California Travel Tips

Train Festivals and National Train Day

Published on: April 17, 2012

As California considers spending over $100 billion to build trains, National Train Day on May 12, 2012 celebrates the ‘golden spike’ driven into the final tie that joined 1,776 miles of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railways on May 10, 1869.  Prior to that event, getting to California was a major ordeal. One of the most famous  TRUE stories exemplifying the challenges involved the Donner Party wagon train that traveled to California with women, men and children. They took an unproven “shortcut” and were stranded in winter snows in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Amtrak is celebrating National Train Day in major cities such as  Los Angeles on May 12. Here’s a sampling of events in California celebrating trains:

  • FILLMORE – Thomas the Train at Fillmore & Western Railway Co. (Ventura County) April 20, 21, 22 & 27, 28, 29, 2012.  Location: 250 Central Avenue, Fillmore, CA. Tickets $18, call (866) 468-7630, or
  • LOS ANGELES – Nickelodeon character, Dora the Explorer, will wow the crowd at Union Station on Train Day, Saturday, May 12, 2012, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Union Station. 
  • POWAYTrain Song Festival, April 28, 2012, Noon – 8 p.m. Free admission.
  • DUNSMUIR: Train Day Railroad Display May 12, 2012, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission: Free.
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