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Train Riders Group Trip to San Luis Obispo 2015 1/19/2015

by Chris Guenzler

It was an early morning rise and after a shower and breakfast, I drove down to the Santa Ana train station and parked. I saw the Walker's car and I knew where I would find them. At the Metrolink Ticket Machine on the station side which was not working. They went to Track 1 via the elevator and pedestrian bridge and I went via my car to pick up my stuff for the trip then went to the Santa Ana Blvd grade crossing to reach Track 1. This is why you give yourself 30 extra minutes before your train is due if you are using a Metrolink machine. I got to the machine first and used my debit card which worked fine. I have traveled all over North America on trains and used all kind of ticketing machines and only the Metrolink machines have given me any kinds of problems. I think Metrolink needs new Machines. The Walker's joined me and tried cash which would not work but their debit card did. We went and sat down waiting for our first train to LAUPT.

It is peaceful at Santa Ana at 5:20 AM. Robin Bowers was next to arrive with his Metrolink ticket in hand.

A few minutes late but Metrolink 601 pulled into Santa Ana to pick all of us up. The Walker's took seats downstairs and Robin and I went upstairs on a very dark morning for the predawn run to LAUPT. Christy came up for a visit as did I going down to check on Winston. I am glad we make this trip just once a year. The Metrolink cars are way too bright for this time of day and you can't really see out of them well. We arrived into LAUPT and walked over to Track 9 to wait for our train to San Luis Obispo to arrive into the station. We saw Carl Morrison who was off photographing train. Robin went to Phillipe's for breakfast as did Chris Parker and AJ. David Aten and his wife soon arrived and Christy went off to take some pictures on her own.

Pacific Surfliner 761 1/19/2015

The train crew arrived and then they opened up the Surfliner Train and we took seats in the State owned Superliner car. Everyone got their own window seat and soon the train departed LAUPT on time. It was announced we would go the old traditional Southern Pacific route leaving LAUPT heading to Mission Tower then crossing to the east bank. A took a few pictures of this.

As we got onto the east bank of the Los Angeles River you notice that we have Amtrak Heritage Unit 184 pulling our train to San Luis Obispo today. We made our way talking all the way through the San Fernando Valley then trough to tunnels to the Simi Valley. We made our way to Oxnard and Ventura where the scenic highlights would begin.

Pacific Surfliner 761 meets the shore of the Pacific Ocean west of Ventura.

Our train travel group inside our Surfliner car we are riding in. This is the first SLO trip we have done without the Amfleet Cars.

The fog bank was disrupting our views of the Channel Island's this morning. We made our way to Carpinteria then entered a fog bank that lasted until just west of Goleta. Chris and AJ just were going to Santa Barbara with us and decided they did not want a foggy day. Our wonderful Conductor upgraded bott of their tickets both ways so they could comtinue to go to SLO with us. We took a fresh air break at Santa Barbara before we headed onto foggy Goleta. Later we returned to the sunny views of the Pacific Ocean and the views I never get tired looking at.

Two of the coves along our route.

There is an offshore oil well out there.

Each cove is a little different from each other.

I never tired of these views.

A little southwest swell this morning in the Santa Barbara Channel.

Another offshore oil well standing guard.

Two more coves along our route this morning.

A boat that can no longer ever be used.

Nearing Point Conception.

Our train turns northward at Point Conception.

Looking north towards Point Arguello.

Looking back at Point Conception.

Looking towards Point Arguello.

I had never noticed this cross at the Jalama Beach Road grade crossing.

Jalama Beach.

Looking towards Point Arguello.

The surf at Jalama Beach.

Looking towards Point Arguello.

Looking back at Point Conception.

Looking towards Point Arguello.

Looking back at Point Conception.

The train is closing in on Point Arguello.

The train runs through unspoiled California.

Point Arguello.

A final look back at Point Conception.

Point Arguello.

Another unique California cove.

Some buildings on Vanderberg Air Force Base.

Looking back.

Two coastal views ahead of the train as it heads towards Point Sal.

Three more views of the next cove along our route today.

I have always liked this scene.

Views of the large surf found in this part of California.

A coastal view ahead of the train as it heads towards Point Sal.

Views of the powerful surf found here in California.

Another coastal view ahead of the train as it heads towards Point Sal.

The train is pulling into the Lompoc/Surf station.

The surf at Surf.

The Santa Ynez River at Surf.

A fresh water pond behind the sand dunes at Surf.

The train took a slight curve on Vanderberg Air Force Base. I went to the Cafe for a Hot Dog, pretzels and a big chocolate cookie for lunch.

The train turned east and Point Sal was seen to the northwest.

At Casmalia the train turned north.

The train at this grade crossing that once had wig wag signals here.

Nearing the top of the grade before we drop into the Santa Maria Valley.

At Guadalupe an old Southern Pacific Baggage Car could be seen.

GMTX 2681 at Guadalupe.

The sand dunes west of our train north of Guadalupe.

Ever changing views along our route.

Dropping down into Grover Beach. After that our conductor took us we could stay on the train in SLO which really helped Winston out, I would jump off for a few quick pictures.

Pacific Surfliner 761 arrived into San Luis Obispo.

Amtrak Heritage unit 184 bought us to San Luis Obispo. I reboarded the train for the trip home and looked at things on the Internet before we left. We relaxed and talked all the way back home. The fog came back into play around San Luis Obispo and then darkness came into play the rest of the way home. Chris and AJ bailed at LAUPT and Carl and the Aten's baled off at Fullerton. The rest of us detrained at Santa Ana ending another great train travel group trip to San Luis Obispo.