Report and photos by Robert Manning, RailPAC Executive VP
The temporary Transportation Center in the heart of downtown Indio, witnessed more people then anyone could have imagined on this special day. Two temporary modular buildings now house the Greyhound bus station and the future passenger train facility which will be built.Today the Union Pacific Railroad’s steam locomotive No. 844 made a service stop at that Indio Station which lasted a little less then 15 minutes, on its way to the San Bernardino area. This beautiful train had 17 cars, probably from the 1950’s and included two dome observation cars.
It was a crowd pleaser! I thought maybe 60 to 70 people would be there to watch the train come in, was I ever wrong. More then 500 people were on hand to witness this great event. The parking lot and surrounding dirt lots were jammed packed with cars.In walking around the crowd, which consisted of many young families and obvious retiree’s, I heard many comments. One little boy about 10 asked his mother “why can’t we take this train to Grandmas for Thanksgiving?”
There were several comments from others like “why don’t we have a train everyday to LA”. One dad with two little girls stated to his wife “let’s look into taking the train to Chicago right after Christmas!”
Thanks to the Union Pacific for running this spectacular train and encouraging passenger train travel.