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San Bernardino Railroad Days 2013 and the Santa Fe 3751 Chase and Ride

by Chris Guenzler

Bill Compton picked me up at 7:10 AM and we headed up Interstate 5 to Bandini Blvd. We took that road west to Downing Road which we took to Exchange Road to the Los Angeles Junction Railroad but there was no way for any pictures there. We then left that location and headed west on Leonis Blvd made a left on Pacific Blvd and a right on 49th Street to our first photo location.

Here is the old 8 track BNSF yard on the old Santa Fe Harbor Line.

There is a wig Wag crossing signal here. From there we took Santa Fe Ave north. As we went by 8th Street we saw the Santa Fe 3751 smoking so we knew it had not gone to the station yet. We continued north on Santa Fe to Center Street to Vignes Street then a right on Cesar Chavez Ave then a right onto Lyon where Bill did the best parking I have ever seen. We then walked out onto the Cesar Chavez bridge over the Los Angeles River. We did not have a very long wait for some action.

Union Pacific 8625 West came by our location first. Then we saw Santa Fe 3751 backing its train towards us and I started my picture taking.

Santa Fe 3751 backed the train that had Santa Fe 3751, Metrolink 873, Pony Express, Amtrak Horizon Coach 54500, The Acoma, Overland Trail and Tioga Pass.

Metrolink 600, the only F40ph on their roster, was at the yard here this morning. We started back to Bill's Blazer.

On the way there we saw Santa Fe 3751 backing the train into LAUPT. From here we headed out to the San Bernardino Freeway to Atlantic Blvd south a right on Hellman Ave then a right on Marguerita Ave before we parked and walked out onto the pedestrian bridge to our photo location for the Santa Fe 3751 coming down the middle of the San Bernardino Freeway. This morning we would have two Metrolink trains to practice with before the big event.

First Metrolink 354 for San Bernardino came beneath us.

Later Metrolink 353 to Los Angeles went beneath us. Chris Parker showed up and after I called Let's Talk Trains, I showed Chris the maps of where we might be going on Bart Jennings rare mileage trips next month. A good crowd was now up on the pedestrian bridge with us and I then spotted Santa Fe 3751 coming towards us. Everyone got ready including the CHP officer parked along the shoulder of Interstate 10 waiting for those crazy chasers.

Santa Fe 3751 running down the middle of the San Bernardino Freeway this great morning. We returned to the car and headed east down the San Bernardino Freeway to the 57 Freeway which we took north to Covina Blvd east and parked in a lot after we crossed the tracks. We set up for our next pictures then Chris Parker showed up here as well.

First Metrolink 357 showed up and would meet Santa Fe 3751 at Covina. Soon after that we started hearing the whistle of the Santa Fe 3751 and then the chugging of the engine climbing the grade towards us here. We then saw a headling as the train crested the rise to the west of us and everyone was ready for their pictures of Santa Fe 3751 here.

Santa Fe 3751 put on the best ground experience I ever have had with the engine as it went by our photo location here. After that Bill drove me home and I put up the pictures on before driving down to the Santa Ana station. I boarded Metrolink 665 to Los Angeles to meet my good and dear friend Bob Alkire who had ordered me lunch at Phillippe's in Los Angeles where I met him. After lunch we went back to LAUPT where Bob bought his first Metrolink Weekend Pass and we took Metrolink 666 to Oceanside. After I got my dinner at Burger King we waited for Metrolink 667, a train that I had never ridden before. As Surfliner 580 came into Oceanside three youths were at the crossing at the north end of the Oceanside Transit Center. The one was wearing a dark blue shirt then laid down in the tracks as Surfliner 580 approached. He climbed out at the last second. As our Metrolink 667 was approaching the station the youths returned and Bob called the Oceanside police and soon a police car arrived and the one youth was taken away. We enjoyed our trip back north where I left Bob at Santa Ana as he returned to Los Angeles where I would meet him to ride out to San Bernardino in the morning.

Click here for Part 2 of this story