By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews);
Source: City of Needles (Information):
Downtown Needles, California: The community enjoys the love of trains during the 2015 Train Days held on Saturday, March 14th, 2015 inside the El Garces Train Depot.
Kids both young and old were welcomed into the Community Hall at the El Garces Train Depot where model trains were displayed.
Kids, families, and adults watched as model trains rolled along layouts on displayed, including Southern Nevada N-Trakers (S.N.N.T.)’s n scale train set layout that had a working Amtrak passenger train driving pass miniature people walking on a pathway near homes, a roadside stop area where fast food restaurants and gas station awaits, and going over a small creek on a railroad bridge.
Kids both young and old also enjoyed a H.O. scale train set layout with a small town set up and an old classic passenger train going around the town, and a O scale train set layout set up by City of Needles Mayor Edward T. Paget and had a steam engine puffing down the railroad tracks passing a small train depot set as the Needles, California Train Station.
Model trains were also on sale inside the Community Hall from G scale to H.O. scale model trains waiting for somebody to purchase and build their own layout at home.
Meanwhile, the public got to enjoy a self guide tour of the El Garces Train Depot where displayed pictures from the Needles Regional Museum showed what the El Garces Train Depot use to look like and helping people along their way, Harvey House Girls where there to answer the public’s questions about the El Garces Train Depot.
People enjoyed the passenger waiting room, view of the upstairs patio area, and the work being done to restore the fountain facing the railroad track platform area.
The public were able to purchase Memorial Bricks at the entry booth into the Community Hall that will be later laid down when the new fountain at the El Garces Train Depot is completed in a month as well as the new 2015 calendar, published by the Needles Regional Museum, which showed the history in pictures of the old Harvey House and El Garces Train Depot.
For the 2015 Train Days event, the Needles Regional Museum was open so that the public can learn more about the history of the railroad and our community of Needles, California.
At Santa Fe Park, a children train ride rolled pass Santa Fe Park where a train bounce house was set up for the kids well vendors were set up; from a picture booth was set up at Olde Tyme Photos with nice costumes and pictures taken by Robert and Lana Shaw, to the lovable Spike from the Peanuts comic strip (Spike is Snoopy’s brother who lives outside of Needles, California and was a character in Charles M. Schulz comic strip Peanuts with Woodstock, Snoopy, and Charlie Brown) saying hello to people at the Needles Chamber of Commerce booth where t-shirts with Spike were being sold, all under the trees of Santa Fe Park.
Music entertained the crowd during the event from Fat Cat D.J. who also kept the support for our community alive.
Cold water on that warm day was being sold by the nice people at the Needles Mustang Band and for foods and sodas, Munchy’s Mexican Restaurant (Located at 829 Front Street between E Street and F Street in Downtown Needles, California) welcomed attendees to their restaurant and their delicious tacos, rolled tacos, burritos including breakfast burritos, tostadas, tortas, quesadillas, burgers, fries, and cold sodas which helped their restaurant as well as other businesses along the way.
City of Needles Mayor Edward T. Paget welcomed people to the 2015 Train Days event and thanked all of the people who were participated at the event and who worked hard on putting the 2015 Train Days event together.
City of Needles Mayor Edward T. Paget then asked people at the event to take a moment to pause and give respects to the men and women of the railroad who lost their lives doing the job they love, including giving a shot out to the train engineer, 62 year old Glenn Steele of Homeland, California, who passed away at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 from his injuries from the Metrolink crash and derailment in Oxnard, California on Tuesday, February 24th, 2015.
During a 2015 Train Days Committee Meeting held on Monday, March 9th, 2015, ZachNews learned from members of the 2015 Train Days Committee that the train engineer was planning to participate in the 2015 Train Days event and was planning to have some kind of a display set up that had to do with locomotives.
Since the Metrolink crash and derailment, an account to raise money to help Glenn Steele and Glenn Steele’s Family was set up at Go Fund Me.
** Go Fund Me: Glenn Steele: **
The work that the railroad do in transporting people and goods we need everyday all across the Untied States of American was well appreciated by the people in attended, especially when a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train carrying military vehicles rolled by people on a self guided tour of the El Garces Train Depot.
Kids waved at the train engineer who waved back at them, and a man wearing military pins was seen taking a picture of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe train carrying military vehicles.
Back in front of El Garces Train Depot, a plaque dedication was held for the old railroad cantilever signal displayed over G Street near Front Street.
City of Needles Mayor Edward T. Paget giving thanks to everybody who worked together to get this old railroad cantilever signal project moving including to City of Needles Public Works Department Director Marc Richards (Above Picture) who undertook the placement project of the old railroad cantilever signal.
Marc Richards thanked his team at the City of Needles Public Works Department and told the crowd that he couldn’t have done this project without his team.
“We can do a lot of this as a team. These days, the City of Needles can use teamwork; teamwork to stay alive for this town. Keep it going because this is a great town; it has a lot of history, and its great to be a part of that history if we can; the signal, El Garces, the fire engine; these are all great projects. I would like to see the City continue to do this because we need to save our heritage because that is what we are; we are a heritage and we just need to keep an eye on that.”
Marc Richards added that he would like to have his grand kids and their grand children after that to remember all of the hard work that our community did on projects like these and that history can be shared and live on forever.
City of Needles Mayor Edward T. Paget dedicated the old railroad cantilever signal to the community and the people who work on the railroad.
According to City of Needles Mayor Edward T. Paget, Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad donated the old railroad cantilever signal in early 2013, the Friends of the Needles Centennial raised money for the moving and placement project, and the City of Needles Public Works Department Crew Members removed the old railroad cantilever signal from its railroad side location on the west end of Needles, California in the spring of 2013.
City of Needles Public Works Department Crews on Monday, October 20th, 2014 dig out the hole for the foundation of the old railroad cantilever signal (Above Pictures) and built the base to hold up the old railroad cantilever signal which the signal part of the old railroad cantilever signal will be hanging over G Street facing West Broadway and Downtown Needles, California.
City of Needles Public Works Department Crews assembled together parts of an old railroad signal (Above Pictures) at its new location on the windy morning of Monday, November 17th, 2014.
The old railroad cantilever signal was placed up (Above Picture) after City of Needles Public Works Department Crews lifted up with a crane and attached to the cement foundation on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014.
The signal lights for the old railroad cantilever signal where placed on top of the old railroad cantilever signal (Above Pictures) by City of Needles Public Works Department Crews on Wednesday, January 28th, 2015.
On Monday, February 2nd, 2015, City of Needles Public Works Department Crews worked on the lighting system (Above Pictures) for the old railroad cantilever signal.
City of Needles Public Works Department Crews turned on the signal lights on top of the old railroad cantilever signal on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2015 and the lights (Above Pictures) were seen down G Street from West Broadway.
** Watch the video of the plaque dedication for the old railroad cantilever signal at the following ZachNews on YouTube website address: **
ZachNews talked with City of Needles Public Works Department Director Marc Richards about the on going work to restore the old fire department truck and what can people do to help keep the restoring process going to bring this part of our history alive.
Marc Richards tells ZachNews that the fire truck is a 1923 American LaFrance fire truck that the City of Needles has own since the late 20’s and it was in service in 1928 or earlier, and is a prized possession to the City of Needles in need of being restore. The fire truck was giving back to the City of Needles by a gentleman who purchased the fire truck years ago and he was going to restore the fire truck, but well on his death bed, he decided to contact the City of Needles and see if they would like the fire truck back, and if the City of Needles promise to restore the fire truck, he will give the fire truck to the City of Needles. Almost everything is here to restore the fire truck to 100 percent, but the motor needs to be overhaul and the tires are needed; the original tires for the fire truck are Sebring brand tires and the reproductions are available for $600.00 a piece.
To have the fire truck fully completed, Marc Richards tells ZachNews that they would need about $15,000.00 to complete it the way it suppose to be; from the mechanical completion to the gold leaf that needs to be done on the fire truck which along cost $3,500.00.
**** You can also contact City of Needles Public Works Department Director Marc Richards either by phone at: 1 (760) 326-2415 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org ****
At the end of the event, the love and joy of model trains and the railroad came alive to a family who won the grand prize in a raffle of a nice Bachmann’s Explorer n scale train set.
The nice N scale starter train set was awarded by City of Needles Mayor Edward T. Paget and a Harvey House Girl to Jimbo Lanphear and his children Kaden and Hailey (Above Picture).
Jimbo Lanphear tells ZachNews that his family were excited to win the train set and just recently won 2 other raffle draws including for a nice train clock.
A the end of the event, the 2015 Train Days got people together to enjoy something that we all love and respect thanks to the small group of people who worked hard to put on the 2015 Train days event celebrating that love for the railroad and to thank the people who worked on the railroad everyday.
Thanks to everybody who participated and came out to the event.