Contact: (805) 548-1894 |

Many, Many Thanks To:

2017 San Luis Obispo Train Day

Saturday, May 13, 2017, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Event activities at the historical Freighthouse included running model trains, railroad swap meet, kids' activities, music, railroad art (including Rod Aszman), photography, Amtrak display, and railroad films, as well as various presentations and tours.

Admission is $3 per per visitor 16 and over, $2 per visitor aged four through 15, and those aged 3 and under are free. Admission for Museum Members is free; you can join at the door.

NEW EXHIBIT DEBUT: The SLO Railroad Museum debuted a new exhibit on SLO Train Day: "Two Centuries...One Dream", the story of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad. Learn about the history of the resilient Santa Maria Valley Railroad, one of the few short lines left in California. It was built into a thriving business not once, but twice. The first time it was bought by Captain G. Allan Hancock, who used it to transform the valley's agricultural business. And almost a century later, it was bought again by the Coast Belle Rail Corporation, under the leadership of President Rob Himoto, who is building it back into a thriving business once again. Rob gave a talk at 10:30am to describe his vision for the future.

SLO Train Day at the Museum!

Day's Schedule

10:00 AM

- Event Opens, Museum Opens, Model Railroad Opens

- Swap Meet Starts on Museum Platform

- Railroad Artwork on Museum Platform, including Rod Aszman

- Railroad films start in Presentation Area

- SLO Library Table. Sign up your little ones for their first library cards and they can check out their first book on the spot. We recommend a train book, of course! Near the kids play area.

- Coffee & Pastries for sale at North End of Museum: The Steaming Bean

- San Luis Obispo Steampunk group will be decorating the Museum with their presence

- Santa Maria Valley Railroad Exhibit debut: "Two Centuries...One Dream"

10:30 AM

- The Santa Maria Valley Railroad, presentation by president Rob Himoto. A grand opening ceremony for the new SMVRR Exhibit will follow Rob's talk.

- Music by the South Street Roundhouse Band (throughout the day)

11:30 AM

- Tacos and Hot Dogs for sale by Tia Juanita's at the North End of Museum

- Emily Street Tour with Brad LaRose, gather at the North end of the Freight House

12:00 PM

- Semaphore Signal Sign Dedication, in memory of Arnold Jonas, everyone's welcome, at the sign

12:30 PM

- "Historic Santa Maria Valley" by Cindy Ransick. Book presentation and signing. More info...

1:00 PM
- Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner passes the Museum's back platform (northbound)
2:00 PM

- Amtrak: Past, Present, and Future, a talk by David Weisman now in his 10th year as a volunteer Amtrak station host for SLO. Also, he will provide helpful travel tips for Central Coast residents, including using the trains as a convenient - and car free - way to get to major airports to the south and north, daytime excursions to Santa Barbara that can be fun for all ages, and other overnight train travel options (like Portland or the Grand Canyon—also "car free"). Mr. Weisman will answer any audience questions on all things Amtrak - from current dining car menu selections to policies on luggage, unaccompanied minors, and great discounts. Mr. Weisman answers this one first: Yes, the steak in the dining car is very good, especially medium rare!

- Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner passes the Museum's back platform (southbound)

3:20 PM
- Amtrak's Coast Starlight passes the Museum's back platform (southbound)
3:35 PM
- Amtrak's Coast Starlight passes the Museum's back platform (northbound)
4:00 PM
- Event and Museum Closes

Presentation by Rob Himoto, president of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad

South Street Roundhouse Band

New Santa Maria Valley Railroad Exhibit

New book: Historic Santa Maria Valley

SLO Library table

In memory of Arnold Jonas


The Museum's new semaphore signal sign was dedicated at 12pm in memory of Arnold Jonas. All gathered at the sign for the brief ceremony.

Thanks to Gary See and Jamie Foster (more) for these photos.

Cindy Ransick, Santa Maria Valley Historical Museum

Modeling the highline at the Betteravia sugar mill


Amtrak: Past, Present, and Future, a presentation by David Weisman