1st Annual Central Coast Railroad Festival

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Family Fun Event with Activities from Paso Robles to Santa Maria – October 8-12, 2009. A variety of free events and activities will take place at numerous railroad, historical and educational locations throughout San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara Counties. See their website announcement at

The Central Coast Railroad Festival will be a family friendly event designed to please both the casual train buff and the avid rail fan. Attendees will be able to celebrate rail’s history and future while participating in all types of modeling, various train rides, exhibits, ceremonies, dedications, historical presentations and special programs. Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner and Coast Starlight run daily along the beautiful Central Coast beaches and through its spacious hillsides and attendees are encouraged to take advantage of this service.

Several larger events will be presented during the Central Coast Railroad Festival in San Luis Obispo, Oceano, Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach. A Rail Celebration in San Luis Obispo’s Historic Railroad District will be held on Saturday. The Celebration will be the first public event at the recently restored Freight House which will soon be the home of the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum. The festivities that day will include demonstrations of historic rail equipment on the new display track, a dedication of a public art piece entitled “ICONS OF AN ERA”, walking tours of this historic rail area, viewing of a private rail car and a golden spike ceremony as well as music, food and rail organization booths.

Sunday’s focus will move to the south and north of San Luis Obispo. The historic Oceano Depot will host an open house featuring the San Luis Obispo Model Railroad Association’s many running model layouts showcasing several model scales. The San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum will be hosting a fundraiser at Bitter Creek Western Railroad in Arroyo Grande which will feature live miniature steamers. Garden railroad and rail themed winery tours will take place in the Paso Robles area that day. A garden railroad layout tour will take place near Orcutt. The Exploration Station will be facilitating a round trip family ride on the Pacific Surfliner between Grover Beach and San Luis Obispo.

These major events will be complemented by numerous historical walks and talks at sites of the Pacific Coast Railway and Southern Pacific Railroad throughout the weekend. The Festival will kick off at its “Big Booth” at the Thursday night Farmers’ Market in San Luis Obispo which will include representatives from several participating organizations as well as a running N scale model train. Family events, educational programs, musical concerts and film viewings will take place at County Libraries and several area historical society facilities. The downtown San Luis Obispo Library Community Room will act as the Festival’s Information and Family Activity Center and will open Thursday evening with special programs This Information and Family Center is sponsored by Amtrak California and will feature daily programs, rail photography exhibits and a running model of the Pacific Coast Railway.

Amtrak California has just been announced as the Central Coast Railroad Festival’s major sponsor. Joining Amtrak California are four other featured sponsors: the WestPac Companies, the Hind Foundation, Rabobank and the City of San Luis Obispo. KCOY 12 and FOX 11 are the Festival’s exclusive television media partners.

Complete information for the Central Coast Railroad Festival, a full schedule of events and a list of participating organizations can be found at or by calling the festival office at 805-773-4173.
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