September 10, 2016
RAILWAY PLAZA ASSOCIATION
"An Educational Journey into the History of Railroads in Southern California"
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 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.
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
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Southern California Railway Plaza Association is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit corporation EIN 33-0776081
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