SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA RAILWAY PLAZA ASSOCIATION - NEWS CALENDAR

September 10, 2016

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

RAILWAY PLAZA ASSOCIATION

"An Educational Journey into the History of Railroads in Southern California"

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The Southern California Railway Plaza Association (SCRPA) is a fully qualified and recognized publicly supported organization as described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Therefore, all donations to the SCRPA are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

SCRPA is a volunteer organization focused on the promotion of educational programs, activities, and venues for people of all ages, dedicated to the preservation of the rail heritage of Southern California.

Southern California Railway Plaza Association traces its history to early 1991, when the future organizationís first president, Bob Root, booked himself onto a Pacific Rail Society fantrip from Los Angeles to Bakersfield, scheduled to be powered by steam locomotive ATSF 3751, then undergoing a wheels-up restoration in San Bernardino.

Bob Root, a longtime rail enthusiast, visited the 3751 restoration site, where he met fellow Fullertonian George Barlow, a volunteer for the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society, owners of the engine. On the Bakersfield trip, Root, Barlow, and a few other Fullertonians along for the ride, discussed the possibility of housing the 3751 in a shelter at the former Santa Fe depot in Fullerton.

The men began informal meetings and, by early 1995, the groupís dream had grown to include a larger facility that could capture the valuable part that railroads played in the regionís development. Support expanded for the idea, and a city study for the Fullerton Transportation Center area by Arroyo Group consultants included the rail attraction in its analysis.

In 1996, the founding group took the step to formalize the idea and formed Fullerton Railway Plaza Association, Inc. (FRPA), as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

FRPA then initiated the idea of holding a community event that would showcase rail-related activities as a form of entertainment and thus validate their belief that the concept would be a viable destination attraction.

Birth of Railroad Days
The Fullerton depotís new parking lot and the installation of two sidings by the city provided the perfect site for what would be FRPAís inaugural Railroad Days weekend event in May 1999. It was a spectacular success, attracting 15,000 adults and children over the two days.

The annual event grew yearly to a record 40,000-plus visitors at its 10th anniversary in May 2008. The response verified FRPAís initial belief that a permanent, rail-related attraction at the depot would be well received by the public.
  
Meanwhile, in 2005, the city of Fullerton began preliminary planning to redevelop the area near the depot, and FRPA was encouraged by city fathers to present plans for a permanent destination attraction to be considered for inclusion in the project. FRPA hired attractions consultant Barry Howard -- design concepts creator of the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento -- to put the organizationís dreams onto paper. His vision of an active, educational, learning-can-be-fun approach to the facility marked a new perspective to the static display concept of the past. 

From Mr. Howardís conceptual design study, FRPA developed a prospectus and a business plan for its newly named Southern California Railroad Experience (SCRX) and presented them to the city to be included in the Transportation Centerís planning process. Unfortunately, in December 2008 the proposal was not accepted by the city and FRPA was left to consider other options.

FRPA immediately refocused its efforts on a more regional basis. New vision, mission and goals were adopted; the organization name was changed to Southern California Railway Plaza Association, Inc. (SCRPA). And the association began to search for alternative ideas for holding our events and creating a railcar display venue.

We decided that best choice for Railroad Days location is access to the main line at the Fullerton Train Station lot, and it has been held again in Fullerton since 2012. After several years of research and consideration, SCRPA has acquired five vintage railcars that are on permanent display and open for tours as the Fullerton Train Museum, at the east end of Fullerton Train Station.

We welcome your participation and thank you for your interest in SCRPA.

The Board of Directors includes people familiar with the Southern California region and pertinent aspects of railroad history, railroad operations, and government interaction. 


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Southern California Railway Plaza Association is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit corporation EIN 33-0776081

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