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Photo Trips to San Diego County

by Chris Guenzler

AC Adam and I had planned to photograph trains in San Diego County but postponed it until I was finished at Spurgeon Intermediate where I had substituted for the rest of the school year. Bill Compton wanted to go out and photograph trains and I suggested San Diego County so we picked Saturday June 15th for that trip. I did my homework of choosing photo locations so we would do Rose Canyon North. I called AC and we picked Friday June 14th covering Elvira to Old Town.

I finished the school year on Thursday before getting up early Friday morning, and after my morning chores, drove down to the Santa Ana station to wait for my first train of the day.

Elvira to Old Town 6/14/2013

Metrolink 803 arrived in Santa Ana and I boarded the bicycle car for the trip to Oceanside. It was a quick trip and upon arrival, I walked straight to the Coaster ticket machine which did not like my credit card but loved my 20 dollar bill and give me back nine dollar coins in return for a ticket. I made the Coaster 638 for the quick trip to Old Town where I detrained.

Coaster 638 heads to the Santa Fe station in San Diego and I went down and under the tracks, finding AC Adam who just arrived. We went out to Pacific Highway north to Sea World Drive, to Interstate 5 north to Mission Bay Drive, to Santa Fe Street which we took to where it ended and parked. From here we walked along the bicycle trail to just north of Elvira where I set up for my first train, which did not take long to arrive.

Pacific Surfliner 599 at Elvira heading to Los Angeles this morning. We started to walk back to the car when I heard another train coming.

Pacific Surfliner 562 heading to San Diego. We walked back towards the car and found an excellent photo location on this cloudy morning.

Pacific Surfliner 769 for Los Angeles and Goleta came through next.

The quiet scene just south of Elvira.

Coaster 639 bound for Oceanside.

Pacific Surfliner 564 for San Diego came through next. From here we switched photo locations and stopped at one but I did not like it so we moved on and drove along Moreno Boulevard and spotted the bridge over Claremont Boulevard. We turned left on Ingulf Street then left on Denver Street and another left on Claremont Drive where we parked and walked out onto the bridge.

Coaster 644 for San Diego came by first at Claremont Drive.

Pacific Surfliner 573 for Los Angeles was our next train. We next made our way back to Moreno Boulevard went south to the Toys R Us parking lot where we parked.

Pacific Surfliner 566 for San Diego came through CP Tecolote. After that we headed to the north bank of the San Diego River.

First a San Diego Trolley crossed the San Diego River.

Coaster 648 bound for San Diego.

Pacific Surfliner 777 on its way San Luis Obispo. From here we went back to Old Town and AC waited with me until my Coaster 645 for Oceanside arrived. There was plenty of trolley action in Old Town as we waited.

A Green Line Trolley for Santee came through Old Town.

Next a Green Line Trolley for 12th and Imperial came through. Pacific Surfliner 768 was running late and arrived after I boarded my Coaster train.

Coaster 645 arrived in Old Town to take me to Oceanside this early afternoon. Once aboard, I was reunited with Conductor Jeff whom I had not seen since he left Amtrak in 2009 to work on the Coaster. We caught up on things and I had a good trip.

Coaster 645 arrived in Oceanside and went out of service to go to CP Eastbrook to switch crews. I went to Burger King for lunch then went out to track 2 to wait for Metrolink 641 to take me home to Santa Ana.

Pacific Surfliner 774 came and left Oceanside for San Diego.

Coaster 654 for San Diego came back into Oceanside with a new crew from CP Eastbrook.

Pacific Surfliner 579 for Los Angeles arrived and departed while I waited.

Metrolink 641 arrived and I boarded the second old car for the trip back to Santa Ana. Special thanks to AC Adam for his driving today. Tomorrow, Bill and I will return to San Diego County.

Click here for Part 2 of this story