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The American Freedom Train in Pomona, California
December 23-30, 1975

The train's 52nd display city and the last display site of the year. The train displayed on the grounds of the Los Angeles County Fair.

 

 
 

The editor's cousin-in-law, Ross Banks, visited the train with his family in Pomona during Christmas break.

Image: Ernie Banks

 
 

The Banks family.

Image: Ernie Banks

 
 

The AFT at the LA County Fairgrounds

Image: Ernie Banks

 
 

 

 

The journey from Fresno to Pomona took the train through California's central valley and the Tehachapi mountains, including a trip through the famous Tehachapi Loop.

 
 

The train was spotted in the parking lot of the Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona. A switch was installed by the SP and 'snap train' was laid out into the parking lot ahead of the train's arrival.

After the train left, the local RR museum took advantage of the snap track to add a large steam locomotive to their landlocked (but impressive) stable of equipment at the fairgrounds.

 
 

 

List of events at the opening ceremonies.

 
 

 

Page one of a letter welcoming the train.

The letter details the AFT Christmas party, hosted by Ross Rowland at the Griswold's Pavilion, plus the opportunity for staff to take in the filming of a sitcom. The Jefferson's, Maude, Doc, Phyllis, and One Day at a Time were all available.

In all its time in Southern California, the AFT never displayed within the city limits of Los Angeles. The mayor considered the $2 price of admission exorbitant, especially to see so many things Los Angelenos could simply fly to Washington and see for free.

 
 

 

Page two of the welcome letter.

A special viewing of the train was arranged for underprivileged children on December 24 from 3-6PM. AFT security chief John Manning arrived at the display site by helicopter dressed as Santa Claus. Locomotive #4449 was also dressed as Santa!
 
 

 

Some of the staff took in a filming of the sitcom Phyllis in Studio City.

 
 

 

Page one of the security log for the Fresno to Pomona move December 22, 1975.

Chasing the American Freedom Train through the scenic Tehachapi area, the desert, and into the LA basin was was a full day for many local railfans, photographers, and the news media (some in helicopters). Here's how it looked from the security desk in the control car (AFT car #100).

The first chase helicopter arrived at 8:49 AM.

 
 

 

Page two of the security log for the Fresno to Pomona move December 22, 1975.

The train arrived on the Tehachapi Loop at 9:27 AM in fog.

A helicopter from the LA County Sheriff's Office joined the entourage at 11:06 AM.

 
 

 

Page three of the security log for the Fresno to Pomona move December 22, 1975.

Diesel helpers were cut out at San Fernando.

 
 

 

Page four of the security log for the Fresno to Pomona move December 22, 1975.

Arrived in Pomona just after 5PM, with Pomona Police Dept helicopter looking on.

It was a good day to have a helicopter at your disposal.

 

 

Ross Rowland threw a Christmas party for the staff at Griswold's Inn (now the DoubleTree by Hilton Claremont) during the train's stay in Pomona.

 
       
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