Conventions

San Diego

Jul 6-10, 2022

The Electric Railroaders Association celebrates the post-pandemic era with our 2022 Convention in San Diego and Southern California. Our ERA members and their significant others will enjoy the opportunity to enjoy both the San Diego’s extensive modern light rail and commuter rail network as well as its spectacularly diverse tourism opportunities.

Itinerary

Our convention program offers four days of exciting events.


8:45 a.m.

Leave hotel for 10-minute walk to Old Town Transit Station. A Pronto pass will be distributed to paid participants good for travel today (July 7) and on Saturday (July 9).

NOTE:

Validate your ERA-provided Pronto Transit Pass at the light rail stop, not the commuter rail stop.

9:15 a.m.

Group leaves on new Blue Line north extension (regular service) to UTC Transit Center (last stop) at University Towne Center (UTC), the outdoor shopping mall after which the station is named.

9:42 a.m.

Arrive at UTC Transit Center for photo stop.

10:03 a.m.

Depart UTC Transit Center on Blue Line regular service to 12th & Imperial Station.

10:52 a.m.

Arrive at 12th & Imperial Station. The MTS headquarters building is there.

11:00 a.m.

Tour of San Diego Trolley maintenance shops.

12:21 p.m.

Depart 12th & Imperial Station on Green Line for lunch near Santa Fe Depot.

12:30 p.m.

Downtown San Diego lunch stop near Santa Fe Depot.

NOTE:

See Map 1 for suggested restaurants near Santa Fe Depot.

2:00 p.m.

Leave Santa Fe Depot for tour of Green and Orange Lines on regular service, led by tour directors Bob Newhouser and Michael Glikin.

4:30 p.m.

Return to Old Town Transit Station. Your day pass is also good for travel on the Blue Line south of 12th & Imperial to San Ysidro (border with Mexico).

5:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

On your own to ride MTS services, have dinner, or walk back to hotel.

Thursday Evening: La Palma Room

7:30 p.m.

Meet at the hotel’s La Palma Room for an exciting presentation by Harvey Laner. Harvey’s program will be an all-video presentation of Southern California transit updates and the history of Los Angeles and San Diego light rail lines, and their predecessor rail lines.


8:00 a.m.

Depart hotel on our chartered Sundance motorcoach to Santa Ana (90 minutes).

9:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

Arrive at Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center. Tresa Oliveri and Cleve Cleveland of Orange County Transportation Authority (operator of the OC Streetcar) will lead us on a round trip tour of the OC Streetcar line currently under construction. Tour includes photo stops at the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center and one other location.

NOTE:

See Map 2 for the OC Streetcar alignment in Santa Ana.

11:00 a.m.

Depart Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center for Plaza Olvera, adjacent to Old Town Los Angeles.

12:15 p.m.-1:30 p.m.

Arrive at Plaza Olvera. Lunch in the adjacent Olvera Street historic district.

NOTE:

See Map 3 for Plaza Olvera restaurants and meeting point adjacent to Old Town Los Angeles.

1:30 p.m.

After lunch, meet back at Plaza Olvera where the bus dropped everyone off.

1:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Group leaves Plaza Olvera for approximate 15-minute walk through Los Angeles’s magnificent Union Station to LA Metro Headquarters Building at Gateway Plaza. An electric cart has been requested from Amtrak for those few who might need a ride through the 11-platform station (about half of the walking time).

2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

Briefing and Q&A with LA Metro staff to discuss the Crenshaw, Purple Line and Regional Connector rail projects.

3:00 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Travel by LA Metro’s Metro Rail subway (B or D lines), transfer to Expo (E) light rail line to Expo/Crenshaw Station. Each ERA guest will receive a ticket during the LA Metro briefing.

3:45 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Meet our chartered bus at Expo/Crenshaw Station and tour Crenshaw line construction with photo stops at Fairview Heights Station (Florence Avenue & West Blvd.) and at Aviation/Imperial Station.

NOTE:

See Map 4 for LA Metro Crenshaw/LAX Alignment.

4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Depart Aviation/Imperial Station for our chartered bus back to hotel. Rest of evening free.


9:00 a.m.

Sundance motorcoach departs our hotel for 90-minute ride to Southern California Railway Museum in Perris (formerly Orange Empire Trolley Museum).

10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Streetcar rides and carbarn visits. Admission to Southern California Railway Museum has been prepaid.

1:30 p.m.-1:45 p.m.

Sundance Motorcoach departs Southern California Railway Museum for the Bombshell Restaurant & Bar.

1:45 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

Lunch at your own expense at Bombshelter Restaurant & Bar, adjacent to the Skydive Perris skydiving field.

3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Return by Sundance motorcoach to our hotel.

Saturday Evening: ERA 2022 Annual Banquet

6:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Cash bar opens prior to the ERA 2022 Banquet in the hotel’s Pueblo Room.

7:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

ERA 2022 Banquet in the Pueblo Room. Buffet dinner will be followed by keynote address by E. Wayne Terry, chief operating officer of MTS San Diego Trolley, Inc.

NOTE:

Admission to the banquet is by itinerary letter indicating your attendance. Don’t forget to bring it!


NOTE:

Pick up your ERA-paid box lunch starting 8:30 a.m. at the hotel’s Prado Room before leaving our hotel! There is a selection of turkey, roast beef, and tuna salad box lunches. If you have a preference, get there early to make sure you get your selected lunch box. There are rest stops but no lunch stops today.

9:00 a.m.

Leave hotel with our group for 10-minute walk to Old Town Transit Center.

NOTE:

Validate your Pronto Transit Pass at the Old Town Transit Center commuter rail platform, NOT the light rail station where you validated it on Thursday.

9:27 a.m.-10:22 a.m.

ERA Group boards regular service Coaster train from Old Town Transit Center to Oceanside Terminal. Time allowed for rest stop before boarding Sprinter hybrid light rail DMU at 11:03 a.m.

11:03 a.m.-12:56 p.m.

Round trip on Sprinter from Oceanside Terminal to Escondido.

12:56 p.m.-1:31 p.m.

Rest stop upon return to Oceanside.

1:31 p.m.-2:37 p.m.

Take regular-service Coaster train from Oceanside to Santa Fe Depot.

NOTE:

Those needing to leave early can get off at Old Town Transit Center and walk back to our hotel.

2:50 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Leave Santa Fe Depot for a round trip on the Silver Line, San Diego Trolley’s 2.7-mile downtown loop that operates two restored PCC streetcars. Last event of the convention.

NOTE:

The Silver Line trip is subject to cancellation depending on MTS needs for a San Diego Padres game.

Want Extra Flyers?

Download the Itinerary (with maps 1-4 noted above), Convention Flyer and Welcome Letter PDFs.

Maps & Videos

San Diego Trolley to UTC
Hacienda Hotel Map
Hacienda Hotel Streetview
Around the Hacienda Hotel
Blue Line Trolley Extension
Five Generations of San Diego Trolley Cars
San Diego’s Restored PCC Cars
OC Streetcar - Made to Move
Construction of O.C. street car project frustrates small business owners
OC Streetcar Maintenance and Storage Facility Fly-Through
Bringing Southern California’s Railway History to Life!
NCTD COASTER Overhaul
SPRINTER Overview

Convention Headquarters


Best Western Plus Hacienda Hotel

4041 Harney Street
San Diego, Calif. 92110
619-298-4707

Located in the middle of historic Old Town, where San Diego first developed in the mid-19th century, the Hacienda Hotel is a low-rise garden facility featuring 197 rooms furnished in the Santa Fe style. It is a brief 10-minute walk to the MTS Old Town Transit Center (with light rail, bus, commuter, and Amtrak train service) through historic Old Town State Park, featuring dozens of restaurants and shops. Make sure to bring comfortable walking shoes as two of our four excursions involve walking to and from Old Town Station, about a 10-minute walk. The hotel will also host our Annual Banquet.

Nearby tourist activities:

Most major San Diego attractions are accessible by light rail and are within five miles (a half hour) of the Old Town Transit Center or, if you’re in a hurry, as little as 10 minutes away by taxi, Uber, Lyft, or similar services. San Diego International Airport is less than five miles from the Old Town Transit Center (accessible by express bus). The Santa Fe Depot Amtrak station is four miles away (accessible by light rail).

Hotel amenities in our ERA package include (updated June 13):

Reservations


Check-in time is at 4:00 p.m.
Check-out time is at 11:00 a.m.

A one-hour extension on check-out can be requested on your check-out day. Extended check-out is granted at hotel’s discretion based on availability.

Cancellation policy: Room cancellations must be received no later than 24 hours prior to check-in (4 p.m.) for refund. Your cancellation number MUST be obtained to ensure refund. All succeeding reservations will be automatically cancelled by the system if guests fail to check-in on the first arrival date and the first night will be charged on the credit card provided with no refund. If you can’t make the first night of your visit due to travel delays, but can make the other nights, call the hotel ASAP to preserve the rest of your reservation.

Logistics

The Best Western Plus Hacienda Hotel Old Town is located on Harney Street just north of Calhoun. It is a 10-minute walk (0.4 miles) from the Old Town Transit Center which is served by the MTS Green Line, MTS buses, commuter trains, and Amtrak. There is no MTS bus service between the hotel and Old Town Transit Center.

Walking

Walking from Old Town Transit Center to the hotel: From the Old Town Transit Center, walk on Telegraph Way east to San Diego Avenue, right on San Diego Avenue, south to Harney Street, then left on Harney Street east one block on Calhoun Street to the hotel.

Complimentary Shuttle Van

There is a Best Western Plus Hotel Complimentary Shuttle Van to or from either San Diego International Airport (SAN) or Amtrak Stations (NEW!).

Airport/Amtrak to Hotel: From San Diego International Airport or Amtrak’s Old Town Transit Center or Downtown Santa Fe Stations, make sure you have your luggage on hand and call the hotel’s front desk at 619-298-4707. The hotel representative will direct you to the proper stop location to pick up the shuttle.

Hotel to Airport/Amtrak: Stop by the front desk 24 hours in advance and give the agent your information on when you want to depart hotel and which airline. Your reservation will be accepted, capacity permitting, in the shuttle van. Transportation to the airport is provided from the hotel between 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (last trip). At all other times, if you have luggage, take advantage of taxi, Uber, or Lyft services. The airport is only 3.6 miles from the hotel, a 15-minute drive. Please tip your driver if you use this service.

Free Airport Express Access

There is now free Airport Express Access to Old Town Transit Center by Public Transportation (NEW!): If you have carry-on luggage that you can walk with easily, you can also take the new MTS San Diego Flyer, a nonstop electric minibus service between San Diego International Airport and the Old Town Transit Center. From there, you can walk either nine minutes to the hotel or call the hotel above for a shuttle van pickup. The San Diego Flyer runs every 20-30 minutes between 5 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. daily. For more information on this new service, go to: San Diego International Airport/Public Transportation.

Amtrak: Each Amtrak train stops at the Old Town station or the Santa Fe depot in Downtown San Diego. You can call the hotel for pickup at either station by the Best Western Plus Hotel Shuttle Van or walk nine minutes to the hotel.

Convention Updates


As of June 13, there have been three updates to the events at our hotel:

  1. We have swapped the original July 6 “Meet & Greet” for a special July 7 evening presentation with long-time traction videographer and historian Harvey Laner. Harvey will trace the evolution of Los Angeles’ rail transit scene from the Pacific Electric and steam railroads to today’s modern and ever-expanding Metro Rail, Metrolink commuter rail, and San Diego light rail networks.
  2. The Hacienda Hotel is now offering us one complimentary, full hot buffet breakfast per room each day on the mornings of July 6 through July 11 in place of the skimpy “Grab ’n Go” breakfast described in our original flyer. For two people in a room, one person gets the complimentary breakfast; the other will pay the regular $14.95 plus tax, which can be charged to the room bill.
  3. The Annual Banquet will be a buffet rather than a plated dinner. The banquet will still feature all the entrees on our original list of selections — steak, chicken, and salmon — but the hotel’s layout is such that a buffet will allow both the dinner and keynote presentation to occur together in the same location and allow for an enhanced selection of food items.

Important Notes

Scheduled event times shown and content in this flyer are subject to change or cancellation in the final itinerary or during the trip without prior notice. Daily trip itineraries may be changed in order to ensure on- time return at the end of each day. Announcements will be made each day to update guests on essential information during all ERA events and any changes to the itinerary printed here.

It is highly recommended that you bring your proof of COVID vaccinations along with a government-issued photo identification and your own supply of face masks. While these requirements may be in the process of being relaxed, transit agencies or museums may have retained their own Covid vaccination and face mask requirements, regardless of any prevailing state or federal relaxation of such regulations. ERA will not supply face masks. ERA will also not be responsible for any ERA guest denied entry to any transit shop, vehicle, museum, or other facility that we tour for your failure to possess a face mask or Covid vaccination proof, should that be required.

Further Questions? If you have questions regarding the itinerary or accommodations, please e-mail Bob Newhouser at [email protected] or call/text him at 917-482-4235. E-mail is preferred.

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