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Winterail 2010

by Chris Guenzler

This year's trip to Stockton for Winterail would be done the same way as previous years until Sunday morning. Friday would be the drive to Stockton and that night at the Railfan & Railroad Magazine Pizza Party and Slide Show. I would be showing my "A Trip to the Depot Inn & Suites". Saturday would be Winterail and the swap meet and as usual, I would be seeing a lot of my friends whom I only see once a year. Sunday, Chris Parker, Dave Abbott and I would be doing something new by going to Niles Canyon Railway for a Pacific Locomotive Association Steam Photography Special which should be really fun. After that we would be heading home.

To Stockton 3/12/2010

I arose very early and drove to the Santa Ana station to catch Metrolink 681 at 4:32 AM.

Looking down towards the pedestrian bridge.

Looking north towards CP Lincoln.

The bell tower where the Orange County Railway Historical Society held their monthly meetings.

The train arrived and I boarded for the trip to Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal. It is a quiet and quick trip it seemed no time until I was there then walked up to the loading zone at the east end of the station and waited for Chris Parker and Dave Abbott. From there we were off to the San Joaquin Valley, stopping for petrol at San Fernando and later just before Shafter to get some food. Once we reached the tracks, we spotted an eastbound freight stopped and a northbound freight on the approach. We let the northbound go for now, knowing we would see him later and set up for the eastbound.

BNSF 7955 East. We continued north along the BNSF valley mainline.

BNSF 1595 West stopped at Stoil.

The rear view of the consist.

BNSF SD40-2 6760 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1979. Note the General Electric stickers on this EMD engine.

BNSF GP60 162. We headed north up to CA Highway 99 and passed through Fresno.

Just before Madera, we saw Union Pacific 7662 East and coming into there, we saw the remains of a Union Pacific derailment.

Scrapping this covered hopper car on the spot.

Two other pictures of the remains of the derailment. We returned to Highway 99 and headed to Road 20.5.

Of course we were one minute late of getting the good picture of Union Pacific 7415 East. We cut over to the BNSF mainline and headed north on Santa Fe Road.

The former Le Grand Santa Fe station.

Two views of BNSF 7299. Our next stop was at the Agricultural Museum of Merced County.

Agricultural Museum of Merced County 3/12/2010

The Agricultural Museum of Merced County depicts the lives of local farmers past. It features antique farm equipment, demonstrations, a living history program, 19th century wagons and a working blacksmith shop. The Agricultural museum features antiques gas engines, but has far more than that it the collection. They have farm equipment, washing machines, metal toys, a chuck wagon and more.

The museum was closed and after I took this picture, I walked down a private road to see what else might be here. Then a pickup truck pulled up and Chris went to see who it was; it was Charlie, the owner of the museum who agreed to open it for us and give us a tour.

A mine car is outside the main entrance of the museum. We all went inside and started our tour.

We did not know what to expect and were pleasantly surprised at the number of items on display.

I like this car.

Two kinds of trucks.

An interesting vehicle.

A nice roadster.

A unique business wagon.

A work in progress.

Many types of transportation can be seen in this museum.

This mannequin seemed a little out of place to me.

Motorcycles in Building One, after which we walked over to Building 2.

A track speeder.

Farm machines.

There are plenty of things to see at this unique museum.

Various buggies.

A unique tractor.

I like all the old cars.

Power Horse tractor with ropes for steering. From here we walked to the Blacksmith Shop.

View of the Blacksmith Shop. Charlie then led us over to Building 3.

A classic car.

A work in progress.

Trans AM.

A petrol pump.

Charlie giving us the tour.

A view inside Building 3.

This room can be used for meetings.

I wished Coca-Cola still cost ten cents. We thanked Charlie for opening the museum for us then made our way to the north side of Merced for lunch at KFC.

Click here for Part 2 of this story