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The Coast Starlight 11 Detour Trip 4/29/2018

by Chris Guenzler

We were woken up at 3:32 AM by the sound of a glass bottle hitting the door frame and breaking then the sound of two girls' bodies slamming themselves against our door at the Jack London Inn. Chris called the front desk and they called the police. I slept very soundly again until 6:05 AM when I showered and then prepared for my day of riding the Coast Starlight.

A Union Pacific stacktrain came throungh the street in Oakland. Bob Jacoby, Chris and I walked over to the Buttercup Grill where I had French Toast and bacon which was excellent.

The Western Pacific station in Oakland.

Capitol Train 720 came down the street in Oakland.

The Coast Starlight 11 pulls into the Oakland Jack London station and we waited in a line to have our tickets scanned before we boarded Business Class. The train left Oakland on time at 8:50 AM and we were off and running. It was bumpy tracks down to Newark this morning. We arrived into Newark at 9:20 AM and started our detour all the way to Burbank Junction. We ran by the Southern Pacific Fremont station before we arrived at Niles at 9:37 AM.

Looking into Niles Canyon.

The crossing at Niles.

The train curving onto the old Western Pacific, the route of that fabled California Zephyr. The train headed through Niles Canyon and through Tunnel 1 and 2.

Niles Canyon Railroad train getting ready to start the day. We entered the Livermore Valley and Livermore at 9:55 AM. We crossed the Grenville Trestle and heading up Altamont Pass.

The train climbing the pass.

The Greenville Trestle tht we had crossed. Now let's enjoy a trip across Altamont Pass.

The trip across Altamont Pass. We ran across the flat San Joaquin Valley crossing the San Joaquin River passed through the Manteca Ace station before reaching the former Southern Pacific connection and ran to Lathrop.

The train on the Southern Pacific connection. The train arrived at East Lathrop at 10:52 AM

The train on the southeast leg of the wye and stopped at South Lathrop at 10:58 AM.

The train at South Lathrop and then backed to North Lathrop stopping at at 11:09 AM.

The train on the northwest leg of the wye and left Lathrop for good at 11:18 AM. We started our sprint towards Bakersfield. we ran through Modesto at 11:40 AM.

The Stanislaus River south of Modesto. We sped through Turlock at 11:54 AM.

Foster Farms Chicken engine. We made are way to Merced at 12:15 PM. I went and had lunch at 12:30 and I ate an Angus Burger. During lunch we did Madera 12:43 PM, Fresno at 1:09 PM and Calwa Crossing at 1:16 PM and after lunch we did Selma 1:27 PM and Kingsburg at 1:30 PM. That was followed by Goshen Jct at 1:44 PM and then onto Tulare at 1:54 PM. We rolled on through Tipton, Delano and McFarland before we came to Earilment 2:37 PM. Now we arrived into Bakersfield at 3:01 PM.

Train 14 left at 3:04 PM. We left Bakersfield at 3:20 PM and would head for the hiils doing track speed. We ran through Edison and then Sandcut as we headed onward to Bena. We came to Caliente and noticed we were following a BNSF stack train.

The UP 4441 East stack train from Caliente. We then got a yellow signal and we were on our way again.

Our train on the Caliente Horseshoe Curve. We went through Tunnels 1 and 2.

The Allard Horseshoe Curve before we went through Beleville we then entered Tunnel 3.

The train took the curves to Tunnel 5 and we found the UP 4441 East at Cliff siding. We ran through Tunnels 6, and 7 and on to Rowen.

The train at Rowen. At Woodford we went around UP 6522 East and now we will head to the Tehachapi Loop.

The trip around the Tehachaphi Loop. We then made our way to Marcel followed by Cable and we had meet 5 UP freights since Bakersfield and only two BNSF freights. We then ran through Tehachaphi, Monolith before descending to Mojave followed by Lancaster and Palmdale before we climbed to Vincent then into Soledad Canyon. We met Metrolink 269 at Lang siding and We met UP 8424 West at Humpherys. We then ran onto Via Princessa, Santa Clarita and Newhall before we entered the San Fernando Tunnel. Exited the San Fernando Tunnel at 7:15 PM before running through Slymer then Sun Valley and when we got to Burbank Junction the detour was over at 7:31 PM. We made a brief stop to unload our UP pilot crew. We here we ran to LAUPT getting there at 7:55 PM ending the two days of unique Coast Starlight detours.