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Heading to Edmonds, Washington 7/26-28/2017

by Chris Guenzler

With me having picked the date of 9/9/2017 for my 1,500,000.0 rail mileage trip starting at Santa Ana down to Solana Beach then Pacific Business Class back to Santa Ana when I step off the train, I will have it. In order to do that I needed one long distance train trip, so Steve booked me a trip to Portland in Coast Starlight Business Class, the Talgo from Portland to Seattle and finally then the Empire Builder to Edmonds, where Bob and Elizabeth would take me to their house. Saturday we would go to Skykomish for the Great Northern and Cascade Railway and Sunday we would drive to Canada where I would ride the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway. Bob and Elizabeth are both volunteers at these unique operations in the Pacific Northwest. Monday, Elizabeth and I would ride the Sounder from Edmonds to Seattle where I would then board the Coast Starlight Business Class for Los Angeles and hopefully a Pacific Surfliner train home to Santa Ana.

7/25/2017 That morning my mother drove me to the Santa Ana train station and I walked over to Track 1 via the Santa Ana Blvd grade crossing to wait for my Pacific Surfliner 763 to LAUPT.

The station building at Santa Ana. I talked to conductor Henry then watched two Metrolink southbound trains come through Santa Ana before my train to LAUPT was due.

Pacific Surfliner 763 7/26/2017

I boarded the cab car and took a aisle seat for the quick trip to LAUPT. The conductor said I had to go to the ticket window to get my business class seat assignment. Business Class attendant Matt told me to go to the First Class Lounge to get my seat assignment. The train stopped at Anaheim and Fullerton before making a sprint to LAUPT. Once there a Red Cap gave me a ride to the ticket window where coach passengers check in so I went to the First Class Lounge and they said I did not need one. So after wasting my time, I walked back out to Track 10 and waited for the Coast Starlight to arrive into LAUPT.

Coast Starlight 14 7/26/2017

The train backed into LAUPT with a consist of engines 193 and 510, baggage 61052, transition 39032, sleepers 32030, 32019 and 32016 Pennsylvania, Pacific Parlor Car 39035 Williamette Valley, diner 38030, Business Class 34010, lounge 33042, coaches 34094, 34090 and 34001. I boarded Business Class 34010 and sat on the last seats on the lower level. We left LAUPT on time and stopped at the Burbank Airport station followed by Van Nuys. We went through the three tunnels before going into the siding at Santa Susana for Pacific Surfliner 774 then stopped at Simi Valley. I got a 1:15 PM lunch reservation then enjoyed a can of Coca Cola. We then ran to Oxnard then went through Ventura to the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

The Channel Islands could be seen on this very clear day.

Another view of the Coast Line from the train.

Rincon Point area along our route today.

One last view before we stopped for a fresh air stop at Santa Barbara. We left Santa Barbara but then were delayed by some police activity along our route. I was in the Dining Car where I had the Angus Beef Burger which really hit the spot. Once that was cleared we continued down the rails west. The mountains have had all the vegatation burnt off of them from the wild fires they had here earlier in the month. I decided to watch my DVD of the Alice Cooper Theater of Death Live at the Hammersmith 2007. This is the show that I have pictures of on the front page of my web site.

Our train curving at Casmila. That show took me all the way to San Luis Obispo, our next fresh air stop. We left San Luis Obispo and headed next to Paso Robles by going over the Cuesta Grade with its tunnels. I got a 5:30 PM Dinner Reservation after the train crossed the Stenner Trestle. I had put on my DVD of Queen Houston Rocks which would take me to dinner and beyond. The train took the siding for a long wait over twenty minutes for the late running southbound Coast Starlight at Santa Margarita. At 5:13 PM the Coast Starlight went by us at Santa Margarita and we headed onto Paso Robles, our next station stop. I went to dinner and had the Signature Steak and pudding for desert. Queen took me to Salinas where I took some fresh air again. Next I watched my new power point Winterail 2018 program. After that I decided to call it a night!

7/27/2017 I was sleeping fine until the alarm of the phone of the nice lady across from me started ringing and continued to do so ten times, which is when I woke her up. At 6:00 AM I was up changed my clothes, took my blood pressure which I do twice a day now and then my medications for my high blood pressure condition. At 6:30 AM after Dunsmuir and the Cantera Loop I went to the dining car for a breakfast of Railroad French Toast and bacon which again hit the spot. After breakfast, the train crossed the Hotlum Trestle and headed to Grass Lake Summit. I sort of felt like I was back on the Chase Bus chasing the NRHS 2005 Convention Special Train as we ran through Bray on the way to Klamath Falls this morning. I took a brief fresh air before we left Klamath Falls and headed next to Chemult. I put on my DVD of Areosmith You Gotta Move.


Upper Klamath Lake. The Aerosmith took me to Chemult and two songs beyond. I got a Noon lunch reservation for my last meal aboard the Coast Starlight on this northbound trip. Next was the DVD of Ladies and Gentlemen The Rolling Stones. The Stones took me to just past Fields siding then I had my last lunch, enjoying another Beef Angus Burger which again hit the spot. I returned to my seat right before Oakridge.

Spreader and snow fighting equipment in Oakridge.

A Union Pacific maintenence car 306203.

The covered bridge just west of Oakridge. I put on my next DVD of Emerson, Lake & Palmer Masters from the Vaults that took me by Lookout Point Reservoir and on into Eugene, the next fresh air stop of this trip. After Eugene I finished up ELP then scouted out a few photo locations for next year's Winterail trip as the train made its way to Albany. Next stop will be Salem in thirty minutes. The train made its final sprint to Portlland Union Station arriving there at 4:10 PM, or 38 minutes l ate. I detrained one happy railfan and want to thank the excellent crew especially the Dining Car crew who once again took good care of me.

Portland 7/27/2017

I detrained from the Coast Starlight. I walked out of Portland Union Station just as a Green Line MAX train was leaving so I walked over to the stop and first saw an Expo train stop at the Hoyt Street station and a few minutes a Green Line train came and I rode out to 82nd Street where I checked into the Days Inn for the night. I watched Peter Cushing as Dr Who in his eposide with the Daleks. I watched TV the rest of the evening before calling it a night.

7/28/2017 I got up showered and then walked over to the MAX 82nd Street to wait for a Green Line train.

My Green Line train arrived into 82nd Street and I took it to Portland Union Station. I bought an Orange Juice and then waited for my ticket assignment to be given by the conductor. I told him I wanted a Sound side window seat. The train came in and I waited for the train to arrive.

Cascade Talgo 500

The conductor opened the gate and I headed out to the train but I had pictures to take.

Cascade Talgo 500 my ride to Seattle.

An out of service Cascade Talgo train set.

Amtrak Seattle Seahawk unit 90250. I walked out to Car 9 and took seat 13 and I found 15 inches of window and a wall. So much for my window seat. I complained and told the crew that I was writing a story for and I needed the full window to take my pictures. The Conductor's solution was the come to the Bistro car and take all my pictures from there. I said no as I had to write as I took my pictures. I walked away very unsatisfied, a first for me on a Talgo train. I decided to forgoe the pictures and I would watch a DVD instead. I stopped at the Bistro and bought a chocolate chip cookie with Tahatian Sea Salt, not good for me, but It was tasty. The train stopped in Vancouver and after that I put on my DVD of Jeff Beck Performing This Week at Ronnie Scott. I watched it almost to Tacoma so while I was watching, the Talgo stopped in Kelso-Longview, Centralia and Olympia-Lacey. I ran along the Puget Sound for my second to my last time ever as the next trip will be on the new route through Lakewood. The train did the station work at Tacoma then headed to Tukwila before it made the final sprint into Seattle.

Amtrak Cascade Talgo 500 at King Street Station.

Seattle 7/28/2017

With a layover before the Empire Builder, I decided another trip on the Seattle Light Rail was in the cards for me today. I walked over to the International District/Chinatown station, bought an Orca Card and put $10 on it and then tapped it and headed down the escalator to the platform to Angle Lake.

A trolley came into the station heading to the University of Washington station.

My trolley for Angle Lake came into the station. I would ride out to Angle Lake. Once there it was down the elevator, tap the Orca Card then the escalator back to platform.

My train to the University of Washington station. Once there it was up two escalators then tap the Orca Card then back down two other escalators and back to the platform.

My trolley back to the International District/Chinatown station. There I took the elevator back to the surface before I walked back to King Street Station to wait for my Empire Builder to Edmonds. About thirty minutes before train time, I was standing in line and I saw a familiar face looking for me. It was Bob Alkire who had taken the bus to Seattle so that he could ride to Edmonds with me. I was happy he did this as now I would have someone to talk to on the Builder.

Empire Builder 8 7/28/2017

This trip would be on the lower level since we were only going to Edmonds, the first stop of the train's trip. It was a quick trip and we talked the whole way there. All too soon we were detraining in Edmonds ending my trip here.

The Empire Builder in Edmonds. Elizabeth picked us up and we drove to their house in Lynnwood. This end an interesting way of getting from Santa Ana to Edmonds all by rail.