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The Trip to the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad 4/1/2021

by Chris Guenzler

Elizabeth and I were talking about excursion trains she had not ridden so with a free weekend and some extra time, we decided to ride the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, Railtown 1897 and the Sacramento Southern. While I had ridden all of these before, I never mind showing and taking Elizabeth to any of the trains I have experienced before. We woke up, had breakfast and finished packing and left our apartment at 9:00 with Elizabeth driving. We went up Interstate 5 and stopped at the rest area at the summit of Tejon Pass before we exited at Old River Road south of Bakersfield and made our way to our first stop of the trip.

At 13343 South Gosford Road is the former Sunset Railway Conner station built by the Santa Fe Railway in 1901. From here we went to the Kern County Museum but could not pay as there was no one there. So I took Elizabeth to where the steam engine was.

Southern Pacific 4-8-0 2914 built in 1898.

Santa Fe wooden caboose 1323.

The Southern Pacific Bena station built in 1889.

The station board of the Bena station.

Information boards about Southern Pacific 4-8-0 2914.

Information board about the Bena station.

Scale house and telephone booth.

Information board about the scale house and telephone booth.

Southern Pacific crossbuck. Watch out for the cars.

Southern Pacific Railroad jail.

Information board about the jail.

This house reminded me of the Addams Family house from the 1960's television show. From here we drove out to west of Shafter.

At 30360 Orange Ave is the former Sunset Railway Fellows station built by the Southern Pacific in 1917.

San Joaquin train 710 at South Sandrini. We went to both Earlimart and Pixley but alas both of those stations are gone. We had Subway for lunch. We next drove to Porterville.

Trackside view of the Southern Pacific Porterville station.

First Train to Porterville May 10, 1888 emblem.

This was going to be a hard station to photograph until I had an idea.

Southern Pacific Porterville station built in 1913. From here we drove to over to the Santa Fe station.

The Santa Fe Porterville station now a senior retirement home built in 1917. We left Porterville but I had a stop when I spotted something.

Santa Fe caboose 999182. I then drove to Exeter where there were several items of interest.

The Visalia Electric mural sits across the street from the old station of the same name.

Visalia Electric interurban station in Exeter built in 1905.

San Joaquin Valley Railroad NZE24BDE 2408.

San Joaquin Valley Railroad NZE24BDE 2407.

San Joaquin Valley Railroad GP28 1829, originally Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf 701.

San Joaquin Valley Railroad GP28 1825, originally Illinois Central 9430.

San Joaquin Valley Railroad GP28 1826, originally Illinois Central 9431.


San Joaquin Valley Railroad PR30B 3002.

San Joaquin Valley Railroad NZE24BDE 2405.

Visalia Electric engine house.

Mount Whitney as we turned around on CA Highway 198 to get to Dinuba.

This station was going to be really hard to photograph until the caretakers of the museum asked me why we were there and we told them. They then let us into the complex.

For some reason a canopy had been strung from the depot to some poles.

The proper side views of the Southern Pacific Dinuba station built in 1916. We thanked the ladies for letting us come into the museum grounds.

My last view of the Southern Pacific Dinuba station. From here we drove to Fresno and went to Arby's to get dinner and took it to the hotel. The Rodeway Inn was far below our expectations. The key did not work in two doors so the manager had to come and open it for us. I would not recommend staying here under any circumstances. I worked on the story while Elizabeth participated in her monthly Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society board meeting via Zoom then we called it a night.