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Pacific Locomotive Association's 2012 Winterail Photography Special 3/11/2012

Chris Guenzler

Chris Parker and I arose, met Dave Abbott and left the Red Roof Inn, driving over Altamont Pass and observing a very short Union Pacific stack train before we arrived at Sunol for the Pacific Locomotive Association's 2012 Winterail Photography Special trip. We parked in their parking lot and started to take pictures.

The former Southern Pacific Sunol station built in 1884. I heard an air horn coming and had to get into position.

Western Pacific F7A 918-D, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1950, pulled our passenger train into the station.

Western Pacific 918-D at rest.

Western Pacific F7A 918-D.

The Sunol station. I then was one of the first passengers who boarded the train and was able to watch how a handicapped passenger was boarded.

I had never photographed the use of the wheelchair lift before. Now the rest of our passengers would board.

Steve Barry, Editor, and Otto Vondrak, Associate Editor of Railfan and Railroad Magazine where both on board.

A very nice young railfan and his mother were also on the trip. The train departed on time for Niles.

A view of Niles Canyon.

The PLA Shops were passed next.

The newly-restored Clover Valley Lumber 2-6-6-2T 4, built by Baldwin in 1924, was out on display for us as we ran by the shop area.

Southern Pacific NW2 1423 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1949.

An old friend, Western Pacific GP7 713, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1953.

More views of Niles Canyon on the way to Niles this morning.

At Niles we found Quincy Railroad 2-6-2T 2, built by American Locomotive Company in 1924, on the point of a freight train. Here we detrained for the first photo runby of the day.

The train which brought us all here today.

Western Pacific F7A 918-D.

The engineer of 918-D.

The passenger train reversed for the first photo runby of the day.

Photo runby one, after which he reversed and I will show you the cars on the passenger train.

Southern Pacific baggage car 6719 built by Pacific Car and Foundry in 1962. The car was retired on December 23rd, 1970 then leased briefly to Amtrak, although it never was painted into their colors. The car was later purchased by a private owner and the interior was converted into a house. PLA acquired the car and moved it to Niles Canyon in the big move of January 8, 2005.

Southern Pacific Harriman coach 1949 built by Pullman in 1911. The car was used in San Francisco to San Jose commute service and then later at the McCloud River Railroad (not lettered or used) in McCloud, California. It was acquired by the PLA in February 1970.

Niles Canyon Railway open car 3380 "Park" rebuilt from a flat car into an open observation car. The history of the flat car is Oakland Terminal Railway MW4, nee United States Navy model 00-589 61-03380 built by Grenville Steel Car Company in 1953.

Western Pacific coach 315 built by Pullman in 1923. In 1952, Western Pacific rebuilt the car as maintenance-of-way MW0910. Mr. Norman Holmes, a private owner from Portola acquired the coach in July 1973 then donated it to the PLA in August 1974 and it was restored to service at Castro Point with a new cement floor and coach seats from both Southern Pacific and Santa Fe.

Western Pacific F7A 918-D.

Now Quincy Railroad 2 reverses the freight train for photo runby 2.

Quincy Railroad 2 performing photo runby 2 at Niles. Now, the cars of the freight train.

Niles Canyon Railway flat car 306, ex. Oakland Terminal Railway MW6, nee United States Navy built in 1942. It was acquired by the PLA in 1997 and re-painted and lettered NCRY 306 for photo freight and maintenance-of-way service.

Southern Pacific 40 foot box car 100752, ex. Southern Pacific maintenance-of-way 6924, ex. Southern Pacific maintenance-of-way 6019. It was donated by Union Pacific in June 1997 and moved to Niles Canyon in big move of January 8, 2005.

Union Refrgerator Transit car 29330, a subsidiary of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railway. It was later modernized with exterior insulation and renumbered URTX 29114. When accquired by PLA, the exterior insulatation was removed, revealing Milwaukee paint.

North American Tank Car tank car 8502 built in 1943 and donated by Ashland Chemical of Newark, California in 1993.

Associated Oil Company tank car 848 built by American Car and Foundry in 1929 and donated by Ultramar Incorporated in June 2002.

Southern Pacific caboose 1101 built by the railroad in 1942. It later became Eureka Southern Railroad 51 and was owned by Mr. James Bruggere, private owner.

The freight train was now reversinginto the siding.

The freight train has reversed into the siding.

Click here for Part 2 of this story