Railroads have been a part of Orange County for over 130 years. The great names of American railroadingAtchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe; Southern Pacific; and Union Pacificwere firmly planted here by the early 1920s and linked with the largest interurban rail system in the United States, the famed Pacific Electric Railway. Thousands of people passed through Orange County’s depots during the 1940s as they came to serve at the many military bases located here during World War II. The names have since changed, and yet the county’s rail scene remains as dynamic as ever, with Amtrak, Metrolink, and amusement park railroads joining the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific. Railroad depots, new and old, are located across Orange County and continue on both as vital parts of history and the future of transportation for America’s fifth most populated county.
About the Author
Rob Richardson has been interested in railroads since his teens and has traveled extensively beyond Orange County’s boundaries in search of trains and railroad depots. He has been a long-term member of the Orange County Railway Historical Society and the Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society and has made presentations concerning railroad depots to various groups. Richardson has also authored a book about Frederick Eley, Orange County’s first architect.
Table of Contents
1 The Early Days 9
2 The Southern Pacific Railroad 27
3 The Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe Railway 41
4 The Union Pacific Railroad 75
5 The Pacific Electric Railway 81
6 Accidents Will Happen 93
7 Amtrack, Metrolink, and the Age of Mergers 99
8 Amusement Park Railroads 113
9 Miscellany 121