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2010 - 2019 Historic Dates in San Bernardino and The Railroad:


May 20, 2010 - Bicentennial

We are looking East from the northwest corner of Inland Center Drive and I Street, one block West of the 215 Freeway. (Photo by Steve Shaw)

The 1910 Centennial Cornerstone sits to the left of the 2010 Bicentennial Monument.  Both monuments honor Father Francisco Dumetz, a Spanish Franciscan missionary from Mission San Gabriel, who named the valley San Bernardino on May 20, 1810.  

The 1910 Cornerstone was originally located a few hundred feet to the North and West of its current position. It was to be the cornerstone of a new chapel and museum to be built on Bunker Hill (De Sienna Springs), however funding never materialized and the cornerstone sat alone in a grassy area for years and then was put into storage.

In 1976, the polished granite stone was relocated to the curb on Inland Center Drive, in front of St. Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church.  There it remained until 2007, when a vehicle damaged the foundation and the stone was moved to the San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society.

On Thursday, May 20, 2010, the restored Centennial Cornerstone and a new Bicentennial Monument were dedicated near the corner of Inland Center Drive and I Street.

(For more information see John Weeks' book, San Bernardino Bicentennial, 1810 - 2010.)

Note: For related stories see "May 20, 1810"; "May 20, 1910" and "May 20, 1960".


June 2011 - BNSF System Map

Map courtesy of the Friends of BNSF

Yes, you can't read this map, however if you click on the below link you will be able to enlarge it.


You may also want to view the 1881 ATSF System Map at http://www.sbdepotmuseum.com/1880-1899/


September 1, 2011 - BNSF Subdivisions Map

Click here to enlarge the map.


August 1, 2012 - San Bernardino Files for Bankruptcy

               San Bernardino - Bankrupt!

*  On July 10, 2012, in light of a projected $46 million budget shortfall, the San Bernardino City Council voted to authorize the City Attorney to prepare for a Chapter 9 filing of municipal bankruptcy.

*  Resolution No. 2012-205, adopted on July 18, 2012, declared a fiscal emergency in the City.

*  Resolution No. 2012-206, adopted on July 18, 2012, authorized the filing of a petition under Chapter 9 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

*  On August 1, 2012, the City of San Bernardino filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

*  The Chapter 9 filing will allow the City to continue to provide essential services to the community while it takes measures to restructure its finances.

*  In a Chapter 9 bankruptcy there is no provision in the law for liquidation of the assets of the municipality and distribution of the proceeds to creditors.

*  On June 15, 2017, the Third Amended Plan of Adjustment of Debts became effective, thus marking the completion of the City's bankruptcy process.

Click here for more information.

March 13, 2013 - Norton AFB Museum Opens

The Norton AFB Museum opened on March 13, 2013, some 19 years after Norton Air Force Base closed.

The museum, operated solely by volunteers, is dedicated to celebrating the lives and history of those who served at the former Norton Air Force Base.

The base began as Municipal Airport, San Bernardino under Army Air Corps jurisdiction. During the summer of 1941 it became a training base and after many changes it was transferred to the US Air Force in 1948.

In 1950 it was renamed Norton Air Force Base, after Captain Leland Norton, a World War II bomber pilot and a native of San Bernardino.

Norton Air Force Base was the home of the 63rd Military Airlift Wing, the Aerospace Audiovisual Services, the Ballistic Missile Organization, the Air Force Inspection and Safety Center and several other organizations.

The base closed on March 31, 1994.

The Norton AFB Museum is located at the San Bernardino Int'l Airport, 1601 3rd Street, San Bernardino. 


August 28, 2013 - Colton Crossing Project

The Colton Crossing as seen in 2011, with the east-west tracks intersecting the north-south tracks, forcing one train to wait for the other.

The history of the Colton Crossing goes back over 130 years.

For over 11 months, starting in 1882, the Southern Pacific Railroad used leagal and physical means to prevent a northbound train from crossing the SP east-west track at the Colton Crossing.

Virgil Earp (a special agent for Southern Pacific and later the first City Marshall of Colton) led the group that prevented California Southern Railroad from heading north to San Bernardino.

On September 13, 1883, after a court order was issued and an "at grade" crossing (called a "diamond") was installed, the first train arrived in San Bernardino from National City (just south of San Diego).

On August 28, 2013, a public celebration was held to dedicate the opening of the new Colton Crossing Rail-to-Rail Grade Separation, an 8,150-foot flyover structure that raised the UP tracks 35 feet above the BNSF tracks.

After 130 years the east-west tracks and the north-south tracks were finally separated by elevation. This alleviated congestion at the Colton Crossing, which now accommodates more that 100 trains each day.

Located south of Interstate 10, the new crossing allows UP freight trains to pass over the north-south tracks of BNSF.


April 28, 2014 - sbX (san bernardino eXpress)

"sbX" is the Omnitrans rapid transit bus line running from Cal State San Bernardino to Loma Linda University.

This 16-mile sbX Green Line, the first bus rapid transit service in the Inland Empire, opened to the public April 28, 2014.

This bus rapid transit system is faster, has fewer stops and the buses have traffic signal priority capability, allowing them to change stoplights to green.  End to end, sbX is 20 minutes faster than the local bus service.

The system includes over five miles of dedicated lanes, 16 station locations, with stops at major points of activity, such as colleges, hospitals, governments facilities, job centers and retail establishments.

The bus fleet is composed of 14 natural-gas powered vehicles that can seat 40 passengers.

In 2016, sbX transported 742,476 passengers, up 22% from 2015.


May 1, 2014 - Justice Center (New Courthouse)

The San Bernardino Justice Center (new Courthouse) is located on the SE corner of Third St. & Arrowhead Ave. (Photo courtesy of Steve Shaw)

 Previous San Bernardino Courthouses:

*  1854 - 1858  SE Third St. and Arrowhead Ave., in the Mormon Council House (an adobe building)

*  1874 - 1923  Court Street, between D and E Streets

*  1898 - 1928  SE corner of Court and E Streets

*  1926 - 9999  351 North Arrowhead Avenue (listed on the National Register of Historic Places)  

The new San Bernardino Courthouse (Justice Center), 247 West Third Street:

*  The $340 million facility consists of two elements:

-  A three-story section for public access to the clerk's offices, jury assembly, and support spaces

-  An 11-story, 200 foot-tall tower for the courtrooms and judicial offices

*  Contains 361,700 square feet and sits on a seven acre site, formerly occupied by Caltrans

*  Features 35 courtrooms, 36 Judges' chambers and two hearing rooms

*  Serves the criminal, traffic, family law, probate and dependency divisions of the Superior Court

*  Contains space for administration, self-help, jury services and sheriff's operations and holding

Dedication ceremonies took place on Thursday, May 1, 2014, featuring California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Presiding Judge Marsha Slough and about 200 dignitaries.  It opened for business on May 12, 2014.

The 1926 courthouse was retrofitted for earthquake-safety and the original arched ceiling and wooden-beamed courtrooms were restored.  Its 11 courtrooms will be used for family law and probate cases.


August 24, 2015 - San Bernardino Transit Center

Photo by Omnitrans

The San Bernardino Transit Center (SBTC), located at 599 W Rialto Avenue (at North F Street), celebrated its grand opening on August 24, 2015.

The Transit Center connects a variety of transportation options, including Metrolink, sbX Green Line, Omnitrans bus routes, Riverside Transit Agency connections, and other transportation organizations serving the mountain and desert communities.

On Saturday, December 16, 2017, Metrolink began service on the recently extended one mile of track connecting the Santa Fe Depot to the San Bernardino Transit Center. 

By 2021, the Redlands Passenger Rail Project is expected to add nine miles of Metrolink track to connect the San Bernardino Transit Center to the City of Redlands.


Dec. 19, 2015 - President Barack Hussein Obama

On December 2, 2015, 14 people were killed and 22 others were injured in a terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California.

On December 19, 2015, President and Mrs. Obama spent three hours in San Bernardino, consoling the surviving victims and the families of the deceased. Later they meet with the first responders.

Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States. He graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School.

He was a community organizer in Chicago before serving in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004.

He served in the United States Senate from 2005 to 2008 and was elected President in 2008 & 2012.

Click here for a history of the U. S. Presidents that have visited San Bernardino.


May 7, 2016 - Diamond from the Colton Crossing

The Colton Crossing before it was replaced in 2013 by the elevated east-west rail structure allowing UP trains to pass over the BNSF north-south tracks. 

In 2013, the new Colton Crossing Rail-to-Rail Grade Separation raised the east-west Union Pacific Railroad tracks to allow them to pass over the north-south BNSF tracks.  For over 130 years the intersecting tracks had caused major delays.

One the the Colton Crossing Diamonds (intersecting tracks on the same level) that was removed during the construction of the Grade Separation Project was saved for the City of San Bernardino.

In the photograph below (dated May 7, 2016) we see the Colton Crossing Diamond in front of the Depot. It was later cemented into the driveway at the entrance to the Depot.

2016 Colton Crossing Diamond before it was permanently installed in front of the Santa Fe Depot.


May 30, 2017 - City Hall Closes

              San Bernardino City Hall Closes,
                     effective May 30, 2017

* No, the building is not going to be demolished.
* Closure is expected to last 2-3 years while the building is retrofitted to meet new seismic standards.
* Meanwhile, City services have been relocated to the following nearby locations:
* 290 North D St: Mayor, Council, Attorney, Manager, Finance and SB Direct Call Center.
* 201 North E St (201A): Business Registration & Parks.
* 201 North E St (201B):  Community Development, Council Chamber, Cable TV, Information Technology & Public Works.
* 215 North D St: Clerk, Economic & Housing Development, and Human Resources.
* 1350 South E St: Water Department.

December 16, 2017 - San Bernardino Downtown Passenger Rail Project

2017 The two tracks closest to the Depot are to be used by Metrolink and the third track used by Amtrak, freight trains and other through trains.

The purpose of the San Bernardino Downtown Passenger Rail Project is provide a one mile extension of Metrolink infrastructure from San Bernardino's Santa Fe Depot to the San Bernardino Transit Center.

The Project included: realignment and addition of a second track; modifications of railroad communication and signal systems; a new passenger platform North of the Depot; new platforms at the Transit Center; grade crossing closures; street and utility improvements; parking lots, landscaping and irrigation; security systems; and a pedestrian overpass West of the Depot.

Metrolink passengers will now board their train on one of two tracks located North of and closest to the Depot.

The third track to the north of the Depot is for Amtrak, freight trains and other though trains.

December 16, 2017, marked the completion of the Project and cleared the way for Metrolink to begin passenger service connecting the Santa Fe Depot to the recently completed Transit Center.  

The new overpass (stairs and elevator) West of the Depot, is used to route passengers from the Depot to the platform that serves Metrolink passengers on the second rail and Amtrak passengers on the third rail.  

2017 An Amtrak Passenger Train, enroute from Chicago to Los Angeles, has stopped in front of the Depot to load and offload passengers.


December 16, 2017 - Display Tracks

From the mid-1990s until 2016, Metrolink stored trains overnight on five tracks West of the Depot.

*  For more than two decades Metrolink utilized the five tracks, just West of the Depot, for overnight parking.

*  From 2015-2017 a major construction project and track realignment took place near the Depot.

*  The three tracks seen below are no longer being used by Metrolink.  

*  They are now designated as Display Tracks, to be used for storage or display of locomotives and rail cars.

2017 With power and water available, the three tracks West of Depot and Elevator, are now available for display or storage of historic railroad cars and trains.


July 15, 2018 - Santa Fe Depot at 100 Years


On July 15, 1918, the current Santa Fe Depot in San Bernardino opened its doors for the first time.

On July 15, 2018, the Santa Fe Depot completes 100 years in San Bernardino.

Click here for a Photo History of the Depot's First 100 Years.

On July 21, 2018, San Bernardino celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Santa Fe Depot.



July 4, 2019 - Dedication of Camp Cajon Monument

1919 Cajon Camp Monument

The  San Bernardino, Highland and Wrightwood Historical Societies sponsored the building of a reproduction the landmark Camp Cajon Monument.

The rock base is 8 feet tall and contains a 40 foot flag pole and reproductions of the original AAA signs that were imbedded in the monument.

Camp Cajon, opened July 4, 1919,  and was built on National Old Trails Road, the United States’ first “Ocean to Ocean Highway,” that opened in 1912. National Old Trails Road became U.S. Route 66 in 1926, and Camp Cajon became famous as “The Gateway to Southern California.”

William Bristol, a well-known local orange grower, author, and poet, conceived Camp Cajon in 1917. He believed the location of Camp Cajon would be an ideal spot for motorists to stop and recuperate from their difficult trip across the Mojave Desert.

William Bristol created a unique style for the heavy rock and concrete facilities at Camp Cajon and came up with an idea to have sponsors supply items such as stoves, barbecue pits, and tables.

Tragically, the great flood of 1938 decimated Camp Cajon. The beautiful handmade stone structures were buried, or damaged beyond repair, and the camp was abandoned.

The present-day site of Camp Cajon is located on Wagon Train Road, just east of Interstate 15, and south of Highway 138, in the Cajon Pass. It was approximately 1,000 feet south of the existing McDonald’s.

The dedication for the reconstructed monument took place at  10:00 am, on July 4th, 2019, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the camp’s opening.