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2000 - 2009 Historic Dates in San Bernardino and The Railroad:


February 2, 2001 - Santa Fe Depot Declared Historic

One of 39 Photographs from the Santa Fe Depot Application for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

* The current Santa Fe Depot in San Bernardino, built in 1918, was considered to be Santa Fe's finest station in the West.

* At a cost of $800,000, this 57,000 square foot building featured mission-style architecture with domes, towers and a tile roof.

* Santa Fe closed its San Bernardino operations in 1992; all the buildings were demolished, except the Depot.

* On February 2, 2001, the National Park Service entered the Depot in the National Register of Historic Places.

Click here to view the text of the Santa Fe Depot Application for historic status.

Click here to view photographs from the Application for historic status.


February 19, 2002 - Derek Parra

Derek Parra won the gold medal in the 1,500 meter speed skating event at the Winter Olympics on February 19, 2002.  His winning speed of 1:43.95 set a new world record (although it has since been broken, it is still an Olympic record).

Ten days before, while in Salt Lake City, Utah, Derek won the silver medal in the 5,000-meter race in the time of 6:17.98, an American record.

Derek was born in San Bernardino on March 15, 1970, and graduated from Eisenhower High School in Rialto. At 14 he started roller skating at San Bernardino's Stardust Roller Rink (21st and Lugo).  He moved from roller skates to in-line skates and by 1996 Derek had earned 18 individual gold medals and had become the most decorated athlete at the 1995 Pan-American Games.

After switching to ice skates, Derek became the 2000 U.S. all-round overall champion, the 2001 U.S. national champion and the 2001 U.S. North American champion and won the silver medal in the 1,500 meter race at the 2001 World Single Distance Championships.

In 2002 he was one of eight athletes chosen to carry the flag that hung above Ground Zero in New York after the attack of September 11th.  

Derek was chosen as the U.S. speed skating national all-around coach for the 2010 Olympics and is a member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

Derek Parra is the first-ever Mexican American to compete in, and medal, in the Olympic Winter Games.  He now teaches at the Utah Olympic Oval's Learn to Skate program, the same oval in which he won gold.  


October 16, 2003 - President George W. Bush

(Photograph courtesy of the U. S. White House)

President George W. Bush met privately with California Governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday, October 16, 2003, at Riverside's Mission Inn.

At San Bernardino's Radisson Hotel (formerly the Red Lion and recently called the Clarion Hotel) the President addressed a group of VIPs discussing the economy and terrorism.

George W. Bush, the son of a former President, graduated from Yale and Harvard, was an F-102 pilot in the Texas Guard, owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, and former governor of Texas before becoming President in 2001.  

(Theodore Roosevelt was the first Prtesident to visit San Bernardino.)

Click here for a history of the U. S. Presidents that have visited San Bernardino.


June 21, 2004 - Depot Renovation Completed

2002 View before Restoration

*  In 1992 Santa Fe closed operations in San Bernardino, and soon all the shops and buldings were demolished, that is all but the Depot.  Over the years the Depot was left to deteriorate and by 2002 it was barely functional.

*  The  City of San Bernardino and the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) secured $15 million in federal and state grants and local money to complete a restoration of the Depot.

*   Milford Wayne Donaldson was the architect, Solteck Pacific was chosen as the construction contractor and Transtech was selected as the construction management firm.

* Work began in November 2002. The restoration included historically accurate renovations of the interior and exterior, installation of utilities, seismic retrofitting and asbestos removal.

*  The project was completed in June 2004.  After dedication ceremonies, SANBAG began occupying the building on June 21, 2004.

*  The Depot was once again fully functional while serving both Amtrak and Metrolink passengers and in 2008, it became the home of the San Bernardino History and Railroad Museum.

2004 June Celebration, after the Historic Renovation, installation of utilities, seismic retrofit and asbestos removal.


July 12, 2008 - History and Railroad Museum

*  The San Bernardino History & Railroad Museum opened its doors to the public on July 12, 2008.  

*  It is located in the San Bernardino train depot in the former Santa Fe Baggage Room and Railroad Express Agency Room.

*  The museum is a joint operation of two 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations: the San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society and the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society (operators ofthe Santa Fe Steam Engine 3751).

*  Within the museum, the Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society (SFRH&MS) maintains the Western Archives of the Santa Fe Railroad.

*  All facets of the museum are conducted by volunteers, as there are no paid employees.

*  Click here for a Virtual Tour of the Museum.


November 3, 2008 - BNSF Third Rail in Cajon Pass

On November 03, 2008, the final stretch of the new BNSF triple track over the Cajon Pass opened.

The Pass is located between the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountain ranges, just north of the city of San Bernardino.  

The $90-million project added almost 16 miles of third main track and increased capacity on the route from 100 to 150 trains a day.

Over a four year period crews moved more than 1 million tons of earth, placed approximately 42,000 concrete railroad ties and laid more than 30 miles of steel rail.

The construction of this track represents the first additional BNSF main track through Cajon Pass since the second line was constructed in 1913 (the first track was laid in 1885).

(Courtesy of BNSF)