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Christmas Rail Trip 2000

Christmas Rail Trip 2000


Every year (almost) I meet my friends Mike and Les in Southern California and take a train trip which lasts the whole day. Our first trip we took together was to Lancaster on Metrolink, January 2, 1998. I was unable to make the second trip as I was spending the holidays with my fiance's family. The Christmas 2000 trip took place on December 26, 2000 in which Mike, Les and I met in Santa Ana, CA. We originally planed to ride the Red line from Los Angeles Union Station and go up Angel's Flight and visit Pershing Square. Once we returned to Los Angeles, board Metrolink for a round trip to Lancaster like we all did in 1998. A San Diegan--uh, Surfliner (It's going to take some time to get used to this new name) pulled into Union Station with a full length Budd dome car and would be departing for San Diego in about an hour. Decision time. Mike had never ridden on one of these full length dome cars before and they are fast disappearing from Amtrak service to make way for new Surfliner equipment. We deliberated for about 10 minutes and double-checked our schedules to make sure we could catch a train back in plenty of time for me to return to Riverside that night. I had ridden in on Metrolink from Riverside where I spent Christmas with my in-laws. We decided to take the Surfliner to San Diego and back, getting off in Santa Ana since that's where Mike and Les had parked their cars. It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the mid to upper 70s. I didn't take as many photos on this trip since I have an abundant supply of San Diego and Union Station. These were the highlights.


Click on thumbnail for full size image Description

(51K) Train #14, the northbound Coast Starlight to Seattle departing with an F40PH. It's good to see F40s still around.

(43K) #14 rounds the corner to Mission Tower after an on-time departure.

(47K) At last, everything matches! Amtrak #462, a new F59PHI and brand new Surfliner cars look like one as it is pushed out of Union Station by #462. When the new F59PHI locomotives arrived, they looked quite odd coupled with phase III paint Horizon coach cars!

(40K) Surfliner arriving from San Diego. When we saw this full length dome, we had to ride in it so we rode Surfliner #574 to San Diego and sat in this car the entire way, and back to Santa Ana.

(45K) On board the dome car, we stake out great seats for the trip. Pictured are Mike (left) and Les (right).

(40K) Just after #14 departed, Train #1's consist that arrived earlier was towed out of the depot to the Amtrak coach yard..

(62K) In San Diego, a Coaster commuter ready to depart northbound as our train sits along side it in the background..

(44K) San Diego's Red Trolley. It was tempting to take a quick roundtrip ride but lack of time prevented that trip.


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All Photos © 2000 Steven Reynolds.