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My 1,400,000.0 Rail Mile on November 3, 2014

by Chris Guenzler

It has been some time since I passed a major rail mile. In fact it was 1,350,000.0 back on the Southwest Chief on July 1, 2012 at the crossing of Magnolia Avenue in the City of Riverside as the last one. Why I have not I been iding more? First think back to NRHS Conventions in the last two years. I flew to Alaska for that 2013 NRHS Convention then flew to Oklahoma City for the NRHS 2014 Arkansas Convention. Also I have not been on a long distance train in two years. So that keep my mileage down but the main thing was work. When I was subbing it was jobs at various times during the day but then I would be too tired to ride. If I had an 11:00 AM job I could ride before some mornings but that was not that often. So slowly over time and thanks to Metrolink Weekend Day Passes I would do most of my riding. When I got my job at Heninger Elementary School in Santa Ana I sometimes would ride to Riverside with Winston Walker and Christy. Also the loss of the Metrolink $7 dollar day pass that hurt my riding. But slowly but surely I managed to finally get to the point where I knew I could reach that 1,400,000.0 rail miles. I made a plan then stuck with it. Saturday I took Amtrak to Oceanside then made a Coaster roundtrip to San Diego then Metrolink home. Sunday it was Amtrak south to Oceanside then Metrolink to Orange then to Oceanside and back to San Diego. On Monday, it would be Amtrak Pacific Surfliner 572 to San Diego then Pacific Surfliner 583 back and at Oceanside Blvd when the train crossed it at MP 227.2 it would be my 1,400,000.0 rail mile.

11/3/2014 I went to my job at Heninger then drove to the Santa Ana Train station where I met Winston and Christy Walker after I had changed out of my work clothes. The train was almost 20 minutes late so I called Robin Bowers who had forgotten about it. He would take Surfliner 774 to Solana Beach to meet us there. We waited patiently for our train to San Diego.

Pacific Surfliner 572 pulled into Santa Ana and we took a seat in the Amfleet Car 82570. I was glad I was on an Amfleet train as the vast majority of my early riding was in cars like this. We stopped in Irvine before we made our way south to San Juan Capistrano. After that it would be down to the the Pacific Ocean and the start of our surf line running.

We started our surf line running.

Two views of the San Clemente Pier as my miles grow closer to the time this afternoon.

The tide was out on our southbound trip.

Leaving the beach at San Onofre. We crossed Camp Pendelton and soon we were in Oceanside. We left Oceanside and headed to Solona Beach.

Oceanside Blvd where my event would take place on Pacific Surfliner 583. At Solona Beach, AC Adam was a no show at this point so that is just the way things are going for me today. We went through Del Mar then went up Sorrento Valley before we climb the Miramar Grade and went down Rose Canyon to Mission Bay. Next stop Old Town followed by the Santa Fe Station in downtown San Diego. We got off the train with no wi-fi and got a ride into the station. I called AC Adam and learned why he was not on the train to join me. Maybe he will make my 1,500,000.0 rail mile in the future?

Pacific Surfliner 583 11/3/2014

We were driven back to this same train and you would know that this train does not have Wi-Fi so I can not tell anyone on-line that I will have passed 1,400,000.0 rail miles after we get to Oceanside Blvd. We left San Diego on time and headed to Old Town. Next stop will be Solana Beach after the trip up and over Miramar Hill. We met a Coaster train at Sorento Valley. We left Solona Beach where Robin boarded and now I would be ready for that moment at Oceanside Blvd in about ten minutes.

At Oceanside Blvd, Robin took a picture of me breaking the 1,400,000.0 rail mile.

Here was the sign I had made for this event.

One last picture of me after the fact. We pulled into Oceanside And I would relax all the way back to Santa Ana one happy train rider. After the trip we met at my house and I put up the mileage on my web page before Winston, Christy and I went to the Steer Inn for dinner. We returned to the house where Winston corrected my story before we went to the Orange County Railroad Historical Society Meeting. After that I drove home ending another great day in my life.