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Train Riders Group Trip to Grover Beach and Station Grill Restaurant 1/21/2008

by Chris Guenzler

On the way back from the last San Luis Obispo Trip, Steve Grande and I noticed as we stopped in Grover Beach the Station Grill just to the east of the station. After a tough time getting lunch up in SLO we decided to make this our next destination when we came up this way again. With a northbound scheduled arrival on Surfliner 799 at 12:15 PM and a departure on Surfliner at 2:20 PM that would give us plenty of time to eat a nice long lunch and have plenty of time to make our train home. We picked January 21st, 2008 for this trip as it was Martin Luther King Day and I would be off work. Steve put it up on What's New of and then I worked at McFadden Intermediate and my daily train riding until that Monday morning arrived.

1/21/2008 I was up early and after reading the newspapers, I headed down to the Santa Ana Train Station where I walked over the bridge to Track 1 to wait for Metrolink 601 which I would take to Fullerton.

Metrolink 601 pulled into Santa Ana and I boarded the rear coach. The train took off in the darkness heading first to Orange, then Anaheim and finally to Fullerton where I detrained.

The train had Metrolink's only F40 800 on the rear assisting the regular engine on Metrolink 601. I met Steve Grande and Carl Morrison on the platform and we went inside the Santa Fe Cafe where Tom Anderson was eating an early breakfast. We got caught up talking about some Trainweb related business before we walked outside to wait for Metrolink 701, a 91 Line Train, from Riverside to arrive into Fullerton.

Metrolink 701 arrived into Fullerton and we all boarded a lower level foursome. We talked about my future Million Mile on Amtrak Trip leaving Fullerton on April 25th heading to La Plata. The train stopped in Norwalk/Santa Fe Spring before it made its final sprint to Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal. We arrived into there early on Track 3 and we headed over to Track 7 where our low level train to Grover Beach was waiting.

Surfliner 799 1/21/2008

We all boarded the train and found the windows to be completely dirty and thus no pictures will be taken by me of anything outside of this train on this trip. I turned on my computer to show Steve "Steam Highlights of 2007" featuring 21 different operating steam engines from last year. Larry Boerie then showed up and thus making our group a total of five. The train left Los Angeles on time making both Amtrak and Metrolink stops as we made our way out of the Los Angeles Basin. At Chatsworth we took the siding for Surfliner 768. At Hassen we stopped for Metrolink 108. Once that DVD was done, I showed Steve a few scenes from the Trains Magazine new DVD from their Ultimate Railroading DVD Series "Big Power". Once that was shown, Steve had work to do so he took a seat across the aisle and Tom joined me at my seat. I showed him Frank Zappa "Does Humor Belong in Music" followed by a Jethro Tull DVD. We met Surfliner 774 at Seacliff and then had the railroad to ourselves the rest of the way to Grover Beach.

Steve Grande was working on his computer.

Carl Morrison was taking pictures through the extremely dirty windows.

Larry Borie was at a table in the cafe car with his maps and GPS as well as his camera.

Tom Anderson hams it up as our train continued north. I went to the cafe and visited with Larry who had been riding there because the car's windows were the cleanest. Right before we passed through Casmalia I returned to my seat and shot the breeze with the others sitting there. After Guadalupe we all packed up and we arrived into Grover Beach fifteen minutes late.

The group picture was taken at the Grover Beach Station in front of Surfliner 799.

The view looking down the Grover Beach Station platform. The train then left heading north to its final stop of San Luis Obispo.

A view south down the Coastline.

Across the tracks was the Station Grill. We walked over to the Station Grill and went inside finding a table. We all then went to the counter to order our lunches and I had a Hamburger and French Fries.

The group at the table at the Station Grill.

Railroad Decor in the Station Grill.

In the hall to the bathroom a wonderful painting of a steam engine. Tom and I walked back to the station where I tried to get on-line with no success. I then sat on a bench and did some Sudoku puzzles as we waited for the southbound Surfliner Train home.

Surfliner 798 1/21/2008

Right on time Surfliner 798 pulled into Grover Beach. We all boarded but found no seats where we could sit together. The crew was expecting 80 passengers as a group at Santa Barbara so they kept the rear coach locked. Larry and I sat in the cafe and each bought something but ate very slowly. Larry and I talked about several things as he used his map and GPS to find our location. After Guadalupe we went into the siding at Waldolf to wait for the northbound Coast Starlight. Once it had passed we returned to the mainline and headed to Surf on a beautiful afternoon. I walked back and found that Tom had somebody going to Santa Barbara sitting next to him so I could sit with him after we arrived at Santa Barbara. We had a beautiful trip to Goleta where more people got onto our crowded train. When we arrived into Santa Barbara I sat down next to Tom and got the computer going. I first showed "Scarlet and Gray Memories" by Charlie Smiley Presents and later showed Steam Trains and Tractors "Steamy Summer 2007". That DVD took us into LAUPT and then on Surfliner 592 almost to Fullerton. Our train met Metrolink 113 at East Oxnard and then waited at Moorpark for Metrolink 115. Later at Hassen we waited for Metrolink 117 to pass before we entered the Chatsworth Tunnels to enter the San Fernando Valley. Our remaining stops were quick and we arrived into LAUPT at 7:30 PM, ten minutes early where we detrained. Chris Parker was waiting for us on the platform when we pulled into the station. Tom headed to get us some sandwiches and I headed to the bathroom at the east end of the station before returning to the platform. I said my goodbyes to Larry and Chris as they went off to find some dinner.

Surfliner 798 after it had arrived into LAUPT.

Surfliner 592 waiting to take us home and others to points south. Tom returned from Philippe's to get him and I a roast beef sandwich each.

Passengers from Surfliner 798 waiting for the doors of Surfliner 592 to open. At 8:03 PM the doors of Surfliner 592 opened and we got seats across from each other. I put the rest of the DVD on as Tom and I enjoyed our Double Dipped Roast Beef Sandwiches. We left LAUPT right on time and stopped at Norwalk before we arrived into Fullerton where Steve, Carl and Tom all detrained. I rode through Anaheim back to Santa Ana where I detrained ending another excellent train travel group trip.