Great, great video of steam engine running along future Gold Line alignment in Pasadena in 1992

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This week marks the 10th anniversary of Gold Line service beginning between Los Angeles Union Station and Pasadena. We’ll have some other posts as the week continues, but I thought it would be fun to start this one from YouTube user PhotoBoost.

What exactly is happening here? This is a steam engine that the then-Santa Fe railroad restored and ran to the L.A. area in 1992 as part of an employee recognition tour in 1992. The Gold Line was built on a very old alignment used for decades by Santa Fe and later purchased by local authorities to use as a transit corridor. The video begins with the train running past Memorial Park in Pasadena and then continuing to the median of the 210 freeway.

The train then goes beyond the final station of the Gold Line — Sierra Madre Villa — and continues along the alignment to be used by the Gold Line Foothill Extension project that is currently under construction and will extend the Gold Line for 11.5 miles to the Azusa/Glendora border. The video ends with the train crossing the old bridge over the eastbound 210 — the Foothill Extension rebuilt it from scratch. The very last shot is from a train model at the L.A. County Fair.

For more info, watch the video at YouTube and read PhotoBoost’s description of the video. Fun stuff!

13 replies

  1. Hi Steve,
    Driving south on Hawthorne Blvd monday (8/5/13), and saw that the
    City of inglewood repaving project
    Has uncovered remnants of the
    L.A.T.L. (yellow car) 5 line at the intersection of Arbor Vitae Street
    and Hawthorne. Dates on the rails say they were made in 1929.was impressed to learn that line once
    Ran from Colorado Blvd in Eagle
    Rock to Imperial Hwy in Hawthorne.
    Can email pics to you, or check it out.

    • Hey Anthony,

      If you have some pics, please email two or three of the best ones to I always get a kick out of seeing the old rails. Do you mind if we use them on the Source?


      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. I would like to correct a fact. The AT&SF main line in this video was built in 1975 or 1976 along with the 210 Freeway. I lived in Pasadena at the time and remember watching both under construction. The original main rail line used to parallel Walnut Street, a couple of blocks south of the freeway. This is where Amtrak ran when the Pasadena depot was still in use.

  3. 3751 is in fact owned by the San Bernadino Railway Historical Society and is sometimes used on excursions in and around Southern California. For the past few years it has been used on passenger carrying excursions between Los Angeles and San Bernardino for San Bernardino Railroad Days in the Spring as well as being on static display at National Train Day in May at Union Station. See

  4. This is a pretty neat video, too bad it is a bit shaky at the beginning. I wonder, are there any videos of trains running on the expo ROW, near the natural history museum and USC?

  5. I still think its unfortunate that freight and Amtrak have basically been cut off to Pasadena. I mean, the Gold line is nice, but to continue to be able to go further from my own city would have been spectacular.

  6. Want to go back in time and see the old Pasadena subdivision as it was in the 50’s? There is an amazing video by Pentrex that gives a complete tour/history. You will even see 3751 in service! FYI, 3751 was the first loco to pull a Santa Fe train into the then new Union Station.

    • Hi Anthony,

      Thanks for heads up on that. Here’s a link to the Pentrex video. It’s $40 but probably mighty interesting!

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  7. If I am not misstaken – SF 3751 is still here in So. Cal. It is currently stored at the Amtrak Service Center south of Union Station and can be seen daily from trains on the Alameda Corridor Overcrossing of the Orange County/Riverside 91 line which connects the River Subdivision to the BNSF San Bernadino subdivision. Not sure if this is still the case, but at one time SF 3751 was the hingepin of the proposed San Bernadino Railway Historical Society and the San Bernadino Railway Museum efforts.