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Down the ex Western Pacific, the SP Valley Line and over Tehachapi 1/25/2009 Part 2

by Chris Guenzler

The Coast Starlight waits in front of the Bakersfield Station during our crew change and fresh air break. At 2:17 PM the Coast Starlight departed Bakersfield for our trip around the Tehachapi Loop.

The Coast Starlights passed at 2:24 PM just before we reached Edison.

The train started down at Sandcut leaving the San Joaquin Valley for good.

Rolling down the grade to Bena.

The view at Bena.

Views along our route into the Tehachapi Mountains.

The Coast Starlight took one of the many curves on this railroad.

Views as we passed through "The Narrows".

Taking another curve on the way to Caliente.

View looking south.

Curving through "The Narrows".

Interesting rock formations along our route.

Signal in "The Narrows".

Looking south towards Tunnel 1.

The rains have made the hills green.

Curving into Caliente.

Rounding the Horseshoe Curve at Caliente.

Climbing out of Caliente.

Looking down at Caliente.

Climbing towards Tunnel 1.

Looking down at where we had just been.

Between Tunnel 1 and 2.

Curving into Tunnel 2.

Looking down from Bealville.

Curving at Bealville.

Looking down from Bealville.

Curving through Bealville.

Views looking down from Bealville.

Rolling through Bealville.

The Coast Starlight about to enter Tunnel 5.

The Shoofly built after the 1952 Earthquake.

Looking back down to Bealville from Cliff.

Looking at Caliente from Cliff.

Cliff siding.

Our route ahead.

Rolling through Cliff.

Looking down at Tehachapi Creek.

View across the canyon.

Tunnel 7.

Looking down at Tehachapi Creek.

Interesting rocks.

Heading for Rowen.

Rolling through Rowen.

The oak trees are waiting for their new leaves.

Mountain Peaks between Rowen and Woodford.

Train curving towards Woodford.

Rolling through Woodford.

A green signal at Woodford.

Curving above Woodford.

Crossing Tehachapi Creek below the Tehachapi Loop.

The Coast Starlight is on the approach to the Tehachapi Loop.

View looking up at the Tehachapi Loop.

The Coast Starlight enters Tunnel 9 and starts around the Tehachapi Loop.

The trip around the Tehachapi Loop.

Curving into Marcel.

Climbing above Marcel.

Nearing Tehachapi.

Curving into the Tehachapi Valley and the summit of Tehachapi Pass just east of town.

View near the town of Tehachapi which we passed at 3:52 PM.

Interesting clouds near Monolith.

Joshua Trees forest on an alluvium fan.

Curving down grade by the Joshua Tree.

Looking down into the High Desert.

The Coast Starlight dropped down the grade to Mojave which we passed at 4:24 PM. We ran over Ansel Hill and then ran across the Antelope Valley. We ran through Lancaster at 4:50 PM and Palmdale at 4:56 PM.

Two views after Palmdale.

A beautiful sunset in Soledad Canyon as we ran the final miles towards Los Angeles. The Coast Starlight went through the San Fernando Tunnel and passed through Burbank Jct at 6:17 PM. We pulled into Los Angeles Union Passenger Station arriving there at 6:32 PM on Track 12, 22 minutes late from our 6:10 PM Schedule Arrival Time. I detrained and walked over to a waiting Surfliner to take me home.

Surfliner 590 1/25/2009

I boarded this Surfliner train at LAUPT on Track 10 and we waited on a late running Bakersfield Bus and left at 7:04 PM. It was a quick trip home and right on schedule we arrived back into Santa Ana and I drove home ending another fantastic Amtrak adventure.