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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