Facebook Page

Riding the Train to the NASCAR Race at Sears Point 6/22/2014

by Chris Guenzler

Dave Smetko wanted to ride the train this year and since I had such a good time last year, was up for it again. I bought the package tickets for the race and train, and the hotel room in Sacramento. The plan was that I would take the Bus/Train combination to and from Sacramento, Dave would fly to San Jose then take a Capitol Corridor train to Sacramento where I would met him. I returned from the 2014 NRHS convention, finished up my first year at Heninger Elementary School in Santa Ana and finally passed my 1,390,000.0 rail mile at MP 21 on the San Bernardino Sub on Friday, June 20th, my first day of summer freedom. I packed and went to bed at 8:00 PM for a 2:00 AM alarm clock waking.

6/21/2014 I arose at 2:00 AM, showered and then fixed breakfast before I drove down to the Santa Ana station and parked the car in the lot. The bus was there and the driver had some paperwork to do before he let me on the bus. I was the lone passenger to Fullerton where four more boarded. I slept off and on, getting about two more hours of sleep. The bus stopped at LAUPT, Glendale, Burbank Airport and Newhall before making its way to Bakersfield and we waited for the train doors to be open.

San Joaquin 701 6/21/2014

I sat at a table in one of the Pacific Surfliner cars that they ruined by installing seats that do not recline. We left Bakersfield on time with me working on my Winterail 2015 program then I updated the Shortline story on my Railfanning Page. I felt really good to be back on this train. I got a cinnamon roll and enjoyed my Coca-Cola for this morning's trip which made stops at Wasco, Corcoran, Hanford and Fresno.

It was funny to see a poster for my train tomorrow in my car by the stairs. The food service attendant was injured so there would be no food service for the rest of the trip. There was also no Let's Talk Trains show today due to the lack of a host. The train ran to Madera, Merced, Turlock, Modesto and the ACE station in Stockton, followed by Lodi and then a non-stop run to Sacramento, where this trip would end, or so we all thought. We reached CP Elvas and found a disabled Union Pacific freight and a bad order switch at CP Haggin. We sat for about 15 minutes before we reversed to a crossover, went east across the American River then on out to a crossover at CP 92. Here we reversed and ran to CP Haggin where we took the east leg of the wye there to pass the bad order switch/ and had to go forward across the American River to pass the control signal. We then pulled forward, went around the west leg of the Haggin Wye before finally arriving at Sacramento forty-five minutes late.

Sacramento 6/21/2014

I walked over to the Vagabond Inn and checked in, uploaded the rail mileage and the Shortline story then watched "Liz & Maddie" before walking over to Old Sacramento.

Sacramento Southern coach 2175, ex. Southern Pacific 2175, nee Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio (Texas and New Orleans 837 built by Pullman in 1921.

Sacramento Southern SW8 2008 nee United States Amry 2008 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1951.

The 2:00 PM train returns to Old Sacramento.

The power cut off to run around their train. From here I went to the State Railroad Museum bookstore then back to the Amtrak station to wait for Dave to arrive.

Dave's train Capitol Corridor 734, came into Sacramento.

Dave had arrived, we walked back to the Vagabond Inn and after resting we went to the State Railroad Museum bookstore where I bought "Vintage Diesel Power" by Brian Solomon. We returned to the room then went to Perko's for dinner where I had a steak then returned to the room for the night.

6/22/2014 Dave and I arose early and were driven over by the motel to Mel's Diner in Sacramento.

Views of Mel's Diner. We called the motel, they picked us up and took us to the Amtrak station.

The Train Trip to Sears Point 6/22/2014

We went down into the tunnel, checked in and were given a wrist band for the trip home. Once our bags were inspected, we walked up to the platform to wait to board. This train had engines on both ends and twelve cars.

Our train ready for the trip this morning to Sears Point.

The Coast Starlight arrived in Sacramento this early morning. I saw Steve Miller, NRHS member and friend, on the platform and asked him if he wanted to join Dave and I once he was done. He joined us and good conversations took place all the way to our destination of Sears Point and the race track there.

At 6:30 AM we left Sacramento and the Coast Starlight behind.

The train crossed the Sacramento River.

After we crossed the Sacramento River, we crossed the Yolo Shortline at Mikon.

Crossing the Yolo Bypass on the way to our first stop at Davis.

On the way to Suisan-Fairfield, we traversed Putah Creek before we ran through Dixon.

We were visited first by Elvis.

Then Marilyn Monroe, who kissed Dave on the forehead.

The proof that she kissed Dave. We made our station stop at Suisan-Fairfield then were pulled down to the junction with the California Northern and stopped to have a crew meeting with the California Northern crew.

We left the Cal-P mainline and started the trip across the California Northern to Schellville which was was new mileage for Dave and Steve.

The south wye track at the junction with the California Northern at Suisan-Fairfield.

View to the southeast.

After going through the tunnel, we passed this pond.

View to the south.

Cows were on the hillside as we went across the hills.

Looking across my train car.

Let the vineyards be fruitful.

At the bottom of the hill we came to the junction with the line down to Vallejo.

Looking across the car.

The Napa River.

The train crossed the Napa River drawbridge.

As usual when this train runs, there were railfans out to photograph it.

Water, water everywhere.

You can see the race track if you know where to look.

Looking across the valley. The train arrived in Schellville and there was plenty to photograph as we went through.

Mare Island Rail Service (TCRY) V01000M 007 built by Baldwin in 1944 as St. Louis-San Francisco 215 and later United States Navy 65-00095.

Mare Island Rail Service 007 and former Santa Fe GP7u 1322 rebuilt by Cleburne built by Electro-Motive Division in 1953.

Northwestern Pacific RP20BD 2009 built by Railpower in 2007 from Santa Fe 125:2 and Union Pacific GP9 158B built by Electro-Motive Division in 1954.

The Southern Pacific station built in 1901.

Former Bessemer and Lake Erie F7A 718A and F7B 716B, both built by Electro-Motive Division in 1952, were still here.

The train ran by Wingo.

The deer were out racing our train this morning. They lost.

The Sears Point Racetrack came into view. We pulled in, three doors were opened and we detrained.

The train would wait here while all the passengers and train crews attend the race.

Click here for Part 2