The mission of the SBRHS shall be to engage in the acquisition, preservation, conservation, restoration, public exhibition, operation, documentation and interpretation of Santa Fe Railroad history, artifacts and equipment.
The mission of the SBRHS shall be accomplished by:
Establishment of OPERATIONS dedicated to the use of locomotive 3751 as often as feasible in the context of its Santa Fe Railway heritage including necessary maintenance, repair, and the acquisition, modification, and operation of tools, facilities, and equipment in direct support of 3751. Locomotive 3751 will be preserved and operated in the mid 1940’s Santa Fe Railway appearance with the exception of temporary use for purposes which would contribute financially to the support of the goals of the organization.
Establishment of a LIBRARY located in Southern California for the photographs, drawings, technical manuals, periodicals, and vendor literature pertaining to the operation, maintenance, or repair of motive power, appliance, and rolling stock of the Santa Fe Railway origin or heritage for the period 1900 to 1971. This includes Santa Fe Railway employees and public timetables or other promotional materials on the era.
Establishment of a MUSEUM located in Southern California for the purposes of display and interpretation of artifacts of the Santa Fe Railroad origin or heritage. This includes but is not limited to rolling stock and forms of motive power for the period of 1900 to 1971. The museum will preserve and as necessary conserve, restore and/or if necessary replicate artifacts to enhance the museum’s education and interpretive goals. Decisions to conserve, preserve, restore or replicate shall be formal and documented by a group coordinated by the museum’s curator or equivalent representative. The museum shall be organized so as to meet the eligibility criteria of both the Department of General services State agency for Surplus Property and the Federal Institute of Museum Services.
The vision of the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society is to promote the historical and social significance of railroads in the southwest through the operation and display of steam locomotive 3751. Operation and display will occur with or without additional vintage rail equipment, either while on excursions or at static locations.
The SBRHS was formed in 1981 with the purpose of restoring, operating and maintaining former Santa Fe Steam Locomotive #3751. A turning point in the organization came in 1986 when the SBRHS was able to purchase the locomotive from the City of San Bernardino for $1.00 and relocated the locomotive to the California Steel Industries facility (formerly Kaiser Steel) in Fontana, California.
Restoration of the locomotive became a 5 year process, and in August of 1991 a fire was lit in the firebox for the first time in 38 years. In December of 1991, 3751 returned to passenger duty pulling the California Limited between Los Angeles and Bakersfield. Steam had officially returned to the Santa Fe. For more information on the operations of 3751 since its return to service, please visit our “Timeline” page.
Today, Santa Fe 3751 is one of the premiere steam locomotives operating in the United States and is maintained to a high standard by the all-volunteer crew of the SBRHS. The crew works weekly on the locomotive and support equipment to ensure that when the call comes to take 3751 on the road, the locomotive is always in top condition.
The SBRHS’s financial condition has always been an on-going focus for the Board of Directors. Operation of the 3751 on various excursions and attendance at events has over last two decades has been the primary fund raising vehicle for the Society. However, it has always been recognized that unless the available funds could be increased, the ability to provide support cars for the crew, and the eventual opening and operation of a museum would be greatly limited.
The Society has historically engaged in several endeavors to maintain contact with supporters and further distribute information related to 3751 and the Santa Fe Railway. The primary communication has been through the “Crew Car” and the “Second Section” publications. In addition, the recent upgrade of our web page, combined with both on-line supporter renewals and 3751 branded merchandise have been added to help maintain the necessary financial support of the Society and 3751.
The Society’s Board of Director’s recently completed a yearlong endeavor to develop a strategic business plan and establish a number of “Go Forward” objectives. The primary areas addressed in the Go Forward Plan are: The Organization’s Financial Planning, Supporter Involvement and Fulfillment, Educational Initiatives, Operational Use of 3751, Development of a 3751 Contingency Plan and Succession Planning. The Board continues to develop strategies and objectives related to the above topics.
As part of the above discussions, understanding the current operational restrictions that limit access to the primary railroad company rail networks, and the increasing costly insurance requirements placed on the Society, are of a significant concern. As the economy and rail transportation rebounds, the current pathways become increasingly utilized and the more difficult it is to organize and operate special movement on these busy rail networks. Even though 3751 is operational, opportunities for excursions remain limited in the Southern California region.
Despite these challenges, the Society remains committed to maintaining and operating 3751. In conjunction with this objective, the financial planning efforts currently focus on modifying a baggage-crew type rail car for use by the crew on excursions (for details, see “Let’s Roll 2016”). Having support rail cars for the crew, storage of critical supplies, space for parts and tools, will be a significant compliment for the operational needs of the Society.
The SBRHS is committed to the long term maintenance and operation of 3751. The focus of the “Go Forward Plan” is about supporting this critical endeavor for both current and future generations to enjoy and appreciate this historical steam engine artifact.
3751 will be required to undergo a major overhaul and inspection in 2017. The Society has begun to discuss, plan, and budget for this up-coming overhaul. It is anticipated that the tear down, inspection, and re-installation of critical components of the steam engine, will most likely take a minimum of one year to complete. As with all things of this magnitude, the mechanical overhaul and inspection will be a costly process for the Society. The Board of Directors is currently looking at options to fund the overhaul and future capital fundraising campaigns may be required.
The Society is excited about the opportunity to refurbish the baggage-crew car over the next two years. The Capital Funding Campaign “Let’s Roll” has been approved and is being distributed via this site, publications, mailings and via Facebook. We look forward to working with all our great supporters, existing and new, to help fund this project and adding a significant asset to the list of SBRHS rolling stock.
The Board of Director’s will continue to look at all opportunities to establish a permanent home for 3751 that will allow the public to view the engine and other Santa Fe artifacts on a regular basis.