Fullerton Railroad Days 2015 Presented by Amtrak - A Family Day Full of Wonder

Fullerton Railroad Days 2015

Railroad Days 2015 in Fullerton is a lovely, free family outdoor event with a fascinating variety of model train displays, exhibits, train gifts and paraphernalia, food and even a ride or two. Organized by the Southern California Railway Plaza Association and presented by Amtrak, Railroad Days 2015 takes place May 2 & 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Fullerton train station.  The station is a registered historical site, built as a Santa Fe depot in 1930.

The Fullerton train station dates back to 1930

The popular event is expecting 25,000 visitors this year.  The appeal is not just for train enthusiast and model train hobbyists. This is a true family excursion. The faces of the children as they watch the model trains running in a host of environments and scales are wide-eyed and amazed. It’s clear that they love what they are seeing. They stand lost in absorption as they contemplate the tiny towns and scenes.  

The trains work their magic on the imagination

The displays of model trains have been assembled by a variety of model train enthusiast organizations whose members are more than happy to answer questions and explain about the types of trains and displays.  In these interactions, something else beside trains was being modeled: enthusiasm - for history and technology, toys and tools.  The children got a dose of a great kind of enjoyment and entertainment that was not top-down for profit, but bottom-up from individual interest and personal pleasure.

Kids stand mesmerized as the tiny trains go round

All kinds of learning happen as kids watch the trains

In addition to the models, there are some life-size trains to tour and enjoy.  The San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society has brought Santa Fe steam engine #3751. The locomotive is huge, much bigger than you would imagine.

Kids pose by the giant wheels of a genuine steam locomotive

Standing next to its black steel hulk, there is a sense of power, of will, and of an age of machines before data was king.  They offer tours of the engine room for $20. In there, in the heat generated fills the small cab.

There is something fascinating about the big steam engine


There are also free tours of a BNSF locomotive and three different cabooses from the 20’s, 60’s, and 70’s.  The cabooses are spartan and functional, despite the cheery red exterior.  

There are three caboose cars open for tours

Along with the displays there are vendors selling all manner of train-related items. There are children’s books that have trains in them, wooden whistles that blow the signature two-note train signal, engineer hats, and even train-themed fabric.

Cloth with train-related patters for sale by the yard

There is a row of food vendors on site by a food tent, so that visitors can take a break to sit back and enjoy the perfect Southern California day.

A food court and shaded tables offer a time out for a bite

This is the 15th year for Fullerton's Railroad Days.  Amtrak has partnered up with the Southern California Railway Plaza Association, making it part of their expanded Amtrak Train Days which will officially kick off at Chicago Union Station on May 9th and then will travel across the country through November.  

Rides at the Fullerton Railroad Days

Railroad Days 2015

Fullerton Train Station

120 East Santa Fe Avenue

, California, 92832

May 2-3
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This train display was filled with LA landmarks

For more information:

Fullerton Railroad Days 2015

Amtrak Train Days schedule of events

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