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Vintage Train Car Rolls Into Santa Barbara

It Doesn’t Move and the Public Is Prohibited From Boarding It


A vintage train car, the Saint Barbara, has been delivered to the town sharing its name where it will stand as a “static” historic display on special siding located by the city’s historic train depot. Efforts to buy, renovate, and move the old train car cost $400,000. Of that, $350,000 came from Caltrans; the remainder was provided by the City of Santa Barbara’s Redevelopment Agency. Visitors will be allowed to admire the Saint Barbara’s exterior only; the interior will remain off limits because it does not conform with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifications. The cost of bringing the car into ADA compliance is prohibitive. But even the city’s relatively small contribution is not without controversy. Public access TV talk show host Ernie Salomon charged, “It is an immoral waste of money at a time for cuts for the poor and needy! Whoever was involved in this should go to jail.” The Saint Barbara was delivered in parts and has to be re-assembled.

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