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Amtrak 40th Anniversary Train and Santa Fe 3751 12/11/2011

by Chris Guenzler

I hosted Let's Talk Trains on Saturday although I was under the weather Friday and Saturday then awoke Sunday morning feeling like my old self. I bought a round trip ticket from Fullerton to Los Angeles for the limited service Pacific Surfliner 700 trains which were originating and terminating in Fullerton this weekend due to track and signal work south of this point.

I fixed my breakfast before driving from Santa Ana to the south parking lot at Fullerton then went over the pedrestrian bridge and stopped at the cafe for a Coca-Cola before using the Quick Ticket Machine to print my tickets for today's journey. Pacific Surfliner 763 came north from CP Orangethorpe and picked up the mere 17 passengers for the trip to LAUPT this morning. We ran fine until the train received a red signal at CP Olympic after we saw Santa Fe 3751 steaming at the turntable, then slowed for some track work near Mission Tower. We arrived at Los Angeles and I walked over to the front of the Amtrak 40th Anniversary train.

Amtrak NPCU 406 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1988 as 3,000 horsepower F40PH 406 then rebuilt as Non-Powered Control Unit 406 in 2011 at the Beech Grove, Indiana, maintenance facility. As a locomotive, the 406 operated all over the country on various routes before being stored in 2001. It was slated to become an NPCU to augment the push-pull fleet and chosen to be part of the Exhibit Train because it can control a locomotive without the expense of additional fuel, allowing a train to operate in either direction without turning around. It will also provide Head End Power to power the lights and HVAC systems onboard the train..

The Amtrak 40th Anniversary Train at Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal.

The other end of this special train which was travelling around the country to commemorate forty years of Amtrak's existence which started on April 1, 1971.

Amtrak Conductor Matt with Amtrak 406. I walked down to the end of the platform on Track 12 but learned Santa Fe 3751 would not be arriving until after 10:20 AM due to the Coast Starlight having been reversed into Track 11 and the steam engine would be displayed once that train left for Seattle. I decided to walk to the Cesar Chavez bridge across the Los Angeles River and called Chris Parker to tell him where I was.

I heard rumbling and here came Union Pacific 2409 East. Just as I started to see steam coming our way from south along the Los Angeles River, Chris arrived and only the two of us would enjoy Santa Fe 3751 passing beneath us on its way to LAUPT.

Santa Fe 4-8-4 3751 coming towards us.

Santa Fe 4-8-4 3751 running away from us and stopping at a red signal. I walked back over to the station and saw the Coast Starlight depart on the start of its journey to Seattle then walked to the end of the Track 12 platform again to wait for Santa Fe 3751 to arrive.

The steam engine arriving.

On its way to the display area. I walked down the platform following the steam engine to where it stopped.

Santa Fe 3751 was now on display.

Two views of two very special engines. I then toured the Amtrak 40th Anniversary train with the camera put away so that I could truly enjoy it all, met Cliff Prather and later Chris Parker and Larry Boerio, who let me see his new Pacific Electric book which I really enjoyed.

Chris Parker and Amtrak 406.

Santa Fe 4-8-4 3751.

The Christmas wreath on the nose of Santa Fe 3751.

Patience pays off for a clear view of both engines.

Santa Fe 4-8-4 3751.

The Amtrak 40th Anniversary train.

Santa Fe 4-8-4 3751.

The noses of the engines. I said goodbye to Chris as I saw my train for Fullerton arriving.

Pacific Surfliner 774 came in and I boarded with 15 passengers for Fullerton. It was a quick trip and soon I was heading home.