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What it took to get the mileage to work!

Getting the miles perfect when leaving Fullerton

by Chris Guenzler

After getting my Millionth Rail Mile overall last April, Steve Grande wondered how close I was to just One Million Amtrak Miles. Going back through my log books and taking out every non Amtrak mile I was just over 64,000 Amtrak Rail Miles from that goal. I took that number then every time I took an Amtrak trip I subtracted that number from the total. I kept that in a 70 Sheet College Ruled Notebook. Over the last year that number kept dropping and as mid March approached I started to fine tune that number down. The night after that first Sprinter tour it was cold for a Southern California night and I turned on the floor heater. Once I was warming up I took the number and divided it by 184.6, a round trip to San Diego from Santa Ana. I then had a number to play with. A few days I discovered that I had the wrong number. I had to recalculate the number, then checked it four times and it worked out to leave Fullerton with the right Amtrak rail mileage to get it as the Southwest Chief pulls into La Plata, Missouri on April 7, 2008. To get to the point it would be riding a few more roundtrips Santa Ana to San Diego, an Orange to Anaheim one way and a Los Angeles to Fullerton one way. On the way to this goal I took some more pictures along the Surfline from Pacific Surfliners and Metrolink trains that I will now share with you.

Passing through the last Orange Grove on the Surf Line with the Mustard Plants in full bloom as I head south thru Orange County.

The Mustard Plants were also in full bloom as we crossed Camp Pendleton.

The new condos before Oceanside.

Surfliner 578 at Solana Beach.

A Coaster train stops then leaves Solana Beach.

Surfliner 785 came into Solana Beach.

Another view of the condo waterfall.

Sun setting by the San Clemente Pier.

The next evening Dolphins play in the surf along San Clemente State Beach.

Sunset at San Matoe Creek.

A fantastic sunset the next evening.

More sky views from that evening.

Three views of a test Sprinter the week before it opened.

Santa Ana Train station at 4:25 AM.

Winston Walker and his daughter Christy wait on the Sprinter in Oceanside.

Tom Anderson, Jack and Robin wait the next morning at the Sprinter Station in Oceanside.

Sunset across Camp Pendleton.

Surfliner 582 and 784 in San Diego.

San Diego Trolley passing the Santa Fe Station.

Engines 464 and 454.

Oceanside Harbor.

Surfliner 784 had just arrived into San Diego.

San Diego Trolley the next night.

San Diego Trolley meets Amtrak Surfliner.

Surfliner engines 455 and 454 that same night.

My March Amtrak San Diego to Los Angeles Monthly Pass.

My Plan that worked out to reach the mileage needed to leave Fullerton with the right Amtrak rail mileage to reach One Million Amtrak Rail Miles at La Plata on April 7, 2008.

The notebook showing my options that worked out.

I had extra days when I did not need to ride Amtrak so I rode Metrolink on this day I was at Laguna Niguel.

Metrolink 602 at North Beach San Clemente.

Metrolink 808 came and picked me up at North Beach San Clemente.

The "Shoo Fly" for the Jeffrey Road underpass building in Irvine, California.

The bluff near Capistrano Beach.

San Clemente North Beach.

Surfliner 565 stopped at Orange to take me to Anaheim for some needed Amtrak miles.

San Juan Capistrano.

Mission Bay, San Diego.

Torrey Pines.

Wetlands before Del Mar.

Two views of the Pacific Ocean from the Del Mar Bluffs.

The old Del Mar Power Plant.

San Dieguritos River.

San Elijo Lagoon.

Batiquitos Lagoon.

The Carlsbad Power Plant.

Agua Herronda Lagoon.

Loma Lagoon.

Two new Sprinter Trains combined on this Sunday to handle the ridership needs.

San Luis Rey River.

Oceanside Harbor Lighthouse.

Oceanside Harbor.

Coaster Trains laying over this Sunday at Stuart Mesa.

A look back at San Onofre Beach.

San Matoe Creek at County Line.

Volleyball is a popular beach sport in Southern California.

The San Clemente Pier.

Where the Surfline meets the Surf.

Green hills that have not been built on yet north of San Juan Capistrano.

Golf is also a popular Southern California sport.

Open space just as we entered Irvine near Sand Canyon Road.

The Blimp Hangers at the old Santa Ana Air Station. On Monday I went to Fullerton with Winston Walker to get 25.7 Amtrak Rail Miles that would then mean only five more roundtrips Santa Ana to San Diego to be in prefect mileage to leave Fullerton for La Plata with.

A westbound BNSF freight with unit BNSF 4999 leading it.

Metrolink 705 then took us to LAUPT.

Surfliner 582 was ready to take us back to Fullerton.

A green Los Angeles River from our recent warm weather we have been having in Southern California.

Back in Fullerton a BNSF freight waited for a green signal next to Surfliner 582 that we arrived on with my 25.7 Amtrak Rail Miles completed.

Another BNSF westbound arrived into Fullerton as I was crossing the Pedestrian Bridge.

Three trains at once in Fullerton.

Our Trainriders Group Meeting at the Slidebar Cafe in Fullerton.

I enjoy watching DVDs when I ride the train in this case Led Zeppelin.

Surfliner 784 arrived into San Diego on Tuesday night.

Two views of Surfliner 784 as it turns into Surfliner 595.

Every once in a while a BNSF freight will leave San Diego before Surfliner 595. Back in Santa Ana later that evening only three more roundtrips to San Diego to make. That will be in the next part of this story.

The Final Three Trips with a Surprise!