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A Trip to Sacramento to see Union Pacific 844 and to take that Long Walk to the Station 9/29/2012

by Chris Guenzler

I needed a trip and this one-day journey to Sacramento would do the trick. I would be there just three-and-a-half hours but I would be able to see Union Pacific 844 on display there and also cover the new long walk from the platforms to the Sacramento station. I finished my substituting job at Saddleback High School, receiving some very nice and touching farewell cards from the students in Mrs. Estrada's 5th period class. They were a great bunch of children.

Up the next morning at 2:00 AM, I prepared myself for the trip then had breakfast before driving to the Santa Ana station, getting there at 2:45 AM for the 3:00 AM bus to Bakersfield, which left on time with me and one other passenger going to San Jose. The bus stopped at Fullerton then LAUPT before we went to Glendale, Burbank Airport and Newhall, then over Tejon Pass before arriving in Bakersfield. I took the rear left hand side seat and went on line before hopping off for a picture.

San Joaquin 701 9/29/2012

San Joaquin 701 in Bakersfield prior to the on-time departure. Our train consisted of Amtrak P42DC 152, baggage/coach 8201 "San Francisco Bay", coach 8013 "Russian River" {mine}, cafe 8805 "Yosemite River", coach 8004 "San Gabriel River" and cab car 8303 "Mount Diablo".

San Joaquin Railroad power in the west end of the Bakersfield BNSF yard.

Crossing the Kern River. I had my CD of Queen "Night of the Opera" as I enjoyed a Coca-Cola and wrote this story up to the point of arriving in Wasco.

Fields and vineyards north of Wasco.

Another view north of Wasco.

The San Joaquin Valley is really a desert unless you add water to it.

Allensworth State Park, which was the first black township in California.

The train crossed the Tule River after which I put on the second CD of Jethro Tull's "Nightcap" and accessed the Let's Talk Trains chat room with AC Adam. The train rolled into Corcoran and a railfan boarded and showed me his pictures as we stopped in Hanford.

The California corn was looking good in our state.

The train crossed the Kings River before making the sprint through Calwa Yard and on into Fresno, a fresh air stop. We left there on time.

On the way to Madera, the train crossed the San Joaquin River before our station stop there. I called Let's Talk Trains before Merced then at Ballico, we met a BNSF freight which blocked my view of the Castle Air Museum.

Crossing the Merced River before arriving at the Turlock/Denair station. I changed to my CD of the "Keith Emerson Band" at this point.

The train crossed the Tuolumne River before Modesto.

Traversing the Stanislaus River on the way to Stockton and I relaxed until we arrived.

Prior to our arrival at Stockton, the train left the rails of the BNSF for those of the Union Pacific. A the Stockton ACE station, Amtrak has to use the grade crossing since there is no platform for the track we are on. The next stop was Lodi and my next CD was the Spice Girls "Spiceworld" which should take me to near Sacramento.

The former Southern Pacific Lodi station.

The Lodi Arch. Our final stop was Sacramento but there were still views of interest along the way.

The Mokelumne River.

The Cosumnes River.

Where the original mainline used to go, thus I was on new mileage as we made our way into the new Sacramento Station platforms. The train arrived ten minutes early and now I will take you on the walk to the station area.

Sacramento Station Walk 9/29/2012

The train arrived at the platform and you take either the stairs or the ramp; I took the latter.

This is the ramp I took to the station tunnel and turned left towards the station area.

You go through this tunnel to reach a ramp that takes you to the surface. Train information boards are also located in the tunnel.

Next you walk this ramp to the surface.

Then you walk along a paved path across from where all the former tracks were.

Where the tracks once were.

You would still have to walk into the station, but for this particular time, I was headed to Old Sacramento.

This path takes you to Old Sacramento.

A look back to where we had been. I made my way over to Old Sacramento the usual way from here.

Union Pacific Building America for 150 Years Sacramento Celebration 9/29/2012

Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of July 1, 1862, creating the original Union Pacific. One of America's iconic companies, UP celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2012. Today, Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation, linking 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail and providing freight solutions and logistics expertise to the global supply chain. And we tell our story through a new, interactive timeline.

As part of the sesquicentennial celebrations, UP sponsored a contest to remake the iconic "Great Big Rollin' Railroad" commercial. We also invited our valued civic partners to join in the celebration, by telling their histories through Union Pacific's "Train Town USA" registry.

The Union Pacific 150 Year tent.

The Union Pacific 150 Year tractor and trailer.

Union Pacific's Mini Train was in front of the California State Railroad Museum, which was free this weekend only.

Union Pacific 0-8-0 4466 built by Lima in 1920. It spent most of its working life in Cheyenne, Wyoming as well as in Grand Island, Nebrasaka and was retired in 1962 and gifted to the museum by the Pacific Coast Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society in 1978. For many years thereafter, it hauled the museum’s weekend steam excursions.

Union Pacific SD59MX 9900 built by Electro-Motive Division in 2012. It is one of 25 built to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 4 locomotive standards.

Union Pacific 4-8-4 844 built by American Locomotive Company in 1944.

The nose herald on Union Pacific 844.

Union Pacific business car 103 "Cheyenne" built by Pullman-Standard in 1956 as the five-bedroom lounge car "Baker". It had a redwood-panelled lounge. Each bedroom had a sink and toilet, along with upper and lower berths. It was rebuilt as business car 102 in 1965 and named "Cheyenne" in 1989.

Union Pacific exhibit car and Union Pacific souvenir shop housed in baggage car 5779 "Promontory", nee UP postal storage car 5779 built by St. Louis Car Company in 1962). It was renamed "Promontory" in 1993 and converted to museum car designed for Wyoming-Idaho centennial train.

The 150th anniversary drumhead on the rear business car.

The rear of the 150th Year Train.

Union Pacific 4-8-4 844.

The nose of Union Pacific 844.

The cab of the steam engine.

Union Pacific SD59MX 9900.

Union Pacific SD70ACe 8775 built by Electro-Motive Division in 2012.

Sacramento Southern SW8 2030, nee United States Army 2030 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1951.

Another view of the rear of the 150 Years train.

The Sacramento Southern train was ready to start another run.

Virginia & Truckee 2-4-0 21 "J.W. Bowker" built by Baldwin in 1875. It was named after V&T's master mechanic John William Bowker. However, in 1876, Bowker was fired for drunken, disorderly conduct and, four months after the engine was delivered, it was renamed "Mexico". It worked as a switcher in Virginia City and around the Comstock Mines. In 1896, it was sold to the Sierra Nevada Wood and Lumber Company in Truckee, California, and renumbered 3 and in 1932, was transfered to the Hobart Southern Railroad Company. It was donated in 1937 to the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society who restored it to its original identity as V&T 21 finally in 1964, it was donated to the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society Pacific Coast Chapter who moved it to Sacramento in 1978.

Western Pacific coach-baggage 402, ex. Denver and Rio Grande coach 812, nee Denver & Rio Grande combine 550 built by Pullman in 1888. It was gifted to the Pacific Coast Chapter of the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society in 1969.

Sacramento Southern coach of unknown number.

Union Pacific bus.

Southern Pacific Baldwin DRS66-1500 5208 built by Baldwin in 1949.

One more view of Southern Pacific 5208.

Sacramento Northern SW1 402 built by Electro-Motive Corporation in 1939.

Southern Pacific SD45T-2 6819 built by General Motors-Electro-Motive Corporation in 1972.

Western Pacific F7A 913 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1950.

Southern Pacific E9A 6051 built by General Motors-Electro-Motive Corporation in 1954.

Union Pacific caboose 25256, nee Union Pacific 3956 built by the railway in 1952. Now I would explore the main building of the California State Railroad Museum.

Fruit Growerse Express refrigerator car 35832 built by the company in 1924 and was a gift from thee Pacific Coast Chapter of the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society in 1978.

Nevada Central 2-6-0 6, exx. Nevada Short Line 1, exx. Utah Northern 17, exxx. Utah Northern 13, nee Nevada Short Line 2-6-0 1 built by Baldwin in 1879. It was gifted by the Pacific Coast Chapter of the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society in 1969 and restored by the musuem to its 1920 appearance.

Union Pacific SD70ACe 8715 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1912 and on display in the museum for the event.

Santa Fe dining car 1474 "Cochiti" built by Budd Company in 1936. It was purchased in 1978 from a private owner in South Dakota and restored in 1994 by CSRM to its 1940's appearance.

Canadian National 10 section sleeper-1 drawing room-1 compartment 1683 "St. Hyacinthe" built by Canadian Car and Foundry in 1929. It was assigned to trains in central Canada during its early years of service. In 1936 an ice-activated air conditioning system was installed. Fortunately for the museum, the car escaped the Canadian National's modernization of the early 1950s. During its last fifteen years of service, the sleeper was generally assigned to trains running through the cooler region between Montreal and the Atlantic Coast because of its older cooling system. Open section sleepers with aisle-curtained upper and lower berths became less popular with passengers who preferred the privacy of roomettes and bedrooms.

It was gifted by the Pacific Coast Chapter of the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society in 1980 and restored by the museum to its 1940's/50's appearance.

Southern Pacific 4-8-8-2 4294 built by Baldwin in 1944. The cab-forward was developed by the railroad to deal with its thirty-nine tunnels and nearly forty miles of snow sheds in the Sierra Nevadas, which could funnel exhaust fumes back into the cab of conventional locomotives. After a number of crews nearly asphyxiated, the railroad experimented by running locomotives in reverse, but this meant the tender blocked the crew's view and put them on the "wrong" sides of the cab to see signals.

It was in service from March 1944 to March 1956, hauling both freight and passenger trains in Oregon as well as California, including the Overland Limited (Trains No. 27 and No. 28) over Donner Pass. It was donated to the City of Sacramento in 1958 and went on display at the Southern Pacific depot before it was gifted to the museum in 1977 and restored by to its 1950's in-service appearance. It is the only surviving Southern Pacific cab-forward.

Southern Pacific 4-6-2 2467 built by Baldwin in 1921. It regularly hauled passenger trains on the Ogden, Utah to Sparks, Nevada division, part of the railroad's "Overland Route". Then over the next few years, it hauled local passenger services in the California area. It retired from service in 1956 and was donated to the City of Oakland in 1960.

Southern Pacific 4-2-4RT 1 "C. P. Huntington", nee Central Pacific 3 built by Cooke in 1863. It was named for the company's then vice-president and was shipped around Cape Horn arriving in San Francisco on 19th March aboard the Mary Robinson. The steam engine was used to help build the transcontinental railroad as well as haul passenger trains. In 1871, it was transferred to the newly organised Southern Pacific Railroad and re-numbered 1.

After transferring to the Southern Pacific, 1 operated as a light construction engine between San Jose and Hollister then in Oakland, before ending its career as a weed burner, clearing track. However, from 1894, 1 increasingly became a symbol of the Southern Pacific, appearing at station openings and exhibitions, including the 1915 San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exposition, the 1934 Chicago World's Fair and the 1969 Sacramento Gold Spike Centennial Celebration. Donated to the State of California in 1964, the steam engine went on display at the old state fairgrounds on Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento.

Then, in 1979, it moved to the museum's Central Pacific Railroad passenger station in Old Sacramento. It has been restored to how it appeared for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. It is the only surviving example of a 4-2-4 locomotive in the country, the oldest locomotive owned by the museum and features on the museum.

Virginia & Truckee 2-6-0 13 "Empire" built by Baldwin in 1873. In 1910, it was converted from a wood burner to an oil burner and re-numbered 15, perhaps because engine crews thought 13 to be unlucky.

It was retired in 1918 and sold to the Pacific Portland Cement Company, in Gerlach, Nevada in 1924. There, it operated as switcher 501 until retired again in 1931. In 1938, it was donated to the Pacific Coast Chapter of the Railway and Locomotive Historical society and placed in storage in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1976, 13 was moved to join the museum's collection at the newly-built Central Pacific Railroad passenger station in Sacramento.

In 1978, a total restoration based on period photographs and original drawings returned the steam engine to very much how it looked when it was delivered to the V&T in 1873. The restored locomotive went on display in the new museum building when it opened in 1981.

North Pacific Coast 36" gauage 4-4-0 12 "Sonoma" built by Baldwin in 1876. It hauled both passenger and freight trains on the eighty mile line between Sausalito and Duncans Mills, Calfornia. In 1879, it was sold to the Nevada Central Railroad, re-numbered 5 and named "General J. H. Ledlie" after the civil engineer then working for the railroad, who had also participated in building the transcontinental railroad as a Union Pacific employee. The following year, 5 was renamed "Jos. Collett" and worked as switcher and road engine until the Nevada Central line was abandoned in 1938.

It was then acquired by Nevada Central's General Manager, J. M. Hiskey, and was loaned to the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition where it was restored to look like Central Pacific's 60 "Jupiter" for re-enactments of the Golden Spike Ceremony at Promontory. After the Exposition, 12 was donated to the Oakland Chapter of the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society and went into storage in the San Francisco Bay Area, staying there for nearly forty years until it was moved to the newly-built Central Pacific Railroad passenger station in 1977. The Hiskey family donated the engine to the museum in 1978 and it was restored to its 1876 appearance by the museum and is displayed coupled to some narrow gauge passenger cars.

Virginia & Truckee 4-4-0 12 "Genoa" built by Baldwin in 1873. It was sold in a corporate sale to the Virginia and Truckee as 12 then in 1938, to the Eastern Railroads Conference and restored to look like Central Pacific 60 "Jupiter" for the 1939-40 New York World's Fair. In 1940, it was presented to the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society and in 1960, to the Pacific Coast Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society. In 1969, it was donated to the State of California.

Central Pacific 4-4-0 1 "Governor Stanford" built by Norris Locomotive Works in 1862. Disassembled and shipped in crates around Cape Horn on the Herald of the Morning, the locomotive arrived in Sacramento on 6th October 1863. Once re-assembled, it was named in honour of the railroad's then president, Leland Stanford, who was also Governor of California. It hauled Central Pacific's first excursion train, first revenue freight on 25th March 1864, and first scheduled passenger train on 15th April 1864.

Downgraded from mainline service in 1873, 1 worked as a switcher and fire engine in the Sacramento area until retired in 1895. It was then presented to Jane Lathrop Stanford, Leland's widow, who donated it to the Leland Stanford Junior University. Soon after, the steam engine went on display in the university's museum. It remains the property of the university but is currently on loan to the museum.

After taking those photographs, I went outside and bought a ticket to go through the Union Pacific 150 Year Exhibit Car then stopped by the Vagabound Inn for two cans of Coca-Cola before walking back to the Amtrak station, found a table and wrote the story to this point. I uploaded it and waited for Winston to proof it.

I made that walk out to the track and boarded my train, San Joaquin 704, for Bakersfield and then the bus to Santa Ana. I put on my DVD "Miley Cyrus Live" and was on the fourth song when we departed Sacramento on time. Miley took me down through Lodi and Stockton, then it was time for my "Lady Gaga Live" DVD that would take me further down the valley. It took me through Modesto where we waited on our scheduled time of departure. Then we went through Turlock and Merced where I took fresh air for ten minutes, Madera and onto Fresno, where I took one last fresh air break. I napped to Bakersfield then boarded the bus for Santa Ana, tried to get so more sleep but did not. I exited the bus at Santa Ana a few minutes early, ending a good and quick trip to Sacramento and enjoyed Union Pacific 844 one more time.