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A Trip aboard the Acoma to San Diego 10/11/2014

by Chris Guenzler

I talked with Winston Walker who told me that he and his daughter Christy would be riding the private car "Acoma" on Saturday, October 14th. I thought about it and then used Facebook to contact Bill Hatrick about riding this trip. Bill gave me a good price so I contacted Winston to set up the plan. I would go down to Oceanside and meet them on the Metrolink train at Santa Ana coming north.

Santa Fe cocktail lounge car 1370 "Acoma" was built by Budd in 1936 and designed for the new streamlined Super Chief. It was the first, full-sized, all stainless steel, "streamlined" lounge car built for any railroad. In 1994, the current owners put the car through a multiyear renovation including new trucks, backup generator, new kitchen with a large fridge and two freezers, beautifully restored lounge and fully functional crew's quarters. It is owned by Pacific and Southwest Rail Adventures.

Pacific Surfliner 562 arrived in Santa Ana and I boarded a Superliner coach for my trip to Oceanside. I talked with LSA Linda Paul and we had a nice conversation as we neared Oceanside, where I detrained like any other normal Saturday in my life.

Metrolink 601 would take me to LAUPT and a date with the "Acoma". I called Winston to let him know which Metrolink car I was riding in this morning.

The San Clemente Pier on my northbound trip. Winston and Christy boarded in Santa Ana, joined me at my table and the train filled to standing room only west of Fullerton.

Santa Fe 4-8-4 3751 sat covered at the Redondo Jct turntable in Los Angeles.

Cascade cabbage car 90230 at the 8th Street Yard in Los Angeles.

Amtrak Genset GG20B switcher 591.

Pacific Railroad Society's Pullman sleeper 1207 "National Forum".

Amtrak P32-8BWH 509.

Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety DOTX 221 was also viewed from the train as we made our way into the station.

Surfliner 572 which would take me to San Diego aboard the "Acoma". I boarded and paid Bill Hatrick for the cost of "Acoma" trip today, found a table and helped Winston and Christy aboard. A couple of minutes later, we saw the Southwest Chief arrive with something on the point that I wanted to take pictures.

Amtrak's Southwest Chief arrived with Amtrak Heritage Unit 184 leading the train.

Amtrak Heritage Unit P42DC 184, built by General Electric in 2001, in its 40th Anniversary paint scheme, at Los Angeles.

I returned aboard the "Acoma" then met the other passengers as they boarded. With everyone then on board, Pacific Surfliner 572 left LAUPT for San Diego. There were some surprises as we passed the 8th Street Yard.

American Railroad Explorer 4 roomette-4 single bedroom-4 double bedroom dome sleeper "California", ex. Southern Pacific, exx. Denver and Rio Grande Western, exxx. Amtrak 92111, nee Spokane, Portland and Seattle 306 built by Budd in 1954. It was acquired by Philip Anschutz's Ansco Investment Company in 1988 and used on the Ski Train until 2009.

American Railroad Explorer "Kansas", ex. Southern Pacific, exxx. Denver and Rio Grande Western business car 100 "Wilson McCarthy 1956", nee Denver and Rio Grande Western 52-seat coach 1240 built by Pullman-Standard in 1950. It became property of Rio Grande's new parent company, Ansco and was used in first class service on the Ski Train.

American Railroad Explorer baggage-dormitory car 450 "Silver Peak", ex. Amtrak 10091, exx. Amtrak 1008, exxx. Chicago, Burlington and Quincy 909 "Silver Peak" 1969, nee Fort Worth and Denver 450 "Silver Peak by the Budd Company in 1940. It was assigned to the Denverā€Fort Worth Texas Zephyr and the coach area was used as the Jim Crow section of the train. When the Jim Crow laws were found to be unconstitutional, it was converted to a full baggage car in 1958. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway acquired the car in September 2018.

Views of our group in the "Acoma". At Fullerton, one of the car's owners, as well at Tom Anderson and his mother, joined us.

Tom Anderson and his mother aboard the "Acoma".

Later our train arrived into my home station of Santa Ana. We ran to Irvine and San Juan Capistrano, where a problem developed in that the left side brakes on the front trucks of the "Overland Trail were smoking and had to be inspected, then cut out so we could continue our trip south.

We reached the shore of the Pacific Ocean.

The San Clemente Pier from the "Acoma".

Later the fire zone from the fires of last June.

The normal vegetation along the San Onofre bluffs. We ran to Oceanside then Solana Beach.

Surfers out in the water along the Del Mar Bluffs.

The train started the climb of the Miramar Grade. It had been an excellent southbound trip aboard the "Acoma" and after a stop in Old Town, we arrived at San Diego where I detrained then walked over to the American Plaza trolley station and bought my first San Diego Tap Card to get a trolley day pass. I boarded a Blue Line Trolley which I took to E Street in Chula Vista and on the way there, my Day Pass was inspected. I walked over to the Black Angus and a fantastic steak dinner then returned to the trolley station, tapped my card and waited for a late-running 4:14 trolley. {Thanks AC Adam for your help!} I took the trolley to San Ysidro, tapped my card again then boarded a northbound trolley back to American Plaza but had one picture to take.

LTEX GP38 3813, ex. BNSF 2191, nee Santa Fe 3500, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1970 at the San Ysidro Yard.

I had a relaxing trip back to the American Plaza station then walked back over to the private cars and talked with Doug Spinn, who had his "Pacific Sands" sleeper down here for the weekend, and Norm Orfall, who had his "Tioga Pass" private car on the rear of our cars to return to LAUPT tonight. I then boarded the "Acoma" but soon saw an opportunity for a set of unique pictures.

The "Acoma" in San Diego. Back aboard it was time to shoot a San Diego sunset.

A San Diego sunset. Future train Pacific Surfliner 591 hooked us up and then positioned the train for boarding. We departed on time and I relaxed most of the way back tonight, riding the vestibule from CP Songs all the way along the beach, which is always fun to do on a private car. All too soon we arrived back at Santa Ana and after a double spotting of the train, Christy, Winston and I detrained. It had been a great trip aboard the private car "Acoma" on the old Santa Fe Surf Line. I went home, updated my mileage and found that I needed only 19 miles more for my 1,398,000.0 rail miles which I would get tomorrow morning.