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Cal Plaza Trains Offer Holiday Spirit and L.A. History

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, December 02, 2009, at 02:30PM
California Plaza Railroad Eric Richardson [Flickr]

A diesel Southern Pacific locomotive -- or at least a "G" scale replica -- rounds a turn on the California Plaza Watercourt.

A pair of model trains at California Plaza aren't just a bit of traditional holiday decoration, they're also a homage to Los Angeles' railroad history. The "G" scale models circling a trio of trees on the Watercourt include a replica of the Southern Pacific's "Coast Daylight," which ran between Los Angeles and San Francisco from 1937 to 1971.

A sign posted near the trains explains the history of the cars on display.

The trains are made LGB, a German company that specializes in the 1:22.5 scale models. Both passenger and freight trains are decked in the Southern Pacific scheme.

The San Francisco-based railroad's first through train to Los Angeles arrived on September 5, 1876, via the newly-completed Tehachapi Loop. It operated a depot at 5th and Alameda from the late 1800's until the opening of Union Station in 1939.

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