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Silver Splendor to San Diego 1/28/2012

by Chris Guenzler

LARail announced that for 99 Dollars one could do a roundtrip onboard the Silver Splendor Dome Car with buffet sandwich service from Los Angeles to San Diego and back. Winston and Christy Walker told me about it and I called John Caestecker to get myself aboard this unique trip. AC Adam would meet us in San Diego when we arrived there. That Saturday morning after doing my morning chores, I drove down to the Santa Ana Train Station and parked my Geo Metro. Across the tracks on the east platform were Winston and Christy and I walked over to them via the Santa Ana Blvd grade crossing.

Surfliner 565

We boarded and took seats in a Superliner Coach for the quick trip to LAUPT.

Winston and Christy relaxing on the way to Los Angeles. The train stopped at Orange, Anaheim and Fullerton before we made the final sprint towards LAUPT.

Downtown Los Angeles with two workers working on the Santa Fe 3751.

Amtrak 551.

Amtrak Pacific Parlour Car Sonoma Valley.

Amtrak 507 at the Garden Tracks just before we arrived into LAUPT and detrained.

Surfliner 565 backs up onto the Silver Splendor.

Conductor John and a future Amtrak Conductor maybe? Our train is now Surfliner 572. Now time for some pictures.

Surfliner 572

I walked down to get a picture of the lead end of Surfliner 572. I walked back down the Track 8 Platform to get two more shots.

The Silver Splendor.

The rear end of Surfliner 572.

One more view of the rear of Surfliner 572. I then called Let's Talk Trains, the Internet Radio Show, and gave my weekly update when I can't host. We still need hosts and it is really easy to host a show so please think about hosting one. We boarded the Silver Splendor and took a table under the Dome. We enjoyed the finger food on the table and a Coca-Cola while we waited for departure. Once we started I went to the vestibule to start my picture taking on this trip.

The train ran by the old Terminal Tower.

The train has left LAUPT behind.

The train took the curve leaving the station.

We left the skyline of downtown Los Angeles behind us.

We turned to start the trip along the Los Angeles River.

Mission Tower still looks good.

The Los Angeles River on a beautiful Southern California day.

A late running Metrolink 661 heads to LAUPT.

Running along the Los Angeles River.

A late running Surfliner 567 crosses the Los Angeles River Flyover also called the Redondo Flyover.

A Union Pacific power set across the Los Angeles River.

The late running Surfliner 567 heads to LAUPT.

Our train crossing the Los Angeles River Flyover.

A Union Pacific Herzog ballast train ran beneath our route.

At the top of the Los Angeles River Flyover.

Dropping off the Los Angeles River Flyover.

Hobart Tower.

A yard power set switches piggyback cars at the BNSF Hobart Yard.

Another BNSF power set in Hobart Yard.

BNSF Hobart Yard.

The train stopped at a red signal as a disabled BNSF remote control power set was stopped in the middle of the crossover at Eastern Ave and would have to be rescued. We sat until the dispatcher could clear a track for us to get by.

This BNSF power set came out and switched over to get to the disabled BNSF remote power set.

We passed the BNSF power as we were on our way after a twenty minute delay.

The BNSF disabled remote power set as we went by it.

BNSF motive power at the Commerce Engine Facility.

BNSF local power waiting for Monday to come. I went back up to the Dome for a few minutes.

Passengers enjoying the Dome. I went back out to the vestibule for more pictures.

The train took the big curve at Norwalk.

Surfliner 769 next went by us on the way to Los Angeles and then Goleta.

At La Mirada we crossed over to the north track to avoid track work.

The BNSF was replacing switches here this Saturday morning.

The Red Flags for westbound train movements. The train ran through Buena Park and on into Fullerton.

The train turns onto the Metrolink San Diego Sub. We headed on down to Anaheim where four more passengers joined our group.

The Santa Ana River on a beautiful late January winter morning.

The train took the curve at Orange.

Two young railfans enjoying the vestibule.

The train took the "S" curve across the Santiago Creek.

The train came into the Santa Ana Station.

After the station stop there, we left Santa Ana behind.

The train took the curve to head to Tustin and Irvine. I returned to the Dome and enjoyed the ride under the glass until Laguna Niguel when we took a table down stairs because more people would be boarding in San Juan Capistrano so those people could enjoy the ride in the dome. After our San Juan Capistrano stop we headed to the surf.

The first view of the beautiful Pacific Ocean.

My favorite USA Flag display in the United States of America.

The surf along San Clemente Beach.

Views of the San Clemente Pier.

The reef and sail boats on a beautiful sunny winter day.

Sea Lions on the rocks and birds in the air makes for a great day at San Clemente Beach.

The work at the San Matoe Creek Trestle has been completed. The train headed to the San Onofre Bluffs.

The views towards the surf along the San Onofre Bluffs.

Military building for practice on Camp Pendleton. Soon we were approaching Stuart Mesa.

Pacific Sun Rail and Coaster Trains wait for their service times.

Pacific Sun Rail WAMX GP-40-3 4048.

Metrolink and Coaster Trains spend the weekends together at Stuart Mesa.

Pacific Sun Rail WAMX GP-35L 3509.

Pacific Sun Rail WAMX GP-35L 3513.

More scenes from Stuart Mesa.

A late running Surfliner 775 went by us at Stuart Mesa. The train ran on into Oceanside.

After Oceanside we ran through CP Longboard.

The new control point called CP Carl. From here I relaxed the rest of the way to San Diego which we arrived into the Santa Fe Station at 2:14 PM, 19 minutes late. Christy went and got our Trolley Day Passes and we met AC Adam then waited for the San Diego Trolley. They were doing construction on B Street so we went straight via the Bayside Line to 12th and Imperial Station where we transferred to the Blue Line Train to San Ysidro. When we got there we headed over to the waiting Trolley but left Winston and Christy who didn't make the trolley. The trolley then left San Ysidro.

Knowing that they would follow us by 15 minutes, AC Adam and I took the Trolley back north to Bayfront/E Street stop and we walked over to the Black Angus. There we were told we had to wait 30 minutes for a table. After 20 minutes we were seated and soon ordered. I went back out front and here came Winston and Christy and I yelled across the street to them telling them where we were seated. Once we all were back together we had a nice discussion of what to do if this ever happens again. I enjoyed a Top Sirloin and ice cream with hot fudge which made me a very happy traveler. After that very good meal, we walked back over to the Trolley Stop.

The happy reunited travelers waiting for the trolley back to 12th and Imperial.

This trolley took us back to 12th and Imperial where we transferred to the trolley to take us back to the Santa Fe Station. There we left AC Adam and headed back aboard the Silver Splendor.

The Silver Splendor waiting for Surfliner 580 which is approaching along with Private Car Montana which would be picked by the last train of the night.

The view from the Silver Splendor before we left San Diego. We enjoyed a good dessert as we headed back north towards Santa Ana where we would detrain. We turned off all the lights to enjoy the views as we went north. It had been another excellent trip aboard the Silver Splendor but alas all good things must come to an end as our train returned us to Santa Ana on time. I ran up and over the Pedestrian Bridge for one final picture.

Surfliner 591 left Santa Ana with the Silver Splendor on the rear end. I said my good night to Winston and Christy and would see Winston next Saturday when we do the Coast Starlight detour trip over the Tehachapi Loop and Altamont Pass to Oakland.