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Summer of Steam Part II ATSF 3751 and my 700,000.0 Rail Mile

by Chris Guenzler

With our NRHS Convention taking place in Williams, AZ., the talk was that Santa Fe 4-8-4 3751 would pull an excursion train of private cars to and from the event. The return trip would be over the Peavine Line of the Santa Fe and the Arizona and California Railroad, both lines I wanted to ride as they would be new to me. There would also be a Santa Fe 3751 trip to the Grand Canyon {later I learned it would be a double headed move with the Grand Canyon 4960 per www.steamcentral. com. Bob Riskie, an Amtrak conductor wanted to ride the 3751 east so I bought a round trip ticket plus the trip to the canyon. To get to Williams once I was confirmed having the NRHS tickets for all of the trips. I got an Amtrak ticket from Los Angeles to Williams Jct for $71.60. On June 30th, checked Railsale finding the same seat for only $23.60 and made my reservation before taking the tickets to Santa Ana to exchange them. I had called a hotel in Williams for two nights and I was then all set to start another steam train adventure.

Santa Fe 3751 Chase East 8/19/2002

Bill Compton and his nephew Brian picked me up and we made our way through traffic to the Metrolink Flyover across the former SP {Sunset Route} now Union Pacific and the San Gabriel River. The Baldwin Park Local came from the City of Industry to work the Metrolink San Bernardino Line industries. I was told to wait for the Santa Fe 3751 east before it could start the day's work.

About ten minutes later, the Santa Fe 3751 and train listed below crossed over the flyover on a very cloudy morning. The train had this consist.

We got into Bill's vehicle and drove east via the Pomona Freeway then Interstate 15 to Etawanda Ave and our next photo location.

Here the sun came out and the Santa Fe 3751 charged by with smoke billowing out of its stack. It should make a great picture. Next we headed up to Cajon Pass and parked at the end of the public road at Cajon. The fire area was closed to vehicles and to all others but I had contacted the US Forest Service and got permission to hike into Sullivan's Curve.

The light was great and after longer than expected wait, the Santa Fe 3751 and train came chugging up the grade to the curve made so famous by Herb Sullivan and his pictures. It was a great show put on by the Santa Fe 3751. Bill then drove me home.

Surfliner 581 8/22/2002

Train 581 arrived right on time and after I pointed out two individuals along the tracks up ahead to conductor Ron Houston, I boarded Pacific Business Class to Los Angeles. When we crossed the flyover at Redondo Jct without the Santa Fe 3751 in the usual layover spot. It totally hit me as this would be only the second time I rode the Santa Fe 3751. The other was that California Limited Trip on December 28, 1992 when I rode Barstow to Bakersfield and went around the Tehachapi Loop for my only time. We arrived at Los Angeles Union Station right on time and I headed into the depot.

Southwest Chief 4 8/22/2002

I got my boarding pass but without a car number on it in this post 9/11 world. Coach passengers lined up at the red ropes and sleeping car passengers lined up at the blue ropes. They removed the gates at LAUPT earlier this year. We were then lead single file down the tunnel to Track 11 where I was told to go to car 412. My attendant Dolores took my ticket and gave me my seat assignment, my usual right hand side full window seat. The Southwest Chief left the platform five minutes late and did the usual adding of the mail and express cars. We were a 42 car train leaving the City of Angeles. I rode the upper level of the lounge car to Fullerton and when the movie "Beautiful Mind" started, I went down stairs where I could hear it better. The movie finished at Lugo on the back side of Cajon Pass and I then called it a night.

8/23/2002 After I tossed and turned all night, we arrived at Williams Jct about an hour late. {A good thing!} Thirty people detrained into two mini buses and we were all taken to the Fray Marcos. People all could not believe that the Amtrak stop was so out in the middle of nowhere.

Williams 8/23/2002

Jerry of Burlingame, Wayne of Cypress and I walked over to the Budget Host Inn with no activity in the office so we walked next store for a hearty breakfast at the Old Smoky Restaurant. We returned to the lobby and were given our rooms. The three of us walked to the Grand Canyon Railroad Depot before I walked over to the Rodeo Rd grade crossing and moments later, the Grand Canyon 2-8-2 4960 and the FA 6173 backed down to the depot. Rumors were flying as to where Santa Fe 3751 was and the large group at the crossing learned about 9:55 AM that the was rented by Goodhart Production for the day. That turned everyone's attention to the now leaving Grand Canyon Railroad train to the Canyon with the Grand Canyon 4960 on the head end. I shot it from the southeast leg of the wye in excellent light. I was given a ride back to the depot, visited the post office and a Safeway before relaxing for the afternoon. After filling out five post cards on the way back to the post office, I picked up eleven more cards as well as some rocks for the greatest science teacher I know, Mrs. Angle at McFadden. Returning to my room, I listened to Yes as I filled out the post cards. I listened to the Gates of Delirium playing as I walked back to the post office. Back at the room as I watched the A Team, Earl Nickles of the Orange County Railroad Society {OCRHS} and the excellent barber on the Overland Trail on the Santa Fe 3751 train arrived. We walked to the gift shop then by the excursion train before I went to set up for the return of the Grand Canyon Train. It came around the curve out by the wye in perfect light. Earl and I went to Rods Steak House with us having an enjoyable dinner. We walked back in the cool night air to the hotel via the station. I called Amtrak learning that the westbound Southwest Chief was over three hours late. As I was getting off of the phone, the Santa Fe 3751 returned to the depot with only Earl and I standing on the platform to enjoy the arrival. I visited Safeway before calling it a night.

NRHS Santa Fe 3751 to the Grand Canyon 8/24/2002

The wakeup call came and following the usual daily preparations, I went to Smoky's for a French Toast Breakfast enjoying my meal with Earl. I walked over to the train and as I took pictures of Santa Fe 3751 in beautiful light meeting Ron and Ellen Grau {OCRHS}. As I waited for our excursion to board, I met people from all over America. The car I chose to ride was the ex Norfolk and Western Powhatan Arrow. My seat mate was Paul, grandson of a Soo Line conductor from North Hollywood. As I waited for departure, I walked to the Royal Gorge to buy my Canyon Rails 2002 T-shirt.

The Santa Fe 3751 left Williams at 8:38 AM and we passed the coach yard with the Grand Canyon 18, a 2-8-0 on their point of the daily train to the Grand Canyon waiting for us to leave town. I rode the vestibule by the Grand Canyon Railroad shops, under the BNSF mainline and the first few miles out into the countryside finishing off a roll of film. Since I documented the line in my Grand Canyon Railroad Story, I just sat back and listened to the Santa Fe 3751 work as I met more people from all over the United States. Later, I walked forward on the train to see who else I knew aboard the Santa Fe 3751 train. As the Santa Fe 3751 passed through Willaha, the population soared with about 50 photographers who all vanished just as soon as we had passed. I listened to Yes' Yesshows as we traveled north to the canyon this morning.

When we arrived at Anita, the Santa Fe 3751 dropped us all off to do a Photo Runby. As the Santa Fe 3751 backed out of sight, and because of a van parked which the owner would not move, the Photo Line got up and moved right ahead past the van. Minutes before the train started the photo runby, the Photo Line moved again this time because of a small rise in the landscape to the final location. Once the Santa Fe 3751 started forward, I used my zoom features to capture the great smoking Santa Fe 3751 but right when I switched to my normal lens, the Santa Fe 3751 stopped smoking passing the Photo Line with a clear stack before smoking it up later.

Santa Fe 3751 photo runby at Anita.I had never heard so many people complain about a clear stack engine. Steam engines when running normally have a clean stack. These people should be grateful for any Photo Runbys you get on a steam train especially these days with what the insurance is for a steam train trip. The Santa Fe 3751 pulled out of sight to where Grand Canyon 4960 was waiting to be added to the point of our train. They backed past us as a double header before performing a very smokey Photo Runby.

The doubleheaded Photo Runby. I ran into Bob Riskie who rode with my eastbound ticket and we got caught up. I rode the vestibule to Apex and down through Cocoino Canyon. The 4960 is an excellent sounding steam locomotive. This was a nice relaxing trip behind the 3751/4960 to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The Santa Fe 3751 and Grand Canyon 4960 cut off and we were pushed straight into the station by the Amtrak diesels where we all detrained for our stay at the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon 8/24/2002

Once we had arrived at the Grand Canyon, I shot this picture of the Santa Fe 3751. While the Santa Fe 3751 was being lubed and prior to that a few more pictures of the engine, I walked up and over the ridge to the Grand Canyon. Returning to the station with the Santa Fe 3751 still sitting in the same spot, the Grand Canyon 4960 soon joined pulling up in front with most of its tender behind the Santa Fe 3751. Next the Grand Canyon 18, did the same maneuver behind the Grand Canyon 4960 and we had all three of the steam engines lined up in front of the log Grand Canyon Depot.

Once the regular Grand Canyon Steam Train had arrived with GCRR 18 on the point, they arranged the Santa Fe 3751, Grand Canyon 4960 and Grand Canyon 18 in front of the Grand Canyon Station.

Next, they back each engine up to give the photographers a better picture of the three engines and the log Grand Canyon station. After everyone had taken their fill of pictures, they rearranged the engine so the Grand Canyon Station would be in the pictures as well.

Three steam engines at the Grand Canyon. What a Photo Shoot! While all of that was going on, I ran into Steve Sandburg of the Milwaukee Road 261 crew and we got caught up. I walked back to the rim, bought an ice cream cone and ran into Fred Kingdom {OCRHS} along with his wife viewing the canyon. I returned to the train and with no platform where our cars were, we had to board through the Pine Tree State and walked through the train to our car and seats.

NRHS Santa Fe 3751 Back to Williams 8/24/2002

We left the Grand Canyon at 2:35 PM to head back to Williams with only Santa Fe 3751 leading our train. I listened to John Cougar as the train headed south through Cocoino Canyon. We ran down the line to MP 41.6 but overshot the Photo Runby location so we backed to MP 42 and detrained onto a hillside overlooking a long straight track.

On our way south, the Santa Fe 3751 did another solo runby at milepost 42. The Santa Fe 3751 backed out of sight before performing a smokeless runby before it ran to MP 39 where the 4960 was waiting.

The Santa Fe 3751 steamed ahead to MP 44 to get the waiting CGRR 4960 before they backed together to perform another double headed runbyA double header again, they backed past us before they did a smokey runby which bought clapping from the Photo Line. We all reboarded and headed to Willaha where our special went into the siding so the regular Grand Canyon train could get by us. They unloaded us and we got to shot the 18 hauled train passing our double header. Once they had cleared, our train backed out onto the mainline and did a double Photo Runby which I shot at two different angles.

The first photo runby at Willaha.

The first photo runby at Willaha. Once we were on the move again, I signed up for next year's convention in Baltimore. Could I pick up some new mileage and baseball stadiums? It will all be planning to see how much of both I can do. The 4960 did most of the smoking for the rest of the trip as I sat back and relaxed. We climbed the 3% grade with both engines really talking as they worked. At MP 3, we detrained in the last light of the day and we did another double headed runby.

As the sun was setting they pulled forward to add the steam engine 18 to the point to give us a triple headed runby. They did it twice and I took pictures with little hope of them coming out but how often do you see a triple headed steam train? This was a first for me and I really loved it. We had a twilight run back into Williams ending a fantastic day of train riding. We arrived back at the station at 7:47 PM. What a trip! I walked around the front of our triple header, thanking each of the engine crews for such a great day before a westbound BNSF freight passed through Williams. {I had seen a lot of BNSF freight trains going through Williams.} I went to the Dairy Queen for a below par hamburger but the Chocolate Shake was excellent. I called home before calling it a night.

NRHS Santa Fe 3751 to Parker 8/25/2002

Waking up knowing that every mile that you are going to ride today is new mileage is quite a feeling. I took an early morning walk before having another filling breakfast at Smoky's. I took an early morning side shot of the Santa Fe 3751 before checking out and heading to the train to load. I talked to Dave Rohr of Rail Journey West before I boarded their car the El Capitian, Santa Fe 2822 at 8:10 AM. Just think, I am riding in a Santa Fe coach behind a Santa Fe Steam locomotive down the Peavine Line in 2002. I talked with the other passengers and met Daniel Chazin, another travelogue writer at Trainweb.

At 8:30 AM, the Santa Fe 3751 started pulling forward and we were underway. We ran down the siding before backing out onto the mainline as the BNSF 7862 welded rail train was further down the siding. The portion of the Peavine to Ash Fork was the original Santa Fe mainline used until they built the Crookton Line in 1960 and then their line between Ash Fork and Crookton was abandoned. We ducked under the Interstate 40 as the line starts the twisting and turning along the hillsides through the trees to drop to Ash Fork. We passed through Sterno and we are traveling through a very dry Northern Arizona as the monsoonal rains have yet to appear bringing the needed rainfall. A sign of an El Nino winter? We ran around a large horseshoe curve at MP 381.5. The Santa Fe 3751 negotiated a series of horseshoe and "S" curves for the reduction in elevation before Daze. We made are way down more sweeping curves into Ash Fork with its depot still standing. Here we changed our pilot engineers. As we left Ash Fork, the old grade of the original Santa Fe headed off to the west as we turned south under Interstate 40 which we would not go under again until Pisgah tomorrow back in California. We ran through Cruice and in a few minutes crossed Little Hell Canyon where a large contingency of photographers were waiting for us.

Hell Canyon ran to the north of us as we turned to run under the Highway 89 bridge crammed with photographers on our way to Drake where the old Santa Fe line to Clarkdale took off now operated by the Verde Canyon Railroad. Right after Drake, we crossed the Hell Canyon bridge 335 feet in length and more than 150 feet above the steam bed. This bridge is the signature landmark of the Peavine Line. We made our way to Abra where the Santa Fe did a line relocation to bypass Prescott and the steep grade west of there. The train turned west to cross the Williamson Valley. We turned south later running along the slope and a few minutes later crossed Mint Creek before we ducked under Highway 5 at Tucker. The Granite Mountains came into view to the east as we started to climb out of the Verde River drainage area as we entered the desert leaving the trees far behind with the West Spruce Mountains to the east and Martin Mountain to the west. We traveled down the upper reaches of Skull Valley with its large boulders. The Santa Fe 3751 dropped into the town of Skull Valley where we passed a BNSF freight with two Soo Line engines in the consist. While I was buying another T-shirt, the Santa Fe 3751 passed through the town of Kirkland. We crossed Kirkland Creek and the Prickly Pear Cactus made their first appearance. Our train made a large "S" curve to climb out of the valley to Grandview, which lived up to its name with the Santa Fe 3751 really working. We continued south taking more sweeping curves down to Date where at the west end we crossed Date Creek. On the hillsides a little further down the canyon, the Saguaro Cactus were dotting the slopes of the canyon and on one of the boulders, someone had painted a skull. Too bad that was not back in Skull Valley! We left our dirt road photographers at the grade crossing before the Santa Fe 3751 reached the short siding at Piedmont. The westbound Grand Canyon Limited went through Congress with a large group of picture takers braving the heat. We crossed the desert floor before reaching Matthie where the Santa Fe 3751 was first walked around the wye before being serviced. It is here we left the BNSF for the rails of the Arizona and California. While we sat, we watched as someone tried to get pulled out of the stream bed sand. There was always something to watch on this trip!

The Santa Fe 3751 left Matthie at 2:11 PM with the engine chugging on the climb to Divide. To the south were the Vulture Mountains and to the northwest were the Harcurvar Mountains. We went by the abandoned station at Divide and clipped along the desert at a good pace of 49 MPH. A whirl wind caught a few of the passengers attention and there would be many more of them on this hot August afternoon. The Santa Fe 3751 smoked through the Aquila grade crossing as the Harquahala Mountains stood out to the south southwest. The crew of the Santa Fe 3751 have been throwing old hats and T-shirts out to mainly children during the days run although some beautiful woman got their share of things as well. We slowed to 20 MPH through the town of Aquila before resuming speed across the scrub covered desert floor. Over on US Highway 60 there was a large group of train chasers trying to pace us. They announced that we would do a photo runby at MP 44. Thank you Arizona and California Railroad!

We detrained into the triple digit temperatures for a double Photo Runby. On the first one, the Santa Fe 3751 did not smoke all the way through and the pop off valve went off when it passed our end of the photo line. On runby number two, it almost smoked into my picture frame. We did this all in the town of Wenden where the local Mexican children must have been thinking, "Crazy Gringos" with all of us baking out in the very hot sun. Water was passed out to everyone on board before we pulled out. At least we got a Photo Runby on our westbound trip where the eastbound trip did not do any. You must remember that the Santa Fe 3751 crew has not had to many opportunities to perfect the Photo Runby over the years. This is only the SBRHS' second public set of trips and I hope they have many more in the future.

The Santa Fe 3751 whistled through Salome where it was announced that we would do the final Photo Runbys of the trip at MP 100 near Parker and none could be done tomorrow due to the tight new schedule we would be operating on. We rounded the southwest tip of the Harcurvar Mountains. The Santa Fe 3751 passed through the cut which once was a tunnel, with railfans everywhere. They were on both sides of the cut and out on one of the hillside spurs. We descended the grade with our diesels in full dynamic braking with the Plomoso Mountains off to the west. We cruised through Vicksburg, with Highway 72 filled with chasers and pacers of our train. The Santa Fe 3751 steamed through McVay with the Buckskin Mountains off to the north. Later, as the Santa Fe 3751 pulled through Brouse ahead of the train in the northwest across the Colorado River were the Whipple Mountains in California. We followed Brouse Wash west until we reached the steep slope down to the flood plain of the Colorado River where our route turned to the north. Just to the north of MP 100, we did the final Photo Runbys of the trip.

The lighting was perfect. The location was unique and the Santa Fe 3751 smoked the best it had ever smoked on all three of the photo runbys here. We called these runbys, the "Lawrence of Arabia Runbys" as all the sand on my knees proved when I dusted them off after the last runby. Everyone clapped after each of the runbys to show there thanks for Santa Fe 3751's excellent performance. The Arizona and California picked this unique spot and deserves our thanks as does the Grand Canyon Chapter of the NRHS for putting on a great convention. When we reboarded, they handed each of us a bottle water which we drank walking back to our seats. The Santa Fe 3751 pulled the train the final miles into Parker, ending an exciting day of new mileage for me at 6:26 PM.

Parker, AZ 8/25/2002

I walked out to the first bus in the 113 degree heat and saw the Arizona and California eastbound freight train waiting down the tracks to the west for the Santa Fe 3751 to clear the mainline. We were taken to the Blue Water Resort and Casino where check in was very quick. Once I found my room, the shower was quite refreshing. The room overlooked the marina, Colorado River and the Whipple Mountains in California. On my way to dinner, I played five dollars of quarters and less than four minutes later, I had won $57.50, I took the money and went to our group's buffet dinner sitting with Ron Grau and Chard Walker, the well known author and former Santa Fe train operator at Summit. It was an enjoyable meal with good fellowship. I returned to my room for a call home and a little television before calling it a night.

NRHS Santa Fe 3751 to Los Angeles 8/26/2002

We left Parker right on time but before the Colorado River Bridge, we came to a stop as one of the cylinder cocks on the Santa Fe 3751 would not close. They quickly fixed the problem and we headed west leaving Parker by crossing the Colorado River into California with 79 photographers taking our train's picture doing just that. Their chase was now on, as we climbed away from the Colorado River with my old friend, the Whipple Mountains to the north and the Riverside Mountains off to the south. We passed Big River, which when I was a kid saw the ads for this place on television so now I know where it is. We climbed into the wide Vidal Valley and a few minutes late the Santa Fe 3751 steamed through Vidal as we crossed US Highway 95. We would follow Vidal Wash west to Gromment. To the northwest was Negro Peak of the Mopah Range and the Turtle Mountains across this board valley. With the West Riverside Mountains to the south, the Santa Fe 3751 slowed to 10 MPH for track work. We crossed the Highway 62 grade crossing finding all of the chasers there waiting for our arrival. We ran with the Colorado River Aqueduct to the north and later our train entered the Rice Valley. To the south were the Big Maria Mountains and the Granite Mountains with a gap between them where the Arizona and California line to Blythe passes through. We arrived at Rice, nothing more than a ghost town with the water tank and small station being among the last structures standing. The Santa Fe 3751 passed the wye for the Blythe Line and headed west with the chasers on Highway 62 providing the entertainment until we reached Freda where we left the paved highway as our route turned northwest. The Iron Mountains were off to the west across the Ward Valley. A few of the chasers braved the very poor dirt roads that followed the tracks through this bleak landscape. The Santa Fe 3751 passed the siding at Sablon with the Turtle Mountains off to the north and Danby Dry Lake to the west of the tracks on the valley floor. Later we curved to the west passing through Milliagan with the abandoned Standard Salt Company's plant and various old railroad cars at the south end of the barren Old Woman Mountains before we curved northwest again with the Kilbeck Hills off to the west. We climbed the grade to Chubbuck with the abandoned foundations before the Santa Fe 3751 ran along the north end of the Kilbeck Hills. Once past the hills, the Cadiz Sand Dunes came into view with the Calumet Mountains behind them to our west and the Ship Mountains to the north.

I walked back to the Overland Trail and Earl Nickles, their barber and good friend to cut my hair during the final new miles to Cadiz. Where else can you get a haircut on a train but on the Overland Trail while on the Arizona and California on a train be pulled by the Santa Fe 3751 in the year of 2002? No place. What a neat experience and it was a great way to wrap up my new mileage on the Arizona and California Railroad. The 3751 arrived at Cadiz to be serviced. The Cadiz Local was already here waiting for the westbound Arizona and California freight train. The Marble Mountains stood guard to the north and my old friend Amboy Crater was off to the west. We could see twenty miles to the west and had three BNSF freight trains pass through Cadiz while we sat. The Santa Fe 3751 finished it's servicing and at 12:49 PM we were moving again and after throwing a switch, we entered the BNSFsiding at Cadiz. It had been an exciting and unique steam trip over the Arizona and California.

The Santa Fe 3751 crept out of the Cadiz siding out onto the BNSF mainline ending my new mileage for this trip. We waited for the BNSF 5263 West to pass by on Track 1. At 1:33 PM, the train pulled up to West Cadiz and crossed over to the Mainline 1 to head west. I rode in the vestibule as we picked up speed racing through Saltus with Bristol Dry Lake to the south and Amboy with the Bristol Mountains to the north. Anybody want to buy Amboy? It's for sale. We passed Amboy Crater and it was fun to watch the pacers and chasers on old Route 66. The Bullion Mountains were to the south are in the US Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Zone, ie bombing zone. The Santa Fe 3751 cruised the Baghdad and started climbing Ash Hill. We curved to East Siberia where we crossed back to the Track 2 to take the short way over Ash Hill. We crested the summit at Ash Hill before dropping to Ludlow where the Santa Fe 3751 crossed back over to Track 1 passing an eastbound freight on the climb to Lavic. With the Cady Mountains to the northeast, we crossed back to the Track 2 at East Pisgah. The 3751 ducked under Interstate 40 and we raced through Hector at 70 MPH. Our train crossed Troy Dry Lake with the Newberry Mountains to the south and the Calico Mountains far off to the northwest. The Santa Fe 3751 blew through Newberry Springs but slowed to Minneola. We passed the Solar One Generating Station as well as Coolwater before the 3751 sped through Daggett. Our train sped by the USMC Logistic Base at Nebo as we followed the Mojave River into Barstow. The Santa Fe 3751 crossed back over to Mainline 1 at East Barstow before taking the passenger main to the station. While the Santa Fe 3751 was serviced and watered, it was assisted in watering by a steam fire engine. That was funny, a steam powered tractor with the Union Pacific 3985 and now a steam fire engine with the Santa Fe 3751. What a summer of steam it has been! I toured both the Railroad Museum in Barstow and the Route 66 Mother Road Museum besides getting a SBRHS Hat during my stay in Barstow.

The Santa Fe 3751 pulled out of Barstow at 4:10 PM and at MP 4 Cajon sub we came to a stop as number five on the pecking orders with a rail maintenance vehicle broken down blocking the mainline ahead. We started to move again at 5:15 PM and we crossed over to the mainline 2 at Lenwood. Without delay, the Santa Fe 3751 ran through Victorville and Hesperia where the tracks were lined for people waiting for our steam train to pass. Joe and I exchanged stories with several other passengers laughing along. The Santa Fe 3751 ran over Cajon Pass via the north track through the tunnels and around Sullivan's Curve with not a single photographer to be seen. At Cajon, we had a hard yellow and slowly descended until we reached Kennbrook where we crossed back over to the Mainline 1. We ran to San Bernardino with people all along the route and ended our trip over the Cajon Sub. At San Bernardino, a group of passengers tried in vain to make a Metrolink Connection so they could get to LAX faster to make their flight. They were only to be stopped by some guy trying to use his Amtrak credit card to buy a ticket and having all sorts of problems forcing them to miss the Metrolink train and come back to the Santa Fe 3751 for the trip to Los Angeles.

The Train left San Bernardino at 7:22 PM as the sun was setting and headed the long way to Rana. We crossed the UP at Colton, blew through Riverside and crossed over to Track 1 at May. The Santa Fe 3751 sped through Corona and down through Santa Ana Canyon into populated Orange County where there were tons of people out to watch the Santa Fe 3751 steam through. We were cheered as the Santa Fe 3751 passed the huge crowd at the Fullerton train station and flew through La Mirada as well as Santa Fe Springs. Going by the track side detector there, we got nailed for having excessive hot bearings. We stopped west of the ex PE crossing and the train crew had to inspect both sides of the entire train. We took a fifteen minute hit. Once on the move again, the Santa Fe 3751 steamed through Pico Rivera, Commerce and Hobart Yard as our car hosts held the mic outside sending the loud working sounds of Santa Fe 3751 inside our car to everyone's enjoyment. We crossed the flyover across the Los Angeles River and Alameda Corridor with the Santa Fe 3751's drivers slipping. The Santa Fe 3751 ran the final miles along the Amtrak coach yard into Los Angeles Union Station arriving at 9:27 PM, ending an exciting three day steam spectacular. After saying goodbye to everyone, I exited the train and walked for one final look at the Santa Fe 3751.

Surfliner 794 8/26/2002

I boarded the Surfliner 794 and we held for the late running Coast Starlight but at least it was not as late as the one I was last on. I got caught up with Mishi who had some very good news to share with me. We departed at 10:35, twenty five minutes late and headed towards home with Mishi taking my ticket and my Alaska Air Line Mileage card as I listened to Olivia Newton John Live and did word fill in puzzles. 794 poked its way to Fullerton at restricted speed. Once we reached the Metrolink San Diego Sub, we sped through Anaheim, Orange and then Santa Ana arriving twenty eight minutes late. My mother waited patiently for me and I headed home to bed before starting another trip tomorrow.

Railsale and my 700.00.0 Rail Mile

Back in the days when my brother Bruce was living in Pocatello, I would get an All Aboard America Fare {now See America} to visit him then on the same fare go to other places like Albuquerque, Deming, NM and El Paso. I really enjoyed those short little getaway trips plus it was more miles for the fare. Railsale then came along and a few years later and knowing I would be closing in on my 700,000.0 rail mile, I had checked Railsale and got a ticket each way to Albuquerque for $25.00. Little did I know when I purchased that trip that it would be the one to put me over that 700,000.0 rail mile on the eastbound trip if all went right.

Surfliner 581 8/27/2002

Up early following that great Santa Fe 3751 trip, I took Surfliner 568 south to Solana Beach and passed the 699,000.0 rail mile just north of Oceanside. I returned to Santa Ana on 569 and spent most of the day typing the Santa Fe 3751 trip getting as far as Aquila, AZ before it was time to leave for this trip. I will finish this when I get back on Thursday. My mother drove me down to the Santa Ana Station and I waited on the platform for a few minutes late Surfliner 581. Other than a carry by male child that the parents had left on at Santa Ana and was taken to Anaheim to be cared for by the agent there until the parents drove up from Santa Ana to get him, it was a quick and normal trip. The Santa Fe 3751 was sitting out on a garden track still releasing steam at Redondo Jct and we were delayed briefly by the Amtrak switcher before entering Los Angeles Union Station just two minutes late.

Southwest Chief 4 8/27/2002

Down in LAUPT for another boarding pass and I joined the line of coach passengers. It was a repeat of the other night but far less passengers boarding this time so our train was pretty empty. We left the platform at 6:45 PM and left LAUPT at 7:20 for good. After a comical session getting a 7 UP, we rolled the miles to Fullerton. Paul, our lounge car attendant is the only singing LSA I have ever had on any of my travels. He has a song for every announcement. I went to the lounge car downstairs to wait for tonight's movie, the Rookie. It started after the smoke stop at Riverside since there was no smoking lounge on our train. The movie which I would recommend renting was excellent and got me almost to Barstow. I slept soundly well into the next morning.

8/28/2002 I woke up east of Flagstaff. I met Mark who had been at the NRHS Convention and had ridden with me on several other mainline steam trips. After crossing Canyon Diablo, we went to the dining car and we were seated at a table waited on by none other than Paul Lamonica, a former San Diegan LSA and a good friend. I had French Toast and it was really good to see Paul again. The sky was cloudy so maybe some of that monsoonal moisture might fall today. The Southwest Chief was running right on schedule. Back at my seat, our Train Chief had to have a long conversation with our smoking passengers in our car to explain when they could detrain to smoke. During my fresh air stop at Gallup, I ventured into the station adding it to my list of stations that I have been inside. After we crossed the Continental Divide, I napped from west of Grants to west of Dalies. Off the BNSF mainline we headed to Albuquerque and I spotted signal 21.1 and knew I had just 7.0 more miles to go to reach my next plateau. I moved to the other side of the car to see the milepost markers and just short of Iselta, the junction with the "Horny Todd Line" to El Paso, I passed the 700,000.0 rail mile mark. Now only 300,000.0 miles to go for a million. We crossed the Rio Grande River and rolled into Albuquerque where I would be detraining when we arrived early.

Albuquerque 8/28/2002

I checked my bags in for the afternoon before walking the short walk across the street from their Alvarado Transportation Center to the new Century Theater. There I saw "XXX" or "Triple X" if you prefer and "Serving Sarah" which I both enjoyed. I walked out to a sky which was trying to rain and noticed that my train had already arrived into the station early.

Southwest Chief 3 8/28/2002

After retrieving my bags, Manning, another ex San Diegan Business Class Attendant assigned me to a seat in the nearly empty car which had the smoking lounge in it. We left Albuquerque on time and stopped just south of the station to remove some mail from one of the express cars on the rear of the train. They had an open call for dinner and I had a Strip Pepper Steak. West of Grants, the sky became active with downpours and lightning off in the distance. We entered the rain and over on Interstate 40, the westbound lanes were closed due to a rain associated accident which had backed up the traffic which had first caught my eye. West of Gallup and very tired, I called it a night.

8/29/2002 Waking up east of Summit. I enjoyed a pancake breakfast as the Southwest Chief descended the fire damaged Cajon Pass in the morning twilight. On one of the curves, I noticed our baggage car was from the Vermonter, as it was painted up for that service. We arrived into San Bernardino over an hour late but I did not care as any ride over Cajon Pass in light is always worth it. They were busy this morning. The Chief crossed the UP at Colton, paused in Riverside, traveled through a fog enshroud Inland Empire before heading down through Santa Ana Canyon. We arrived in Fullerton at 7:50 AM, one hour and eleven minutes late where I detrained to head home. With the padding in the schedule, this Southwest Chief would arrive into Los Angeles early.

Surfliner 568 8/29/2002

I crossed the pedestrian bridge to Track 2 and I made a quick phone call home before Train 3 left and Surfliner 568 arrived. I boarded Pacific Business Class and finished the story up to here by CP La Palma before relaxing the rest of the way home. We got delayed at CP La Veta for a very late running Metrolink 607 and then went on to Santa Ana meeting 765 waiting for us at CP Lincoln. My mother was there to pick me up ending this 700,000.0 rail mile adventure.