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Domes To Portola RR Days
Domes To Portola Railroad Days
Emeryville CA to Sparks NV via Donner Pass

Sierra Nevada Mountains, CA

Part 1, August 22-24, 2008

Story and photographs by Richard Elgenson
RailNews Network writer

My fourth trip of 2008 found me on the Trains Unlimited, Tours trip "Domes to Portola Railroad Days."  If you view my web site, you may know that I was on a similar trip in late May 2008 which featured some of the craziest weather of the year.  Whereas the May trip was cold and rainy, this one featured some of the hottest weather of the summer.  I arrived at Oakland International Airport late Thursday afternoon and had the company of Ryan Martin, aka espeeboy on  Before dinner, we found one of the blue and silver Superliners and a UP Oakland local train on ex-Western Pacific trackage.  Friday in Emeryville started out very comfortable.  After taking Alameda Transit from Berkeley, I switched to the free Emerygoround shuttle at MacArthur BART Station which dropped me off across the street from the Emeryville Amtrak Station.  I got there quite early since I was unaware that the California Zephyr left at 9 AM.  I had planned for an 8 AM departure, so, no harm, no foul.  I found Trains Unlimited, Tours guide Bill Parks and got to watch a few Amtrak Capitol trains arrive and depart.  I also spotted some railfans on the middle level landing of the pedestrain overcrossing and found out who they were.  One person was actually part of the TUT Domes to Portola, while one other guy, Paul Lanyi, is known as Yarddogh on TO.  Once the train came, I got a photo of the Silver Solarium car with an approaching UP freight train.
The passengers and baggage were quickly and efficiently loaded by the PV crew and we left a few minutes late.  For the first hour, I concentrated on socializing with other passengers and having breakfast.
On the approach to the Suison Bay Bridge, we stopped because the bridge was open.  Once we started moving again, I got some great bridge shots from the window at the round end of Silver Solarium.


Above and below, the sunflowers as well as the corn field look beautiful.
Coming into Sacramento, it was apparent the day would be HOT. 


TUT guide Bill Parks and Head Steward George Lewis wave from the end of the train.

Domes to Portola RR Days Page 2

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