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The 1,100,000.0 Rail Mile Trip 9/7/2008

by Chris Guenzler

I was working on my 1,100,000th Rail Mile and as that neared I thought a trip to Santa Barbara on Saturday and then a round trip on Sunday would do it. On Saturday I got on Surfliner 763 and once we left Los Angeles on time the dispatcher routed us the wrong way. We backed up beyond the switch then proceeded forward. Just short of Main Street in Los Angeles along the Los Angeles River, they announced that we would return to LAUPT because of a problem with Engine 453. This is the same engine that died on Surfliner 763 on Thursday morning and had to be pushed by Surfliner 565 to LAUPT. They annulled the train there. Knowing it would take a while to solve the problem I opted out taking Surfliner 768 back to Santa Ana. On that train I developed a new plan to attempt to get the needed mileage. I took Metrolink 655 to Fullerton and then Surfliner 572 to San Diego. I visited Sam Goodys at Horton Plaza before taking Surfliner 583 home. There I checked the mileage and a round trip to San Diego would be one mile short of what I needed. Would I trust the San Diego Trolley for one mile or start the trip in Anaheim. I decided Anaheim and set the alarm for an early Sunday morning rise. By the way, my new job is going better than expected at Jefferson and I must say no two days will ever be the same.

The 1,100,000.0 Rail Mile Trip 9/7/2008 Metrolink 653

It was a very overcast dark morning as I drove down to the Santa Ana Train Station and parked out in the north lot. I purchased my Metrolink Ticket for the trip to Anaheim and waited out by Track 2, the track nearest to the station for my train. This was because of the putting in the tunnel at the Orange Metrolink Station this weekend under Track 1 there. The train picked me up and we went to Orange where from the Cab Car I got a good look at the construction there. A few minutes later I detrained at Anaheim. I went under to Track 2 finding a large group of San Diego Charger Fans on the platform.

Surfliner 564

The train arrived and I took a seat in the Cafe/Coach. I set up my computer and started watching Disc 1 of Queensryche "Mindcrime at the Moore".

I said it was a dark foggy morning in Southern California. That DVD kept me occupied as the train made its way down towards San Diego with us picking up Charger Fans at every stop along the line. Just south of Del Mar, Larry Boerio found me and I was surprised to see him. After Cumbres I went downstairs to use the bathroom and who came out but Chris Parker. The two of them had been on the train since Los Angeles and were going to spend a day in San Diego. We lost all the Charger Fans at Old Town before we arrived into San Diego. I said good bye to both of them before I headed in to the station and got on-line before I waited to board the train that would get me that mileage I needed to reach 1,100,000.0 rail miles.

Surfliner 571

I boarded that train and put on my DVD Disc 2 of Queensryche "Mindcrime at the Moore". We left on time met Surfliner 566 at Cumbres and a Coaster Charger Train at CP Crosby. At Oceanside we took the siding and met Surfliner 768 after we did our station stop there. The run along the beach was still cloudy and it became sunny by the time we reached San Juan Capistrano. Before Irvine we met Surfliner 572 and after Irvine as we went under the Santa Ana Freeway Interstate 5 at MP 183.2 I had reached my 1,100,000.0 rail mile. With that completed, the train ran the rest of the way to Santa Ana where I detrained a very happy rail passenger.