Contact: (805) 548-1894 | info@slorrm.com


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Smile Posts

Interesting items along the way...

SLO’s steam era ended when the roundhouse came down


April 16, 2017 on Facebook/slorrm...
David Middlecamp's "Photos From The Vault" article in Saturday's San Luis Obispo Tribune. Read the story here.

Diane Marchetti Honored

March 11, 2017
Diane Marchetti was recently nominated as part of the SLO County Commission on the Status of Women as a Woman of the Year by the SLO Railroad Museum. More info...

Cinco de Mayo Wine Rail Excursion


March 20, 2017 on Facebook/slorrm...
Come celebrate Cinco de Mayo with trains, wine, and live music! Leave the SLO Amtrak Station at 3:35 pm on Friday afternoon, May 5th, and travel on the Coast Starlight over the beautiful Cuesta Grade to Paso Robles. Then get transported to Pomar Junction Winery for their Train Wreck Friday party. Enjoy music by Ricky Monjito & The Mojitos. Wine-tasting is included in your fare, and diinner is available to buy or bring your own picnic. Transportation is provided back to the SLO Amtrak Station. Cost is $75 per person for the entire excursion. Contact media@slorrm.com for tickets and information. More info...

Movie/Talk at the Museum


January 24, 2017 on Facebook/slorrm...
On January 28th at 3pm, Movies at the Museum returns in 2017 with an educational talk and classic movie! Glen Matteson will be presenting a talk about "A Railroad That Never Was". In 1891, Myron Angel sought investors for a railroad to link San Luis Obispo with the San Joaquin Valley - a can't lose proposition that would be far superior to the approaching Southern Pacific and its connection with San Francisco city slickers. Glen will detail this planned railroad. Following the talk will be a showing of an old classic movie - "Hurricane Express". A very young John Wayne stands between a mysterious villain and railroad mayhem, with the help of some very early special effects, and amid some locations you may recognize. Cost of admission is $3, which includes access to the museum, talk, and movie.

Happy New Year! from the Museum


January 2, 2017 on Facebook/slorrm...
HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR from the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum. Here's to a great 2017 for everyone. Interestingly, the weather forecast for this weekend includes a slight chance of snow on Cuesta Grade...

Sunset at the Museum


December 12, 2016 on Facebook/slorrm...
The new signal/sign out front is beautifully silhouetted.

PCRy Historic Right-of-Way Bus Tour: 11/13/16, 7:45am


November 8, 2016 on Facebook/slorrm...
Sunday, November 13, 2016 starting at 745am. Advance Reservations Required. Do you want to learn more about the narrow gauge Pacific Coast Railway? Then join us on a bus tour that follows the old right-of-way. You won't see any of these old locomotives anymore but you can at least see where they ran and use your imagination to visualize the trains that ran on the central coast more than 125 years ago. We will begin boarding the bus at 7:45am at the south end of the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum (bus leaves at 8am). We will follow the historic right of way of the PCRy. Lunch on your own about noon at Pea Soup Andersen's in Buellton. Return to SLO about 4pm. Karl Hovanitz will be our guide. Cost is $39 per person. To make reservations and pay, contact Diane at media@slorrm.com or call 805-548-1894.

Railborne Military Guns and The Great Locomotive Chase


August 10, 2016 on Facebook/slorrm...
SATURDAY, AUGUST 13th at 3pm, hear Glen Matteson's account of the events that occurred when some railborne military guns were fired on the California coast. Then immediately following, enjoy one of the finest silent movies ever made. Buster Keaton stars in "The General", a movie based on the Great Locomotive Chase which occurred in 1862. Keaton was famous for doing his own stunts and the ones in this movie are exciting (and dangerous). The American Film Institute rates this movie as one of the top 10 comedies of all time and we are proud to present it as the first in our series of MOVIES AT THE MUSEUM. Free admission for members and just $3 (regular museum admission) for non-members ($2 for kids).

South Street Roundhouse


July 12, 2016 on Facebook/SoStRoundhouse...
Did you know that South Street Roundhouse was named after a real place? It was an iconic building of the Pacific Coast Railway, and stood in SLO for many years. You can read about it in the book "The Pacific Coast Railway" which was co-written by South Coast Roundhouse band member Curtiss Johnson. You can pick up a copy of the book at the gift shop at the SLO Railroad Museum, then come talk to Curt about the history of the Pacific Coast Railway when SSR performs at the museum on October 8, 2016 (during the Central Coast Railroad Festival).

Happy 4th of July from the SLO Railroad Museum!



Museum Participates in Scout-O-Rama




May 27, 2016 on Facebook...
The railroad museum participated in the Boy Scout Scout-O-Rama event at Dinosaur Caves Park on May 21, 2016. Many scouts learned about the Museum's Railroading Merit Badge program. See The Facebook post for photos of this fun day. The next Merit Badge class at the museum will be Sunday, October 16th. Cost is $25 and includes all materials, including a model railroad car. Check the SLORRM website for more information about prerequisites and registration.

First Southern Pacific Train Arrives SLO, May 5, 1894


May 5, 2016 on Facebook...
On May 5, 1894 at 3:25 P.M., the first Southern Pacific train finally reached San Luis Obispo. The SP Railroad had reached Santa Margarita north of the Cuesta Grade on April 20, 1889. It then took 5 years for thousands of laborers using hand tools and dynamite to construct 8 tunnels, the Stenner Creek trestle, and the spectacular horseshoe curve to complete the track down Cuesta Grade to San Luis Obispo. Several thousand visitors and residents gathered at the Ramona Hotel to meet the train and celebrate the event. San Luis Obispo became a railroad town. This photo of a crowd at the San Luis Obispo Southern Pacific Station is circa 1913-1914 and from the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Kennedy Library Online Archives. See also "Photos From The Vault" - click here.

Surf Station Closes March 1, 1985


March 1, 2016. THIS DAY IN RAILROAD HISTORY (31 years ago yesterday) --- SOUTHERN PACIFIC SURF STATION CLOSED. On March 1, 1985, the last train order came and the windows were boarded up at the Southern Pacific Surf Station. Southern Pacific reached Surf (on the coast near Lompoc) in 1896, and by June 1899 an extension to Lompoc was completed. The entire Coast line from San Francisco to Los Angeles was finally fully operational on March 31, 1901.

For a story about John Roskoski and his photo chronicles of Surf, visit:
http://lompocrecord.com/news/local/train-buff-takes-story-of-surf-across-nation/article_242225de-7b28-5878-99b2-a97618cc43a9.html

Additional information is available at the following:
http://modelingthesp.com/Employees_%26_th…/Surf_History.html
http://dogcaught.com/2008/02/29/memories-of-surf/
http://coscia-espee.info/sp_cs22_depots.html

Photo from:
http://dogcaught.com/2008/02/29/memories-of-surf/

Santa and Mrs. Claus Arrive by Train

       



December 12, 2015. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived in SLO on the Amtrak Surfliner last Saturday as planned and visited with many boys and girls on La Cuesta all afternoon (on Facebook). Thanks to Brooke Schumacher and Cheryl Strahl Photography for the photos. More photos...

Southern Pacific Incorporated December 2, 1865

December 2, 2015 on Facebook...
THIS DAY IN RAILROAD HISTORY (150 years ago today) --- SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD INCORPORATED DECEMBER 2, 1865. Today is the 150th anniversary of the creation of the SP. Southern Pacific Railroad Company was formed and incorporated on December 2, 1865 to build a transcontinental railroad along a more southern route. On October 13, 1988, Rio Grande Industries took control of the Southern Pacific Railroad but the merged company retained the name "Southern Pacific" for all railroad operations. The Southern Pacific name was retired on Sept. 11, 1996 when Southern Pacific merged with the Union Pacific Railroad.

Holiday Decorating

November 30, 2015 on Facebook...
The Museum was decorated for the holidays this past weekend, including the assistance of these young ones.

Central Coast Railroad Festival

October 4, 2015 on Facebook...
The Central Coast Railroad Festival was in full swing on Saturday and continues today at the Railroad Museum and other locations. All the photos will be at CCRRF.com. Pictured at left is a portion of the Central Coast Model Railroad being built at the Museum.

Click here for photos taken at the Museum on Saturday and Sunday of the Festival.

Railroad Story Time Kicks Off Railroad Festival

October 1, 2015 on Facebook...
The Railroad Festival got an early start on Tuesday at the San Luis Obispo Library where Amtrak Conductor Saphya gave an Amtrak/Operation Lifesaver presentation as part of Railroad Story Time. Come join us at Railroad Festival events tonight at SLO Farmers' Market, SLO Library, and Atascadero Library and all over the county this weekend. Full details at CCRRF.com.


San Luis Obispo made Southern Pacific an offer it could not refuse

September 29, 2015 on Facebook...
Some interesting history on Cuesta Grade construction was in David Middlecamp's "Photos From The Vault" article in Saturday's San Luis Obispo Tribune titled "San Luis Obispo made Southern Pacific an offer it could not refuse". Read the story here. Thanks, too, for the plug about the Museum's Central Coast Railroad Festival!


Southern Pacific Helpers Derail in Cuesta Tunnel 7

September 25, 2015 on Facebook...
In the pre-dawn hours of September 25, 1969, a five unit helper train operating light down Cuesta Grade toward San Luis Obispo derailed just east of Cuesta Tunnel No. 7. The lead locomotive was a new GE U33C, SP #8642 which had only been in service for 3 months. The accident was described as follows: "When the 8642 came out of Tunnel 7 it went straight into the side of the mountain. With the other 4 units behind it, they shoved it to the left and the other units started up the side of the hill. The frame of the 8642 was broken in two and was picked up in two pieces. The front half went on a flat car. The rear half went on another flat. The trucks, engine, pieces, etc., went into two gondolas. They used the LA hook on the east end and the Watsonville Junction hook on the west end." All three SP crew members on board lost their lives in this crash -- engineer Donald Holderman, 56; fireman Manuel Cardoza, 45; and William R. Garner, 21, a railway clerk riding with the crew.


Why a Railroad to Avila?

September 18, 2015 on Facebook...
Presentation: Why a Railroad to Avila? with Andrew Merriam. Saturday, September 19, 11am to noon. Learn about the now-vanished Pacific Coast Railway that connected San Luis Obispo to the pier at Avila in the late 19th century with Andrew Merriam, railroad historian and board member of SLORRM. Andrew will be giving an expert's overview of the history and importance of the first rail line on the Central Coast during a presentation on Saturday, September 19th, from 11 am to noon, at the Railroad Museum. We welcome everyone who would like to learn more about the crucial role this railroad played in developing the Central Coast area. His talk is included with your regular museum admission.


Pacific Coast Railway Exhibit and Talk

September 11, 2015 on Facebook...
Our Pacific Coast Railway expert, Andrew Merriam, has created an amazingly informative and beautiful exhibit about the PCRy which is on display August through October at the History Center in downtown San Luis Obispo (in the beautiful old Carnegie Library near the Mission). Andrew has put countless hours into designing this beautiful exhibit which presents vignettes of what life was like and why a railway from Avila to San Luis Obispo made a huge difference in the development of the town and, eventually, the entire county. The exhibit will stay in the History Center through the end of October and then move over to the Railroad Museum. Additionally, Andrew will be giving an expert's overview of the history and importance of this first rail line on the Central Coast during a presentation on Saturday, September 19th, from 11 am to noon, at the Railroad Museum. We welcome everyone who would like to learn more about the crucial role this railroad played in developing the Central Coast area. His talk is included with your regular museum admission.


Southern Pacific's SLO Depot Torn Down

August 13, 2015 on Facebook...
THIS DAY IN RAILROAD HISTORY (44 years ago today) --- SOUTHERN PACIFIC SAN LUIS OBISPO DEPOT TORN DOWN. On August 13, 1971, the original San Luis Obispo Southern Pacific Passenger Depot was torn down to make room for a parking lot. This original depot was built in 1894 by Southern Pacific when they first arrived in San Luis Obispo and used as a depot until about 1942 (exact date uncertain) when SP completed the new (and current) passenger depot. This original depot was located just south of the current depot. After the new depot was opened, the former depot was utilized as a freight depot and railroad offices until 1968, when it was shuttered. For more information and the complete Photos From The Vault article by David Middlecamp, click here. Depot photo taken on April 8, 1968 by Pat Flynn. Demolition photo from the San Luis Obispo Tribune Photos From The Vault


Southern Pacific Reaches Guadalupe

July 1, 2015 on Facebook...
THIS DAY IN RAILROAD HISTORY (120 years ago today) --- SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD REACHED GUADALUPE. On July 1, 1895, regular trains began running into Guadalupe (from the north) over the Santa Maria River on a temporary trestle. A permanent bridge was completed in late June 1896. The Southern Pacific Coast Line gap was now from Guadalupe (on the North) to Ellwood (11 miles west of Santa Barbara on the South). This gap wasn't closed until almost 6 years later on March 31, 1901 when regular trains began running on the Coast Line between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Info from Coast Line book by John Signor. Photo of Guadalupe SP Standard Depot 22 taken on July 1, 1976 by Craig Walker (http://www.railpictures.net/photo/390460/).


Photos from the Vault: Cuesta Grade CTC

May 30, 2015 on Facebook...
Really cool "Photos From The Vault" by David Middlecamp in the San Luis Obispo Tribune about CTC (Centralized Traffic Control) Railroad Signalling on Cuesta Grade during World War 2. Full photo and Tribune article are here: "Photos From The Vault: The move that sped up train travel over the Cuesta Grade".


Southern Pacific Reaches SLO

May 5, 2015 on Facebook...
On May 5, 1894 at 3:25 P.M., 121 years ago this day, the first Southern Pacific train finally reached San Luis Obispo. The SP Railroad had reached Santa Margarita north of the Cuesta Grade on April 20, 1889. It then took 5 years for thousands of laborers using hand tools and dynamite to construct 8 tunnels, the Stenner Creek trestle, and the spectacular horseshoe curve to complete the track down Cuesta Grade to San Luis Obispo. Several thousand visitors and residents gathered at the Ramona Hotel to meet the train and celebrate the event. San Luis Obispo became a railroad town. Full photo and Tribune article are here: "Photos From The Vault: 1894 First Southern Pacific train service to San Luis Obispo".


"FIRE IN CUESTA TUNNEL NO. 7"

April 29, 2015 on Facebook...

Just after midnight on April 29, 1987, a westbound train passing through Southern Pacific's Cuesta Grade tunnel no. 7 reported a fire in the 1,354 foot long, partly concrete lined, partly wooden-beam timber bore. The fire burned for two days before finally being extinguished by SP Fire Specialists brought in from Eugene, Oregon. But the fire managed to get into some of the old wooden timbers behind the concrete lined construction and flared up again on May 3rd. Part of the tunnel collapsed 400 feet from the east portal. When the smoke finally cleared for the second time, SP was faced with rebuilding over 1,100 feet of the tunnel. The fire and reconstruction efforts closed the SP Coast Line for a total of 13 days, forcing the rerouting of all freight trains to the San Joaquin Valley Line and the annulment of Amtrak passenger trains. Finally, the tunnel was reopened on May 11, 1987 at a total cost of $1.9 million. (Info from the book "Southern Pacific's Coast Line" by John R. Signor and photo by Snob!k3r).


Ludwick Reception at the Museum

April 14, 2015 on Facebook...

  

Art Ludwick recently held a Ludwick-Jones Family Reunion at the Railroad Museum with about 130 people attending from many states. Waving from the platform are Art, his Aunt Lillian, and his brother Ted. Also attending the reunion were some Macaws owned by one of the family members who lives locally in San Luis Obispo.






MYSTERY PHOTOGRAPH

March 13, 2015 on Facebook...



Can you help solve a mystery? This photograph was recently donated to the museum. Could it be Cuesta siding on the north side of the summit? Remarkably, it shows a velocipede and a handcar like the ones displayed in the museum. The handcar is numbered SP XX279 with WO 9 9 15 in smaller characters below. The photo must have been taken somewhere on the Southern Pacific in the early 1900s. It's in mountainous territory, with a siding holding the vehicles and a main track curving to the left in the background. The vegetation appears to be chaparral and oak, with spindly or burned-over trees on the mountainside in the distance. Parts of three separate pole lines are visible. There are three sheds, one with a nearly flat roof, and all having rails and wide doors for setting off handcars. The closest shed bears the number 9, probably identifying this as Section 9. By now probably all that remains is a main track with heavier rails.

Any informed guesses on where this was? Special recognition if you can identify any of the men.

Read the full story in Issue 51 of "Coast Mail".


Ready for the Holidays

December 11, 2014 on Facebook...
The Railroad Museum is all decorated with toy trains for the kids and holiday treats for all. Come to our Holiday Open House this Saturday, December 13th, from 10am to 4pm. We look forward to celebrating with you, your family and friends.

   



Visitors to the Museum

November 27, 2014 on Facebook...
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! The last week has seen three tour groups come to the Museum. We thank the Cuesta Crankers Model A Club, the Friends of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad, and an energetic Tiger Scouts group who all came to see us in the last few days. You can see the boys as they wave at the Surfliner, learn about the unusual history of the velocipede and find out how engineers got their train orders in the old days. Thanks to all of you.



   

La Condesa Update

November 19, 2014 on Facebook...
The SLORRM Pullman Observation-Lounge-Diner passenger car is undergoing refurbishment and return to much of the layout that the car had when first built in 1926. The current effort is to restore the dining room which was removed decades ago to make way for an additional bedroom. This change was simple with the addition of a wall and small serving kitchen which then created a hallway next to the new bedroom to allow movement from the lounge to rest of the train. This wall (and serving kitchen) have now been removed and repairs to the entrance doorway and floor are underway as shown in the photographs. Our goal is twofold - show the car as it was originally built and allow us to host larger events in the lounge/dining room space.

   



Union Pacific Railroad Training Car



October 24, 2014 on Facebook...
Union Pacific Railroad has produced a state-of-the-art training car that will travel around the U.S. teaching rail safety and emergency preparedness to first responders. In its first official stop, the car arrived in San Luis Obispo yesterday and will be viewable today (Friday Oct 24) from 2-6 p.m. on the Union Pacific Railroad siding located just south of the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum (1940 Santa Barbara Street) in SLO. You will see the railcar parked on the siding south of the museum behind our Emily Street Rail Yard and Miner?s Hardware parking lot. A Union Pacific hazardous materials director and a Union Pacific public affairs director will provide information on the new training boxcar.

Girl Scout Troop Visits

August 24, 2014 on Facebook...
The Museum had special guests when some of the youngest members of Girl Scout Troop 40300 visited, along with their moms and some siblings. They learned about the major role that railroading played in San Luis Obispo, and the importance of clear communication and safety in railroad operations. Popular activities included ringing a big locomotive bell and operating the wig-wag crossing signal. They also used ?scavenger hunt? work sheets to look for items ranging from a locomotive headlight to HO scale seals near the Port Harford pier.

Museum Work Day

August 2, 2014 on Facebook...
Saturday was a work day at the museum with lots of activity from working on the caboose roof to cleaning La Condesa to leading a group of photographic enthusiasts to building benchwork on the model. Our open days this month are August 9 and 23 - we'd love to have you come visit.






Museum Projects Continue...

June 16, 2014 on Facebook...


LaCondesa

May 22, 2014 on Facebook...

Although it seemed at times as though it would never happen, the museum's private car, LaCondesa (1926 Pullman open platform observation car, ex Santa Fe No. 1512), and our caboose (SP 1886) have finally arrived at the Freighthouse. The LaCondesa will need some cleaning and fixing before we can open it, but it is in remarkably good condition, thanks to the stewardship of Santa Maria Valley Railroad, which has been storing and caring for it for several years now. Thanks, SMVRR! If you haven't had a chance, plan a trip to the museum to see this car and caboose. If you are interested in helping restore this car, please let us know. We can use donations of money and/or time. As soon as it is presentable on the inside, we will be renting the interior of the car for meetings and parties. In the meantime, you can get your photo taken on the car's platform for a small fee which includes some props. Bring the whole family out and get a group photo to celebrate the arrival of the LaCondesa. More info (PDF, 4.7mb).

ALCO Reverse Gear

May 21, 2014 on Facebook...

Here is an "ALCO REVERSE GEAR" which would also be known as a Johnson bar. This lever would actuate the power reverse, a cylinder used to raise and lower the valve motion, as it was to heavy for the engineer to do by hand. This would have been on a GS class locomotive.

Pacific Coast Railway Builder's Plate

April 30, 2014 on Facebook...

From our collection... This is most likely the only surviving example of a builder plate for a Pacific Coast Railway freight car. This plate would have been put on a car built in the railroad's shop in Seattle, Washington, then taken the long trip down by ship to San Luis Obispo, landing at Harford wharf. Today it is proudly displayed, representing a link in the chain of transportation in early San Luis Obispo county.

From the Freighthouse

These "From the Freighthouse" e-blasts are sent to members and friends on a more frequent basis than the formal newsletter. If you would like to have issues of "From the Freighthouse" emailed directly to you, subscribe to the "From the Freighthouse" email list.

 

From the Freighthouse 4/19/17

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: SLO Train Day is May 13th; Wine Rail Excursions set for August 4th and October 6th; Art After Dark at the Museum on July 7th; and a reminder that memberships are $36/year for individuals and $60/year for families, add $20 and get a free book. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 3/8/17

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: March 11th, 11am, is a talk by Phil Tillman entitled "History of Bagpipe Music"; Wine Rail Excursion set for Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, $75 includes Pomar Junction wine tasting and entertainment (details); SLO Train Day is set for May 13th; and a reminder that memberships are now annual (calendar year), add $20 and get a free book. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 2/10/17

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: March 11th, 11am, is a talk by Phil Tillman entitled "History of Bagpipe Music"; Boy Scout Merit Badge Class, April 9, 2017 (details); Next Wine Rail Excursion set for Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, $75 includes Pomar Junction wine tasting and entertainment (details); SLO Train Day is set for May 13th; and a reminder that memberships are now annual (calendar year), add $20 and get a free book. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 1/4/17

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: Happy New Year!; January 28th is "The Hurricane Express" (movie) at the Museum, 3pm, along with a talk by Glen Matteson entitled "A Railroad That Never Was"; March 11th, 11am, is a talk by Phil Tillman entitled "History of Bagpipe Music"; Boy Scout Merit Badge Class, January 22, 2017 (details); Next Wine Rail Excursion set for Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, $75 includes Pomar Junction wine tasting and entertainment (details); SLO Train Day is set for May 13th; and a reminder that memberships are now annual (calendar year), add $20 and get a free book. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 12/16/16

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: Come see the Holidays at the Museum; Boy Scout Merit Badge Class, January 22, 2017 (details); Santa arrived by Surfliner on Saturday, December 3rd (photos); movie and presentation at the Museum, Saturday, January 28, 2017; and a request for members interested in becoming docents and volunteers. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 11/21/16

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: collecting toys for KSBY's Season of Hope; decorating day at the Museum November 25th; Santa arrives by Surfliner on Saturday, December 3rd at 1pm; the next BSA merit badge award day will be January 22, 2017; movie and presentation at the Museum, Saturday, January 28, 2017; and a request for members interested in becoming docents and volunteers. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 10/24/16

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: free admission to the Museum on October 29th for anyone in costume; the next BSA merit badge award day will be January 22, 2017; Santa arrives by Surfliner on Saturday, December 3rd at 1pm; a bus tour of the Pacific Coast Railway right-of-way on Nov. 13th (details); decorating day at the Museum November 25th; and a request for members interested in becoming docents and volunteers. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 9/30/16

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: a reminder that the Central Coast Railroad Festival is scheduled for October 7-9, 2016; Museum members erect the Semaphore Signal Street Sign; the Museum has two certified Operation Lifesaver folks; the next BSA merit badge award day on October 16th is sold out; Santa arrives by Surfliner on Saturday, December 3rd at 1pm; a bus tour of the Pacific Coast Railway right-of-way on Nov. 13th (details); decorating day at the Museum November 25th; and a request for members interested in becoming docents and volunteers. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 9/12/16

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: our historic railcar excursion on September 17th (updated options) is sold out; a wine-rail excursion to Pomar Junction Winery on October 7th (details); the #1886 Caboose will be open during the CCRRF with its newly restored interior; BSA merit badge award day on October 16th is sold out; Santa arrives by Surfliner on Saturday, December 3rd at 1pm; a reminder that the Central Coast Railroad Festival is scheduled for October 7-9, 2016; and a request for members interested in becoming docents and volunteers. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 8/16/16

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: our historic railcar excursion on September 17th (updated options); a wine-rail excursion to Pomar Junction Winery on October 7th (details); our 1903 Southern Pacific Tank Car arrives (story/photos); Guiness World Record Z-scale collection at the Museum September 17th; the next BSA merit badge award day on October 16th is sold out; Santa arrives by Surfliner on Saturday, December 3rd at 1pm; a reminder that the Central Coast Railroad Festival is scheduled for October 7-9, 2016; and a request for members interested in becoming docents and volunteers. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 7/29/16

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: our historic railcar excursion on September 17th (details); a wine-rail excursion to Pomar Junction Winery on October 7th (details); The Great Locomotive Chase movie and Glen Matteson talk on August 13th; a reminder of the next BSA merit badge award day on October 16th; Santa arrives by Surfliner on Saturday, December 3rd at 1pm; a reminder that the Central Coast Railroad Festival is scheduled for October 7-9, 2016; and a request for members interested in becoming docents and volunteers. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 6/28/16

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: an announcement of the July 12 Board vote on proposed ByLaws changes, a newly scheduled set of historic railcar excursions on September 17th (details), a wine-rail excursion to Pomar Junction Winery on October 7th (details), The Great Locomotive Chase movie and Glen Matteson talk on August 13th, a photo from the April 24th Merit Badge program and a reminder of the next BSA merit badge cycle, an update on the Caboose #1886 window restoration (details), a reminder that the Central Coast Railroad Festival is scheduled for October 7-9, 2016, and a request for members interested in volunteering at the Museum. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 6/14/16

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: Museum docents visit the Estrella Warbird Museum, a wine-rail excursion to Pomar Junction Winery on October 7th (details), The Great Locomotive Chase movie and talk on August 13th, a photo from the April 24th Merit Badge program and a reminder of the next BSA merit badge cycle, an update on the Caboose #1886 window restoration (details), a reminder that the Central Coast Railroad Festival is scheduled for October 7-9, 2016, and a request for members interested in becoming docents. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 5/24/16

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: a wine-rail excursion to Pomar Junction Winery on October 7th (details), photos from May 7th SLO Train Day (photos), The Great Locomotive Chase movie and talk on August 13th, photos from the May 20th Scout-O-Rama and a reminder of the next BSA merit badge cycle, an update on the Caboose #1886 restoration, a reminder that the Central Coast Railroad Festival is scheduled for October 7-9, 2016, and a request for members interested in becoming docents. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 4/30/16

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: BSA Merit Badge class gradutes (photos), a wine-rail excursion to Pomar Junction Winery on May 6th (details), information about our upcoming May 7th SLO Train Day (details), The Great Locomotive Chase movie and talk on August 13th, a reminder that the Central Coast Railroad Festival is scheduled for October 7-9, 2016, and a request for members interested in becoming docents. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 4/15/16

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: the passing of Arnold Jonas, a wine-rail excursion to Pomar Junction Winery on May 6th (details), information about our upcoming May 7th SLO Train Day (details), a reminder that the Central Coast Railroad Festival is scheduled for October 7-9, 2016, and a request for members interested in becoming docents. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 3/22/16

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: a photo from the UP Business Special Visit, a recap of the talk and book signing on "World War II Arroyo Grande" on March 19th, the Boy Scout Merit Badge Program (details) culminating on April 24th, a wine-rail excursion to Pomar Junction Winery on May 6th, information about our upcoming May 7th SLO Train Day, a reminder that the Central Coast Railroad Festival is scheduled for October 7-9, 2016, and a request for members interested in becoming docents. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 3/4/16

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: a photo from the Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration at the Museum on February 20th, the talk and book signing on "World War II Arroyo Grande" on March 19th, the Boy Scout Merit Badge Program (details) culminating on April 24th, a wine-rail excursion to Pomar Junction Winery on May 6th, a note for those who may want to have a table on the platform during May 7th's SLO Train Day, and a reminder that the Central Coast Railroad Festival is scheduled for October 7-9, 2016. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 2/11/16

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: an update on the funding progress for the PCRy boxcar restoration, the Sweetheart rail excursion on February 6th (photos), the Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration at the Museum on February 20th, the talk and book signing on "World War II Arroyo Grande" on March 19th, the Boy Scout Merit Badge Program (details), A wine-rail excursion to Pomar Junction Winery on May 6th, a note for those who may want to have a table on the platform during May 7th's SLO Train Day, and a reminder that the Central Coast Railroad Festival is scheduled for October 7-9, 2016. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 1/30/16


This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: the annual membership reception including the Distinguished Service Awards (pictured above are Rob Himoto and Pierre Rademaker, more photos), the opening of the Pacific Coast Railway Exhibit (photos), the Sweetheart rail excursion on February 6th (details), the Chinese Lunar New Year at the Museum on February 20th, the talk and book signing on "World War II Arroyo Grande" on March 19th, the Boy Scout Merit Badge Program (details), and a note for those who may want to have a table on the platform during May 7th's SLO Train Day. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 1/16/16

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: Pacific Coast Railway Exhibit Opening and Reception January 23rd, Sweetheart Special Private Excursion on February 6th, Chinese Lunar New Year celebration February 20th at the Museum, book signing of March 19th, and end-of-year giving. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 12/30/15

ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING/RECEPTION
SUNDAY, JANUARY 10th, 3-5 pm
ALL MEMBERS ARE INVITED
Following Board Meeting at 2:30 pm
To celebrate the end of our second year in operation, we want to thank our members with a private reception. Please join us as we present Distinguished Service Awards to three of our longtime members. We also want to hear your ideas about what we are doing and what you would like to see in the future. We will have hors d'oeuvres, soda and wine. This catered event is FREE for members. Join or Renew now. Please RSVP to media@slorrm.com.

From the Freighthouse 12/24/15


This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: photos from Santa's visit to the Museum, the Atascadero Christian Community tours the Museum, members reception January 10th, end-of-year giving, Pacific Coast Railway Exhibit Opening and Reception January 23rd, Sweetheart Special Private Excursion on February 6th, Chinese Lunar New Year celebration February 20th at the Museum, and please renew your membership before the first of the year. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 12/9/15

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: The halls are all decked out for the holidays, members reception January 10th, 100 at $100 at Year-End, Pacific Coast Railway Exhibit Opening and Reception January 23rd, and one free admission for the day for each new unwrapped toy brought for Season of Hope on December 12th. Members, please renew your membership before the first of the year. Lastly, Santa arrives December 12th on the 1pm Surfliner. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 11/23/15


This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: 100 at $100 at Year-End, consider becoming a Board member, the Pacific Coast Railway exhibit will be moved to the Museum - watch for a January unveiling, let's get the caboose fixed up and painted, holiday decorating on November 27th and 28th, specials during the holidays including 2-for-1 admissions for kids when you bring a toy to donate to the Season of Hope toy drive, and Chinese Lunar New Year at the Museum on February 20th. Members, please renew your membership before the first of the year. Lastly, Santa arrives December 12th on the 1pm Surfliner. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 10/20/15


This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: thanks for joining us at the Central Coast Railroad Festival, special events coming up soon in Templeton and Guadalupe, the PCRy exhibit at the History Center, our Halloween special, holiday decorating on November 27th and 28th, two private car excursions on December 12th, and specials during the holidays including 2-for-1 admissions for kids when you bring a toy to donate to the Season of Hope toy drive. Members, please renew your membership before the first of the year. Lastly, Santa arrives December 12th on the 1pm Surfliner. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 9/28/15

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: two private car excursions on December 12th, the Central Coast Railroad Festival October 1-4, Santa's coming by train on December 12th, and other upcoming activities. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 9/3/15

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: two private car excursions on September 19th, a Pacific Coast Railway talk by Andrew Merriam on September 19th at the Museum, the Central Coast Railroad Festival October 1-4, now open EVERY saturday, Santa's coming by train on December 12th, and other upcoming activities. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 8/21/15


This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: tiny explorers visiting the Museum, two private car excursions announced for September 19th, a Pacific Coast Railway talk by Andrew Merriam on September 19th at the Museum, the Central Coast Railroad Festival October 1-4, now open EVERY saturday, and other upcoming activities. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 8/3/15

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: information about the Pacific Coast Railway dislpay at the History Museum, two private car excursions announced for September 19th, parties at the SLO Railroad Museum, and other upcoming activities. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 7/13/15

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: SLORRM exhibits in Templeton's 4th of July parade, two new private car excursions announced for September 19th, and some photos for each. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 6/16/15


This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: New Panoramic Photos in the Museum, Progress on the Model Railroads, Changes in the Coast Mail Newsletter, and Upcoming events. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 5/28/15

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes: Everyone Loves Kids Challege visits on May 18th, the caboose is getting its new upholstery, and the Upcoming June 20th private railcar trip is SOLD OUT. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 5/14/15


This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes SLO Train Day on May 9th (the christening of the La Cuesta was part of the day), the caboose chair repair project, and the Central Coast Railroad Festival in October. Also in the Upcoming category is the June 20th private railcar trip. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 4/27/15


This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes an update on movement of storage items in the Emily Street yard (pictured above), a photo from the Puttin' on the Ritz event, and reminders about the June 20th private car excursion and SLO Train Day on May 9th. Oh, and the Central Coast Railroad Festival in October, too. There's a also a request for docent volunteers. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 3/30/15

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes an update on the caboose restoration along with information about the June 20th private car excursion, a reminder of several upcoming events including the April 23rd Gala Dinner/Auction by the Friends of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad, National Train Day on May 9th, and the Central Coast Railroad Festival in October. Also included is a note about the Museum's primary newsletter, "Coast Mail". Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 3/10/15

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes information about the June 20th private car excursion, a reminder of several upcoming events including the April 23rd Gala Dinner/Auction by the Friends of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad, National Train Day on May 9th, and the Central Coast Railroad Festival in October. Also included is an update on the Caboose restoration project. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 2/13/15

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes a thank you to Rick Engineering for a caboose chair reupholstering and announcements of upcoming events: the April 23rd Gala Dinner/Auction by the Friends of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad, National Train Day (now Amtrak Train Days) on May 9th, and a private car excursion on June 20th. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 1/29/15

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes an announcement of the 2015 Board of Directors, and a reminder of the April 23rd Gala Dinner/Auction by the Friends of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 1/21/15

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes photos from a birthday party on the platform, an announcement of the April 23rd Gala Dinner/Auction by the Friends of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad, and a Thank You and continued call to support the reupholstering of Caboose Chairs. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 1/7/15

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes photos from the various Holiday Events, an announcement of our Annual Meeting on January 13th, and a call to support the reupholstering of Caboose Chairs. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 12/25/14

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes photos from the Phillips 66 contribution of $30,000 for Museum Displays on the 19th and a reminder of this coming Saturday's (27th) Holiday Open House from 10am to 4pm followed by a Members' Potluck starting at 4pm. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 12/10/14

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes photos from the Christmas decorating event last Saturday and a reminder of this coming Saturday's Holiday Open House from 10am to 4pm. Click here (PDF).



From the Freighthouse 11/28/14

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" includes story and photos from three recent visiting groups. It also includes holiday plans at the Museum: decorating on the 6th and a Holiday Open House on the 13th complete with holiday treats, running toy trains, and 50% off vintage books. And lastly, a special Member event at closing time (4pm) on the 27th. Click here (PDF).

From the Freighthouse 11/7/14

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" (here's the PDF) includes story and photos from the training car visit, La Condesa accomplishments and plans, the Southern Pacific Historical & Technical Society visit, three special events in December, and a blurb about "Puttin' on the Ritz" in April.

From the Freighthouse 10/18/14

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" (here's the PDF) includes story and photos from the October 4th Overland Trail excursion, a run-down of upcoming Events at the Museum, and a description of our new Train Tales program. It also introduces two major events/fundraisers for 2015: an April 23, 2015 gala dinner at Monarch Dunes and the 2015 Central Coast Railroad Festival (October 1-4).

From the Freighthouse 8/27/14

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" (here's the PDF) includes story and photos from the Girl Scout troop visit. The issue also includes a rundown of other recent happenings at the museum and a schedule of upcoming events.

From the Freighthouse 8/4/14

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" (here's the PDF) includes story and photos from the August 2nd work day and visit by the Shutterfly Group. The issue also includes a list of "What's Coming Up" in August and September.

From the Freighthouse 7/9/14

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" (here's the PDF) includes story and photos from the June 28 Members' Wine Reception as well as updates on various activities in and around the Museum this past month or so. At right, members enjoy their first visit to the La Condesa now sitting dockside at the Freighthouse.

From the Freighthouse 6/14/14

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" (here's the PDF) includes the June 28 Members' Wine Reception, the LaCondesa move, Brad gives a talk to a local group, and a move to adding the 4th Saturday to the open schedule.

From the Freighthouse 5/15/14

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" (here's the PDF) includes National Train Day, a moon over a wigwag, this new website, and some upcoming work and open dates.

From the Freighthouse 4/24/14

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" (here's the PDF) includes completed bathrooms, the Coast Rails 2014 PCR Convention on May 3rd, National Train Day on May 10th, and a photo from the model railroad.

From the Freighthouse 4/14/14

This issue of "From the Freighthouse" (here's the PDF) includes photos and a brief story about the recent Work and Open Day, baggage cart painting, a new website design, and National Train Day.

Switch Locks



April 23, 2014 on Facebook...

Switch locks were a device used to prevent vandals or other non-railroad employees from tampering with the switches, potentially causing an accident during a train movement. However, what makes this lock very special is that it dates back to the 1870s or early 1880s on the Central Pacific Railroad. The CP was absorbed into the Southern Pacific in 1885. A modern SP lock can be seen to the right, showing the progress that was made, however, holding true the same purpose from a hundred years prior. It's a small token of a once mighty railroad but its legacy lives on in our museum.

Paso Robles' 125th



March 12, 2014 on Facebook...

The San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum participated in the City of Paso Robles' 125th celebration yesterday at the downtown Paso Robles City Park.

What's Inside?



April 17, 2014 on Facebook...

This week is the first installment of "Artifact Wednesday" with the mission to showcase some lesser seen items in the museum, and the stories that go with them. We have a medium-size crate that is on display. The label reads that it was bound to the Denver and Rio Grande Western, in Alamosa, Colorado. It provides an excellent example of how the necessary materials traveled to keep a railroad running. By far the most intriguing aspect of this artifact is that it has never been opened. Watch here for what people think is inside. And some day, maybe, we'll know for sure...

Progress on PCRy Boxcar No. 706



February 6, 2014 on Facebook...

We're making good progress on the PCRy Boxcar #706 which will house the additional restrooms . Hardware and lettering has been added to the outside of the car as seen in this recent photo. Electrical is currently being installed with the hope of City inspection next week and then finally completion of the interior walls and fixtures.