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My Encounters With Amtrak P42 66 in Phase 2 Livery

by Chris Guenzler

7/2/2011 After I hosted Let's Talk Trains that Saturday morning, I went down to Santa Ana and bought my first Metrolink Weekend Pass for ten dollars, a new Metrolink program to encourage weekend ridership.

The Metrolink Weekend Pass. After learning there was no 12:40 PM Metrolink Train 662, I went across to the east platform to wait for Metrolink 657 then looked at the schedule, realizing I could take Pacific Surfliner 774 down to Irvine then catch Metrolink 657 there, which I did. Once aboard 657 and consulting the schedule again, I decided to get off at Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs and after a 30 minute wait, Metrolink 656 took me down to Oceanside. Upon arrival, it was announced that "This train is out of service!" and I assisted twelve passengers off the train who could not follow directions. About ten minutes later, Metrolink Train 860 arrived and everyone boarded. Someone needed to teach these people about the Metrolink Passenger Code of Conduct aboard the train and I could not wait to get off this train when it arrived in Santa Ana.

7/3/2011 I arose and after breakfast, drove to the Santa Ana station and boarded Metrolink 653 which I took to Los Angeles. We were almost there when I saw the Sunset Limited heading to the 8th Street Yard with Amtrak P42 66, the Phase 2 Heritage Unit, on the point. I knew I wanted a picture, so took Metrolink 654 home and got my camera, returning to the station and was up on the pedestrian bridge when Pacific Surfliner 572 arrived with a surprise in its consist.

Pacific Surfliner 572 at with Superliner lounge car 33049 substituing for the usual cafe/coach leaving Santa Ana. I waited for Metrolink 655 to take me to Los Angeles.

Metrolink 655 arrived and I boarded.

BNSF power at La Mirada.

Amtrak Cascades NPCU 90230 at Redondo Junction.

Amtrak P42 66 at the 8th Street Yard. I really wanted a better quality picture so went into LAUPT and during the layover, rode the subway out to Wilshire/Western and back then boarded Metrolink 656 which I would take back to Santa Ana. I was at the back door of the Metrolink train when we went by 8th Street.

Amtrak 66 which had been moved from a perfect photo location to a not-so-perfect location. I detrained at Santa Ana, ending my first Metrolink Weekend Pass and my first encounter with Amtrak 66.

7/4/2011 Happy Fourth of July. For this holiday I rode Pacific Surfliner 564 south to Solana Beach in Pacific Business Class and returned on Pacific Surfliner 769.

7/5/2011 I took my normal Tuesday morning train trip to Solana Beach, riding Surfliner Pacific 562. At neither Serra nor Oceanside was there any sign of Pacific Surfliner 763. We made the fastest trip to Solana Beach ever and I detrained, not beleiving what I saw approaching. With not too many good photo angles, I did the best I could.

Pacific Surfliners 763/563 departed Solana Beach with the San Diego protection unit on the rear. I waited, then boarded Pacific Surfliner 567 to LAUPT and as we neared 8th Street, had the camera ready.

Amtrak P42 66 in the same location but it should be leading the Sunset Limited to New Orleans on Wednesday.

At 8th Street yard was PPCX 800197 tap lounge "Montana", ex. Wisconsin Central "Prairie Rose", nee Milwaukee Road 162 built by the railroad in 1947 for the streamlined 1947 Olympian Hiawatha. It was retired from regular assignments in 1955 and converted to a business car then transferred to private ownership in the late 1970's, leased to the Wisconsin Central and operated on steam excursions with the Friends of the 261.

The Pacific Surfliner took me to LAUPT and I returned on Pacific Surfliner 572 to Santa Ana where I found Cliff Prather, who was using his first Orange County 7 Dollar Day Pass which he acquired from a bus driver. I tried to get one out of both Metrolink ticket machines and went through all the steps but neither would print the ticket. I called Metrolink and the lady said to board the train and tell the conductor that I was not able to buy a ticket from the machine.

Cliff and I boarded Metrolink 811 for San Juan Capistrano, I informed the conductor and twenty four minutes later, we arrived, trying the Metrolink machines there, also with no luck. We went to Ruby's Diner for lunch, returned to the station and tried the machines again with the same result. Pacific Surfliner 577 came through, then the Metrolink ticketing machine went out of service and started upgrading itself.

Pacific Surfliner 578 arrived next. The machine finished its upgrading but had no Orange County Day Passes. A few minutes later Machine 618 had it and I went through the steps to get my first Orange County Day Pass, then Metrolink 641 approached, making its first run.

Metrolink 641 arrived, which Cliff and I boarded for the trip to Track 4 in Fullerton, which Cliff would be on for his first time.

Metrolink 641 at Fullerton on Track 4. We talked for a few minutes before I boarded Metrolink 604 for home.

7/6/2011 On Wednesday morning I took Pacific Surfliner 562 to San Diego then Pacific Surfliner 567 to LAUPT.

Things are always on the move at 8th Street.

Two Sunset Limiteds at 8th Street - Train 2 for today's train and Train 1 which arrived today from Pacific Surfliner 567. At LAUPT, I boarded Pacific Surfliner 572 for Santa Ana.

Amtrak P42 66 still on the point of the Sunset Limited. I returned to Santa Ana then went home for lunch and knowing that the Sunset Limited reverses in after Pacific Surfliner 573 arrives, I drove back down to Santa Ana, boarded Pacific Surfliner 573 for LAUPT and once there, walked down to the end of Tracks 9 and 10 to wait for the Sunset Limited.

A Metrolink train came into LAUPT.

My Metrolink Train 602 for home arrived just as Pacific Surfliner 775 was leaving.

The Sunset Limited reversed into the station with private cars sleeper "Salisbury Beach", dome/coach "Silver Splendor" and sleeper "Pacific Sands" then the reason I came here came into view.

Rear views of Amtrak P42 66.

Three views of Amtrak 66 in the Phase 2 heritage paint scheme which was originally introduced in 1975.

The Sunset Limited with Amtrak 66 on the point.

Two more views of locomotive. I headed over to Metrolink 602 to head home to Santa Ana, very satisfied.