South West Steam train

February 19, 2016

Hogwarts Express operator

Imperial BirdAfter several months of hard work, the Pullman sleeper Imperial Bird has completed its journey from East Los Angeles to Campo. From the logistical planning and partial disassembly to the movement and reassembly, PSRMA volunteers kept a careful eye on “the Bird” while she traveled to her new nest at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum. The full history of the car, once one of the most luxurious accommodations offered on Union Pacific’s named trains, is now along with a collection of photographs from the move to the Museum. Many thanks are due to Pacific Railroad Society for their thoughtful donation and to Association members Robbie Smith, Martin Caestecker, John Shannon, and the Hyatt family for their efforts to ensure the car made it to Campo (which included rolling out both trucks, removal of the Waukesha ice engine and enginator, removal of the propane tank carrier, dissassembly all of a four dissassembly brake cylinders to the make the trucks of movable by truck, plus planning and coordination efforts). Short term plans see the Bird’s interior cleaned up and the car put on interpretive static display for visitors to enjoy as a look into vintage sleeping car travel and accommodations. When time and funds permit, Imperial Bird will again bear the Union Pacific’s iconic Armour Yellow and Harbormist Grey livery as part of a full interior and exterior restoration.

It’s hard to believe that another year has already gone by. As a new year begins, it is now time to review 2015 and bring our members up to date on the latest and greatest developments made over the last year at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association. PSRMA’s Annual Dinner and Membership Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 14 at 6pm at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse located at 2150 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego, CA 92180. This year’s Dinner is black and white movie themed. We encourage you to come dressed as your favorite movie character from the black and white film era! Reservations are required for this event and can be made by Clicking Here.

While the San Diego and Arizona Railway, just one piece of the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association, Inc., is always looking for new volunteers to help us run our excursion trains, there is no better time to join! The Spring 2016 Brakeman Gound School Training Class is just weeks away. This two-day class, taking place on April 2 and April 16 at the Museum in Campo, will provide museum members with the opportunity to begin their training as an official member of our train operations department. With a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on field training with real locomotives and railroad cars, the Brakeman Class is your ticket to helping preserve San Diego’s most iconic and storied railroad. Anyone over the age of 16 may participate in the class as long as they hold a current museum membership. We consider the term “Brakeman” to be a gender neutral one, so don’t let that scare away any of our female rail enthusiasts! More details about this bi-annual event are available at

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