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1980 -1999 Historic Dates in San Bernardino and The Railroad:


September 15, 1981 - "John Bull" Runs Again

1981 photograph by William Duvall

 *  In 1831, "John Bull" first operated on the Camden & Amboy Railroad (the first railroad in New Jersey).

*  In 1833, "John Bull" pulled its first regular passenger train.

*  In 1866, "John Bull" was removed from active service and placed in storage.

*  In 1871, "John Bull" was acquired by the Pennsylvania Railroad, refurbished and operated a few times for public displays.

*  In 1884, "John Bull" was purchased by the Smithsonian Institution as the museum's first major industrial display.

*  In 1981, "John Bull" celebrated its 150th anniversary by making its last run, on the old Georgetown Branch rails beside the C&O Canal in Washington, DC, thus becoming the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world.

 *  "John Bull" is now back on display in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.


August 6, 1985 - Kodachrome

(Photograph courtesy of the SFRH&MS)



*  In 1983, Southern Pacific and Santa Fe (SPSF) agreed to merge, hence many new paint schemes were tested.

*  Seen here in the fall of 1985 is Santa Fe SD-45 #5394 after receiving its new "Kodachrome" paint job in San Bernardino.

* ATSF 5394 was in the process of being upgraded and rebuilt at San Bernardino, and became the first full-size engine to receive the proposed merger paint scheme.  It emerged from the shops on August 6, 1985.

*  The merger was ultimately disapproved by the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1987.

*  Over 300 engines painted with the "Kodachrome" paint scheme had to be repainted, or were retired.

The Nov. - Dec. 2015 SFRH&MS Newsletter contains several photographs of the SPSF paint scheme that were taken in the San Bernardino shops.


January 1, 1988 - San Bernardino's Last Float

*  For eleven years in a row the City of San Bernardino had an entry in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

*  1988 was the last year the City had a float in the Parade; it was titled, "Sharing the Joy of the Holidays".



September 22, 1990 - Route 66 Rendezvous

Click here to view 25 years of posters from San Bernardino's Route 66 Rendezvous.


October 26, 1992 - Metrolink Begins

Shown above is a Metrolink Hyundai-Rotem Train Car            Metrolink Begins Operation 

On Tuesday, October 26, 1992 the first Metrolink trains began simultaneous operation on three lines:  

*  Ventura Line: Moorpark to L. A. Union Station

*  Santa Clarita Line: Santa Clarita to L. A. Union Station

*  San Bernardino Line: Pomona to L. A. Union Station

Regular service from San Bernardino to Los Angeles would begin in the spring of 1993.


January 27, 1993 - First Metrolink in San Bernardino

(Photo courtesy of Craig Walker)
On January 27, 1993, Metrolink 865 (F59PH) arrived in San Bernardino with a test train to determine run times from Los Angeles to this Inland Empire City.  This was the first time that a Metrolink train was in San Bernardino.

Back on Tuesday, October 26, 1992, the first Metrolink trains began simultaneous operation on three lines:  Ventura, Santa Clarita and San Bernardino.  In reality, on that date the San Bernardino line only extended from Los Angeles Union Station to Pomona.

Regular service from San Bernardino to Los Angeles would not begin until May 17, 1993. The schedule included three morning trains, leaving at 5:25, 5:55 and 6:38 for Los Angeles and three trains leaving L. A. for San Bernardino at 4:35, 5:20 and 5:45.

On May 17, 1993, over 5,000 people rode the trains, maybe because the trips were free. However, by August of that year, the Metrolink system was handling 8,000 passengers a day, with San Bernardino ridership averaging over 3,000 a day, by far the busiest of the four Metro lines.

January 1, 1997 - Restored 1890 Hose Wagon

San Bernardino Fire Department's 1890 Hose Wagon is waiting to begin its participation in one of the Tournament of Roses Parade (SBH&PS)

*  The 1890 horse-drawn hose wagon was built by Allen Iron Works, located at 368 Third Street.

*  It was used by the San Bernardino Fire Department until the 1920s when it was replaced by a motorized vehicle and the wagon was sold by the City. 

*  In 1982 the hose wagon was discovered to be at the County Museum and was in very poor shape.  A restoration project was begun but faltered and the parts were put into storage.

*  In 1996, the wagon was moved to the Pioneer Fire Museum in San Bernardino where the restoration was completed.  Vic Fisher, a skilled craftsman, spearheaded the restoration project.

*  On January 1, 1997, the restored 1890 Hose Wagon made its first appearance in the Tournament of Roses Parade.  Since then it has appeared in seven more Rose Parades.

*  The 1890 Hose Wagon is owned by the San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society (SBH&PS) and is on display in the San Bernardino History and Railroad Museum.

Click here for a pictorial history of San Bernardino's participation in the Tournament of Roses Parades.