Facebook Page

Union Pacific 4014 West Colton to Barstow 10/12/2019

by Chris Guenzler

This trip was being put on by the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society Southern California Chapter and the Rail Giants Museum in Pomona, California and the Union Pacific Railroad. I joined the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society Southern California Chapter before the trip was announced and then received an e-mail about being a car host. I responded with my experience of being a car host and bus host for the National Railway Historical Society for the last eight years. When I was chosen to car host both days I was really excited. The only thing was I had to be in Rancho Cucumonga for the Friday night safety meeting but decided to stay at the same hotel where our meeting would be held and stay there both nights. It was really close to the Rancho Cucumonga Metrolink Station so my early morning trip to be a car host would be quick.

So on Friday, I worked to my lunch break, worked through it, and left at the end of lunch. I drove home and then drove CA 55 to CA 91 where it was bumper- to-bumper traffic through Corona then the same thing on Interstate 15 other than five miles of my drive. I was glad to reach 4th Street in Rancho Cucumonga where I checked into the Hilton Garden Inn and had a second floor room and working internet. I went over to Carl's Junior and brought back a hamburger then relaxed and worked on this story before attending the 7:00 PM Safety Meeting in the meeting room. After that, I made a few phone calls and an early night.

10/12/2019 I was up at 3:45 AM and after preparing for my day, drove over to the Rancho Cucumonga Metrolink station. The bus pulled into the West Colton yard and after the passengers debussed, we had our first safety meeting. Afterwards, I went into the "City of Los Angeles" which was the Souvenir Car and had no doors nor passengers assigned to it. I was working this car with Dave Arthur for the trip to Barstow. We prepared the train for the passengers to arrive by bus between 7:30 and 8:00 AM.

The trip

The consist of the train was Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 4014, UP Water Car "Joe Jordan", UP Water Car "Jim Adams", UP helper diesel locomotives SD70AH 9072 and ES44AC 2551, Tool Car "Art Lockman", Power car 209 "Howard Fogg", Museum car "Promontory", UP crew deluxe sleeper "Green River", Power Car 2066, crew dome "Walter Dean", crew Dome, crew diner "City of Denver", crew business car "Kenefick", "Challenger" (Streamliner Dome/Coach), "Portland Rose" (Streamliner Coach), "Katy Flyer" (Streamliner Coach), "Sunshine Special" (Streamliner Coach), "City of Salina" (Streamliner Coach), "Texas Eagle" (Streamliner Coach), "Columbine" (Streamliner Dome/Coach), "Missouri River Eagle" (Premier Dome/Diner), "Colorado Eagle" (Premier Dome/Diner), Power Car Crew Car, City of Los Angeles (Souvenir Car), City of Portland (First Class Dome/Diner), City of San Francisco (First Class Dome/Lounge) and "Cheyenne" (Executive Observation Car).

The inside of Union Pacific "City of Los Angeles".

The train at rest at West Colton Yard after I had helped set up the Souvenir Car very early Saturday morning.

Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 4014 the Big Boy.

Union Pacific SD70AH 9072.

Union Pacific ES44AC 2551. I returned to the City of Angeles.

The Rail Giants souvenir banner "Birthplace of the Big Boy Steam Dream".

The display of Big Boy T-shirts.

The sale items for this trip. While we waited for our passengers to arrive, the action in West Colton receiving yard kept us all entertained.

The receiving yard switcher went back and forth outside our car. The buses then arrived and all the passengers wanted to have a chance to photograph the Union Pacific Big Boy before they boarded but that was stopped when the crew had to make an air test of the train. That is when the first passengers came into our car to start buying items. Dave Arthur and I gave Dave the details of our duties for today's trip. I met many people and a few old friends during the trip. The Souvenir Car staff served plenty of people and the car emptied out before we departed.

We would be taking 300 passengers to Barstow today. At 10:00 AM the train started reversing to the main line, passing the signal west of Cedar Avenue and once we received a favorable signal, Union Pacific 4014 east started pulling the train on its way to Barstow. The souvenir car started to fill up again with more souvenir hunters.

The West Colton Yard Tower and offices.

At the east end of the West Colton Yard is Pepper Street where many railfans and other were ready to photograph or just watch the train depart the yard then wouuld leave the Sunset Route for the trip over Interstate 10 and beyond on the Palmdale Cutoff, which was completed in 1967.

The connection to the Palmdale Cutoff was made and Union Pacific 4014 stopped traffic on Interstate 10 this morning then ran by Slover siding.

The train crossed over the Metrolink San Bernardino Subdivision.

We then crossed the Lyle Creek Wash bridge and stopped traffic on Interstate 210. I never realized a steam train had the power to do that.

The train made the big curve by Duffy Street.

An airplane was following our train with Mount Baldy in this scene.


The train made the final big curve to take us into Cajon Pass.

Railfans and others were all over our route this morning, where I photographed the steam engine and train last Wednesday.

Taking the curves to reach Dike siding and Devore.

Next we went under Interstate 15 and entered Cajon Pass.

The train went by Kennebrook on the BNSF but did not use the connection there to get onto the BNSF mainline.

Union Pacific 4014 was getting deeper into Cajon Pass.

Nearing the place called Kennebrook.

The train made the big cuve to enter Blu Cut.

Blu Cut is where we cross the San Andreas Fault Line and the boundary between the Pacific Tectonic Plate and the North American Tectonic Plate.

Right here we are crossing the San Andreas Fault Line with many people taking pictures at Swarthout Road.

We made the turn with the BNSF mainline below our route. The next highlight was the trip around Sullivan's Curve.

The trip around Sullivan's Curve aboard Big Boy 4014 East.

A few minutes later, the Mormon Rocks came into view.

The train ran past the Mormon Rocks.

Then train ran by the Davis Ranch.

Next we went under the freeway and crossed the old US 66 route with my photographers recording and taking pictures of our train.

The train took the curve where the Santa Fe had two tunnels before they double-tracked the 2.2% grade.

Plenty of railfans on Hill 582 on this day.

Before we reached Silverwood Connection, a BNSF stack train took the three percent grade down to Cajon.

Big Boy 4014 East took the Silverwood Connection to reach the BNSF mainline just below Summit.

The train took this big curve to reach Summit.

Later in Hesperia, we came to the branch of the line to Cushenberry, a place I rode to on a Pacific Railroad Society excursion on May 4, 1985. I took a break and walked into the dome of the "City of San Francisco".

North of Hesperia, a right hand turn.

After Bear Valley Cutoff Road, another right hand turn.

A left hand turn.

Just before we went down to the Frost Flyover, we met BNSF 7454 West.

The train went under the bridge at the Frost Flyover then continued to Frost and past the Mojave Narrows Regional Park.

Next we ran toward the Upper Narrows of the Mojave River.

Click here for Part 2