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Southern Pacific 2472 to Los Angeles 9/13/1992

by Chris Guenzler

The Southern Pacific 2472 pulled a special passenger train made up mainly of the Rio Grande Ski Train equipment plus some private Dome Cars on a two day trip from the Bay Area to Los Angeles. This movement was to put the Southern Pacific 2472 in position to haul the Earth Train out of Los Angeles north up the Coast line a few days later.

Jeff and I drove north since Flimsies provided us the schedule with us first stopping by the Ventura County Railroad getting a picture of their S-6 7 in Oxnard. We drove north on Highway 101 through Santa Barbara as I was looking for a vantage point that over looked the Pacific Ocean. As we reached Tajiguas I spotted the first photo location on the southbound side of the highway. We made the first U turn we could take then hiked down the hill to the tracks.

As we waited Amtrak's Coast Starlight came by heading to Seattle. Hearing on the scanner that the Coast Starlight was going to meet the Southern Pacific 2472 at Gaviota, we knew it would be only be a few more minutes.

We heard a whistle, then off in the distance we watched the Southern Pacific 2472 steam into view before steaming by us. Back to the car and knowing that Southern Pacific 2472 was going to take on water and passengers in Santa Barbara we made our way to my next planned photo location at Rincon Point. We parked the car and started to walk towards the track to a hill that overlooked both the tracks and ocean. I looked down onto the beach seeing a pair of nude women playing Frisbee. Next, two nude men playing paddle ball. We had unknowingly discovered a nude beach and we put our cameras on the inland side of us not wanting the nudist to see them. We made it to the hill ok, and were joined by several other photographers. A CHP car drove by on the highway and must have seen us all up there with our cameras thinking we were taking pictures of the people on the nude beach. He drove down along the tracks below us then told us we could not take pictures from here. I told him that we were waiting for a steam train and he did not believe us until the Southern Pacific 2472 blew his whistle for Carpinteria. He asked, "What was that?" and received a chorus of "Steam Train!" He came up the hill to join us and said after he was sorry he did not believe us but "Seeing is believing!"

Southern Pacific 2472 at Rincon Point. We followed the Southern Pacific 2472 to Ventura where we got ahead of it and taking no chances we took the cutoff to the 118 Freeway to get to the overlook of the Chatsworth Rocks.

First a southbound San Diegan came through followed shortly by the Southern Pacific 2472.

We then ran to Main Street in Los Angeles for a final coming and going picture of the Southern Pacific 2472.