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Train Travel Group and OCRHS Rides San Diego County Rails 10/27/2012

by Chris Guenzler

For this trip we invited members of the Train Travel Group from Fullerton that I am a member of and my the Orange County Railroad Historical Society which I am also a member of. I put together a trip where we would ride all the Coaster, San Diego Trolley and Sprinter for a $12 Dollar All Day Regional Fare that San Diego County offers. We would take Amtrak to and from Oceanside. I got up early this Saturday morning and drove to the Santa Ana Train Station where I would meet members of both groups.

Our group for these trips were all from the Orange County Railroad Historical Society including Winston and Christy Walker and Richard Breyspreck.

Pacific Surfliner 562 came into Santa Ana and we all boarded taking seats in the rear opened Superliner Coach. We all enjoyed each others company on the trip to Oceanside. The train made the stops of Irvine and San Juan Capistrano. Soon we started our running along the Pacific Ocean.

My favorite flag of the United States of America.

The San Clemente Pier.

The birds were flying in formation over the breaking waves. The train made its way to Oceanside where we all detrained.

Pacific Surfliner 562 at rest in Oceanside. We walked over to the Coaster Ticketing Machine and managed to get our Regional Day Passes for $12 each. I walked down under and over to Track 2 for a picture of my usual Metrolink train that I am not riding today.

Metrolink 661 almost ready to head to Los Angeles without me this very sunny and bright morning. I returned to Track 1 after our Coaster Train for San Diego had arrived into Oceanside from Stuart Mesa.

Coaster 680 at rest at Oceanside ready to take our group to San Diego. The Coaster stopped at Carlsbad Village, Carlsbad Poinsettia and Encinitas.

There was a boat offshore right before we stopped at Solana Beach. We then made the stops of Sorrento Valley, San Diego Old Town and San Diego Santa Fe Depot where we all detrained.

We boarded this Green Line Trolley. The new trolley line arrangements are as follows. The Blue Line now runs from San Ysidro to American Plaza. The Green Line runs from Santee via Old Town and the old bayside line to 12th/Imperial and the Orange Line runs from the Santa Fe Station to El Cajon. The limited Silver Line with the PCC Car runs on a very limited schedule check the San Diego Trolley Web Site for more details. Our Green Line Train will wait until the connecting Orange Line Train leaves for El Cajon. Once it did we left stopping at Seaport Village, Convention Center, Gaslamp Quarter and then to our last stop at the 12th/Imperial Station. We got there and found out that the Blue Line was shut down from 12th/Imperial to 24th Street with buses subbing for the trolleys. Time for a new plan. We will go to La Mesa and see the depot and railroad display there. From there we would go to El Cajon then onto Santee where we would meet AC Adam for lunch.

Our Orange Line Trolley at 12th/Imperial and we all boarded. This trolley made station stops at 25th/Commercial, 32nd & Commercial {under construction improvements}, 47th Street, Euclid Avenue and Encanto/62nd Street. I called Lets Talk Trains and talked to KC Nathan. The Trolley also stopped at Massachusetts Avenue, Lemon Grove Depot, Spring Street {under construction improvements} before we arrived into the La Mesa Blvd Station where we detrained.

Our train left La Mesa and we started to look around.

The La Mesa Station is La Mesa, California's oldest building in its original form and is the sole surviving San Diego and Cuyamaca Railway Station in existence built in 1894.

Baggage Cart at the La Mesa Station.

Southern Pacific Caboose 1058.

Pacific Fruit Express Refer 11207.

Mohave Northern 0-6-0T 3 was built in May of 1923 by Davenport.

Something on the nose of the engine did not look right.

The plate is upside down making it a backwards 3.

A view of the display train.

An Orange Line Trolley came into the La Mesa Station.

Our trolley for El Cajon came into La Mesa to pick us up. We stopped at stations at Grossmont and Amaya Drive Before we arrived at El Cajon where we all detrained. We got caught in the 30 minute gap period on the Green Line so we will just take pictures of what came through El Cajon while we waited.

Our Orange Line Trolley at El Cajon.

That trolley now empty left El Cajon so that the operator can switch ends before he heads back to the Santa Fe Depot.

An Orange Line Trolley came into El Cajon for the Santa Fe Station.

A Green Line Trolley from Santee came into El Cajon to load passengers.

Another Orange Line Trolley then came into El Cajon.

Finally our Green Line Trolley for Santee came into the El Cajon Station and we all boarded it. This trolley stopped at the stations at Amele Avenue, Gillespie Field before we ran on to Santee.

Our group at Santee.

Our trolley at Santee. We meet AC Adam there and walked over to Anny's Fine Burgers where I had a Classic Burger and a chocolate shake. It was an excellent lunch and we were ready to go on the Green Line.

This is our Green Line Trolley we would take back to 12th/Imperial Station. We boarded the Green Line Trolley and left the Santee Town Center and ran down the middle of Mission Gorge Road. The Trolley's next stop was at the former Weld Blvd Station now known as the Gillespie Field Station then made a series of curves. We climbed up and over the last of the freight line then stopped at the Amele Drive Station before we went under Interstate 8. Our trolley continued rolling to El Cajon Transit Center and on to the Amaya Drive Station. The trolley stopped at Grossmount Center before it crossed Interstate 8. We ran through Baltimore Junction and started down the grade. Next we ran to the 70th Street Station before our trolley continued to drop along the canyon wall in order to reach the valley floor were we stopped at Alvarado Medical Center which has a riddle along the top of north embankment wall reading from west to east. The trolley entered the 4000 foot tunnel under San Diego State University and right in the middle of the tunnel is the SDSU Transit Center Station. We exited the 4000 foot tunnel where our route came out into a small canyon and crossed a bridge. We dropped down the 4.4 % grade along the cliff losing elevation, crossed over Interstate 8 to the Grantville Station which is located 40 feet above the ground then crossed the San Diego River. We stopped at the Mission San Diego Station, Qualcomm Stadium, Fenton Parkway and Rio Vista stations then crossed the San Diego River. We stopped at the Mission Valley Center then crossed the San Diego River to the stations at Valley Transit Center and Hazard Center. We ran along a golf course then made an "S" curve that took us over the San Diego River. We stopped at the Moreno/Linda Vista Station before crossing the San Diego River into Old Town. We ran to the stations at Washington Street, Middletown, County Center/Little Italy and came to a stop at the Santa Fe Station where some passengers transferred to the waiting Orange Line train sitting in front of it. Once the Orange Line Train left we left the Santa Fe Station and retraced our early trip stopping at Seaport Village, Convention Center, Gaslamp Quarter and then to our last stop at the 12th/Imperial Station.

Our green Line Trolley at 12th/Imperial Station. Here we walked over to see if the Silver Line PCC is here today.

San Diego PCC Car 529. It was built in 1946 and ran in St Louis before it went to Muni in San Francisco in 1957 as their 1122 serving the J, K, L, M and N lines for 25 years. This PCC car is the first PCC Car to run in San Diego since 1949.

The San Diego Trolley Yard.

The inside of PCC Car 529.

Our group riding the PCC Car 529 on our trip.

The Amtrak Station. Unlike my last nonstop trip on the Silver Line, this time we made all of the normal stops. We made station stops at the Gaslamp Quarter, Convention Center, Seaport Village, America Plaza, Civic Center, Fifth Avenue, City College {under construction improvements}, Park & Market before we returned to the 12th & Imperial Station. After a great ride we took the Green Line back to the Gaslamp Quarter station to get a PCC photo runby.

Our Green Line Trolley has left the Gaslamp Quarter Station.

The PCC Car 529 at the Gaslamp Quarter.

A few minutes later, we boarded this Green Line Trolley to return us to the Santa Fe Depot Station. There we waited for the Coaster to arrive back into San Diego.

Coaster 688 came into the Santa Fe Station in San Diego. We boarded this train that became Coaster 689 for our return to Oceanside.

We returned to Oceanside and on our walk to the Sprinter I shot this picture of it at rest. The Sprinter left right on time and we made the station stops at Coast Highway, Crouch Street, El Camino Real, Rancho Del Oro, College Boulevard, Melrose Drive, Vista Transit Center, Civic Center - Vista, Buena Creek, Palomar College, San Marcos Civic Center, Cal State San Marcos, Nordahl Road then to our last stop at the Escondido Transit Center. I detrained there for a quick picture.

The Sprinter at rest at Escondido Transit Center. We all returned to Oceanside.

The Sprinter at Oceanside and now we would wait for Amtrak Surfliner 591.

Metrolink 664 returned to Oceanside from Los Angeles before it returned to Stuart Mesa for the night. We had to move over to Track 2 for our train tonight

The Moon over Oceanside.

Pacific Surfliner 784 came into Oceanside on Track 1.

Our Pacific Surfliner 591 came into Oceanside and picked us up to return us to Santa Ana. I told some stories and that made it a quick trip back to Santa Ana. It had been a great trip to San Diego County to ride some of their trains there.