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Train Riders Group Trip to San Luis Obispo III 11/12/2007

by Chris Guenzler

This is the third year our Train Rider Meetup Group will have gone to San Luis Obispo on the Veteran Day Holiday. I was up early and after my morning affairs at home had taken place, I was off to the Santa Ana Train Station where I parked my Geo Metro for the day. I walked over to the east platform via the grade crossing at Santa Ana Blvd and soon found the Walkers who were waiting for me. I went down and bought my Metrolink ticket to Los Angeles Union Station and returned to the Walkers to wait for the train to come in.

Winston, Sue and Christy Walker waiting at Santa Ana. Metrolink 601 came in and we all boarded the second coach on the lower level. They would ride on this train all the way to Los Angeles but I would be detraining in Fullerton to meet Steve Grande and Tom Anderson. The train made the stops at Orange and Anaheim before it dropped me off at Fullerton. As I got off I noticed how well the Fullerton passengers line up to board their trains like the Sounder Passengers do in the Pacific Northwest. I found Steve at a table in the Santa Fe Cafe at the station and Tom joined us a minute later. Steve took my suggestion about putting four stories on the front page of until we get through the backlog of stories that I am partially responsible for creating due to all my trips I taken. About four minutes before our train from Riverside was due into Fullerton we lined up and was joined by a gentleman who was going to Van Nuys and we got him there.

Metrolink 701 pulling into Fullerton. The four of us boarded sitting on the lower level and the train headed towards Los Angeles. The train stopped at Buena Park then Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs before taking us onto Los Angeles Union Station which we arrived into on time. We detrained then walked over to Track 8 where we found a waiting Surfliner 799.

Amtrak Surfliner 799 sharing the platform with a Metrolink train set.

Amtrak Surfliner 799 11/12/2007

Winston Walker joined us at train side and we caught up on things since we last saw him. The Assistant Conductor opened up the coach door we were waiting at. We boarded the Horizon Train set with Tom and I sharing a seat together. Steve sat across the aisle and a few minutes later Winston joined him. Our train left Los Angeles on time and I soon had a DVD on my computer to show Tom the CP 2816 Trips I had taken back in September plus the Doubleheaded Trip with the Milwaukee Road 261 and CP 2816. Just before Glendale, Peter Kim found us asking if we were the Train Rider Group with us saying yes! He took the seat behind us. This train makes all of the Metrolink Stops until Oxnard. We met several Metrolink trains plus Surfliner 768. I switched the DVD to the NRHS 2007 Convention so Steve could also see what the trips were like. Everyone enjoyed the DVD which lasted until Ventura. It was now time to enjoy the views of the Pacific Ocean as Tom and I watched my DVD of "Rainbow in Germany" with Ronnie James Dio who was the singer back in those days. That lasted until west of Goleta before we watched our journey along the Pacific Ocean. The train rounded Point Conception then later Point Sol before we started running through Vandenberg Air Force Base. A few minutes later we arrived at the Surf/Lompoc Station.

The Pacific Ocean at Surf.

Peter Kim a first timer with our group.

Steve Grande enjoying a USA Today.

Winston Walker my excellent proof reader for my web site.

Tom Anderson not Tom Peterson of Cheap Trick fame as I always screw up Tom's last name for some unknown reason.

Sue and Christy Walker who sat in Pacific Business Class for this trip. The train continued north across the base before turning inland then dropping into the Santa Maria Valley.

Lines of Amtrak Express Box Cars and Reefers are stored on sidings on the Santa Marie Valley Railroad at Betteravia. The train stopped at Guadalupe and at Grover Beach we spotted the Station Grill which could be a destination of yet another future train trip. The train then made its way to San Luis Obispo arriving twenty minutes late. We all detrained except Mrs. Walker who stayed on the train due to our lateness. As the rest of us walked over to the Del Monte Cafe, I walked up onto the pedestrian bridge for a few pictures.

Surfliner 799 and Union Pacific helpers at San Luis Obispo.

A second view at San Luis Obispo. I caught up with the group and we all walked over to the Del Monte Cafe for lunch.

A picture of the Del Monte Cafe where we got lunch.

It is just south of the pedestrian bridge south of the San Luis Obispo Train Station.

Tom, Steve and Peter at the Del Monte Cafe. Due to the number of people in the Del Monte Cafe the service was a little slow so we got our order changed to go. Winston and Christy got their food in time to eat it before it was time to leave. Twenty minutes before our train home was to leave, we got our meal and we took it back onboard the train.

Surfliner 798 11/12/2007

I was enjoying my French Dip Sandwich as the train left SLO on time. We made our way south to Grover Beach and Guadalupe before we went into the siding at Waldorf for a 45 minute late northbound Coast Starlight.

Another view of those Amtrak Box Cars. The Coast Starlight finally went by our train and we continued south. Tom and I watched a pair of DVD programs he had bought with him. These were on Freight Trains with a second one about Bridges, Tunnels and Grades. At Santa Barbara the train filled up. We missed several of our normal meets and by Moorpark our train was only ten minutes late. The train proceeded through the Chatsworth Tunnels before we ran east across the San Fernando Valley. Our train arrived into Los Angeles Union Station only one minute late. Tom and I walked over to Philippe's and got Roast Beef Sandwiches to go. Back on the platform, the crew of Surfliner 592 finally opened the doors and we all boarded. The train left Los Angeles Union Station on time and we all were off towards home. Steve and Tom got off at Fullerton before we all detrained at Santa Ana ending another interesting Train Riders Excursion to San Luis Obispo.