This city was once the center of North Orange
County's citrus industry. The station, built in 1930, was used in
the 1964 Doris Day/Rock Hudson move, "Send Me No Flowers."
Those who boarded Train 3, Eastbound from
Fullerton to La Plata this
Wednesday evening were:
Carl Morrison, Sleeper Car 431
Richard Hamilton and Tessie, Sleeper Car 431
Jonathon Ortiz and his father Henry, Coach
Konrad and Bonnie Kerr, Coach
Andrew Smith, who had boarded in LA came from his 430 car to greet us
and introduce himself upon our boarding.
Thursday night's Train 3 will take the following to La Plata:
Chris guenzler, Rick Von Ivkovich, Ken Ruben, Thomas Anderson, Dan
Dalke, Pat Moran, Ross Moore.
Friday, the following attendees will arrive by flight:
Steve Grande, Barbara Cepinko, Jonathan Cardoza, Irving and Shirley
Cepinko and Chris Parker.
Others arriving at unknown times:
Chris Haynes, Anton Lazzaro, Charles Nilon, Ron Delong, Ron Manning and
Jeff Kocar, Amtrak, and Ingrid Dickson.
Lori Scott (above, right) was the 1430 Attendant. Lupe was the
sleeper 1431 Attendant, Ifran the LSA. This was crew #4
The Consist for this edition of Train 3, December 6, 2006 was;
Engines 123 and 152, Baggage 1242, (No transition sleeper),
Sleepers: 1431 - 32050, 1430 - 32034. Diner 38058,
Signtseeing Lounge 33005, and Coaches: 34093, 34094, 31030.
We proceeded eastbound, through east Fullerton, Placentia,
and Anaheim Hills. Our stops were Riverside and San
Bernardino. Starting here, our track parallels U.S. Route 66 all
the way to Albuquerque.
San Bernardino was a stretch stop so I stepped off my
car to the platform. A young man, Anton Lazzaro, headed for
La Plata as well, who was to board in L.A., missed the train there, but
caught up with it here, and boarded Sleeping Car 431. I saw that
he had hooked up with Andrew and the two of them were having great fun
talking trains at meals in the diner.
Andrew came down from 431 later in the evening and Richard Hamilton (Of
Let's Talk Trains) and I had a pleasant time talking trains as we
traveled east. Upon returning to my room and starting to set up
my technology, I discovered my one and only electrical plug in room 13
did not work. I asked Attendant Lori (above, right) if there was
another room, preferably
on the upper level (where the windows are cleaner) that I could move
to, and she found me one next to the diner! I set up my office
using the upper bunk for storage, and plugged in my power bar and
proceeded to fill 5 of the 6 outlets to charge the various pieces of
technology I had brought!
I skipped dinner in the diner, since I had just had such a scroumptious
meal at the Rail Restaurant, and I just had Lori get me a decaf for the
room. I did walk the train and found the other La Plata
passengers that had boarded the coaches.
After San Bernardino we ascended the Cajon Pass. We twisted and
turned through this popular railfan stretch, to an elevation of 3,811
feet. I worked through Cajon Pass and out to Victorville and
both on time! East of Barstow, I noticed on my GPS that we were
going 90 mph. I beleive this is one of the few places, like
Kansas and Camp Pendleton, CA, that the
limit is 90. (If readers know the other locations, please let me
Sleep was intermittent during the night through Needles, Kingman, AZ,
Williams Jct., and Flagstaff. I awoke about 6ish, because I
purposely left my curtains open so the sun would be my alarm
clock. I showered and was ready for the 6:30 opening of the
diner. Unlike lunch and dinner when the car attendants ask you
when you want to eat and give you a seating time, breakfast is
first come first served and this train is light and there is no problem
walking at any time for breakfast.
On Amtrak long distance trains, dining is always community
will be seated with someone else unless you are a party of four.
I like this because you'll meet interesting folks at every meal!
I left my GPS plugged in during the night so it would not 'sleep' but
stay lighted with the map and current speed. It's kind of a night
light and I can see the details when I wake up and roll over.
Through the night my little GPS kept tracking of our progress and
during the night when I was sleeping, we'd covered 585 miles at an
average speed of 63 mph! (Now you can't do that when you are
driving a car.) Actually I had 2 meals and worked in my room,
slept for 8 hours, took a shower, while I traveled 603 miles to McCatys.
During the day, I found myself watching out my window...I was on the
shade side of the car so no light was on my window. I wished I'd
brought my thermometer so I could have checked the
temperature. After crossing the Continental Divide, the
creeks were frozen and there was snow in the shadows.
from the Train: Arizona, and New Mexico
High desert Red Rock Mesas
A long coal
train headed for a power plant caught my eye because of the length and
Albuquerque, where we actually arrived
early allowing us 55 minutes to
either go to the Cold Stone Creamery a half block away, as Andy Smith
It was 42 degrees
and only two Indian vendors (above right) were on the
platform where there usually many vendors in the summer when I'd been
I also walked to the front of the train and looked down on old
Jonathan and I took pictures of the
new Rail Runner commuter
trains and signage and our Southwest Chief.
Southwest Chief in Albuquerque.
Sleeping Cars (2). Great Attendant Lori, below.
(right), a good place for trailing track pictures.
Lunch was right after the Albuquerque stop and crew change.
Yolanda was our waitress. I lunched with an authentic Rail Fan
who has watched trains from high passes and tunnels all over the
USA. He had worked in LA as a radio announcer for KRTH 101, an
He was returning to Pennsylvania. We were seated together again
for supper. I enjoyed our conversations.
Returning to my room I worked a while, then dozed off. I had a
7:15 seating time. Beautiful red mountain pass that we acended
after Lamy, where some passengers destined for Santa Fe got off.
Leaving Lamy, the train winds through Apache Canyon and ascends
Glorieta Pass at an elevation of 7,421 feet.
In Las Vegas, NM, I saw, but did not get a photograph, The
Castaneda. It is one of the few remaining Harvey Houses still
standing on the Santa Fe route. The Castaneda was the site of the
annual reunion for Teddy Roosevelt and his Rought riders from the
Spanish-American War. homage was paid to the Fred Harvey System
in the 1946 MGM Muscial, "The Harvey Girls," starring Angela Landsbury
and Judy Garland. Other Harvey Houses on our route still stand at
Barstow, Needles, Winslow, and Dodge City.
worked the afternoon in the room, what was left of it after my nap,
then had a baked cod dinner. I went to Andrew's room after dinner
and we had a great conversation about trains, classic cars, and
NASCAR. Lori made up my bed as the last one, about 10, and said
we'd be going 90 mph again as we crossed Kansas.
after Lamy, the Santa Fe, New
Raton, NM, from the train station. We'd see Raton in the daytime
when we returned.
The next morning we continued toward La Plata.
from the north end of the bridge, you can see the power plant.
Just past the
river, past the line of trees at the edge of the field, you can see how
they fix a broken dike.
On the west
side of Marceline, MO, a BNSF container freight was stopped,
with 4436 at the point.
It was now time to arrive in La Plata, for the celebration! I
packed my technology and moved to the lower level in
anticipation. It was about 10:30 a.m. December 8, 2006, my first
time to set foot in La Plata!
Footnote: Arrrival in La Plata, Missouri. I hadn't had my
GPS on all the
way from Fullerton, California, but the statistics for the part in
which I did
have it on were:
1280 miles. Overall time: 22:57. Traveling average
mph: 59.3. Stopped 1:23, making Overall average mph for the
1,280 miles: 55.7. Maximum speed: 93.4.
I had gotten on the Southwest Chief knowing I'd get off before Chicago
at La Plata, Missouri, but this map, I found on the Internet, may give
you the relative location of La Plata:
This Map (above) and other official data about La Plata, Missouri
can be found on the Links page.
For the next Chapter of this report, Click #3 "Arriving in LaPlata...."