Firsts in San Bernardino

1886 - First Permanent

Santa Fe Depot was built

on Third Street (destroyed

by fire in November 1916).




Wednesday 9 AM - Noon
Saturday 10 AM - 3 PM

FREE Admission

FREE Parking

FREE Tours

1170 W. Third Street
San Bernardino, CA 92410

Map & Directions

San Bernardino
Historical &
Pioneer Society

P.O. Box 875
San Bernardino, CA 92402


(909) 888-3634 


Depot & Museum Tour

August 01, 2018

Tours will  be conducted

on  the  first Wednesday of

each month at 10:00 am.

Call (909)  888-3634  for

a reservation.  FREE


Group Tours

For a Group Tour on

Saturday or any other 

day call (909) 888-3634.


Virtual Museum Tour

Click here for visual tour

of the museum.


Photo Histories

Click here to view local San

Bernardino and railroad

photographic histories.


Click here for the Santa 

Fe Railway Historical and

Modeling Society.


Norton AFB Museum

Now Open:

Thursday 10:00 to 2:00

Saturday  10:00 to 2:00



Next Meeting at Coco's

The next meeting of the

National Association of

Retired & Veteran Railway

Employees will be held

at Coco's Restaurant.





Upcoming Events:

The Museum is open on:

Wednesday 9:00 to 12:00

Saturday 10:00 to 3:00  (Virtual Museum Tour)

July 21, 2018 - Celebration for 100th Anniversary of San Bernardino's Santa Fe Depot

July 28, 2018 - Roundhouse Gang Model Railroad Club Train-Station Swapmeet


July 21, 2018 - Depot's 100th Birthday Party




July 28, 2018 - Roundhouse Gang Swapmeet



Santa Fe Depot - 100 Years in San Bernardino

1917 After the 1886 wooden depot in San Bernardino was destroyed by fire in 1916, Santa Fe built its replacement with steel and concrete (looking NW).

1917 While construction continued on the western half of the Depot, tracks were laid in the middle of Third Street for the Pacific Electric Streetcars.

1918 Santa Fe Depot as seen when it opened its doors on July 15 (looking SW). Note the empty space behind the covered walkway at the left of the photo.

1918 The original benches inside the General Waiting Room (now often referred to as the Lobby) have survived 100 years of use.1918 This is the very popular Fred Harvey Lunch Room (now the SB County Transportation Authority Board Room) located East of the General Waiting Room.

1918 Opening Day, July 15. Notice the ramp at the top center. It connects 3rd Street directly to the Viaduct Bridge (Mt. Vernon Ave.) over the railroad tracks. 

Photo taken between 1918 &1920 shows Mt. Vernon Ave. Bridge crossing over the tracks and making a 90 degree turn towards 3rd St. & the Santa Fe Depot.

1919 Notice the name, "San Bernardino", on the east end of the Depot. Notice also, the men, dressed in suits, wearing hats, and the women in long dresses.

1919 Second Floor of the Depot, now the home of the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority.


1919 West End of the First Floor of the Depot.


1919 East End First Floor of the Depot. By 1921 the Void at the Top Left is filled in by a Dormitory and Restaurant.


1920 Construction begins at the east end of the Depot for the Harvey Girls' Dormitory and Fred Harvey Restaurant.

1921 Restaurant and 2-Story Harvey Girls' Dorm completed. The Water Columns were used to refill tenders while trains waited for passengers to load/unload.
1921 Fred Harvey Restaurant at the east end of the Depot was a first class dinning facility. It's now home to the Local Agency Formation Commission.

1923 Depot and Yard

1924 Mt. Vernon Ave. wooden bridge is at lower right and Pedestrian Walkway over the tracks for use by Santa Fe workers is East of Depot in center of photo.

Late 1920s A Santa Fe Steam Locomotive makes a Water Stop in front of the Depot.

1929 Goodyear Blimp, "Volunteer" participates in San Bernardino's First "Air-Rail Transfer" of Passengers in front of the Santa Fe Depot.

1930s Note the ivy on the front of the Depot and the overhead electrical wires for the Pacific Electric Streetcars.
1940 Pacific Electric Red Car, in front of the Santa Fe Depot, is enroute to Colton.

1950s Santa Fe Chief, with its scheduled 63-hour run between Los Angeles and Chicago, stops in San Bernardino to take on passengers..

1954 A view of the Santa Fe Depot and Yard, looking East.

Mid 1950s Santa Fe Depot as seen from Viaduct Park, where ATSF 3751 sat on display for 28 years (from 1958 to 1986).

1965 No, it has not been abandoned in front of the Depot; it is the Los Angeles Division Superintendent's business car, used primarily as a mobile office.

1970s Well-manicured ivy covers the entire length of the north side of the Depot.

1970s Notice the public phone booth to the right of the main entrance and the dark stains on the building below the words, "San Bernardino".1970s View from Third Street that runs east-west past the main entrance of the Depot.

1970s These are the original benches...they have been rearranged to face north and south, with the ticket counter seen at the far end of the room.

1977 Looking Southeast from the Mt. Vernon Bridge. The long white building, West of the Depot and below the Stater Bros. sign, is the Freight House.

1979 This is not a regular Amtrak Passenger Train, but the Pacific Railroad Society's Barstow Limited Excursion, that has stopped in front of the Depot.

1986 With the Depot in the background, a temporary track is laid down to move the 1927 steam locomotive and tender (ATSF 3751) out of Viaduct Park.

1988 Depot and Yard with several of Santa Fe's Blue and Yellow freight engines. Note the cars and trucks parked next to the west end of the Depot.

1989 Santa Fe shows off its resurrected "Warbonnet" paint scheme in front of the Depot.

2001 On February 2, the Depot was formally included in the National Register of Historic Places. This is one of 39 photographs from the Depot's application.

2004 June Celebration, after 2 Years of interior Historical Restoration Work, installation of utilities, seismic retrofitting and asbestos removal.2007 Names were added to the front of the building, while the Depot was being used for filming of the movie, "The Changeling", starring Angelina Jolie.

2008, July 12 is opening day for the San Bernardino History & Railroad Museum located inside the Depot. This 1899 steam car is one of many vehicles.

2009 View from across Third Street. Little or no landscaping is visible in front of the Depot.

2009 During National Train Day, Mayor Pat Morris climbs aboard a BNSF Engine, while crowds celebrate inside the Depot.

2009 Metrolink's Holiday Toy Express "Christmas Train", decorated with 50,000 lights, entertained the crowd with a live performance starring Santa & friends.

2010 Railroad Days featuring a 1927 Santa Fe (4-8-4) Steam Locomotive and a 2010 BNSF ES44-DC Diesel Locomotive.

2010 BNSF sponsored the 125th Anniversary Celebration of the completion of the tracks and the running of the first train through the Cajon Pass.

22010 Metrolink's Holiday Toy Express "Christmas Train" stops in front of the Depot.

2011 Antique Fire Apparatus on display during Railroad Days, including Engines from Beverly Hills, Colton, Fontana, Rialto and Redlands.

2011 A Restoration Project has begun to resurface the exterior of the Depot, thus removing the dark stains that have formed over the years.

2011 After completion of the Restoration Project, the Depot not only looks cleaner, but a protective coating has been applied to the exterior surface.

2011 View from the strip mall across Third Street.

2011 Metrolink "Holiday Toy Express" Christmas Train arrives during a rain storm.

2011 It was raining when the Metrolink Christmas Train arrived, so Santa and friends came inside the Depot to entertain the crowd.

2012 Photo. From the mid-1990s Metrolink stored trains overnight on five tracks West of the Depot, until 2016 when their new maintenance facility was built.2012 BNSF Special Train, with a view of the observation car, Glacier View, has stopped in front of the Depot.

2012 Closeup of the tracks nearest to the Depot that will be replaced in 2017 with new tracks and an elevated platform (Looking East).

2012 Intermodal Facility (North of the Depot) seen from the Mt. Vernon Bridge. It replaced Santa Fe Shops shortly after they were torn down in the early 1990s.

2012 Railroad Days. Antique Railroad Cars were on display, including this 1954 Union Pacific Baggage Car, a 1955 Dome Lounge Car and many others.

2012 BNSF's annual Christmas Train stops in front of the Depot to upload a group of children for a hoiliday excursion they won't ever forget.

2013 Pioneer Days, celebrating 125 years of the San Bernardino Society of California Pioneers, included a J. Butterfield Overland Mail Co. Stagecoach.

2013 Railroad Days. In addition to the trains and outdoor exhibits, the folks enjoyed the many displays inside the Depot.

2014 Railroad Days. Note the alignment of the tracks in front of the Depot, the pavement crossing the tracks and the lack of a platform separating the tracks.

2015 Track Realignmenmt has begun in front of the Depot while Metrolink Trains are parked West of the Depot and an Union Pacific Freight Train passes by.

2016 Concrete ties were laid for the new Metrolink track next to the Depot.

2016 While Track Realignment progresses, construction of the new Elevator Building can be seen at the west end of the Depot.

2016 Looking southwest at the steel framework of the Elevator Building.

2017 The Elevator Building, over the two Metrolink tracks next to the Depot, contains a covered walkway, with stairs and an elevator at each end.

2017 Looking East towards the construction of the Elevator Building and realignment of the Metrolink tracks.

2017 After the construction was finished, the two tracks closest to the Depot are to be used by Metrolink and the third track used by Amtrak and freight trains.

2017 Looking West at the new Elevator Building that allows passengers to safely cross the tracks and proceed to the platform serving Metrolink and Amtrak.

2017 Looking West we see Metrolink Trains on the two tracks closest to the Depot while a freight train is on BNSF Main Track Three.

2017 Westbound Amtrak passenger train stops on BNSF Main Track Three in front of Depot during its roundtrip journey from Chicago to Los Angeles.

2017 BNSF Freight Train Eastbound on BNSF Main Track Three (that also serves Amtrak) with another freight train on the adjacent track to the North.

2017 Looking East towards the Elevator Building and the Depot, we see a Metrolink Train that is headed for Los Angeles.

2017 With power and water available, three tracks West of Elevator and Depot are now available for exhibition or storage of historic railroad cars and trains.
2017 New Sign in Front of the Depot: SCAG, Local Agency Formation Commission and "cta sb cog", are all government agencies.

2017 A Flagpole and New Landscaping were added at the Main Entrance (looking Northwest).

2017 Tracks from the historic 130-year-old Colton Crossing were relocated to the front of the Depot's main entrance.

2017 Looking past the antique Shoe Shine Stand, we see the Museum Entrance from inside the west end of the Depot's Lobby. 

2018 View from Third Street. As you can see, the Elevator, at left of photo, is not attached to the Depot. Notice the new landscaping.



Steam Locomotion (1769 - 1927)


Click here to view a short Photo History of Steam Locomotives that was extracted from The History of Transportation, published by The Railway Education Bureau in 1927.