Since 1924, the Fairplex Garden Railroad has chugged its way around bends and curves, through forests and gold mine country, along vineyards and dairies, railing its way through California’s history. It has shared that history with more than 74 million visitors to the L.A. County Fair.
What isn’t commonly known is that the Fairplex Garden Railroad is open during many year-round events held at Fairplex. Coming up next on its calendar is May 15-16, during the RBF Antiques and Collectibles Show, and June 12-13, during the Spring Boat Show.
The Fairplex Garden Railroad, located between Fairplex 4 and the grandstand, is the oldest and largest G-gauge garden railroad in America. It covers 30,000 square feet and at any given time may run up to 17 different trains, with up to 100 cars on each, at once. Several freight and passenger trains travel more than 8,000 feet of track telling the story of “California Discovered” and the role the railroads have played since 1850. An all-around favorite attraction, the railroad was featured in Huell Howser’s “California Gold” PBS show in 2002.
Run by a dedicated group of approximately 80 volunteers who put in more than 10,000 hours, not including the time given during the Fair, the railroad helps promote the hobby of garden railroading. G-gauge railroading is the fastest growing model train hobby in the United States today.
In addition to its regular schedule, the garden railroad hosts special visits by scout, church, and senior citizen groups, day care facilities for children, the elderly and handicapped, and various train clubs across the country.
For more information on the Fairplex Garden Railroad, visit its Web site at www.fgrr.org or call the office at (909) 865-4315.