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Getting to the trains Unlimited Trip and my 875,000 Rail Mile 7/1/2005

by Chris Guenzler

As I neared the Trains Unlimited trip to Portland it became apparent that I would pass my 875,000 Rail Mile on my trip to Emeryville the day before. My mother drove me down to the Santa Ana Train Station so I could take Metrolink 603 to Los Angeles to connect with my Thruway Bus at Los Angeles Union Station for Bakersfield.

Metrolink 603 7/1/2005

The Metrolink Train 603 came into Santa Ana right on time in the push mode. Cab Car 645 led Coaches 177, 149, 168 and 127 with engine 856. We rolled north on a very overcast morning headed to Los Angeles making all the Metrolink stops including Commerce. Richard Albirti was my conductor and as always does an excellent job of getting his train over the road. We arrived into LAUPT nine minutes early. Surfliner 799 going to San Luis Obispo had the full length dome was a tempting choice to ride this morning but I had a bus to Bakersfield to catch. Plus I could ride in the Great Dome tomorrow on the Trains Unlimited Trip.

Thruway Bus 7/1/2005

I met Chris Parker and we boarded Bus 63179 for Bakersfield. We departed LAUPT and headed to Glendale picking up seven passengers. Chris and I talked all the way to Bakersfield which made it a quick trip to Bakersfield. The Bus pulled into Bakersfield and as the passengers were waiting for their luggage I grabbed a couple of seats in the California Car San Diego Bay.

San Joaquin 713 7/1/2005

Once they had put the luggage off the bus I went back to claim mine and take Chris to our seats for our trip to Oakland. This train had Caltrain 2015, 8202 Coach/Baggage San Diego Bay, Coach 8032 Santa Clara River, Cafe 8807 Imperial Valley and Cab Car 6310 Mt Hamilton. The train left Bakersfield on time.

After Wasco the roses that the town is famous for were in a state of blooming. We had passed four BNSF freights in sidings before we met San Joaquin 702 right before we stopped at Corcoran. Railroad crossing replacement delayed us where the BNSF crosses the San Joaquin Valley Railroad which they were working on when we passed through. We took the siding at Conejo for San Joaquin 712.

San Joaquin 713 at Fresno.

Two miles north at MP 1000, I passed 875,000 rail miles. At Planda we took the siding to meet San Joaquin 714. We did Merced followed by Turlock/Denair before running to Modesto. At Stockton we lost most of our train's passengers.

Boaters and wave riders having a great time at Middle River. At Orwood we met San Joaquin716.

A ship traveling down river towards San Francisco Bay right before Antioch.

Light BNSF units waiting for us to clear at Port Chicago.

The United States Military Units at the Port Chicago Naval Weapons Station.

A nice view looking southwest before we reached Martinez.

The railroad bridge east of Martinez before we cruised along the Carquinez Straits.

The new Interstate 80 Bridge at Crocket before we turned the corner to run along San Pablo Bay passing the lone tunnel on our route.

A looking back shot at Hercules before we crossed over to the east mainline.

Looking back at Pinole before we rolled through Richmond. We paused in Emeryville before passing the new Amtrak Maintenance Facility on the way to the Jack London Station in Oakland. We bought our return tickets for our return to Emeryville.

I heard a horn and manage to get up on the Pedestrian Bridge to catch a UP freight.

Our San Joaquin heading for servicing in the yard.

A few minutes later Capitol Train 542 came into Oakland to take us back to Emeryville. Chris picked up his checked luggage before we walked four blocks to the Holiday Inn.

The view from my room of the Oakland Hills. After a few minutes rest, Chris and I ran some errands before going to Dennys for dinner. I watched some Russian UFOs on the History Channel before walking back to Amtrak to find Bob Riskie while Chris stayed at the hotel. His train was twenty four minutes late and came in after a late California Zephyr had arrived and departed for the yard. While I waited I passed the time talking with two local Bay Area rail photographers who were also readers of my web site. Bob and I returned to the Holiday Inn for the night.

7/2/2005 Up early we went to Dennys with our luggage before we walked back to the Emeryville to wait for the Trains Unlimited Trip to arrive.