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Tioga Pass to San Diego 6/2/2013

by Chris Guenzler

I received an advertisement from about a $50 trip one-way deadhead move aboard the "Tioga Pass" and decided to do it. I called Norm Orfall, the owner, and he said to just bring a check with me as usual. I invited AC Adam to come so I would go down to San Diego to meet him. I bought my return Amtrak ticket and was almost all set for the trip. I then told Chris Parker about it and he would try to make it. That Sunday morning, I drove down to the Santa Ana station and waited for Pacific Surfliner 562 to arrive.

Pacific Surfliner 562 arrived on time and I boarded the Superliner coach as usual for my trip to Oceanside.

Views of the new bridge construction across the San Margarita River north of Oceanside. We arrived in Oceanside and I bought my round-trip Coaster ticket to San Diego.

Pacific Surfliner 562 departing for San Diego.

Views of the wrapped Metrolink coach advertising Angels Baseball.

The Metrolink train I did not have to ride this morning.

Coaster Train 680 arrived in Oceanside and I boarded the cab car for the trip to San Diego. Once there, AC Adam found me and was upset that he could no longer get a Regional Day Pass for the San Diego Trolley from the ticket machine in Santee. The only place you can get one now is from the Sprinter or Coaster ticket machines.

The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon was taking place so the Coaster ran a train out of Oceanside at 4:30 AM so runners could get to the start of the race on time. It had a pair of wrapped cars.

For your love UC San Diego.

The San Diego County Fair. I showed AC Adam my program for tomorrow evening's Orange County Railway Historical Society meeting so he would not have to come up to Santa Ana. The trip to Oceanside took up most of it and we would finish it on the Metrolink train.

Coaster 681 at rest in Oceanside.

Metrolink 660 arrived in Oceanside and we boarded it as Metrolink 663 for Los Angeles and took a table in the Rotem car so I could now plug in my computer and show AC the rest of the program. That finished as we hit the surf south of San Clemente and we relaxed the rest of the way to LAUPT.

These three private cars and engine would be added to Surfliner 573 when it arrived to leave at 4:10 PM as Surfliner 582 for San Diego.

Amtrak Surfliner F59PHI 460 looks good in its fresh paint.

American Railway Explorer coach "Utah", ex. ANSCO "Iowa", ex. private owner and converted to buffet lounge "City of Industry", ex. Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific 364 "Duncan" 1957, nee Minneapolis and St. Louis 56-seat chair car 53 built by Budd Company in 1948.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy dome-coach "Silver Splendor", nee "Silver Buckle" built by Budd in 1957. It was assigned to the Denver Zephyr and later became Amtrak 9457.

Private car "Tioga Pass" built by Canadian National in 1959. The car was part of an order for 12 similar cars designed for railroad executives. Originally number 23, and later number 93, "Tioga Pass" spent most of its life in Edmonton, Alberta. There it served the Vice President of the Mountain Region. Records show the car traveled all over Canada, providing some 30 years of faithful service. By the early 1990s, though, the car was largely redundant and seldom used. Like the passenger trains on which it used to hitch a ride, the automobile and airplane offered quicker and more convenient transportation in today’s fast-paced corporate world.

In 1992 Canadian National decided to sell the car, and a local businessman in Barstow, California named Rutherford P. "Rudy" Hayes bought it sight unseen because, as he put it, "I always just wanted one." In an epic trip, the car traveled from Edmonton to Barstow in January 1993. Through fierce cold and driving blizzards, the passengers stayed warm inside. Its new owner was like a proud father, pronouncing the car was all he ever thought it would be. Unfortunately, Rudy never got the chance to travel on his new car. He died of a heart attack only months after it was delivered. The car sat, forlorn and neglected in front of the Harvey House train station in Barstow for several years.

Aronco Leasing Company purchased the car in 1997 from the Hayes estate. A victim of benign neglect, numerous repairs and upgrades were needed before the car could be used again. Starting in 2002, the Tioga Pass has undergone the most extensive restoration since its construction. An exhaustive examination of all of the major mechanical components of the car was undertaken, including the wheels, suspension, couplers, and airbrakes. This thorough examination allows the car to be considered as good as new. At the same time, a number of upgrades were made to allow the car to operate behind Amtrak trains, such as installation of heavy-duty power cabling and signal and communications wiring.

The view of all three private cars waiting to be connected onto the Pacific Surfliner.

The Metrolink train. We went to Philippe's for lunch which was very good and met Phil and Wilson from Tehachapi, both of whom would be riding with us on the "Tioga Pass". Later back at the train, we met the car's owner, Norm Orfall, who let us board after we paid him.

AC Adam aboard the "Tioga Pass", his first time riding in a private car.

Myself aboard the "Tioga Pass". Also with us was Norm and Brad Orfall, Chris Parker, Larry, Wilson, Phil and Dave who were all ready for our trip to San Diego this afternoon.

The train departed Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal on timeo with the "Tioga Pass", "Silver Splendor" and "Utah", as well as F95PHI 460 on the rear.

I went out on the rear platform for our run along the Los Angeles River.

The train took the flyover across the Alameda Corridor and the Los Angeles River.

Hobart Tower, after which I returned to my chair.

Action at the rear door of the "Tioga Pass".

CP College. I went back to the platform for Santa Ana.

The train arrived, stopped and then departed my home station of Santa Ana.

The blimp hangars in Tustin.

Saddleback Mountain.

The Orange Balloon for the Great Park in Irvine. I returned inside the car until the train took the siding at CP Capistrano.

Pacific Surfliner 785 for Goleta went by us as we waited in the siding.

The train returned to the mainline at CP Serra and we would now start the beach running to our next stop at San Clemente Pier.

Our beach running.

Our train stopped at the perfect spot at San Clemente Pier.

The rest of our run along the shore of the Pacific Ocean. I returned inside the "Tioga Pass" until we neared Stuart Mesa.

The Pacific Sun Railroad at Stuart Mesa.

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