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Riding the train to the NASCAR Race at Sears Point 6/26/2016

by Chris Guenzler

Bart and Sarah Jennings decided to come to ride the Race Train from Sacramento to Sears Point this year. Bart has never ridden this so I decided to do it with them. I got my tickets and they assigned me to a seat right below them. Bart is a big race fan so I knew we would have a blast. I got two nights at the Vagabond Inn then got my Amtrak tickets via Martinez going and straight back home. I have a Fullerton train travel group meeting the night I return. It should be a good trip!

7/25/2016 I got up, drove to the Sants Ana train station and parked in the northeast parking lot. I then walked over to Track 1 to wait for Pacific Surfliner 565 to arrive into Santa Ana this morning. It did so on time.

Pacific Surfliner 565 at Santa Ana. CJ welcomed me aboard and after she scanned my ticket I was off on Phase 1 of this trip. I had a Coca-Cola on my way to LAUPT this morning. We arrived into LAUPT and I walked to the Thruway Bus Plaza. My 5815 bus arrived at 10:20 AM. Once we we loaded, Phase 2 of the trip started to Bakersfield via Glendale. I had a US Navy veteran sitting by me going to Merced. The bus ride was easy and soon we arrived into Bakersfield where the train was opened. I boarded the Cab Car on San Joaquin 715 and went to the cafe car to get a hot dog, pretzels and a chocalate chip cookie. I watched my Klambach Publishing DVD of Colorado Railroads followed by Yard Goat Images DVD of Steam on the Norfolk Southern of Norfolk & Western 611, Nickel Plate 765 and Southern 630. That took me to Merced and that was followed by Ronnie James Dio DVD of Holy Diver Live which lasted until Stockton when I detrained for a quick picture of the rear of our train.

San Joaquin 715 at Stockton. That took me to Antioch where the screw from my glasses fell out. I had forgotten my ear plugs and now no sunglasses. What will happen next? We arrived into Martinez and I detrained. A nice breeze and a low level San Joaquin train 718 helped pass the time. Capitol Corridor Train 642 arrived and I took a seat in the Car Car for Phase 4 to Sacramento. The ear plug problem got solved when I asked my conductor on this train and he gave me three sets. I got caught up on the story by Suisan-Fairfield and surfed the web to Davis then I packed up and rode the rest of the way to Sacramento. I detrained and walked to the Vagabond Inn where Dave Arthur was also staying here, so we met and walked over to Perko's for a late dinner. I then returned to my room for the night.

NASCAR Race Train to Sears Point 6/26/2016

I got up 5:15AM and prepared for my day. I walked over to the Amtrak station, took the long walk to the tunnel where I had my bag inspected, checked in and received my wrist band as my train ticket. I walked up to the platform to get a picture of my train for today's ride to the Nascar Race at Sears Point.

This train had Amtrak 139 on the west end, Superliner Coach 34943, Coach 6461 Pebble Beach, Coach 8028 Mad River, Dining Car 8808 Cochella Valley, Coach 8024 Cosumnes River, Coach 8019 Eel River, Cab Car 8301 Mt Whitney, Coach 8012 San Lorenzo River. Dining Car 8806 Salinas Valley, 8203 Bodega Bay, Coach 8004 San Gabriel River and Amtrak 14 on the east end. I found Bart Jennings on the platform and followed him to his seat in the Eel River and when Sarah Jennings saw me I received a hug. I sat across from two of my favorite people in the whole world. This is going to be a fun train trip.

The view of the Sacramento train station from the train.

Bart Jennings.

Bart and Sarah Jennings. Dave Arthur then joined me at my seat. Our train left Sacramento late and we would follow the Coast Starlight out of town.

We crossed the Yolo Bypass before we stopped in Davis for more passengers.

Bailed hay stacks on the way to Suisan-Fairfield.

We ran by fields of sunflowers.

We passed by many kinds of fields on the way to Suisan-Fairfield, our final passenger pick up stop of this trip.

This old freight car has seen many different uses through its career.

We left the mainline with the 79 miles an hour track speed. From here to the Smart Track we would be moving at steady speed of 10 miles per hour.

The old passenger car bodies inside the wye at Suisan-Fairfield.

The Union Pacific still owns the first mile of this line so it can handle the freight business.

We ran by the solar mirror farm along our route. Before the Cordello Tunnel we spotted an old Southern Pacific section house, two box car bodies and an old out house. We would take a closer look on the return trip

The inside of the Cordello Tunnel.

We had a Marilyn Monroe aboard and an Elvis Presley too on our Nascar Race Train.

The pond at Cordello.

We will leave the Sacramento Valley then climb American Canyon to reach the Napa Valley.

Views of our descent in American Canyon.

I had the Download our APP! in my program and Marilyn gave me the prize of a 2016 Nacasr Fun Train Souvenier Gift Certificate of $25 to use today.

The wye at Napa Junction.

Freight cars on the California Northern Railroad.

The Napa River as seen from the train.

We crossed the Brazo Drawbridge across the Napa River.

Train Chasers and bikers were here to see our train cross the Napa River.

Water is always seen on the south side of our train while grape vines are on the north side of the train.

The train took a curve on this line.

We ran by another slough along our route.

Now we have vineyards on the south side of the train.

The train took the big curve at Schellville.

We crossed Railroad Slough.

We ran through Wingo and crossed a drawbridge the train shares with a local road.

The Sears Point Race Track is just ahead of our train. We then arrived at our final stop at the Sears Point Race Track. We detrained here for a picture of our train.

Our train at the Sears Point Race Track. We walked to the Sears Point Race Track up a short hill.

We walked to this gate, had our tickets scanned then I stopped at a store and got myself a pair of sunglasses. Final problem solved. I walked down on to the track.

Danica Patrick pit. I would head to my seat to wait for the fun to begin. It did not take too long. Now its time for the Patroit Jet Team Air Show.

This was the Patroit Jet Air Team Show.

Click here for Part 2 of this Story!