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A Trip aboard the Pacific Trail to Albuquerque 10/18-19/2019

by Chris Guenzler

I decided to ride the Pacific Trail after seeing an ad on Trainorders. At 30 cents a mile it was too good to pass up and I never had ridden this car before.I called Bill Hatrick up and he gave me a price and all I had to do was get to Los Angeles to be on the train by 6:00 PM. I decided to take Pacific Surfliner 579 and would get to Santa Ana after I worked my shift at Heninger Elementry School. I checked the train status finding the train running 45 minutes late. I drove to the Santa Ana train station and parked then walked over to track 1 with plenty of time. I realized I had left my medications at home so I made a quick trip home, retrieved my pills and drove back parking in the same parking spot that I had before. Now I would wait for my train to arrive. First Pacific Surfliner 580 arrived followed by Metrolink 817. The next train due I normally ride five days a week.

Metrolink 641 arrived and left Santa Ana and I realized that this was the first time I ever shot both ends of Metrolink 641 in Santa Ana.

Pacific Surfliner 579 finally arrived into Santa Ana and I rode the cab car and met Engineer Joe again. The train stopped in Anaheim and Fullerton then did the final sprint to Los Angeles. At a red signal Joe and I talked about Union Pacific Big Boy 4014. The train pulled into Los Angeles and I detrained then walked to the end of the platform where I met two members of the Fullerton Railroad Plaza group.

Southwest Chief 4 10/18/2018 The Pacific Trail History

Pullman-Standard built Pacific Trail was ordered by Union Pacific in 1950 and numbered 5430 when placed into general servic, meaning it would serve where needed on trains all over the system. Built as a long-distance chair car, it featured plenty of leg room. Each pair of seats had its own window, venetian blind, reading lights, and decorative curtain on the pier panel between each window, quite nice for a coach!

This class of car, in fact, all 152 sister coaches built by ACF, St. Louis Car Co. and Budd—also featured decorative artwork on the coach compartment bulkheads, large men's and women's restrooms with several washstands, and rubber floor covering with inlaid designs.

Union Pacific sold 5430 and several sisters (5423, 5426, 5429, 5436, and 5445) in 1970 to Penn Central. 5430's new owner, renumbered her PC 3003 and used her and her sisters to equip the famous Broadway Limited, formerly an all-Pullman sleeping car train with coaches. The advent of Amtrak on May 1, 1971, brought the wholesale discontinuance of much of the rail passenger system in the United States. Amtrak bought the best of the passenger cars from the various railroads and Penn Central 3003 became Amtrak 4403. After serving across the Amtrak system through the '70s, the car was retired and sold at public auction in 1981. We purchased her in 1983 and have delighted in seeing her preserved for future generations to enjoy.

The Pacific Trail has returned to the mainline and fulfilled one of our dreams of her reunion with the Overland Trail out on the "High Iron".

This maybe the last run of private ownership of Pacific Trail after the car is used on the New River Fall Color Excursion Train, the car will be retained by Bill but used by the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.

The Trip

The train backed into LAUPT.

The drumhead on the Overland Trail. I boarded the train and took the rear seat in the Pacific Trail right hand side.

The inside of the Pacific Trail.

Kevin in a Railway Express Angency uniform. The train left LAUPT on time and traveled first to Fullerton. My good dear friend Carl Morrison boarded in Fullerton.

Me aboard the Pacific Trail, then on to Riverside. The next stop would be San Bernardino.

San Bernardino was another station stop. Next another trip over Cajon Pass. After reaching Summit and going down the Summit Valley I called it a night. I curled up on my two coach seats and fell asleep only waking up at all station stops.

10/19/2019 I woke up at Flagstaff then as the train left I sat in my seat under my Amtrak blanket. Once Canyon Diablo passed still in the dark I went to the Overland Trail and enjoyed the trip into Winslow with a lawyer. After thst I joined Carl as the train headed towards New Mexico and we got caught up on things. Breakfast was then being prepared.

The first time train rider and grandson of the Hatricks.

A view out of the Overland Trail.

East of Winslow trees in Fall colors.

The first time rider with his conductor hat on his head. I had the second breakfast of a waffle and sausage along with orange juice and Carl joined me at the table.

Chief Yellowhead welcomed all of us to New Mexico this morning. I returned to the Pacific Trail. The train stopped in Gallup.

The inside of the Pacific Trail.

Oil plants engines Trans-Global Solutions, Inc. ECRX 8419, ECRX 1506 and ECRX 1510. Now sit back and enjoy the Red Mesas of New Mexico as far as Pegs.

I hope you enjoyed the Red Meses of New Mexico. We sped through Grants then made our way to Rio Puerco where we slowed for track work.

Looking southwest on our way to Dalies.

Trees in Fall colors on the Rio Grande River floodplain.

The Rio Grande River. I packed up my stuff then said my goodbyes to Debbie Hatick and the other passengers in the Pacific Trail. It had been an excellent first time trip aboard the Pacific Trail private rail car and I stepped off a very happy train rider into the seventy degree air of Albuqueque.

Pacific Trail in Albuqueque. I went into the station and found an electrical plug then got on Greyhound's wireless network then finished the story to this point. I watched my DVD of The Rutles All You Need Is Cash. After some distrubances in the station, I decided to wait outside after I learned the train would be getting here at 4:10 PM today after a bad meet with Train 4.

A New Mexico Railrunner engine MP36PH-3C 107 in Albuquerque. I just waited in the cool shade and waited until I saw a headlight coming my way.

Southwest Chief 3 10/19/2019

The train pulled into Albuquerque. I boarded and got room 17 instead of the dirty room 22 that I was ticketed for. I then detrained and got this train's consist. The train had engines 179 and 30, Viewliner baggage 61011, Transition 39033, Sleepers 32256 and 32009 Georfe M Pullman, Diner 38048, Lounge 33033 and Coaches 34048 and 34032. I set up my room and put on my DVD Doctor Who Genesis of the Daleks. The train left on 4:45 PM {4:00 PM} and I was starting home. The attendant gave me a 6:00 PM dinner reservation card and I paused Dr Who while I was at dinner. I had the Signature Steak and was seated with a retired science teacher from Pittsburgh, a wommen from Albuquerque and lady returning home from Boston.

Sunset before Gallup. I returned to Dr Who. I took a fresh air break at Gallup then finished up Dr Who. I then made up the room and called it a night.

10/20/2019 I slept almost to Kennebrook then went to the Dining Car for a breakfast of Pancakes and bacon with orange juice. My room was then made back up and after San Bernardino. I updated the story as the train made its way to Riverside. From here it was a quick sprint to Fullerton followed by the final sprint into Los Angeles where I detrained at 8:08 AM {8:00 AM}. It was a very restful trip aboard the Southewest Chief. I found a Metrolink machine and bought a Sunday weekend pass. I then went up on the platform to wait for Metrolink 660 to arrive.

Metrolink 660 10/20/2019

The train came into LAUPT almost 25 minutes late due to crew having to take another working train set and once the doors opened I boarded the Bike Car and took my usual table. The train stopped in Norwalk-Santa Fe Springs, Buena Park, Fullerton, Anaheim, Orange and Santa Ana where I detrained. I drove home ending another exciting rail adventure.