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Niles Canyon Railway Winterail Steam Special 3/14/2010 Part 3

by Chris Guenzler

The Passenger Train took us back up Niles Canyon to Farwell where we came to a stop.

The Farwell Station Sign. We all detrained for our next Photo Runbys

Our passenger train backed down the canyon to get into the clear for the freight train.

Next the Freight Train backed by our location.

Freight Train Runby 3.

Passenger Train Photo Runby 2.

As soon as the Passenger Train returned to pick us all up, we then continued up Niles Canyon to our next Photo Runby location.

View of Niles Canyon. Soon we all detrained at the next Photo Runby location.

The Passenger Train backed down the canyon to clear out of the way for the freight train.

Next the Freight Train backed by our photo location.

Freight Train Photo Runby 4.

Passenger Train Photo Runby 3. From here we all reboarded to our last Photo Runby of the trip.

Our rear brakeman before the Passenger Train backed into the clear for the last time today.

The Passenger Train backs up by our photo location.

The Robert Dollar Company 3.

The Mason County Logging 7.

The Freight Train backed by our Photo Location.

Freight Train Photo Runby 5.

Passenger Train Photo Runby 4. We all reboarded and the train returned us all to Sunol. I would like to thank the Niles Canyon Railway for the excellent trip this morning. It had been a fantastic railroad photo experience in Niles Canyon and I hope they do it again in the future.

The Trip Home

We left Sunol taking Interstate 680 north to Interstate 580 East and got off at the Greenville Road exit and stopped at a Subway Sandwich Shop for lunch. After lunch we drove Altamont Pass Road and got almost all the way across but had to turn around when we saw a UP stack train heading west so the chase was on.

Union Pacific 7858 West. We got back in front of this train and headed to the Greenville Trestle at the west end of Altamont Pass.

The train crosses the Greenville Trestle.

We drove back east and caught the DPU on the train.

The DPU crosses the Greenville Trestle. From here we drove back over Altamont Pass and rejoined Interstate 580 which we took to CA Highway 132 which we took to CA Highway 33 where we joined the old Southern Pacific West Valley Line to see what is left of it.

The old Southern Pacific water tower at Wesley.

Another view of this SP water tower. We followed this line to Newman before we rejoined it north of Los Banos. They had lumber cars stored here then the line ends. Through Los Banos it is a Rail Trail and south of there you need to look hard to see where it once was.

In North Olso we found the rails leading to this old industry it once served. We found the tracks again just north of Firebaugh and this part is served from Fresno. We ran along the tracks to Mendota where we turn east on CA Highway 180 which we took past Kerman. There we headed south then southeast on Henderson Road which took us to Mountain View Road which we took east. Once we reached the BNSF tracks we zig zagged crossing the tracks four times and at the 5th crossing we saw a headlight.

San Joaquin 717 north of Laton. We crossed the Kings River and took the next road east across the BNSF and to CA Highway 43 which we took south to Wasco.

Savage 8611 at Wasco.

San Joaquin 703 just south of Wasco. We then drove into Bakersfield and had dinner at the Roadhouse. We ran later than we thought so we didn't know if we would make Surfliner 796 at 10:10 PM. Chris did a good job of driving and we started passing San Joaquin Buses. We got to the East Portal at 10:08 PM and I got up to the platform with 45 seconds to spare if the train would have left on time but it was holding for the buses we had passed. We left LAUPT 17 minutes late and it was a quick trip back to Santa Ana arriving there at 11:14 PM. From there I drove the Geo Metro home for the night. Tomorrow afternoon I leave for La Plata but that is another story. It had been a very successful trip to Winterail 2010 and the Niles Canyon Railroad Winterail Steam Special.