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Tioga Pass Trip from San Diego 9/06/2020

by Chris Guenzler

Elizabeth saw Norm Orfall's posting on Trainorders that Tioga Pass was going to be making a round trip to San Diego on September 5 and 6. She contacted him and made arrangements for us to ride the northbound trip. We rode trains until the day of the trip. The morning of the trip, we drove down to Santa Ana to wait for Pacific Surfliner 1564.

We boarded this train for the short trip to San Juan Capistrano as we usually do on a Sunday morning.

Metrolink Train 661 pulled into San Juan Capistrano and we boarded the bike car for the short trip back to Santa Ana. We next boarded Metrolink 660 and rode down to Oceanside to get us in position for our next train.

Metrolink 661 at Oceanside. Since Coaster trains have not been running on the weekends since late March because of the virus, we had to pay the higher Amtrak fare to get us to San Diego.

Pacific Surfliner 768 pulled into Oceanside and we boarded. This move allowed us to reach San Diego on time and once there, we boarded the Tioga Pass. We met the usual people including Chris Parker, Dennis, Brad and Norm and we gave Norm the check to cover our passage aboard his car.

The view outside from inside the Tioga Pass.

My lovely wife Elizabeth aboard the Tioga Pass.

The author aboard the Tioga Pass. With time we could take some pictures of the car and us aboard it from the outside.

My fantastic wife in her proper place aboard the Tioga Pass if we could ride outside, which we cannot.

The Tioga Pass in San Diego before the trip started behind Pacific Surfliner 579.

The drumhead of the Tioga Pass.

The author giving a wave from the rear platform of the car. Now we reboarded the car for the trip north.

Most of the group aboard the Tioga Pass. We waited for the 1:35 pm departure time.

The train started to move and we see the protection Surfliner engine in San Diego.

A view of the San Diego Santa Fe station as we left town.

San Diego has certainly grown up over the years.

Control Point CP Ash as we left town.

Showing the trolley track going up and over.

A San Diego Trolley Green Line train heads south.

CP Corvair as we headed toward Old Town where the train stopped.

The train left Old Town.

Crossing the San Diego River as the new trolley line is to the left. Now you will see the construction of the new Green Line extension as we head north.

As you can see, the trolley construction is moving along quite well and there is a virtual trip you can take on the San Diego Trolley website that shows you everything you need to know about the line.

The intermediate signal bridge.

CP Rose, the crossover in Rose Canyon.

The curve by the University High School.

The other signal bridge in Rose Canyon.

The Interstate 805 bridge.

The old Santa Fe Railroad helper crossover.

The Miramar wye track taking off the mainline.

CP Cumbres before we start down the Miramar grade.

The descent down the Miramar grade.

CP Scripps.

Interstate 805 bridge.

The train coming into Sorrento Valley.

We went under Interstate 5 and through the Sorrento Valley Coaster station.

The train crossing the lowlands on the way to the Coast Highway bridge.

The Coast Highway bridge and the first view of the Pacific Ocean.

The trip along the Del Mar bluffs.

The Santa Fe Del Mar station.

CP Del Mar.

CP Crosby.

San Dieguito River.

CP Valley before we stopped at Solana Beach.

Crossing Escondido Creek north of Solana Beach.

CP Cardiff.

CP Swami.

The Coaster Encinitas station.

Rolling north through Leucadia.

The La Costa overpass.

Batiquitos Lagoon.

CP Ponto.

The Coaster Poinsettia station.

CP Farr.

Crossing Agua Hediondo Creek.

CP Carl.

We went through Carlsbad Village and under the Coast Highway.

Buena Vista Lagoon.

CP Long Board.

Crossing Cassidy Street.

Crossing Buena Vista Lagoon.

The Sprinter tracks join our route and an eastbound Sprinter heads for Escondido.

CP Pacific before we stopped in Oceanside.

Oceanside, California.

CP Shell.

San Luis Rey River.

CP East Brook.

Metrolink 858 heading back to Oceanside to start its trip to San Bernardino.

The Santa Margarita River.

CP Puller.

Coaster yard at Stuart Mesa.

Pacific Surfliner 774 at CP Stuart.

The tank bridge.

Heavy traffic on southbound Interstate 5 this holiday weekend.

CP Pulgas.

Current construction of the new double track bridge at Las Pulgas.

CP Don.

The tank bridge north of CP Don.

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station also known as Dolly Parton by railroaders.

CP Songs.

Crossing San Onofre Creek.

San Mateo Point.

The trestle crossing San Mateo Creek.

County Line.

The trip along San Clemente Beach.

The San Clemente Beach Amtrak and Metrolink stations.

The rest of the trip along San Clemente Beach.

San Clemente Beach North Metrolink stop.

The pedestrian overpass at MP 200.7.

CP Capistrano.

San Juan Creek before we stopped at San Juan Capistrano.

Trabuco Creek.

CP Trabuco. Now I will show you the new construction site of the future double-tracking of this section of the Surfline.

This project includes installation of a new pocket track to store trains during the day they used to store at the existing pocket track which will be replced with double tracking.

CP Avery.

CP Solow.

The highest point on the Pacific Surfliner route.

CP Bake. The train stopped at Irvine.

West of Irvine, the last of the construction projects.

A new set-out track for the first train of the day is being built west of Irvine. We realized that Elizabeth had forgotten to turn on the air conditioning in the apartment after she had turned it off. Not wanting her to come back to a hot apartment on the record-breaking temperature day of the year of 108 degrees, I told Norm I needed to get off in Santa Ana and he agreed to do that. So at Santa Ana, we went onto the back platform, he opened the trap and I climbed off, thanked him for the great trip and went home and turned on the air conditioning and waited for Elizabeth to get back home. She continued on to Los Angeles and just made the connection with Metrolink 666. She was delayed in Orange by Metrolink 860 so my wait for her in Santa Ana was extended but I sat in the car with the engine on and the air conditioning blasting, so I was fine. She arrived, got into the car and we returned home to a cool apartment on a record-breaking day, shattering the former record of just 93 degrees, so a fifteen degree higher day that we all survived. It had been a great trip back aboard a private car during the time of the Covid virus. We all wore masks which made for a far more interesting trip than normal.