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Northern California 2011 Explorer

Central Coast Railway Club

by Chris Guenzler

This trip happened after I contacted the Central Coast Railway Club about writing a story about this trip. They asked if would advertise the trip for them and if so they would give Trainweb a pair of tickets to use. Not only did we do that, but I mentioned it on Let's Talk Trains which I knew got one listener Gene to buy a pair of tickets. I contacted Chris Parker to see if he wanted to go and his answer was yes. After one of our Orange County Railway Historical Society Meetings I took my Guest Reward Companion and my gift certificates to my excellent night time Amtrak Agent Marty, who took care of getting us to Emeryville and back home from Sacramento. I took care of all the hotels and then we just had to live to the night of departure.

Getting to Emeryville.

Getting back from the Little Rock Express Trip I managed to be off a day and after I took my mother to see "Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides" she reminded me that I left for this trip tonight. This proves what a lack of sleep will do to a person. I had to take my ten ride and turn it in to the Conductor on Surfliner 583 since it expires June 4 when I would be gone. I finished packing then watched NCIS until 8 PM when I took a nap until 11:00 PM. I finished up a few things then put my luggage into my Geo Metro and then Chris Parker pulled in. We loaded his luggage into my car and went inside to say goodbye to my mother. We drove down to Santa Ana and parked my Geo Metro in the northeast parking lot then walked over to wait for Thruway Bus 5811 which arrived 25 minutes late. The bus driver yapped the whole way to Bakersfield. I finally fell asleep around San Fernando and slept most of the way to Bakersfield where she parked in front of the station and not in that bus bay. Twenty minutes after we arrived, San Joaquin 711 opened its doors. This train had Engine 2014, Superliner 3194 Cedar Grove, Coach 8013 Klamath River, Cafe 8801 San Joaquin River, Coach 8008 Stanislaus River and Cab Car 8303 Mount Diablo. The train left Bakersfield and into what was left of the night. I got a Cinnamon Roll and an Orange Juice and I started making the pages for this story. After that I started writing the story before I worked on the July OCRHS Story as the train headed to Fresno. That was finished on the way to Merced where we took a fresh air break. Later at Modesto we got another extended fresh air break. The train ran onto Stockton where all the connecting buses were waiting for their passengers. The train ran across the lands and water of the California Delta to Antioch.

The train at Antioch.

The view through the door at Antioch.

Chris Parker during the Antioch Fresh Air Break. The train ran along the Carquinez Strait to Martinez then continued along reaching San Pablo Bay. The train ran along the shores before it cut inland to Richmond and the BART Connection there. From there it was a quick trip in Emeryville where Chris and I detrained ending a tiring but good trip aboard Amtrak.

Chris watched my stuff and I went to Subway across the street. I came back and there was Bart Jennings. A little while later, I had to excuse myself to go get sick to my stomach, the first of three times here. The third time Chris got me some 7-UP which really helped. Before the train came we made our way to the pedestrian bridge and got up on the second landing to watch the train come into Emeryville.

Northern California 2011 Explorer 6/3/2011

The Northern California 2011 Explorer pulled into the Emeryville Station. We boarded Car 4 for the trip. The train had a consist of Engines 88 and 90 elephant style, Caritas-light with (open platform facing power), Amfleet Coaches 82620, 82560 , 82540, Horizon Cafe/Business Class 58107, Amfleet Coaches 82530 and 82710, Great Dome 10031 Ocean View, Full Length Dome 511 Scenic View (Rio Grande Scenic) Nenana, Super Dome MILW 53, Short Domes CZ Silver Lariat, Santa Fe Plaza Santa Fe, C B&Q Silver Splendor and ATSF 33 open platform heavyweight. The train left Emeryville with us in the Horizon Cafe/Business Class 58107 to start the trip to Oroville today.

The Golden Gate Bridge.

San Francisco before we arrived into Richmond, our first passenger stop. We left Richmond and headed to Martinez.

The train ran along San Pablo Bay.

The oil refinery before Crockett. The train took the tunnel that took us to the Carquinez Strait.

The Interstate 80 Bridges.

C&H Sugar Plant in Crockett.

The North Prince was traveling up the Carquinez Strait.

The Martinez Railroad Bridge and the Interstate 680 Bridge. The train made its station stop at Martinez.

Southern Pacific 0-6-0 1258 after we left Martinez.

The Lift Bridge east of Martinez is up thus we got a big fat red signal.

The bridge is up!

The Prince North was what we were waiting for. Remember River Traffic always has the right-a-way over Rail Traffic.

Under the bridge the Prince North went.

The bridge started down.

The bridge has returned to rail traffic.

San Joaquin 715 coming into Martinez. The train headed out onto the Martinez Bridge.

Views from the Martinez Bridge.

The United States Navy Mothball Fleet.

The train sped across the Suisan Wetlands before we raced through Suisan-Fairfield.

At Canon, the outside connection to the Western Railway Museum in Rio Vista.

The replica depot in Dixon.

Putah Creek before we pulled into Davis, our next station stop.

The Davis Station.

Davis Tower is getting buried by the trees. We left Davis, with our next stop being Sacramento.

The train crossed the Yolo Bypass.<./P>

Beyond the Yolo Bypass downtown Sacramento could be seen. The train went through West Sacramento.

The train went across the Sacramento River into Sacramento.

The Sacramento Amtrak Station where we made our next stop. They loaded aboard the official trip Coffee Mug and I bought the very first one. After we loaded our passengers, we were off for Oroville.

Curving out of Sacramento and headed to Haggins, our connection to the old Western Pacific.

The former Southern Pacific Sacramento Shops.

Curving off onto the connection.

Train 5 the California Zephyr was waiting for us.

The rear of the train coming off the Overland Route.

Crossing the American River.

Rolling north towards Marysville.

Modoc Railroad Academy.

Rice paddies.

The train crossed the Yuba River into Marysville.

The former Sacramento Northern right-of-away into Yuba City.

Crossing the former Southern Pacific Roseville to Dunsmuir Line.

Views of the Sutter Buttes.

Closing in on Oroville.

The lumber mill just outside Oroville.

We slowly made our way through Oroville Yard and made our way to the former Western Pacific station now a bar and grill where our trip would end today.

Oroville 6/3/2011

I was first off the train and found Bus 4 and took the first row of seats. I called Chris to let him know where I was. He joined me and once we had a full bus we took off to the hotels on the Oroville Bus Route. We were the second stop and I checked us in first. When the truck with our luggage came, we helped unload the truck with the Days Inns luggage. I worked on the story then took it easy going to bed early for the big day tomorrow.

Click here for Part 2 of this story