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Santa Fe 3751 San Bernardino to Los Angeles Aboard "Tioga Pass" ~ April 13th, 2014

by Elizabeth Guenzler

This was the second year in a row that Santa Fe 4-8-4 3751 participated in San Bernardino Railroad Days and led an excursion from Los Angeles to San Bernardino and return. I decided to fly down for this event, especially as former Canadian National Business Car 93 "Tioga Pass" was to be in the consist. So on April 12 th, I flew on Southwest Airlines from Seattle to Orange County. Chris Guenzler was on his way back from Missouri and was delayed a day due to missed connections as a result of an aircraft being bad-ordered, another had an oil leak and a third had to be brought from Cleveland. So I made my way to the Red Roof Inn in Santa Ana and had a leisurely remainder of the day.

April 13th

After a filling breakfast at Polly's Restaurant, I waited for Chris to pick me up then we took a circuitous route to Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal to avoid a traffic jam and boarded Metrolink 362 for the ride to San Bernardino.

At this point, this was only my third time on the rails from Los Angeles to San Bernardino.

Upon our arrival, we walked to the front of the train and I was surprised to see F95PH 18533 (nee GO Transit 533) on the point. The locomotive's livery was for the never-started Michigan Department of Transportation service out of Ann Arbor.

Santa Fe 4-8-4 3751 with part of the train at San Bernardino.

BNSF Genset 3GS21C 3106 was on display.

The private car "Tioga Pass" owned by Norm Orfall, in which Chris and I would be riding today.

Santa Fe lounge-barber shop-dormitory car 1370 "Acoma" built in 1937 for the Super Chief was also in the consist.

Chris and I picked up our wristbands from inside the station then boarded the train, where I chose my spot for most of the trip.

Interior views of the "Acoma".

Two views of BNSF 7396 West as seen from the observation platform.

At 15:00 hrs, the train departed San Bernardino and we passed the Moorish towers of the San Bernardino station.

Leaving San Bernardino station and the crowds behind.

Metrolink commuter trains ready for the next day's departures.

Going up on the flyover that carries Metrolink over the Sante Fe and Union Pacific tracks.

BNSF motive power at San Bernardino shops, now a container terminal but originally the site of one of Santa Fe's major shop complexes.

Continuing the journey on the flyover, as seen from the rear platform of "Tioga Pass.

The view of our train as it comes off the flyover.

Passing through Pomona.

A section of straight track.

Leaving a highway bridge behind.

Metrolink 366 at CP Bassett passes us as we take the siding for two Metrolink trains.

Metrolink 369 at CP Bassett. The steam excursion then continued on its journey.

Crossing the San Bernardino flyover.

It was a beautiful spring day as I enjoyed the rear platform.

Entering into and travelling along Interstate 10, the San Bernardino Freeway.

The Los Angeles River on the approach to the station.

A Pacific Surfliner train leaves Los Angeles on the other side of the river.

Santa Fe 3751 leading the excursion train over the Los Angeles River as the trip nears an end.

The tracks and switches of Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal.

The signal bridge protecting the station. Everyone detrained and Chris and I walked up to the front of the train.

Santa Fe 4-8-4 3751 and the train.

The builder's plate.

One last view of 3751 before we drove back to Santa Ana, stopped at The Habit and picked up dinner then spent the evening at Chris' house. Later on, he drove me back to the Red Roof Inn for the night. The next morning, Chris picked me up early and took me to the airport for my flight home.

I had thoroughly enjoyed my ride on "Tioga Pass", and being pulled by Santa Fe 3751, I and took full advantage of being on the rear platform. Hopefully that will be possible again in the future but riding in any type of private car is always a very memorable and special experience, and any opportunities to do so should be taken anytime they arise.