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What is San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society (SBRHS) and what is the relationship with 3751?

The San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society (SBRHS) is a 501c3, volunteer organization that owns, maintains and operates Santa Fe steam locomotive No. 3751. The organization is 100% volunteer run with absolutely no paid positions. The name of the society was originally selected because 3751 was publicly displayed in San Bernardino from 1958 until 1997 after being donated to the city by the Santa Fe Railway. Post restoration, it was originally planned that she would be housed in San Bernardino as well, however, the locomotive currently calls downtown Los Angeles home.

Why doesn't 3751 run more frequently?

It is our main goal to run 3751 as frequently as possible. The answer to this question is complex, however. First, the SBRHS is not in the business of running excursions. As a society we own, maintain, and operate 3751 and offer excursion operators the opportunity to lease the locomotive for excursions they plan, coordinate and execute. We continuously seek opportunities to contract for as many excursions as we can each year. Second, because 3751 must utilize the active main line tracks of common carrier railroads – railroads that are among the busiest in the U.S. – there are many entities, approvals, logistic and legal/liability issues to work through and agreed to in the process of finalizing a trip. Third, the trip must be financially beneficial for the SBRHS in its operation of the locomotive. We have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that operations of 3751 generate sufficient income to cover the cost of both operating expenses and planned and unplanned repairs and maintenance, which includes setting money aside for the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Mandated 15-Year (or 1,472 Operating Days) Inspection of 3751’s boiler. Sometimes proposed operations simply don’t pencil out…but we’re always exploring new opportunities to get the locomotive out for the general public to view it.

How is an excursion with 3751 planned?

A common misconception is that the SBRHS runs the excursions 3751 pulls. A trip begins when a private entity or an excursion operator, such as the Central Coast Railroad Club, Pacific Railroad Society (PRS), the California State Railroad Museum, or the American Association of Private Car Owners (AAPRCO) to name a few, contacts us about planning a possible trip. Because we run on the active main line tracks used daily by other railroads, the hosting railroad(s) is always involved and one of the first to be contacted. The process takes months, and sometimes a more complex trip can take years to plan and execute. Planning for the 2002 and 2012 trips to the Grand Canyon, for example, began with initial planning meetings taking place more than three years before the departure dates of each trip.

Why doesn't SBRHS post information about excursions directly?

We strive to keep our supporters and fans as up-to-date as possible regarding all planned 3751 operations. With that said, because each day of planning an excursion brings with it new areas to address, we almost always wait for a ‘sure-go- status to be achieved that could be as far out as a year or a week from the departure date. If you are unable to find information about an upcoming trip through the SBRHS, it is because the plans are still being finalized. Unfortunately, many “planned” operations fall through, and therefore are never announced by us. Rest assured when this happens, we are just as disappointed as you are.

Why doesn't SBRHS sell tickets for excursions directly?

We are not excursion operators. As we finalize trips and details are released from the excursion operator who has hired SBRHS to have 3751 pull their train, we are able to announce trips, but the excursion operator is responsible for all ticket sales, train configuration and onboard services and amenities.

I would like to get more involved, what are the steps?

There are many ways to be part of SBRHS. The first step is to become an active Supporter. Click on SUPPORT 3751.