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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, I was up for it again. I got the Package Tickets for the race and train and the hotel room in Sacramento. I would take the Bus/Train combo to and from Sacramento. Dave would fly to San Jose then take a Capitol train to Sacramento where I would met him there. We had a plan so I came back from the 2014 NRHS Convention then finished up my first year at Heninger Elementary School in Santa Ana, passed finally my 1,390,000.0 rail mile at MP 21 on the San Bernardino Sub on Friday 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 got up at 2:00 AM, showered and then fixed breakfast before I drove down to the Santa Ana train 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 it headed to Bakersfield. We waited for the doors to be open.

San Joaquin 701 6/21/2014

I took a table in one of the Pacific Surfliner cars that they ruined by putting in those 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. We did Wasco, Corcoran, Hanford and Fresno.

Funny to see a poster for my train tomorrow in my car by the stairs. The food service attendant got injured so we would have no food service for the rest of the trip. We also had no Lets Talk Trains show today due to no 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 got to CP Elvas and found a disabled UP freight and a bad order switch at CP Haggin. We sat for about 15 minutes before we backed to a crossover then 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 get by 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 we finally pulled into Sacramento forty five minutes late.

Sacramento 6/21/2014

I walked over to the Vagabond Inn and checked in. I uploaded the rail mileage plus the Shortline story. From here I watched Liz & Maddie then walked over to Old Sacramento.

The spare set of state railroad equipment.


The 2:00 PM Train returns to Old Sacramento.

The power cuts off to run around their train. From here I went to the State Railroad Museum Bookstore. Next I went back to the Amtrak station to wait for Dave to arrive into Sacramento.

Dave's train Capitol train 734 came into Sacramento.

Dave has arrived into Sacramento. We walked back to the Vagabond Inn. After we rested we went to the State Railroad Museum Bookstore where I bought Vintage Diesel Power by Brian Soloman. We returned to the room before we went to Perko's where I had a steak. We returned to the room for the night.

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

Views of Mel's Diner in Sacramento. We called the hotel and 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 got a wrist band for the trip home. Once our bags were inspected, we walked up to the platform to wait to board the train. This train had engines on both ends and twelve cars.

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

The Coast Starlight came into 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 then at Mikon we crossed the Yolo Shortline.

The train crossed the Yolo Bypass on the way to our first stop of the morning at Davis.

On the way to Suisan-Fairfield we crossed 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 did our station stop at Suisan-Fairfield. Once done we pulled down to the junction with the California Northern and stopped to have a crew meeting with their crew.

We left the Cal-P mainline and started the trip across the California Northern to Shellville. This 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 ran by the 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.

There were Railfans out as usual when this train runs.

Water, water everywhere.

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

Looking across the valley.

TCRY Baldwin switcher 007 at Schellville.

TCRY Baldwin switcher 007 and ex Santa Fe GP-7 1322 at Schellville.

Northwestern Pacific 2009 at Schellville.

The Schellville station at Schellville.

The A&B F-units were still at Schellville.

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 and three doors were opened and we got outside.

Now the train waits here while all the passengers and train crews go to the race.

Click here for Part 2