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Coast Starlight Tehachapi Loop and Altamont Pass Detour Train Travel Group Trip 2/4/2012

by Chris Guenzler

I decided to ride the Coast Starlight Detour Trip over the Tehachapi Loop and Altamont Pass and made it a Fullerton Train Travel Group Trip and have seven people signed up to come on this unique northbound trip. The morning of the trip Winston picked me up and we drove down to the Santa Ana Train Station then walked over via the Santa Ana Blvd Crossing to Track 1. We waited and saw the late running Surfliner 564.

Surfliner 564 came into Santa Ana.

Surfliner 564 left Santa Ana.

Train time came and went.

We had a flashing yellow so we knew the train was coming. A call to Julie give us an ETA of 9:03.

Surfliner 565 came into Santa Ana and we boarded the cab car for a quick trip to Los Angeles.

Our group so far AC Adam, Winston and Robin.

Robin which he will use this picture for his Train Travel Group Picture. We left Santa Ana and went to Orange and at CP Maple crossed over to Track 2 to get to Anaheim. We left Anaheim and at CP La Palma crossed back over to Track 2 which we took to Fullerton. From here the train made the final sprint to Los Angeles.

Views of BNSF Hobart Yard.

The last Great Dome on the whole Amtrak system is back in Los Angeles. We arrived into LAUPT at 9:54 AM.

Coast Starlight 14 2/4/2012

The rear of the Coast Starlight.

The private car Tioga Pass is bringing up the markers. The train had Engines 4 and 184, Baggage 1750, Transition 39033, Sleepers 32007 and 32013, Pacific Parlor Car 39974, Diner 38044, Lounge 33039 and Coaches 34061, 34508 and 34041 plus the Tioga Pass 800693. We left LAUPT on time and we are on our way. Gail Burns stopped by for a quick visit before we left LAUPT.

We went past those old housing projects as we came to Mission Tower and headed up the west side of the Los Angeles River.

A view as we ran along the west side of the Los Angeles River.

Gold Line Trolleys at their shops. The train crossed the Los Angeles River.

The Metrolink Shops. We ran through Glendale and Downtown Burbank Stations.

At Burbank Jct we reached the point of no return when we left the Coast Line for the Saugus Line and the detour begins.

Bob Hope Airport from the north side of it. The train went through the Sun Valley Metrolink Station and then went into the siding for the Metrolink 262 which we waited on for a few minutes. After it had passed, we headed next through the Slymar/San Fernando Metrolink Station.

The view over the Tioga Pass on the rear of the Coast Starlight.

The Los Angeles Aqueduct before we climbed up the grade to the 6979 foot San Fernando Tunnel.

The old Saugus Station with steam engine before we ran through the Newhall Metrolink Station.


Swap Meet at the Saugus Speedway right before the Saugus Metrolink Station.

The curve east of the Saugus Metrolink Station then we headed to the Metrolink Via Princessa Station.

Curving into Soledad Canyon.

Taking more curves to Lang.

Rolling Through Lang. We rolled through the 328 foot Tunnel 19.

The train entered the 266 foot Tunnel 18 as we exited we were coming into the heart of Soledad Canyon.

The Vasquez Rocks.

Climbing Soledad Canyon.

The Vasquez Rocks.

Still climbing Soledad Canyon.

The San Gabriel Mountains.

Still climbing Soledad Canyon.

The Wild Animal Preserve in Soledad Canyon.

The San Gabriel Mountains.

The railfans were out today.

The train nearing the top of the grade at Vincent. At CP Quartz we took the siding for Metrolink 264.

Metrolink 264 meets the Coast Starlight.

The Vincent Hill Restaurant before we dropped down Vincent Hill.

Looking down into the Antelope Valley.

Curving under the Pearblossom Highway as we drop into the Antelope Valley.

The Palmdale Cutoff.

The Palmdale Metrolink Station.

The Palmdale Lockheed Martin Plant.

The Joshua Trees of the Antelope Valley.

Metrolink at Lancaster.

New Solar Collecting Plant.

The unused Antelope Valley.

Water in the High Desert.

The northern end of the Antelope Valley.

Ansel Hill where at Ansel we meet the UP 5368 West with 112 cars at Ansel.

Click here for Part 2 of this story