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A Wet and Cold Trip to Albuquerque

by Chris Guenzler

With still no word on my jobs I have applied for at Santa Ana Unified School District, I decided once again to escape the pressure of sitting by the phone and go to Albuquerque for a day. I booked my trip today and then packed. I decided not to take my computer as I had enough things I needed to read that had come in the mail. At 4:25 PM I drove down to the Santa Ana Train Station and had to wait in line to pick up my tickets. With less then eight minutes until train time, I grabbed my luggage from the car and headed via the Santa Ana Blvd grade crossing to Track 1 to wait for my on time train to arrive into Santa Ana.

Surfliner 583 9/16/2009

I took a seat in the Surfliner Cab Car on the lower level for the quick trip to LAUPT today. Once there it was down, over and up to Track 11 to wait for the Southwest Chief to back in to LAUPT which it finally did at 6:32 PM.

Southwest Chief 4 9/16/2009

This train had Engines 16 and 137, Baggage 1163, Transition 39021, Sleepers 32044 and 32022, Diner 38044, Lounge 33025 and Coaches 34008, 34033 and 31014. I boarded the Sleeper 32022 with Chuck as my Sleeping Car Attendant and with me having Room 2. My CD player didn't work so no music tonight. I read one of my magazines as the train left LAUPT on time. I had a 7:00 PM Dinner Reservation but didn't get called into the Dining Room until after Fullerton. I enjoyed the Braised Flat Iron Bordelaise and Oreo Dessert. I took fresh air at San Bernardino then relaxed in my darkened room as the train climbed Cajon Pass. Just before Summit, I made up my room and called it a night.


I woke up right at Winslow and at 6:30 AM went to the Dining Car for breakfast. I was seated with a Couple doing a circle from the Bay Area to Denver via Raton and a lady going to St. Louis. I had French Toast and sausage patties which was better than my last trip and I returned to my room. I read the USA Today and enjoyed the views.

Another dark morning crossing Arizona.

The Little Colorado River.

Heading east across Arizona.

Catching up to a storm.

I had never shot these before this trip as we entered the storm.

Seems like every weekday I come east we meet a BNSF piggyback train at Isleta waiting for us to clear the mainline for them.

Crossing the Rio Grande River before the rains really came down as we arrived into Albuquerque at 11:25 AM. I detrained to a downpour but as luck had it I always pack my umbrella. I went into the station building and at the Gift Shop where I got a new CD player. I listened to a couple of CD's before during another rain shower I walked out to the New Mexico Railrunner Express Station Shelter to wait for my train to Belen. It was 52 degrees out today with plenty of rain.

Track work on mainline 2 and the Southwest Chief on Track 3.

The Southwest Chief left for Chicago on time and the New Mexico Railrunner Express was seen coming in on Track 1 so I moved south for a better picture.

New Mexico Railrunner Express Trains 509/514 9/17/2009

With it raining out I decided to ride to and from Belen on the New Mexico Railrunner Express. I got in the first of the four cars and we headed south. I put on some music and just sat back relaxing. At Belen I didn't get off of the train and was sold a Day Pass for three dollars. It is nice every once in a while not to have to write about a trip I'm on. Returning to Albuquerque to another downpour, I went to the only dry spot on the platform was under the road bridges at the south end of the platform. Randy Jackson showed up for a visit right before the Southwest Chief pulled into Albuquerque at 3:30 PM. Randy got the car numbers for me.

Southwest Chief 3 9/17/2009

The train pulled into Albuquerque with Engines 119 and 164, Baggage 1237, Transition 39907, Sleepers 32063 and 32007, Diner 38057, Lounge 33030 and Coaches 34004, 34093 and 34029. I boarded the 32007 and had Room 14 with Rene as my Sleeping Car Attendant. I visited with Randy and after a nice visit he headed home and I boarded the train. I enjoyed some music and did Sudoku Puzzles as the train left Albuquerque on time.

On the way to Dalies.

An interesting sky.

On the way to Rio Puerco.

Looking to the southeast.

On the way to Suwanee in a very wet world today.

Both ends of a rainbow. Could I make a wish that I find out about my job?

I always love this rock formation and the rainbow adds to the view.

I took this picture before my 5:45 PM Dinner Reservation and was seated with a reader of I had the Braised Flat Iron Bordelaise and vanilla ice cream for dessert. I returned to my room and did Sudoku Puzzles as the train headed west.

Views looking west at the Red Mesas of New Mexico.

Clouds in the southern sky.

The Southwest Chief is about to exit New Mexico for the rails of Arizona.

The train has entered Arizona.

The Southwest Chief running across Arizona.

The last shot of this day as the train raced for Winslow. Tired I made up my room for the night.


I woke up at Riverside and after the room was made up, I enjoyed the Do-nuts that I bought last night after dinner. The train ran to Fullerton and then made its final sprint into Los Angeles arriving there at 7:29 AM {8:15 AM}. I detrained and stepped off on the platform where my train home was waiting two tracks over.

Metrolink 600 9/18/2009

Once the crew opened the doors I took a seat in the rear cab car and put on my CD of J.O. Peterson "Rhythm of the Dream" which took me as far as Anaheim. I detrained to the warm air of Santa Ana glad to be home again. Now I would wait for some news. At 3:55 PM I called the Human Resources Office who still had no news. Back to waiting!