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Tioga Pass over Tehachapi and north on the former Southern Pacific Valley Route 11/14/2008

by Chris Guenzler

I wanted to ride the Coast Starlight Detour one more time northbound so I had only one choice the northbound train on the last day of detour on November 14, 2008. Chris Parker called me and told me that the Tioga Pass would be running on that train that day on the rear end of the train. With my rear end door blocked, it was a no brainer to see about riding the Tioga Pass on the detour. I called Norm Orfall about riding then signed up on line for this trip. The next day I called Norm and got the ok that I could go and nearer to the date I saw Marti again and turned my Starlight ticket into a round trip to Santa Barbara, I then waited and worked up until the day arrived and I got up and packed for another unique trip over the Tehachapi Mountains and north on the former Southern Pacific Valley Line.

11/14/2008 I was up early with a cold so after getting up and packing, I went to Stater Bros for some over the counter cold remedy. I finished upgrading my computer before driving down to the Santa Ana Train Station and parked my Geo Metro in the parking lot. After making sure that the lateness of Surfliner 763 was caused by signal problems in San Diego County, I went over to Track 1 and after an on time Metrolink Train I waited for Surfliner 763 to arrive.

Surfliner 763 11/14/2008

The train pulled into Santa Ana eighteen minutes late and had to walk to the third car to board as the crew had the cab car closed for a group traveling north out of Los Angeles. I sat in a Superliner Coach and enjoyed a Coca-Cola as the train made its way to LAUPT arriving there twenty three minutes late. I detrained and waited on the platform for the Coast Starlight to back into the station.

Coast Starlight 14 with the Tioga Pass on the rear markers 11/14/2008

The Coast Starlight backing into Los Angeles Union Station with the Tioga Pass on the rear end.

The Tioga Pass on the rear on the Coast Starlight. I put my luggage in the car then went to get the consist of the Coast Starlight.

The Tioga Pass was built by the Canadian National Shops in Point St. Charles. It was originally number 23 and later renumbered 93 and spent most of its Canadian National life in Edmonton, Alberta. The car was sold by the CN in 1992 and named Tioga Pass when purchased by Mr. Rutherford P. Hayes, a wealthy local businessman in Barstow, California. Soon after buying the car, Rutherford died in late 1992. Aronco Leasing then purchased the car in 1997 and in 2002 the car went through an extensive restoration.

This Coast Starlight has Engines 83 and 99, Baggage 1164, Transition 39007, Sleepers 32072, 32011 and 32050, Pacific Parlour Car 39970 Columbia Valley, Diner 38040, Lounge 33020 and Coaches 34046, 34512, 34065 and 34006 with CN 93 Tioga Pass RPCX 800693.

The Sunset Limited arrived into LAUPT at 9:32 AM with the Silver Solarium, Colonial Craft and the Silver Rapids on its rear end.

The Tail Sign of the Silver Solarium.

The Sunset Limited and the Coast Starlight. I went back to the Tioga Pass and boarded the car for good.

The Lounge Section of the Tioga Pass.

The Dining Room of the Tioga Pass.

The Coast Starlight left right on time at 10:15 AM.

The train left the station behind.

The Coast Starlight headed out towards Mission Tower.

Our train ran by Mission Tower as we started running along the Los Angeles River.

The train passed the Gold Line Shops.

Minutes later the train went by the Metrolink Shops.

We ran through the Glendale Station.

My good friend from Mexicali, Tony was aboard the Tioga Pass with us today.

Just short of the Burbank Downtown Metrolink Station, we met a Metrolink train heading to LAUPT.

The train ran through the Burbank Downtown Metrolink Station.

Our train reached Burbank Jct which was the starting point of our detour.

We headed north on a beautiful Southern California late morning.

We crossed the San Fernando Valley and headed into the hills.

The Coast Starlight climbed the grade to the San Fernando Tunnel.

The train entered the 6976 foot San Fernando Tunnel 25.

We later exited the San Fernando Tunnel.

The train headed down towards the Newhall Metrolink Station.

The train went by the Saugus Depot and Southern Pacific Steam Engine on display.

The train took the big curve east towards Soledad Canyon.

At Honby, a UP Freight was waiting in a siding.

There is an abandoned tunnel along our route into Soledad Canyon.

Two views of the Historical Marker of the SP Completion at Lang along with a tumble weed.

The train ran through a rock cut before we crossed our one and only crossing of the Santa Paula River.

The train entering Tunnel 19, a 328 foot affair.

The train had crossed the Santa Clara River.

Our train went through Tunnel 19.

The train ran between Tunnel 19 and 18.

The train ran through the 266 foot Tunnel 18.

Our train took the big curve east of Tunnel 18.

The train went under Soledad Canyon Road.

Our train was running through Soledad Canyon.

The train went by the Wild Animal Park.

The train climbed the rest of the way up Soledad Canyon towards Vincent Summit.

The Coast Starlight took the siding at CP Quartz.

Our train was rolling down the siding at Vincent.

We waited for the Metrolink Train from Lancaster to pass by us.

The Coast Starlight crested Vincent Grade.

The train then descended Vincent Grade.

Looking down towards the Antelope Valley.

Our train was rolling down Vincent Grade into the Antelope Valley.

The train nearing CP Harold where the Metrolink Line to Lancaster and the Palmdale Cutoff took off from this line.

The train went by the junction with the Palmdale Cutoff at Palmdale Jct.

The train went by the Palmdale Metrolink Station.

Our train ran by the Martin Lockheed Plant in Palmdale.

The train went by the end of the Metrolink tracks in Lancaster.

Looking back as we crossed the Antelope Valley.

The train went by Oban Siding.

Our train ran through Rosamond.

Our train was climbing Ansel Hill.

There was a Joshua Tree at the top of Ansel Hill.

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