Facebook Page

The Trip to Newark, New Jersey and the NRHS 2018 Convention

by Chris Guenzler

This year, I would not only be able to take the train back to the NRHS 2018 Convention in Cumberland, Maryland, but Robin Bowers and I would be able to ride both ways plus re-finish the Amtrak system again with a trip into Roanake with their new extension of service. We would take the Southwest Chief and Cardinal to Wahington then Train 90 to New York City, stay there one night then ride it to Port Washington on the Long Island Railroad. We would ride Northeast Regional 171 from New York City to Roanake and finish the Amtrak system once again. Here we would spend the night then rent a car and do the Virginia Transportation Museum and the O. Winston Link Museum before heading to the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway and Heritage Center in Clifton Forge then spend the rest of that day taking pictures of CSX freights and the Amtrak Cardinals. The next day we would take the Durbin Rocket train, a new one for me, then get over to the Norfolk Southern mainline and photograph their Pocahontas District before staying at the Elkhorn Inn & Theater for that night. The following day we would visit the Tweetsie Railroad, Southeastern Narrow Gauge Museum in Newton, the North Carolina Transportation Museum and then do the Charlotte Light Rail stay in Salisbury overnight. The next day would see us visit the Wilmington Railroad Museum then drive to Raleigh for a two-night stay and ride the Piedmont train from Raleigh to Charlotte and return. Next day we head back to Roanoke stopping at Crewe for the museum thee then turn in the rental car and stay one last night there.

The next day Robin and I will take Northeast Regional 176 to Wilmington and we would rent another car to tour the Wilmington Amtrak Shops then drive into New Jersey to Princeton Junction then to a motel for the night. The next morning we will visit Princeton Junction to photograph trains and to ride the Princeton Dinky Train before we drive to the New Jersey Transportation Museum then head to Harpers Ferry then Hagerstown for the night. The next day would be the Hagerstown Roundhouse and Hagerstown Railroad Park then the Walkerville and Southern, followed by the National Capitol Trolley Museum, B&O Railroad Museum and the Baltimore Streetcar Museum before Havre de Grace then staying in Newark for the night. The next day we would visit Newton Square plus a few other things then West Chester Railroad and the Strasburg Railway and Pennslyvania Railroad Museum. The next morning would be turning in the car then taking Acela 2107 from Wilmington to Washington, DC and the Capitol Limited to Cumberland for six nights. The next morning we would get a rental car then drive to Cass for a trip up to Bald Knob. The next day the NRHS 2018 Convention starts with trips on the Cass Railroad and Salamander Trip Cass to Elkins, Western Maryland Trip, Potomac Eagle Trip and the Everett Railroad Trip. We would leave for home on the Capitol Limited and Southwest Chief before starting the next school year at Heninger. It should all be a fantastic trip.

In the meantime my mother took a fall and spent time in the hospital before leaving there for a rest home since she could not be home by herself anymore. I got moved from 3.75 hours to 5.75 hours and will retire in about four years with alot more money. I also saw the Ann Wilson, Paul Rodgers and Jeff Beck show at the 5 Point Amphitheatre with Robin. There is a list of all my concerts I seen on my IR Page on the web site.

7/22/2018 I got up the morning of the trip and after my morning rituals, I drove down to the Santa Ana train station and waiting for Pacific Surfliner 562 to take me down to Solana Beach and I returned on Pacific Surfliner 1567 to Santa Ana with my dear friend Conductor CJ so I got to say my goodbye to her. I then went home, took my blood pressure then went to the rest home to see my mother one last time before leaving on this trip. My cell phone vanished yesterday, the ghost in my house, so I went to Verizon and got a newer model flip phone. I came home and charged the phone then said my goodbye to Toby, my dog and put him outside until it was time to leave. I finished packing my back pack then Robin showed up and we moved his car in front of mine. Next Dr. Flipik and her husband showed up to drive us to the train station after I showed them my program called Engines that pulled my Excursion Trains. After that everyone went out to the Flipik car and I let Toby back in and said my goodbye to my very unique dog. I closed up the house and locked the door then helped load the car and we were off. We got to the train station and then Robin had me take his luggage via the Santa Ana Blvd crossing to Track 1 where I waited in the shade. We were supposed to be on Pacific Surfliner 579 but a death on the rails changed all that as a late running Pacific Surfliner 777 was due into Santa Ana at 579 time.

Pacific Surfliner 777 7/22/2018

The train came in standing room only but since it came in the same time 579 would and since we were taking sleepers out of Los Angeles they let us board and I took a seat on the floor of the cab car and Robin stood against the wall the whole trip. Luckily it was only a 50 minute trip to Los Angeles it wasn't too bad a way to start a trip. We did Anaheim and Fullerton before the final sprint to LAUPT. We detrained after 36.0 rail miles both very happy to be here. A Red Cap took us to the elevator that took us to the Metropolitan Lounge. I enjoyed a glass of ice water and cookies while we waited and heard the announcement that the Southwest Chief would be 45 minutes late due to locomotive problems which they solved. So they had a Red Cap drive us out to the platform and we waited for train into back into LAUPT this evening. A few minutes later an empty Pacific Surfliner train set returned to the yard and then our train backed into LAUPT.

Southwest Chief Train 4 7/22/2018

We boarded the 430 Car Room five and then we walked to the front of the train. This train had Engines 195 and Heritage unit 822, Viewliner Baggage 61015, Transition Sleeper 39035, Sleeper 32072 Arkansas, Sleeper 32098 New Jersey, Diner 38061, Lounge 33043 and Coaches 31043, 34018 and 34024. Rashad is our Sleeping Car Attendent for the trip to Chicago.

The front of the Southwest Chief in Los Angeles.

Heritage unit 822. We returned aboard and we left LAUPT at 6:45 PM {6:10 PM} and we were off for Chicago. About thirty minutes later, we arrived in Fullerton and did a double spotting of the train as elevator construction is taking forever here. We did see David Aten but not Chris Parker who were both here trying to see us off. We left Fullerton and at the Horseshoe Bend of the Santa Ana River, of course a BNSF freight came and blocked our view. They came by and gave us an 8:00 PM dinner reservation and it started to get dark before we got into the Dining Car. I had the steak with Robin having it also and pudding for my dessert. The dinner rolls were the smallest rolls that I ever had on a train. I finished up before San Bernardino and enjoyed the climb over Cajon as I finished up putting phone numbers in my new cell phone so I had a pretty good day of it. We took a fresh air break on a warm night in Barstow then made up the room and called it a night.

7/23/2018 I was up just east of Maine and rode the lounge car until Flagstaff were I detrained for more cool fresh air. At 6:30 AM Robin and I went to the Dining Car and were seated with a couple who were on a Amtrak Vacation Trip and really loving it. They were sad at the fact that next year this train may be broken up with a bus between Albuquerque and Dodge City. This is one reason we booked our trip this way as Robin was making his first ever Southwest Chief complete line trip. I had pancakes and pork sausage along with orange juice. I pointed out Canyon Diablo to all at our table plus the Meteor Crater. We returned to the room and I made it up before walking the whole length of the train and saw the Joseph City power plant with an empty BNSF coal train getting ready to leave it.

Eastern Arizona and I put on the Miley Cyrus Breakthrough CD. That would take me into New Mexico.

Welcome to New Mexico on this sunny Monday morning in July. The next stop at Gallup will be fresh air break for me on this trip. After that I put on my new Rachel Flowers CD Listen, the blind girl, I saw play by herself and my friend Leonard's ELP Tribute Band at the Moose Lodge in Oceanside two weeks ago. She is as good as the late Keith Emerson playing keyboards.

Red mesas east of Gallup.

More red mesas for your fulfillment.

Still even more red mesas.

Even more red mesas. The train continued east and ran throgh Grants, New Mexico. Robin is really enjoying his first trip aboard the Southwest Chief. After Rachel was done, I listened to Alice Cooper Paranormal CD that took me closer to Albuquerque. Next was to the Power of Three 3 CD which was a band after Emerson Lake & Powell. The train reached Dalies with an ETA of 12:35 PM {11:42 AM} so we will see. We got to the see quite a few old railroad grades as we made our way to Isleta. We arrived into Albuquerque at 12:35 PM.

Amtrak Heritage Unit 822 at Albuquerque.

The Southwest Chief Train 4 at Albuquerque. We left Albuquerque at 1:10 PM {12:10 PM} and headed to our next stop of Lamy. Robin and I had a lunch reservation at 1:15 PM. We were seated with two very interesting people with me having a Beef Angus Burger and chips. We stopped in the siding to let a southbound New Mexico Railrunner train to pass by us. Good conversions were had and time flew and soon we were so we were on final approach for Lamy.

A former Santa Fe Southern railroad display train.

The railroad car diner in Lamy.

The Lamy station where we stopped and departed at 2:38PM {1:17 PM}. I put on my ELP Trilogy CD which I really enjoyed

Apache Canyon on the way to Glorieta Pass. There was no Train 3 at Canyoncito so we climbed the rest of the way up Glorieta Pass. We met Train 3, the Southwest Chief, at Rowe siding and we continued on our way towards Las Vegas. Robin and I walked to the rear of the train for a little bit of semaphore hunting.

The Blachard "S" curves. Next the semqphores with Stravation Peak in the background of some of my pictures.

The remaining semephores from Blanchard to MP 775. We arrived into Las Vegas and left 4:45 PM {3:03 PM} and headed to our next stop of Raton. I put on my Blackmore Knights CD of Fires at Midnight. After that I was not all that well so I told Robin that he would have dinner solo and I would take a nap. I don't know if everything happening in my life is causing this or am I just tired, so I put down the lower bunk and slept there until 6:30 PM then took the upper bunk and slept up there into the night.

7/24/2018 At 3:30 AM I got up and took a shower then felt like my old self. I returned to the upper bunk until 6:25 AM then went to the Dining Car for the repeat of yesterday's breakfast which really hit the spot. I rode the lounge car from just after Newton to Holiday then got Robin up so he could have breakfast. He joined me in the lounge car well before Topeka. After Holiday I got up the story then put on my CD of Jethro Tull The String Quartets to take me to Kansas City and beyond. The train was having a hard time getting to the Argentine Fuel Pads this morning but the trains were delayed. We then backed 1.8 miles to CP Morris to access a track that would take us to the fuel racks but the train finally did make it.

A scrap yard switcher. Once the fueling was complete we headed into Missouri to our next servicing stop Kansas City which we arrived to at 11:24 AM after we pulled by it and backed in 0.9 to add another coach the 31024, to our train. I took a prolonged fresh air break and saw my first Kansas City Streetcar on the bridge over the tracks.

A KCS bare table train then came a BNSF grain train before departure. We left Kansas City 12:40 PM {7:43 AM}, and headed east towards La Plata. We were seated in the Dining Car with two more very interesting passengers and I repeated yesterday's lunch. I showed Robin the train related features out of Kansas City plus the bridge at Sibley where I did my Million Miles before we knew each other. The train stopped on bridge 405.7 for a few minutes before we continued east. After the train crossed over we sped down the other mainline.

That CSX engine from that train above at NA Jct. We ran through Carrolton then Bosworth and then Marceline. We found the remaining signal bridges and are making plans for a Spring La Plata Railfan Event.

The AT&SF coaling tower. Robin really liked finally getting to see the La Plata Depot and that Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point as he has never been to La Plata before. The train left La Plata at 3:00 PM {9:55 AM} and as I was showing Robin the various places around east of La Plata, the Conductor stopped by with our information about Train 50. We would be detraining in Galesburg and be bussed to Train 50. Not a perfect solution but one we are both happy with. The train crossed the Des Moines River into Iowa to our next station stop at Fort Madison where left at 4:36 PM {11:09 AM}. Next the train headed to the Mississippi River crossing.

The Mississippi River. We made our final sprint to Galesburg arriving there at 6:05 PM {12:08} and we both detrained to find the bus.

The Chase Bus 7/24/2018

The bus was waiting and a total of seven passengers were aboard. We took Interstate 74 to Champaign where we gassed and had a dinner stop then back on Interstate 74 to Interstate 474 to Interstate 70 and then to Indianapolis Union Station, where the trip ended and we all happily debussed.

Cardinal 50 7/25/2018

We all went inside Indianapolis Union Station and waited to board. The train pulled in after midnight and we took the elevator up to trackside and boarded the Viewliner Sleeper. The train had a consist of Engine 69, Coaches 2, 5113, 25027 and 25087, Dinette 28000, Business Class 48189, Viewliner Sleeper 62022 and Baggage 61051. Cliff was our sleeping car attendant. I made my lower bunk and Robin had to get a clean sheet before he made his upper bunk. With that I climbed into bed and slept the rest of that night away. Right before the station stop of Huntington, West Virginia, I got dressed and took a few minutes of fresh air before I went to the Dinette for my breakfast on a rainy morning. I enjoyed Railroad French Toast and bacon with orange juice. I then rode the table section of business class then took a shower while the room was being made, took my blood pressure pills and got the camera and shot pictures while waiting for Robin to join me.

Clouds hanging greeted me to West Virginia this morning.

After Charleston, the state capital of West Virginia we followed the Kanawha River to the New River and that famous gorge Robin will get to see for his first time ever later this morning.

Nearing Deepwater, West Virginia.

Hawk Nest Dam.

The New River. Due to track work on the Hawk Nest Bridge on Track 1, we took the Track 2 route which is seldom done so both Robin and I got some pretty rare mileage today aboard the Cardinal. I was one happy railfan and train rider today.

Track 1 that route I had always taken before.

The New River Arch Bridge that crosses the New River Gorge.

Waterfalls on the New River.

Rafters out on the New River on this morning.

Crossing the New River before we returned to our normal routing into Thurmond.

Thurmond C&O station.

The peaceful New River.

Homes relected in the waters of the New River.

Sandstone Falls.

We followed the Greenbrier River to White Sulphur Springs

The entrance to the Greenbrier Resort Hotel. The train then climbed up to the Summit Tunnel then descended through Covington to our next station of Clifton Forge.

CSX 4656 West at Clifton Forge.

Another CSX train at Clifton Forge.

Clifton Forge Amtrak station.


Two pieces of the C&O Heritage Railroad Museum in Clifton Forge which we will be visiting again this Friday. The train continued east to Staunton, our station stop on our route. On the way there I got a hot dog, Twix and ginger ale for lunch. The train arrived in Staunton and during my fresh air break, because we arrived 12 minutes early, it started to pour down rain. This was the first good rain of this trip and I would expect more to come. The train ran on time down to Charlottesville where I detrained during the train crew change for one picture.

The Cardinal at rest at Charlottesville. The train ran down the Buckingham Branch to Orange then onto the old Southern Railway mainline north to Culpepper, Manasssas and then on to Alexandria. It rained most of the way north towards DC. After that it crossed the Potomac River and through the Potomac Tunnel and the final stop of the Cardinal at Washington DC Union Station where Robin and I both detrained.

Washington 7/25/2018

We walked into Club Acela and checked to see if we could take an earlier train to New York City. They said to call Guest Rewards which we did and I used my points for Business Class on Train 186. The women in Club Acela then printed our tickets and soon we were on our way out to the train on a rainy night.

Northeast Regional 186 7/25/2018

I got on the train and called to see if we could get into the Hotel Pennsylvania and their answer was no! We got on and I came up with an idea why not Newark, New Jersey and we got a room at the Hotel Rivera. The train left on time and made it through the night and all too soon we arrived into Newark. We then taxied out to the Hotel Rivera for the night.