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Winterail and the Railfan Pizza Party

by Chris Guenzler

We left the Castle Air Museum and continued our trek to Stockton in the rain.

BNSF 7309 East at Ballico.

BNSF 5399 East south of Denair. From here we drove to Empire.

Amtrak San Joaquin 716 at Empire.

The new power on the Modesto & Empire Traction Railpower 5406 at Empire. From here we next drove to the M&ET Shops.

A view of the displaced motive power at the shops with one of the new engines in the rear location.

M&ET 1501.

M&ET 1500.

M&ET 600,

M&ET 5404. From here we drove into Modesto, the rain started heavy again and got on the CA Highway 99 which we took to Manteca and took the cutoff highway to Interstate 5 which we took into Stockton. With Dave's directions we made our way to the Red Roof Inn, our home for the next two nights. We checked in and got a room on the third floor. I checked my E-mail and the Internet before we headed over to the Scottish Rite Temple for the Friday festivities.

Railfan Magazine Pizza Party and Slide Show 3/12/2010

I bought my program on a memory stick and handed it to Steve Barry of Railfan Magazine. I then took a seat and soon the Friday nights programs began. They did the slides first with Mike Pechner showing Early Amtrak. Next Paul Johanson showed his BNSF Harbor Line program which I had seen at our last OCRHS Meeting. Next was a slide show about California Railroads and the word "Next" was used alot. The digital programs then began with Drew Jacksich showing the Southern Pacific in the 1960's and 1970's. Drew always brings us super pictures he had taken through the years. A program on a Kyle Snowplow and derailment was next which was really interesting. Ken Shattock showed a movie of SP Steam Excursions plus a little Western Pacific steam at the end. A program about the Rio Grande Ski Train had great pictures but the music of the Beach Boys didn't fit it well at all. I showed my program "A Trip to the Depot Inn & Suites" which showed people not only the hotel, Exhibition of Amtrak History, The Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point and a typical morning out there but also Railfanning around La Plata. It went over very well. The last program was by Steve Barry which showed what he had done over the last decade. As always great variety at the Friday night show. We returned to the Red Roof Inn for the night.


We all meet in the morning and drove across Stockton on CA Highway 4 to CA Highway 99 and got off at Waterloo to have breakfast at Perko's Cafe. From there we drove to Winterail 2010.

Winterail 2010 3/13/2010

We finally got to Winterail for once before the doors opened so we waited in line to get in. My main stop was the Roundhouse Hobbies Table where I wanted Employee Timetables for the Lehigh Valley, Reading and Lackawanna Railroads. I had to settle for Passenger Rail Timetables instead but those would work as they have the mileage in tenths of a mile in them. I walked around the entire swap meet seeing a lot of old friends from throughout the years. I was third in line to get into the Theater and at 10:40 AM I called Lets Talk Trains as planned and found out how the Grand Opening of the Silver Rails Gallery was going. I gave my rail mileage and then told how Winterail was going. Chris Parker then joined me. At 11:00 AM they opened the Theater Doors and we got us six seats. At Noon the Preshow Announcements took place which was followed by a Flu Announcement about the Galloping Goose Flu. The first show was by Bill Kepner called "Wyoming Colorado Railroad". That brought back memories of my trip I made over a unique railroad that is no more. The next program was a movie by Ken Shattock called "The Truckee Limited". Next was the "Shorts" program. It was started by Jim Booth who showed "Daylight Nights" about TrainFestival 2010 in Owosso, Michigan. The next short was called "Mostly Hogheads" by Tom Moungoven which showed the faces of railroaders. The final short was "The Last Stand" by Kevin Dorn which looked at the SP Sunset Route from Mecca, CA to Shawmut, AZ. The next full program was "Colorado Rails" by Timothy Tonge and Tyler Eaton. The final afternoon program was a film by Don Olsen covering the "Sierra Railroad". We skipped the three favorites and headed to the Outback Steakhouse for dinner. After a good steak dinner we all headed over to Stockton Crossing and managed to see two UP southbound freights, Dave was under the weather so Chris took him back to the Red Roof Inn and I rode back to Winterail with Bob and Elizabeth giving them the proper directions to get them back there. They announced the Photo Contest Winners and Joe Strapac was named to the Winterail Hall of Fame. The first evening program was fantastic called "Along Steam's Last Mainline" by Scott Lothes and Ronald Olsen. The next program was "My First Forty Years" by Dave Oroszi. Next was "Twenty Something" by Ted Smith-Peterson. The final program was "At the Intersections of Rail Transit & Urban Culture" by Chris Goepel and Kevin Sheridan. With that one done, Winterail 2010 was finished. We headed back to the Red Roof Inn but an event was letting out in downtown Stockton and the local police do not know how to control traffic. After a little detour we finally got back to the Red Roof Inn and I checked the Internet before calling it night. We lose an hour tonight due to the time change and tomorrow is the Niles Canyon Railways Winterail Steam Event but that will be in the next story.