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How things have changed. The Lancaster depot where I spent so many hours as a teenager learning railroad operations in the early 60s is gone. It burned down in 1976 when thieves set a fire to cover up their robbery. Now the only thing left on that site is an empty lot. Across the tracks from where the old depot stood is the Metrolink commuter station. Engine 867 lays over on April 1, 2000. Disk 48
There was a shift in Antelope Valley�s economy during the 1950s. As the military bases at Edwards and Palmdale expanded and people in the Los Angeles area realized they were running out of space, the price of land in the Antelope Valley climbed rapidly. The increasing price for electricity and a dropping water table made irrigation farming increasingly difficult. Cultivation in the Valley peaked at 99,000 acres in 1952. The Valley changed from a farming community to a bedroom community. Unimaginable in the 1950's, but people now commute all the way to Los Angeles.