Contact: Aron Kahn, Chair
San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum Events & Promotions Committee

Contact: Curtis Reinhardt
San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum Publicity Committee
Complete information:

San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum Announces Details for Grand Opening on Oct. 12

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - All aboard! After more than two decades of fundraising, planning, and building, the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum (SLORRM) will celebrate its completion in grand style on Saturday, October 12 at its new home in the freight house in San Luis Obispo’s Historic Railroad District. Additional history and railroad programs on Friday and Sunday will round out the museum’s weekend of grand opening activities. The grand opening ceremony and gala will take place at 11:30 a.m. in front of the museum. Railroad fans and history buffs, along with anyone else ready for fun, are invited to attend the ceremony and weekend-long festivities to commemorate the grand opening.

During the ceremony on Saturday, century-old box cars and the freight house decorated with red, white, and blue bunting and balloons will serve as the backdrop for this festive celebration. The event will feature comments from SLORRM board members, a Union Pacific representative, and San Luis Obispo mayor Jan Marx. Local Boy Scouts will present the American flag, and the ceremony will start with the singing of the National Anthem. A city proclamation and ribbon cutting will close the ceremony, followed by free cake. The Central Coast Brass will perform railroad tunes and patriotic music before, during, and after the ceremony.

Saturday afternoon in the museum will include programs on railroad watches and a reading of the children’s book Engine Number Ten by the book’s author Rose Ann Woolpert. Railroad filmmaker Robert Van Camp will sign his rail tourist books and DVDs. Author Marilyn Darnell and historian Joe Carotenuti will talk about San Luis Obispo’s founding fathers and their efforts to bring the South Pacific Railroad into town.

The event will also feature operating model railroads, historical and interactive displays, musical performances from BanjerDan the Banjo Man and the Central Coast Brass, children’s activities that include Ballooney the Clown, lectures, and tours. Attendees can ride on railroad motor cars on the display track located trackside behind the museum. Union Pacific plans on bringing in a special engine for display. Railroad information booths, food, beverages, and ice cream will also be available.

On Friday morning, historian Joe Morris will lead a walking tour of the Historic San Luis Obispo Railroad District. On Sunday afternoon the Museum’s presentation area will feature railroad industry presentations by the Santa Maria Valley Railroad, Union Pacific Railroad Company, and the Federal Railroad Administration.

The museum is located in and around the circa 1894 Southern Pacific freight house at 1940 Santa Barbara Street. It sits trackside next to the busy Union Pacific main line and Amtrak Station in San Luis Obispo’s Historic Railroad District. The museum focuses on the rail history of the California Central Coast, with exhibits that retell the story of the Pacific Coast Railway, the Southern Pacific Railroad, and their influence on the development of this county and the state. Along with permanent and rotating exhibits, the museum will house an historical model railroad layout and a gift shop. Initial plans have the museum opening on the second Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This free grand opening event is a major focal point of the 5th Annual Central Coast Railroad Festival (, to be held October 10 through the 13th at various locations throughout San Luis Obispo County. The festival also features vintage rail car excursions, concerts, films, a model layout tour, an art show, history programs, and activities for children.


About the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum:

San Luis Obispo is truly a Train Town USA, designated as such by the Union Pacific Railroad in 2012. The San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum was founded in 1991 as a regional nonprofit educational museum for public benefit. Its mission is to preserve the railroad history of California and the Central Coast by collecting, restoring, and displaying artifacts, as well as operating historic railroad equipment. Museum members have been working for well over a decade with San Luis Obispo city employees to refurbish the new museum home in the historic Southern Pacific freight house.

Complete Museum history and upcoming event information is available on the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum’s Messages can be left for museum members at (805) 548-1894.