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The Westbound Santa Fe 3751 Chase 5/14/2012

by Chris Guenzler

For the chase of Santa Fe 3751 on its way to Arizona to celebrate that state's centennial, I chose four good photo locations and by using the freeway, we would have no problems reaching all of them. The morning of the trip, Chris Parker met me at my house at 7:15 AM and I drove us to the Santa Ana station and parked in the parking structure. We crossed the bridge to Track 1, only to find the Metrolink ticket machine out of service. I went back to the station side and bought two Orange County Day Passes for $7 each then rejoined Chris. We waited for Metrolink 607 to arrive to take us to Fullerton.

Metrolink 607 arrived and Chris had his first ride in the Hyundai-Rotem cab bar. It was a quick trip to Fullerton and we detrained then found Carl Morrison, our driver for the day, before we departed and drove over to where Larry Boerio parked three blocks south of the station. From here we drove out to bridle trail out at the Horseshoe Bend in Santa Ana Canyon. We hiked up to my favorite spot and this was the first time Carl, Larry or Chris had taken photographs from this location. We did not have long for our first train of the day to arrive.

First a westbound train reversed into the holding track here to wait to go west.

BNSF 7203 West came below our photo location.

Metrolink 850 for Riverside came through next.

BNSF 7238 West came through next.

Metrolink 800 for San Bernardino came by us. That westbound BNSF freight in the holding track then left and a few minutes later, we spotted Santa Fe 3751 heading towards us.

Santa Fe 3751 and train took the Horseshoe Bend in Santa Ana Canyon.

Santa Fe 4-8-4 3751 built by Baldwin in 1927.

Amtrak P42DC 66 built by General Electric in 1997, in its 40th anniversary paint scheme.

Amtrak P40 809 built by General Electric in 1993.

St. Louis-San Francisco 14 roomette-4 double bedroom sleeping car 1490 "Caritas" built by Pullman in 1948. In the 1960s, the car was sold to Canadian National where it went from a stainless fluted side to a smooth side passenger car. In 1985, 1450 officially became "Caritas", starting a new life in private ownership.

"Caritas" was extensively renovated in 1985 to include a spacious lounge with room 18 day riders, enlarged windows on the rear for spectacular views, an open platform, a kitchen with modern amenities and update mechanicals as well.

Baggage car 5659 "Gordon N. Zimmerman", ex. Union Pacific maintenance-of-way 904227 1975, exx. Union Pacific 24427 1969, nee Union Pacific 5659 built by American Car and Foundry in 1954. The Friends of Southern Pacific 4449 purchased the car in July 1997 and it remained in gray colors and wore the name "Better Idea" until it was repainted in Daylight colors in August 2003 and re-named after a dedicated volunteer, Gordon N. Zimmerman.

Club-lounge with barber shop and shower "Overland Trail", ex. Amtrak 3500, nee Southern Pacific 2981, built by Pullman in 1949.

Amtrak Horizon cafe car 58106, nee Amtrak 53506 built by Bombardier in 1990.

California Rail Tours lunch-lounge car 1291 "Royal Gorge" PPCX 800380, ex. Amtrak 3361, exx. Penn Central 4448, exxx. Pennsylvania Railroad 1148, nee Denver and Rio Grande Western built by Pullman in 1950.

Mid-America Railcar coach "Tolani" PPCX 800721, ex. Amtrak 4705, exx. Amtrak 4816, nee Santa Fe 2484 built by Budd Company in 1953.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Vista-Dome 4735 "Silver Splendor" 800604, nee "Silver Buckle" built by the Budd Company in 1956. It was part of the last two complete conventional train sets to be ordered new in the pre-Amtrak era and traveled over 4.5 million miles on a daily basis between Chicago and Denver until 1980.

With standard coach seating for 50 and 24 seats up in the dome, "Silver Buckle" provided fast and comfortable service for budget-minded patrons until Amtrak's bi-level Superliners arrived. Officially retired in 1981, the car spent time in storage at Oakland, California and Beech Grove, Indiana before being auctioned off by Amtrak to a railcar shop owner in 1993. In 1997, the current owners, Heidi and John Caestecker, purchased the car in the Midwest and moved it to Fullerton with the intent of restoring it to operating condition as a luxurious dome-diner-lounge. Dining capacity will be 24 at tables upstairs and another 24 in the long end of the lower level. A cocktail lounge seating 10-12 will be featured in the short end, with kitchen and restrooms under the dome.

Iowa Pacific dome 551 "Sky View" PPCX 800966, ex. Westours 551 "Kobuk", exx. Curtis Potter, exxx. Auto Train 513, nee Santa Fe 551 built by Budd Company in 1954.

Santa Fe 10-6 sleeper 1604 "Palm Leaf" built by American Car and Foundry in 1951. In 1971, it became Amtrak 2753 and was retired ten years later and sold in 1982 to private ownership.

LA Rail 10-6 sleeper 1437 "Pacific Sands", ex. Amtrak 2881, exx. Amtrak 2630, nee Union Pacific 1437 "Pacific Sands", built by Budd Company in 1950. It lived through the purple and orange interior decor of 1970's and was redecorated to its current interior in the late 1980's. During the 25 years of Amtrak service, all of the Pacific cars were scattered through out the country in various Amtrak trains, but most, including "Pacific Sands", finished their service with Amtrak on the East coast routes, including Autotrain, as the West Coast routes were re-equipped with Superliners. A few Pacific cars served Amtrak as crew dorm cars until 2007 when the last one was taken out of service.

"Pacific Sands" was rescued into private ownership in 1996, after 46 years of railroad service. The exterior has been beautifully restored and polished to a partial Pullman/Union Pacific paint scheme by Pacific Sands' first private owner. It has also been mechanically upgraded to all current Amtrak and FRA safety standards. LA Rail acquired the car in 2003 and has restored the interior of the car to its glory days of the 1950’s while adding modern travel conveniences such as a shower.

Rail Journeys West sleeping car 8449 "Silver Rapids", ex. Amtrak 2649, exx. Penn Central 4378, nee Pennsylvania Railroad 8449 built by Budd Company in 1948. It was removed from the California Zephyr service in the 1960's when most transcontinental sleepers were discontinued and changed ownership from the Pennsylvania Railroad to Amtrak, which retired it in the early 1980's and sold the car to a private owner. After extensive restoration work that included interior and mechanical upgrades, "Silver Rapids" is now one of the most versatile sleeper cars in service. The car features eight roomettes that seat two comfortably, and six double bedrooms that open up to form three suites that seat four comfortably.

California Rail Tours dome-coach 503 "Plaza Santa Fe", ex. Amtrak 9353, nee Santa Fe 503 built by Pullman-Standard in 1950.

Rail Journeys West dome-coach "Silver Lariat" PPCX 800481, ex. Amtrak 9452 "Silver Lariat", exx. Burlington Northern 7418 "Silver Lariat", nee Chicago, Burlington and Quincy 4718 "Silver Lariat" built by Budd Company in 1948.

California Zephyr dome-sleeper-observation car "Silver Solarium", ex. Nav Fosee/Cedar Rail Enterprises/Silver Rail Company 377 1985, ex. Amtrak 9252 1971, nee Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad 377 built by Budd Company in 1948. In 2002, the car was sold to Roy Wullich/Rail Journeys West where it entered into charter service after it received modern upgrades in 2003. It was then leased to California Zephyr Railcar Charters. Today, the Silver Solarium has been fully renovated and has been operating as a private car, delighting passengers with stunning views from its Vista Dome and observation lounge. The observation lounge seats 11 in classic railroad lounge chairs, and the Vista Dome car seats 24 in booth seating at tables.

Santa Fe 3751 and train left the Horseshoe Bend in Santa Ana Canyon. We hiked back down to the van then drove straight to Cajon Pass and after stopping at McDonald's, headed to our next photo location at the east end of Sullivan's Curve.

Union Pacific 4673 West came down the grade and went around Sullivan's Curve.

Larry sat down to wait for Santa Fe 3751 to arrive.

BNSF 5036 West was the next train.

Union Pacific 5362 East came down the Palmdale Cutoff and headed around Sullivan's Curve. We now would wait for Santa Fe 3751 to pass by overlooking Sullivan's curve.

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