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

One of the last great independent bookstores, Vroman’s was founded in 1894 by Adam Clark Vroman, a famed book collector and passionate photographer of the American West. Following in his footsteps, Elrond Lawrence has used his camera lens to document California and the Southwest. His articles and photography have appeared in magazines, books and calendars. To accompany this event, a beautiful 1941 Ford Woody station wagon owned by Jim Partridge will be on display.

Vroman’s is located at 695 E. Colorado Blvd.; for more information, visit Vroman's web site.

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“GET YOUR KICKS!” Evening Program – March 3, 2009

Elrond Lawrence, author of LARHF’s brilliant new book Route 66 Railway, will entertain members and guests at an evening presentation set for Tuesday evening, March 3rd, in the METRO Board Room in downtown Los Angeles.

Elrond knows Route 66 like no other rail fan, having photographed the historic highway extensively in California, Arizona and New Mexico, as well as its eastern terminus in Chicago, Illinois. He guarantees that you will “get your kicks!” traveling with him through an evening of splendid photography and lively stories. Enjoy colorful images of Santa Fe “Warbonnets,” modern BNSF diesels, Amtrak, steam, and short lines, captured in a variety of scenic settings. Elrond will also sweep you along today’s Route 66, visiting towns, neon motels, quirky cafes, Harvey Houses, and more.

Elrond photo from Route 66

Copies of Route 66 Railway will be sold that evening and Elrond will personalize books for you with an inscription and autograph.

An original signed photograph by Elrond will also be available.

Earlier in the evening, you are invited to join members and friends for dinner and see the new LARHF exhibit in Philippe’s restaurant entitled, “Get Your Kicks! Route 66 and the Santa Fe.”

Invitations will be sent to LARHF members and friends in early February, but everyone is welcome. For more details, e-mail LARHF at

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AL MINTURN 1936 - 2008

Al MinturnSadly, the Foundation lost an important member and a major benefactor, Al Minturn. He died in his sleep on December 7, 2008. Al was an LAUSD administrator for over 30 years. He volunteered as a track & field official at events worldwide, served on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation (LARHF) and was a Patron of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Born in 1936, he lived his entire life in Los Angeles and Torrance, California.

Al was a real buddy and was always there to help in the maintenance of LARHF’s building in Alhambra, always ready to be the “caboose” in its many Field Trips (that is making sure that the last person, straggler, member that needed one last photograph, got on the bus) and always available for any special projects.

We will miss Al’s continuing support in so many ways and let’s not overlook his black truck used extensively for his track and field events and LARHF needs.

A Memorial Service will be held at Green Hills Memorial Park, Rancho Palos Verdes on Saturday January 3, 2009, at 1:00 PM.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation.