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Train Travel Group Trip to Santa Barbara 10/13/2007

by Chris Guenzler

I was awoken to rain at 2:30 AM early on this Saturday morning of our Train Travel Group Trip to Santa Barbara. Knowing that this storm should be by my house by morning, I went back to sleep. At 6:15 AM I got up finding it to still be raining so I turned on the Weather Channel and looked at the local Doppler Radar which showed most of the rain would be gone by the time it was time to go to the train station. I did some chores around the house before I drove down to the Santa Ana Train Station to wait for Surfliner 763. I parked in the north lot and walked over to the east platform via the grade crossing at Santa Ana Blvd. A few minutes later I was joined by Mr. and Mrs. Winston Walker and soon Robin Bowers found us as he was joining us on today's trip to Santa Barbara.

Surfliner 763 10/13/2007

Surfliner 763 pulled into Santa Ana right on time and we boarded a Surfliner Coach. I went back downstairs to check on the Walkers when I slipped at the bottom of the stairs as they were very wet. Lucky I landed on my best feature, my rear end so I was ok. As they were expecting two large groups they had the first two cars of the train closed off. When I explained to Conductor Margaret that we would be a small group she let us into the Superliner coach behind the Cab Car and we all took seats. As she took my ticket she asked if I was all right and I said "I landed on my best feature and it is nice and soft." The train made its way to Anaheim and then to Fullerton where a large group of Boy Scouts going to Carpinteria State Beach for a weekend camp out. Dan Dalke boarded the train in the coach behind us and I brought him up to our car and he joined me at my seat for the trip north. The train made its way north to Los Angeles Union Station where a large group from the City of Torrance boarded the Cab Car. Chris Parker and Ken Ruben joined our group in Los Angeles and soon we were off to Santa Barbara. Conductor Mike Monroy stopped by to say hello as we ran along a fast moving Los Angeles River. We passed the Gold Line Shops before passing the Metrolink Shop and yards. The train made its trek across the San Fernando Valley and soon after Chatsworth we went through the first of the three tunnels to reach the Simi Valley.

Our train traveled by the Chatsworth Rocks before we exited the San Fernando Valley. As we neared Simi Valley here is most of our group for today's trip.

Robin Bowers.

Mr. and Mrs. Winston Walker.

Chris Parker .

Ken Ruben. We made our way down the Simi Valley passing a Union Pacific bare table train at Stratheren. At Moorpark there was the Metrolink Altamont Commuter Express train set laying over for the weekend. At Camarillo we pulled into the siding to let Surfliner 774 pass before we backed onto the main to do our station work there. My friend Melissa from Torrance stopped by for a visit before we arrived into Oxnard. I was looking at Dan's train magazines throughout the trip as we soon reached Ventura. West of there we started our run along the Pacific Ocean.

Where the Surfliner meets the surf north of Ventura. It was a beautiful run along the coast this morning and we did not get stopped at Seacliff. At Carpinteria the Boy Scouts detrained and a few minutes later our Surfliner 763 had delivered us to the station at Santa Barbara.

A group picture was taken with Dan Dalke, our other member of our group shown in this picture.

Santa Barbara 10/13/2007

The Walkers went to the Enterprise Fish Company while the rest of us took the Electric Bus for a quarter north up State Street to The Habit. There I enjoyed a Tri Tip Sandwich, Fries and a Chocolate Malt. We returned to the station in plenty of time to watch the Coast Starlight arrive into Santa Barbara. After it had left we just enjoyed the fresh air on the station platform before we moved down to wait for Surfliner 784. Winston soon joined me and Mrs. Walker joined us all before the Surfliner pulled to a stop at Santa Barbara.

Surfliner 784 10/13/2007

We all took seats in the Superliner Coach and we left Santa Barbara on time. We made our way back down the coast to Seacliff siding where we went into the siding for Surfliner 769. We all relaxed as we made our way back inland to the Simi Valley. Chris Parker had some of his video he had shot over the last years and we watched the Beech Grove Shop Tour and part of the French Lick, West Baden and Southern. We pulled into the siding at Stratheren to get around UP 8501 West and at Hassen met Surfliner 775. Soon we were running down the San Fernando Valley and into Los Angeles Union Station where Chris and Ken departed our train. Dan detrained at Fullerton and all too soon the Walkers, Robin and I were detraining at Santa Ana ending another fantastic Train Travel Group Trip to Santa Barbara.