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The Trip Home from Seattle

by Chris Guenzler


The morning began with a hot shower and excellent breakfast with Bob and Elizabeth. After I repacked my bags we drove into Seattle first stopping at the Cafe where I bought my S.L.U.T. T-shirt. From there we saw what was left of the Seattle Waterfront Streetcar after the Art Museum destroyed their Car Barn for a ridiculous art exhibit that they built. From there we drove to King Street Station where they waited with me until I boarded the train. They walked out to the train with me before we said our goodbyes and I boarded the Coast Starlight for home.

Coast Starlight 11 2/09/2010

The train had a consist of Engines 116 and 25, Baggage 1248, Transition 39019, Sleepers 32093 Missouri and 32057, Pacific Parlour Car 39970 Columbia River, Diner 38046, Lounge 33016 with Coaches 34065, 34515 {Video Games Lower Level} and 34032. It is almost the same train that I came north on but the George Pulman Sleeper was removed and the Missouri was added. Daisy was my Sleeping Car Attendant for this trip.

The Coast Starlight left Seattle and headed to Tacoma with me working on stories.

Later views of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. I had lunch in the Dining Car at Noon having a Angus Steak Burger and Key Lime Pie for dessert. I was seated with an older couple from Vancouver and we had a nice talk while enjoying our meal.

Later views along the Columbia River. We headed into Portland where I took care of a problem with a credit card, bought more Coca-Cola and then got on-line and uploaded a bunch of stuff and checked my e-mail while we had an extended station stop at Portland. The reason for that was the fuel truck could not get to the engines. This extra time allowed me to get everything done. We left Portland ten minutes late. I worked on my computer finishing up just before Eugene, the next fresh air stop. I then rode in the Pacific Parlour Car until my Dinner Reservation Time of 5:45 PM and was seated with Chris from San Luis Obispo and a couple from Torrance. I enjoyed the Steak and Vanilla ice cream. No China in the dining car. After dinner, I watched my Led Zeppelin DVD that took me across the Cascades. After Cascade Summit I was worn out and called it an early night.


I slept really well but was still tired. At Sacramento I found my brother Bruce, the Amtrak agent, helping someone with their luggage. I was in the Dining Car when we left Sacramento on time and was seated with a couple going to Martinez and a lady going to San Jose. I returned to my room and then back to bed and slept to just past Oakland. I then worked on this story and watched the rest of the Led Zeppelin DVD that I had started last night. South of Newark we took the siding for a Capitol Train before continuing towards San Jose.

Views of the ponds along the south part of San Francisco Bay.

Views of the ghost town of Alviso also known as Drawbridge.

Views of the San Francisco 49er's Training Facility.

Santa Clara Tower in Santa Clara.

Santa Clara Station.

College Park.

The Caltrains Facility in San Jose.

Caltrains Engine 904.

Caltrains Baby Bullet being serviced.

Caltrains switchers.

Caltrains 927. We left San Jose on time and started the trip to Salinas.

View between San Jose and Gilroy.

Cows fleeing for their lives as we entered the Pajora Gap.

The Pajora Gap of the Coast Mountain Range.

The Pajora Gap.

Out of the Pajaro Gap and running fast towards Watsonville.

Union Pacific power at Watsonville.

The Watsonville Station.

Views of the Elkhorn Slough.

The southern end of the Elkhorn Slough before we ran to Salinas where we arrived early with plenty of time to take some pictures here.

The Salinas Amtrak Station.

Wooden Ice Reefer.

Southern Pacific 0-6-0 1237.

Southern Pacific Caboose 726.

Railway Express Agency building at Salinas.

Southern Pacific signals.

My Sleeping Car Missouri still has its name on the outside. The Coast Starlight then left Salinas on time for Paso Robles.

The private cars just outside of Salinas. I had lunch at noon with a lady escaping Vancouver for the Olympics and couple from Torrance. I had the Angus Steak Burger and Key Lime Pie. After lunch, I used the Internet in the Pacific Parlour Car and got my e-mail, corrected the Royal Hudson Trip story and worked on getting it up. I had one last thing to do and then we loss the signal. It came back in and I got everything up and even posted it on right before we entered the Cuesta Summit Tunnel. I got back on again right before San Luis Obispo which was a new record for me to arrive into at 2:45 PM. I enjoyed the fresh air and connected to some people by phone. I put back on Led Zeppelin DVD and had it on as we left San Luis Obispo on time at 3:20 PM. It finished just south of town and I worked with the pictures for this story until south of Guadalupe. After that I finished up the 2nd disc of Fawlty Towers extras.

Views of Casmalia.

Another view.

View down to the Pacific Ocean.

First view of the Pacific Ocean.

Two views looking south to Surf and beyond.

An inland lake behind the covered sand dunes.

Views at Surf.

Rocky points along our route.

Looking towards Point Conception. I had a 5 PM Dinner reservation which they called in early. I was seated with a gentleman from Florida. I had the Steak along with Vanilla ice cream for dessert. I went back online and added some more corrections to one of my stories. I got back online at Santa Barbara and uploaded the pictures for this story then had time to surf the world wide web until we lost the signal as we neared Ventura. I watched part of the 3rd disc of Fawlty Towers until after Van Nuys when they announced we would have to take Surfliner 796 home at 10:10 PM. I just relaxed the rest of the way into LAUPT where we arrived at 8:38 PM, ending a fantastic trip aboard the Coast Starlight. I went down into the station to wait for the crew of 796 which should be CJ tonight.

Surfliner 796 2/10/2010

CJ and I walked up to the train and I took a seat in Pacific Business Class for the trip home to Santa Ana. We left LAUPT on time and made quick work of the line tonight stopping in Fullerton and Anaheim before we arrived into Santa Ana where I detrained. My mother picked me up and took me home ending another excellent rail adventure and my first ride behind the Royal Hudson.