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Pullman Adventures San Diego 2007

Taking the Pacific Sands along the Pacific sand to San Diego

Part 1.  Saturday, Pacific Sands from Los Angeles to San Diego, California.

(Click any photo for a double-sized copy, click BACK in your browser to return to this page)


Locomotive 464 arrives in Fullerton (above) with the Pacific Sands (right) following closely behind.
Usually a cab car is on the end of the Surfliner, but today, without a cab car, Locomotive 450 brought up the rear.

The Pacific Sands travels south linked to the Pacific Surfliner train #564 on this Los Angeles - San Diego Trip.  It leaves LAUS at 7:20 a.m. on Saturday and reaches Fullerton, our boarding station, at 7:52 a.m.   Because of a bad engine, it arrived about an hour late.  However,  with nothing but fun ahead of us for two days, time and schedules were not a factor for this weekend.

The Fullerton station agent had announced that Surfliner #564 was arriving  and we peered down the train looking for the Pacific Sands.  Owner Doug Spinn had told us he would open the door for us, and all we had to do was identify ourselves and he'd help us board and show us to our room. 

Doug carried our luggage and told us to go ahead to rooms E and F.  I knew that lettered rooms ( A - F ) were the larger rooms, so on the way through the car, past the numbered single rooms, I asked why we had been upgraded to a larger room.  Doug mentioned the trip was sold out, but for the first time he had a large group cancel and there would be only 6 passengers in his car on this trip!  I thought, "This is really going to be a private car adventure."

We entered the vestibule (on the right end of the car in the diagram below) and walked down the center aisle between the numbered, single rooms.  When we arrived at E and F, I noticed that the wall between the two rooms had been folded back and we had a large suite! 

Diagram of the Pacific Sands, (above) courtesy of Owner Doug Spinn,` at

From Pullman Adventures nice 2-fold brochure about :

The rooms have a large picture window, private toilet and sink, personal temperature controls, fan, small closet, lighted mirror, electrical outlet, soft pillows and blankets.

Six Double Bedrooms feature upper and lower berths.  Two adjoining rooms can be opened into a large suite with sleeping space for four or a daytime conversation area for five.

Ten single occupancy Roomettes are available for private traveling.  All passengers enjoy an oversize reclining seat and sleep in full length comfortable beds.

Pacific Sands also has a full size stainless steel shower and  beverage bar on board.

Since he did not have a full compliment of passengers to tend to, Doug soon returned and we chatted for much of the trip.  This turned out to be the best part of the trip for me, being able to talk in a casual, informal environment with the owner of a private rail car.

Doug Spinn as private car owner, in room E, talking with passenger Dick Hutchins.
Doug Spinn as Pullman Porter.

There was a removable table (above left), that could be taken down at night, which we used for the refreshments that Porter Doug brought us soon after our departure from Fullerton.  The table was also convenient for my computers to deal with the photos I took and on which to write this report.  There is one plug in the bathroom of each room, and I'd suggest bringing a power bar if you have more than one thing to plug in.  I used my power bar to charge my phone, camera batteries, and for my computers.  Lest I forget to mention it later, there is free Wi-Fi at the San Diego Santa Fe station and I was able to pick up the signal inside our rail car parked outside on both my Macintosh and PC computers.  That means that if you have Skype, you can actually talk with folks far away on the internet!

Room "F," one of six, below left, has a comfortable chair by the window, that makes into a single bed at night, and there is a second bed that rolls down as an upper bunk.  There is also a moveable chair.  The back of the chair folds down at night and the lower bed is over it. 

The in-room bathroom (below, right) has a fold-down sink above the commode.  There is no drain in the bottom of the sink, so it takes some thought to see where the water goes when you fold it up!


Each of the 10 single roomettes has a reclining seat (below left),  a fold up sink, a bed, and a toilet (below right) with a padded top as a seat or foot stool.  Amtrak roomettes have 2 beds and no sink or toilet.


Professional cut-away drawings of the rooms are available with descriptions at:

Room 9 is the place to get snacks and coffee.  Next to it is a 'bar' with refrigerator and freezer and storage space.  The former luggage room and crew quarters has been converted to a nice shower and dressing room with commode.
The vestibule of the Pacific Sands faces south on the way to San Diego and would usually be looking at the Cab Car of the Surfliner.  This time, however, with 2 locomotives, the trailing 450 looked like a large dinosaur peeking in the car looking for a bite to ear!

Track speed south of Oceanside is 90 mph, even through downtown Carlsbad.
At the other end of the car, the back door looks out on the rails.  This lagoon on the Oceanside - Carlsbad broder iw where I walk when we are vacationing in Carlsbad.

Historic Hwy. 101 crossing the tracks in Carlsbad.

The Coaster Station in Carlsbad.

The Old Carlsbad Station, now the home of the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Bureau.
They were having a race in the streets of Carlsbad.

At the Del Mar Racetrack they were having the Good Guys car show.

Wave Crest Timeshares (right) are next to Seagrove park on a cliff overlooking both the railroad and Pacific ocean.

After the Del Mar Cliffs, we turn inland, under the Hwy. 101 bridge, at the wetlands short of Torrey Pines.

We make a short stop in Old Town, where connections to the San Diego Trolley System can be made (above).  We step off as they uncouple the Pacific Sands (below).


These truck had brought us smoothly to San Diego.

A few more pictures of the exterior before she was spotted for the night.


After the Pacific Sands was spotted, the Surfliner repositioned and was ready for another run north.  I saw a cruise ship in the nearby harbor and I thought our 1950s Pullman, the modern ship and Surfliner made an interesting composition.



We went into the station, noticing the large number of people ready to board the northbound Surfliner.

We said goodbye to the Pacific Sands, and began our attempt to ride the entire San Diego Trolley System.

Chris Guenzler had recently taken our local Train Travel Meetup Group on such a trip.  I had printed his Travelogue, and studied it, so we proceeded across Kettner street to the Trolley Station, bought a day pass from the automated machines for $5, and waited for the Blue Line.