Facebook Page

Coast Starlight to home 10/11-12/2020

by Chris Guenzler

Elizabeth and I woke up at the County Inn and suites in The Dalles after a restful night of sleep and after packing up and checking things on the Internet, we checked out. After McDonald's hot cakes and sausage while Elizabeth had her usual breakfast, we drove Interstate 84 through just a couple of rain showers back to Portland Union Station. Elizabeth first checked her large suitcase all the way to Santa Ana. Then she came back and took the rest of the luggage to the Metropolitan Lounge and checked herself in. I returned the rental car then walked back to the Convention Center Max station and took the train back to Chinatown. My walk was interesting as I passed many homeless camps on the the way back to Portland Union Station. I found Elizabeth there who was on line and I joined her, cleaned out my E mail and watched the trains go by outside the lounge on the mainline. I got a Coca Cola and a Sprite for later in the trip and then waited for the Coast Starlight to arrive into Portland this afternoon. The train arrived at 1:41 PM today.

Coast Starlight 10/11/2020

Elizabeth and I boarded Room D in the 32031 Sleeping Car. Elizabeth stayed into room while I went and got the consisit and took a few pictures. This train had P42s 190 and 172, Sleeping Cars 32031 and 32112 Utah, Diner 38063, Lounge 33000 with Coach 34049, Baggage Coach 31047 and Business Class 34512. Claudia is our sleeping car attendent. This is the last daily Coast Starlight.

Portland Union Station.

The Coast Starlight resting in Portland. The train left right on time and we headed south deeper into Oregon.

Portland Street Railway Company Horsecar 3 built in 1872 at the Milwaukie Museum. It is the oldest surviving Portland streetcar. Electric cars began replacing horsecars in 1889 and the last horsecar run was on June 20, 1892.

The end of the Oregon Trail minus the canopies above each wagon. The train went into the siding at Coalca.

Pearson Art Gallery and the train meet the northbound Coast Starlight at Coalca.

Oregon Pacific switcher at Canby. The train went to Salem and then onto Albany. Elizabeth's new mileage started and will end at Haggin before Sacramento tommorrow morning.

Elizabeth starting her new rail mileage. Next stop is our fresh air break at Eugene.

The Coast Starlight at Eugene. Elizabeth and I went to the Dining Car to have dinner. The service was by no means as good as what we had experienced on the California Zephyr and Empire Builder trains. On this train our meal came in a carrier bag. We both preferred the way it was on the other trains as I thought it was very unprofessional to serve a meal like that when we were not taking it to our room but eating there. The Coast Starlight has sure fallen from far from what Brian Rosenwald once made it. Elizabeth had the Chicken Marsala and I had the Red Wine Braised Beef and we both had a Blondie for dessert. Elizabeth was making her first trip across Cascade Summit. We stopped in Chemult before we arrived into Klamath Falls and I detrained for a pair of night photos.

Coast Starlight at Klamath Falls.

We stayed up until Klamath Falls Southern Pacific station. I made up the room for the night for our last night on the train.

10/12/2020 Elizabeth and I awoke at Martinez and we went to the Dining Car where I had Fruit Loops and orange juice as the train ran along the Carquinez Strait to San Pablo Bay. After breakast I went to the Lounge Car and got a cinnamon roll. After a while we went back to the Lounge Car and got on line via Elizabeth's hot spot on her phone. The train stopped in Emeryville and Jack London Square in Oakland then the direct way knowing the way to San Jose.

Catenary poles and hangers for Caltrain's electrification project, as well as an out-of-service Capitol train set. The train left San Jose on time and headed south through Gilroy and then the Pajora Gap where the tracks cross the San Andreas Fault.

Farming in the Watsonville Valley before we reached Watsonville Jct then went towards the Elkhorn Slough.

The Elkhorn Slough.

Elizabeth at the Elkhorn Slough. I got my lunch from the lounge car. Chicken tenders, pretzels and a root beer with a chocolate chip cookie. The train headed to Salinas, a long fresh air break.

The Salinas Southern Pacific station.

Southern Pacific 0-6-0 1237 built in 1924.


Railway Express Agency/Railway Post Office car 65 built in 1924.

The Salinas Railway Express Agency building.

The Coast Starlight at rest at Salinas.

Fruit Growers Express refrigator car built in 1923. The train left Salinas on time and ran to Paso Robles. It was then over Cuesta Pass and the descent down the grade.

Descending the Cuesta Grade.

The Streener Creek Trestle below.

The train on the Goldtree Horseshoe Curve before the train reached San Luis Obispo, our next fresh air stop.

The Coast Starlight at San Luis Obispo crew change.

The San Luis Obispo Southern Pacific station. We left on time for our next station stop of Santa Barbara. I took nap as I was tired and woke up about Casmalia. Now I will show you the views until the Santa Ynez River crossing. For dinner, I had a hot dog, pretzels and a chocolate chip cookie with a Coca-Cola since I was tired of the limited selection of food in the dining car. Elizabeth had chicken fettucine again which she enjoyed.

The views taken to the Santa Ynez River crossing. I returned to my room and relaxed then decided just to lie down for a while. After I talked with good friend Greg Smith, I walked the train to the business class car on the rear and took a picture.

The view from the rear of the train. Elizabeth returned and we detrained at Santa Barbara to take a few pictures during the fresh air stop.

The Coast Starlight at Santa Barbara.

The Santa Barbara Southern Pacific station built 1905.

The world's largest fig tree and Southern Pacific private car "Santa Barbara". The train then ran onto Oxnard, Simi Valley and Van Nuys before the final sprint into Los Angeles. We arrived at Los Angeles Union Station at 8:35 PM and we detrained. It had been an excellent trip despite the food choices aboard the Coast Starlight. This train is far from what it once was but it still got us back to Los Angeles. We were taken to the Lounge by the Red Cap and we spent our time in there before we were taken out to Pacific Surfliner 796. This train would take us home to Santa Ana. The train made stops at Fullerton and Anaheim before dropping us off at Santa Ana. Elizabeth had to get her case and then we went to the parking structure to get my car and drive back to our apartment. What a great trip it had been and we did several unique and memorable things but it is always good to be home.