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The Winterail 2011 Trip

by Chris Guenzler

3/11/2011 I got up early and after having breakfast, I drove down to the Santa Ana Train Station and parked my GEO Metro. I walked over to Track 1 bought my Metrolink Ticket to Los Angeles and waited for Metrolink 681 which came in right on time.

The trip to Los Angeles was fast and I waited up at the Patsaouras Transit Plaza where Dave Abbott found me and a minute later Chris Parker drove up in the rented Nissan. He told me about of Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami. From there we drove north to Bakersfield to near the Union Pacific yard and across the street from the station and to the west down the tracks we found why we stopped here.

Union Pacific GE 7400

The Union Pacific No. 7400 Pink Ribbon Locomotive celebrates the company's support of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and the many lives - employees, family, friends and community members - affected by breast cancer. As recipient of Komen's Outstanding Volunteer Group Award, Union Pacific has been dedicated to the cause of eradicating breast cancer for more than a decade. Since 2000, Union Pacific's LEAD (Lead, Educate, Achieve, Develop) women's group has worked to promote the Susan G. Komen Nebraska Race for the Cure by guiding employee volunteers to organize, plan and implement a registration drive, create promotional campaigns for the Race and motivate Union Pacific's 5,000 local Omaha-area employees. This dedication has inspired affiliate LEAD chapters through UP's 23-state operating system to support local Komen chapters and demonstrates how Union Pacific employees throughout the nation have embraced Komen's promise on a personal level.

Views of the Union Pacific GE ES44AC 7400.

On the radiator flank the unit reads "Proud Recipient of the Komen Outstanding Volunteer Group Award".

Flat Car SSW 9707900 with two BBQ's and a large propane tank aboard it.

Caboose CCT 100. From here we left Bakersfield and headed to Seventh Standard Parallel Road to head over to the BNSF mainline but we made a quick stop when we saw this below.

Union Pacific 5410 East at Cawelo. From there we headed over to the BNSF Mainline hitting it just south of Shafter where we had our first moving train on the morning.

BNSF 4473 East at MP 896.

Next we found the Loram Rail Grinder Train sitting just east of Shafter.

BNSF 7272 East at MP 902.

BNSF 784 East at MP 918. With no other trains we headed into Fresno to our next planned stop of the morning.

The Merci Train Box Car

The Merci Train was a train of 49 French railroad box cars filled with tens of thousands of gifts of gratitude from at least that many individual French citizens. They were showing their appreciation for the more than 700 American box cars of relief goods sent to them by (primarily) individual Americans in 1948. The Merci Train arrived in New York harbor on February 3rd, 1949 and each of the 48 American states at that time received one of the gift laden box cars. The 49th box car was shared by Washington D.C. and the Territory of Hawaii. Parades and ceremonies of welcome were conducted in the state capitols and major cities of almost all the states. The largest and most attended was in New York City where more than 200,000 people turned out to welcome that state's assigned box car. The California Mercia Box Car is located in Fresno, CA at American Legion Fresno Federal Post #509 3509 N. First St.

The stone marker at the foot of the Merci Box Car.

Views of the French Merci Box Car given to California. From here we continued north up CA 99 towards Madera but made a stop on the way there for a train.

UP 8570 East just south of Madera. From here we went to a Carl's Junior for lunch. From here we drove north to Phillipsburg Road which we took north to our next stop of the trip.

Bright's Pioneer Exhibit Le Grand

We pulled up to this working Dairy and I went inside the office and found we were at the right place. They opened up the building and I knew what I wanted to find here.

There are plenty to see at the Bright's Pioneer Exhibit.

There are plenty of steam tractors inside this building.

Many diesel tractors as well.

There are many cars inside this exhibit.

More views inside the Bright's Pioneer Exhibit. I then spotted why I wanted to come here.

The Muni PCC Car 1150 is tucked away inside the northwest corner of the building.

Avelino Porter Steam Tractor built in 1873.

More automobiles inside this exhibit.

More views of tractors.

Two views of the Holdener Drive In Diary Truck.

There are many more tractors here.

Dairyland School District Bus.

Another old truck.

I like this car.

There are plenty of things to see in these two pictures.

Outside is more farm equipment. I walked out back for what we saw as we drove in.

This passenger car was built in 1911 as the Southern Pacific San Jacinto 125 before it became the Sierra Railway Sierra Nevada 101. We thanked them for having us and headed to our next stop west outside of Stevinson heading there via Le Grand Road to CA 99 which we took to CA 140 west out to our next destination.

For part 2 the story!