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All aboard! The train's a comin'!
May 2008 | by Larry Brooks


On Sunday, June 1, Del Mar will have a very special visitor, one that has not been to Del Mar since August 1953. This visitor is the last steam locomotive to pull a Santa Fe passenger train to stop at the old Del Mar station. The locomotive is the ex-Santa Fe Northern-type (4-8-4), number 3751 built in 1927 by Baldwin Locomotive Works and now owned by the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society. Two obvious characteristics of this locomotive are its brass bell mounted over the head lamp and its huge (80” diameter) drive wheels.

This locomotive will be pulling a full section of Amtrak passenger cars and one historic heritage dome car from Los Angeles Union Station at 7:45am, arriving at San Diego 's Old Town at 11:30 am. The return trip will depart Old Town at 2:30pm and arrive LA at 6:30pm. Tickets may still be available to ride in the passenger cars; however, the dome car sold out in a very short time. This is quite typical of steam train excursions these days with nostalgic old-timers, who remember the glory days of steam trains, and with train spotters of all ages. We can expect the railroad right-of-way and bridges to be very cluttered with sightseers and photographers.

If you would like to witness the return of this special Del Mar visitor, join the Del Mar Historical Society at a gathering from 2-4pm on the outside patio of The Brigantine restaurant. For more information please visit our website
( www.delmarhistoricalsociety.org ) or call 794-0029.



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