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Photographing the Chula Vista Train Festival

Look at that beauty making a run around Rohr Park
Look at that beauty making a run around Rohr Park

If you’re still looking for a photo project for the long Labor Day weekend, let me suggest the Chula Vista Train Festival on Aug 30th, from 10:00 to 16:00 at Rohr Park (4548 Sweetwater Road in either Chula Vista or Bonita, depending on what your GPS says!) This year’s event will be a perfect storm of good things that photographers, friends and family can enjoy, and it’s all free! (But, you should make a donation for train rides just to help pay for maintenance and consumables like coal or oil —yes, many of the trains run on real coal!

If you’ve never seen the miniature steam locomotives pulling carloads of passengers around Rohr Park, it’s a photographer’s dream! Scale trains, machined down to the finest specifications and details will take you back to days of the Iron Horse. Be sure and visit the roundhouse area, if you can get permission, to get up close and personal to these steam belching beauties! The owners love showing them off and answering questions.

Chula Vista Live Steamers will be celebrating 40 years of operations at Rohr Park in conjunction with their Annual Fall Meet, which means lots of visiting train aficionados! So, even if you’ve photographed the local trains before, and all your kids have ridden the miniature rails, there will be a roundhouse full of fresh trains to photograph!

It’s a free community event designed to take the sting out of the demise of the beloved annual Bonitafest. So, in addition to the train rides, there will be live music, horse shows, and cowboy poets —what ever they are! Plan to get there really early and take your picnic supplies as well as all your photo gear! Ensure at least one of your lenses is a telephoto so you can snap photos of your grandchildren riding the complete park circuit.

Smile, Rick