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My First Encounter with Amtrak 156

by Chris Guenzler

I read on that Amtrak P42DC 156, the second 40th Anniversary unit was the trailing locomotive on the westbound Southwest Chief that departed Chicago on Wednesday afternoon and would arrive in Los Angeles Friday morning, if everything worked out. I decided to catch this unit by taking Metrolink 603 to LAUPT, photographing it then returning on Metrolink 600. I just hoped this would all work out.


Happy April Fool's Day but what I was going to do was not a joke. I arose at 5:21 AM and after preparing myself for the morning, drove to the the Santa Ana station, parked and walked over to Track 1, where I bought my round trip Metrolink ticket to Los Angeles. Metrolink 603 arrivd on time and I boarded the cab car, taking a table upstairs. I called Chris Parker, then Bob Cox in La Plata, Missouri, followed by Amtrak, learning that the Southwest Chief was running fifteen minutes behind us. That was perfect if I could get to the spot at LAUPT that I wanted. We arrived and walked to my spot, watching a few Metrolink trains arriving and departing before I heard chugging approaching around the corner.

The Southwest Chief arrived into Los Angeles early this morning and I walked down to where the power stopped for more pictures.

Amtrak P42DC 156.

The motive power consist of the Southwest Chief was 134, 815 and 156.

Two views of the Southwest Chief at rest.

The faces of Metrolink.

Amtrak P40 815 and P42DC 156.

Amtrak 815.

The rear of Amtrak 156.

Two views of this 40th Anniversary unit.

The pointless arrow on Amtrak 156.

More views of Amtrak 156.

Rear view of Amtrak 815.

My final view of Amtrak 156.

One last view of the Southwest Chief this morning.

Metrolink 600 would now take me home. As we departed, the Sunset Limited arrived early. The trip home was quick and I detrained at Santa Ana, a happy railfan. Tomorrow was the Pacific Railroad Society excursion to Bakersfieldm but that will be another story.