Railroad Days provided a glimpse into the history of the locomotive with artifact exhibitions, multiple model trains and locomotive tours from May 2-3 at the Fullerton Train Station.
The free community event was packed with families carrying toddlers fully outfitted in vintage engineering costumes running around inspecting the multiple interactive activities they had on site.and his mother Katie Nguyen [right] taking a break after the event. Photo credit: Nur Sattar” align=”aligncenter” id=”attachment_4771″ width=”300″]
“We have eight or nine year olds [at the event] who know much about the locomotive as many of us,” said Warren Peterson, vice president of the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society. “It totally blows you away.”
Peterson has been involved with Railroad Days since 1989.
“Southern California was made possible by the transportation system railroads created, our organizations motto is to bring history to life,” Peterson said. “It’s one thing to see this [Santa Fe 3751] locomotive sitting in the park and it’s another to see it being operated.”
The San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society was exhibiting the Santa Fe Railway steam locomotive titled, Santa Fe 3751, built in 1927. SBRHS owns and operates this artifact and event participants had the chance to tour the cab of the Santa Fe 3751 for $20 each.
“It’s incredible to see few hundred tons worth of equipment rolling by,” said Ryan Briggs, Long Beach resident.
This is Briggs’ second visit to Railroad Days and he was most excited to see the Santa Fe 3751 exhibition.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation Railway was offering free tours of the train they had on site, which was more recently built and features 4,400 horsepower.
“If we had a race between the two this [Santa Fe 3751] locomotive would outrun it by 25 miles an hour, the 1927 locomotive,” said John Howard, mechanical engineer and volunteer with San Bernardino Historical Railroad Society.
According to Howard, the BNSF train has a much lower carbon footprint because it runs on diesel but was built to carry more freight instead of delivering more speed.
When asked what the importance of having both types of trains exhibited next to each other is, Howard mentions that it allows people to see the transition in efficiency and design from the 1920s to present day.
Howard said, “we see where we were, where we are and that helps us determine where we want to go in the future.”