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Chris Guenzler End of the Year Review 2019

I left you at home where I spent my New Years at home again. It felt funny being here but I needed a change in my life. It had been a great year for most things being for Santa Ana Unified School District Heninger Elementary School. I am truly blessed.

Most importantly almost everyone in the Guenzler family is doing well. I pray that God keeps the rest of us all going strong in 2019. My mother was still in the rest home but by late July she started to fail and died on July 31, 2019.

I saw some good concerts this year including the Music of Queen and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra Renee and Henry Segrestrom Concert Hall Costa Mesa, CA in April, The Young Dubliners support Craic in the Stone and Michael Vanags and the Rager Band The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano, CA. in May, Asia featuring John Payne support Pick Up and Run Coach House San Juan Capistrano, CA., in June. 50 years of Jethro Tull Five Points in Irvive, CA, also 50 years of Jethro Tull Civic Theater San Diego and Geoff Tate Operation Mindcrime support Mark Daly Band Coach House San Juan Capistrano, CA, I saw the Pittsburgh Penguins twice in Anaheim and Los Angeles.

I still belong to the Orange County Railroad Historical Society and present many shows of my trips for them, the National Railway Historical Society, whose convention I attended in Salt Lake City and the Train Travel Group in Fullerton that meets the 4th Monday night of the month. Sometimes we take trips together. I have good friends in each of these groups and feel very lucky to be a member of each one of these groups. I produced my tenth railroad calendar "The Chris Guenzler 2020 Railroad Calendar" from Vista Print.

The years started off with local railroad photography. Next I had my 24rd year of sobriety on January 18, 2019. Bill Compton and I made our first trip out to the BNSF Needles sub. I joined NRHS members John Goodman and Skip Waters on the NRHS Discovery Visit for the 2020 Convention Fillmore & Western Railroad Trip. More local photography was done. Bill and I made a second trip to second trip to Ash Hill and caught the Mohave Northern Railroad finally on the way home.

For Winterail 2019 Robin and I took the Coast Starlight both ways to Vancouver, WA. Chris Parker flew up amd met us there before Bob and Elizabeth Alkire picked us up and we drove to the Best Western in Astoria for the night. The next morning we drove down to just below Wheeler and found the Polson Lumber 2 coming at us so we pulled off for pictures as they were doing a photo charter. We drove back north to Wheeler and parked and waited for the Polson Lumber 2 to come by our photo location over looking Wheeler Bay. A while later and with friends from the photo charter we caught the Columbia Belt line 2-4-4-2 7 The Skookum and empty log train come by Wheeler Bay. We then left as we had covered bridges to find. Off of US 22 we first went to the Drift Creek Covered Bridge. Our next stop was the former Southern Pacific Salem station. That was followed by the Stayton-Jordan Covered Bridge, the Shimanek Covered Bridge and the Hannah Covered Bridge, We drove to the Days Inn and I had a steak at Elmers. Four of us except Chris Parker went to the Friday Night Railfan Magazine Pizza Party and I showed Chris Guenzler Year of Trains In My Life 2018 and all the other shows were excellent. Winterail started with breakfast at Elmers. We then went to the swap meet. My purchases this year included Rock Island Diesel Locomotives 1930 to 1980 by Louis A. Marre, 50 Years of Northern American Railroads Volume 1 (The Far West All Color) and Volume 2 (The Central Mid-West All Color). I also picked up from White River Productions Route of the Chiefs by Greg Stout. From Roundhouse Hobbies, an old friend of mine from Stockton, Denver and Rio Grande Western Timetable No. 7 dated June 1, 1967. I bought this since it has the mileage of the routes for the 2019 NRHS convention. My last purchase was after seeing it, was Southern Pacific's San Francisco Peninsula Route Volume 5. On Sunday All of the Winterail Shows were top notch and we all returned to the motel for the night. On Sunday, We drove the Albany Station where Chris Parker had to buy his ticket to Portland. We all waited on the platform until we saw the train approaching. I said my goodbye to Bob and the rest of us boarded the Cascades Talgo 506. We took the train north, Chris Parker detraining in Portland and took MAX out to the airport. Robin and I detrained at Vancouver and Elizabeth rode north without us to Seattle. The Coast Starlight ran on time to Los Angeles and we took Pacific Surfliner 786 to Santa Ana and then drove me home officially ending this Winterail 2019 trip.

After taking more local pictures it was time to leave for the 2019 NRHS Convention Trip. Robin came over and we left first catching at Union Pacific train in Afton Canyon then driving to the Southern Nevada Railroad Museum in Boulder City then driving through the Lake Mead National to Recreation Area to get to Valley of Fire State Park which was on my bucket list of places to visit. After that we drove to Cedar City for the night.

We took pictures of the Cedar City Union Pacific station before we drove out north to Milford then followed the Union Pacific tracks to the Salt Lake City area. We caught Union Pacific 8377 north of Lynndyl, Union Pacific 5569 West near Jericho and then Union Pacific 5673 East near Clover Valley. We then drove into Tooele to our first destination of the morning which was the Tooele Valley Railroad Museum with Tooele Valley Railroad 2-8-0 1, two cabooses and a station building plus more. From here we stopped by the old Saltair Pavilion then caught that Union Pacific 5673 at Smelter, Utah. From here we drove to the Bingham Canyon Copper Mine visitor center, paid $10 and took a Rio Tinto Group bus to the overlooks in Bingham Canyon. From we drove to Park City found the Union Pacific Park City station then had to drive to Empire Street and got the keys to the condo we were spending the next two nights in.

The next morning I walked the Union Pacific Hiking and Bike trail before we drove to Heber City to ride the train there. We arrived early so we got to photograph everything on their property. We took the train at 11:00 AM and had an excellent trip along Deer Creek Lake and down Provo Canyon to Vivian Park. I relaxed on the way back to Heber City. After the trip we went to the Old Town to the Old Goat Restaurant where I had the House wings with us eating outside. After that early dinner we found the Heber City Rio Grande Station, Utah Railway wooden caboose 53 and the Heber City Rio Grande Station pasasenger station. We returned to Park City for the night.

After returning the keys to the condo we drove to the Lagoon Amusement Park in Farmington, Utah met Jimmy Sunlight who took us around the park. We walked over to the Wild Kingdom Train. We rode the train before the park opened then saw and took pictures of the Rattlesnake Railroad 4-4-0. Then we entered the David E Speery Model Train Museum and on the way out photographed the train on the trestle. We got back on Interstate 15 to Corrine and found the Union Pacific Corinne Station. From here we drove the miles into Golden Spike National Historic Site. We first hiked the Big Fill Trail which was amazing then went to Visitor Center parking lot and headed straight to the engines which were outside on the main line. The replica engines of the Central Pacific 4-4-0 60 Jupiter and the Union Pacific 4-4-0 119 were all ours to photograph. From here we drove south to the Spiral Jetty. I climbed the hill for a fantastic view of the Spiral Jetty and the surrounding countryside before walking to the shoreline of the Great Salt Lake and took more pictures of my surroundings. We drove back and would take the Eastern Auto Tour Road on the old Central Pacific grade. From here, we went back to Corrine and photographed the Union Pacific Malad Local passing our photo location. Next we went to the Union Pacific Brigham City station and Union Pacific Bay Window Caboose 24516. Union Pacific local was switching in Brigham City. We drove to the Howard Johnson Motel and checked in for that night.

The next morning Robin and I left the Howard Johnson Motel in Brigham City, stopped by MacDonald's for breakfast then drove Interstate 15 South to Interstate 84 East and when we came to Devil Slide turn out we stopped for pictures. We passed five westbound Union Pacific trains on our way to Evanston this morning. We arrived and set up for the arrival of Big Boy 4014 and the 844. So since they were expecting us at 8:30 AM and Elizabeth told me the train was 42 miles away we decided to go visit the Evanston Roundhouse Museum which was excellent. We did see the Union Pacific 4014 and 844 arrived into Evanston but I left dissapointed by people getting into my picture. We headed west on Interstate 80. Our hopeful photo location for Wednesday Big Boy to Ogden trip. We stopped at KFC picking up lunch to go and then drove down through Provo Canyon then by BYU University and headed next to Solider Summit. We photographed Union Pacific 6569 East at Citon which after passing us went onto the Pleasant Valley energy spur. We then chased Union Pacific 2664 West at the Emma Road back to Solider Summit. We gassed up the Ford Focus then checked into the Riverside Motel. We then went to explore Helper. We stopped by the Western Mining Museum display and e returned to the Riverside Motel and I started putting corrections in my stories. We drove over to Price for dinner at Wingers then stopped by the Amtrak station for a look around. I returned and started to write this story then went outside on a cold windy night to watch the California Zephyr leave Helper in the day over 1 hour 35 minutes late. I called it a night a short time later.

The next morning, I met Robin at the car we drove to Castle Rock and waited for the California Zephyr and then we drove into Helper to catch him going under the signal bridge and into the yard. We then returned to the Riverside Motel where I wrote yesterday's story and finished it. While I was doing that, a ten unit Union Pacific loaded coal train left the yards at Helper. After we checked out, we drove Highway 6 and after Guilly, we came upon our UP coal train minus the six helper units that cut off at Soldier Summit. We found a reverse curve with proper lighting and stopped and set up to get the pictures. Union Pacific 5413 West was photographed at a new photo location. We decided to follow him west and went west of the Thistle Tunnels and I put my zoom lens on my camera. Union Pacific 5413 West came out of the Thistle Tunnels and I felt good about my photos. We continued west and I joked I wanted a BNSF train. A few miles down the road my wish came true. BNSF 4565 East right before Union Pacific 5413 West blasted him and blocked our view of him. We took off in chase mode and almost beat him to another spot but as I turned off the road, he came up right below us. A quick U-turn and we went to the east side of the Thistle Tunnels and set up there, putting the zoom lens back on and waited less than a minute for him to pop out of the tunnel with plenty of smoke to add to the picture. putting on a great show for Robin and I. From here, we drove down to Provo and stopped at a Walmart Neighborhood Store for some cold medicine for Robin and more Coca-Cola for me. After that, we stopped at McDonald's for breakfast where I had my usual hotcakes and sausage. From here we drove Interstate 15 North to Utah 85 to Utah 68 to Jordan Narrows Road and parked in Jordan Narrows Park then found the trail that took us to the edge where we waited for the FrontRunner trains to come by. The Northbound FrontRunner train at Jordan Narrows followed shortly by the Southbound FrontRunner train. We drove back to Interstate 15 and hit major rainstorms starting at Murray all the way to Salt Lake City.

We made it to the Radisson where we checked in then parked the car in the basement and took the elevator to the lobby then up to the seventh floor and Room 725. We went back down and checked into the convention, met Elizabeth and Bob and later Bob would join Robin and I on a light rail tour of their system. We left Arena station and headed south, arrived at Gallivan Plaza then walked the three blocks to Courthouse where we would board the next train that arrived bound for Draper. Bob just needed to ride to Draper so at Fashion Place West on the way back Robin and I detrained. We took the next car Red Line shuttle train, due to construction, would only run from Fashion Place West to Daybreak Parkway. We then returned to Fashion Place West and took the next Red line train to at Center Pointe. The one-car train at Center Pointe which would be the Green Line connecting train which would take us out to West Valley Central. We returned to Center Pointe then took the S Line streetcar built by Siemens arriving at Central Pointe. This streetcar would stop at South Salt Lake City, 300 East, 500 East, 700 East, Sugar Mount and Fairmont. We called Elizabeth who told us there was a Habit within walking distance so Robin and I enjoyed a very good meal with me having my plain Tri Tip Sandwich on sourdough. We then returned to Center Pointe and I lost Robin so my Red line train took me to Courthouse, walked a short distance to the Library West station and waited for the next Red Line train to University Medical Center. This was my favorite line to ride in all of Utah. I came back to Library West and walked back to Gallivan Plaza and I returned to the Arena Station. My last train of the day at the Arena station after I detrained. I took this picture then spotted someone who looked very familiar. It turned out to be Chris Parker who was trying to surprise us by being there but I wrecked his surprise. Sorry, Chris. I met Elizabeth in the lobby and we did the trip to Helper story. With that done and early 4:45 AM alarm, we called it a night. The big day was finally here and I could not wait to see the Union Pacific Big Boy 4014 and my old friend UP 844 come through Echo Canyon. This morning Robin and I got up at 4:45 AM and left the Radisson Motel after 5:00 AM and drive east to the exit to Park City and gassed up my Ford Focus and picked up some do-nuts for me to snack on then drove Interstate 80 east to Castle Gate then reversed to the westbound rest area where we parked. We used the bathrooms then waited for Bob and Elizabeth to arrive. Robin took a nap then once they arrived Elizabeth and I climbed through the muck to the top of the west hill, Bob would be at the table area with Robin on the east hill. It was off and on rain with us joking that we all must be crazy to be standing here waiting for a Big Boy to arrive. We had trains to practice with.Union Pacific 7971 East was our first train of the morning, followed by Union Pacific 6016 West and we practiced with both. Photographers were covering the hills waiting for the Big Boy to arrive. The Big Boy 4014 and Union Pacific 844 made an impressive show coming down Echo Canyon. I was amazed to see it and very happy I got up this morning to witness it in person. After we climbed off the hill on a different path and cleared the muck off our shoes, we visited the rest area's information area which had a lot of excellent displays. Elizabeth and I came back together and stopped at McDonald's before returning to Salt Lake City, gassing up the car and returning to the Radisson Hotel. Elizabeth and I decided to ride the Frontrunner to Ogden so I could write a story about the Ogden Railroad Museum. So after our Big Boy 4014 experience at the rest area at Echo Canyon we took the RTA Blue Line in the Fare Free Zone from Arena to Salt Lake Central station and tapped our Event Transit Pass and walked out to the platform to wait for our train to Ogden. The train arrived into Salt Lake Central station and would be making stops at North Temple Bridge, Woods Cross, Farmington, Layton, Clearfield, Roy and then at Ogden.

The train then left Ogden and we went off to write the story of Ogden Union Station. We started at the north end of the property and saw the railroad equipment there including the Utah Merci Car a gift from France and Union Pacific 0-6-0 4436 plus other things. At the south end of the property was Union Pacific GE GTE 8500 26/26B, DRG&W SD40T-2 5371, Southern Pacific SD45R 7457, Union Pacific 4-8-4 833 and DDA40X Union Pacific 6916 plus other equipment on display. The Union Pacific was setting up for the Nose to Nose ceremony for tomorrow. We then went inside Ogden Union Station. The murals looked as good as ever. We arrived at Salt Lake City on time and took the light rail back to Arena station. Later, I still had light rail to ride so Elizabeth joined me so we walked back to the Arena station and headed out to the Salt Lake City Airport. There were stormy skies on the way back from the airport to Fairpark station where we detrained. We walked over to the Promontory Chapter NRHS UP 1836 "Janice L" observation car at the Salt Lake, Garfield and Western yard. Here we also found Salt Lake, Garfield and Western MP15AC DS-11. We boarded the next car and returned to the Arena Station. We returned to the Radisson and met Robin and Bob and went to JB's Restaurant for dinner. I returned to the Radisson and worked on stories before calling it a night.

Robin and I got up early and I left the Radisson Hotel ten minutes before he did and shot a few pictures before he arrived. Next our trolley, a Blue Line one for Salt Lake Central arrived at Arena station and we both boarded for the short trip to that station. Our Frontrunner train for Ogden arrived at the Salt Lake Central station and we all boarded the second car. I sat with a couple of NRHS members while Robin caught up on his sleep on the way to Ogden. We arrived at Ogden station and everyone detrained then Robin and I had breakfast at the Zephyr Grill located in an old baggage car. We went into the Ogden Depot where a Union Pacific event was going on and a very nice young lady offered to take us over to the Union Pacific press tent. She took us through security and led us the rest of the way where we were given a press badge and a folder with Union Pacific information in it and then told where we could go and could not go. We walked out and I took my first picture as a press person of one of the stars, Union Pacific 4-8-4 844. Union Pacific Big Boy 4014 was out of sight just to the south of us. Frontrunner trains in and out of Ogden arrived on the UTA flyover and there was a large crowd behind our press row. When UP 844 blew its whistle, the crowd cheered and then UP 4014 answered with its whistle and the crowd cheered. It was a beautiful spring Utah morning. At 10:00 the video screen came alive with a video on Union Pacific steam, then the Big Boy going from Pomona to Cheyenne for rebuilding followed by the Big Boy song. Another UTA Frontrunner comes into Ogden from Provo this morning.

The Union Pacific Color Guard marched in with the Flags of America and the Union Pacific. A wonderful version of the Star Spangled Banner was sung then the Color Guard posted the colors and marched offstage. Next the Chairman of Union Pacific, Lance M. Fritz, spoke to the assembled guests this morning by saying "Let's get to what we came for to celebrate on this morning. To my left Union Pacific 844 the Living Legend brought by the Union Pacific runs out at 100 MPH. On my right, the latest steam locomotive to join the Union Pacific Family, 4014 amd 1.2 million pounds 7000 horsepower of steel and fire. Let's get started for what we all came for." He then called Union Pacific Big Boy 4014 which responded "Chairman Lance Fritz over. I'm in position in front of your locomiotive, are you ready to move?" "UP 4014 is ready to proceed?" Fritz answers "UP 4014 take them ahead!

Just then a Frontrunner train for Provo left Ogden as Union Pacific 4014 answered "UP 4014 understands, coming ahead." Union Pacific Big Boy 4014 moved into nose-to-nose position with Union Pacific 844. Next we heard from Gary Herbert, Governor of Utah, who give a brief talk about the history of Utah and its railroads. He then called up four relatives of people who had played a part in railroading during that period. Unfortunately, there was a television cameraman who spoiled everyone's picture and I then left the event. I walked back to the Frontrunner station and Elizabeth met me on the platform so I could ride down to Provo with her. We detrained at Murray Central and took the next train to Centerpointe. We then boarded the S line Streetcar for the trip to Fairmont where Elizabeth finished riding all of the Utah rail lines. We had an early dinner at the Habit and took the next train back to Centerpointe and met an NRHS member on the platform who was going to Draper. We rode with him back to Murray Central where we detrained and made our Frontrunner train back to Salt Lake Central. Elizabeth and I walked over to the Salt Lake City and caught the next Blue Line train back to Arena.

Friday morning was another early start and I worked on the Frontrunner story, awoke Robin and we walked to JB's Restaurant, meeting Bob and Elizabeth for the buffet breakfast. I continued with the story until it was time for our NRHS safety meeting for today's activities then went downstairs with Dan Meyer who gave me my radio for the next two days' use. I then was told by John Goodman to get out to the curb to do my Bus 1 duties. The bus arrived and I took the first seat as usual and loaded the bus, taking only fifty passengers. I pointed out items of interest all the way out to Promontory Summit. We flew up the freeway but when we got onto Utah 18, we encountered traffic that was bumper to bumper heading to Promontory. We came to a curve where there were people handing out information which was the cause of the slowdown. We arrived at the park and I pointed out the Big Fill and the abandoned grades to my passengers. We continued on until we made the final turn toward Promontory where we were greeted by a mile of a American flags on the south side of the road only Once I found our seating area, I had to go back and forth five times to lead our NRHS members to their reserved seats. Finally I had a moment to go to the press tent, get my pass then walk over the press area which I discovered was about four feet too short to shoot over all the people.

Once the event started, the hammering of the first spike was the gold spike in California. The next spike, a silver one, was hammered from Arizona. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao told stories about her culture and their part in building the Transcontinental Railroad. Choir members who participated in the ceremonies were in front of both locomotives. Next was a wreath laying ceremony occurred to honor those who perished while building the Transcontinental Railroad. Jon Meacham, Pulitzer prize-winning historian, presented the keynote address and a twenty-star flag was raised which was in existence in 1869. With that, the Golden Spike 150 ceremony was done! I left the press area and found Bob and Elizabeth very busy checking off names and affixing tags to lanyards to account for all our members. I got the NRHS sign and walked back and felt like the Pied Piper of Hamelin as I led NRHS members back to boarding area #2. Steve Miller then found me and he held up the sign for a while and we had everyone for Buses 1 and 2. Now all we needed was the buses themselves. I believe they counted fifty-eight buses which passed our location before we had confirmation that our NRHS bus was finally on its way to us. By this point, other bus hosts had come to wonder if their bus had arrived yet. I of course joked, saying of course not since I was still standing here for Bus 1 to pick me up. At 2:45 PM, Bus 1 finally arrived and I counted off fifty people with the Bus 1 tags on their lanyards.

Once we got the green light, we hit the road and followed the traffic out, encountering heavy traffic all the way to Interstate 15 and it broke free and my bus arrived back at the hotel at 4:37 PM thus ending this NRHS adventure. I helped people off the bus before I checked for any lost items, as did the bus driver. Then I turned in my time of return slip and went up to the room and returned to writing stories. Bob, Elizabeth and I went to Johnny Rockets and had dinner and the chocolate shake was so good. We rode back to the Arena station and Elizabeth and I went to the lobby to work on stories. In the middle of it, we heard fireworks and had a literal front row seat for the May 10th, 1869 fireworks show the City of Salt Lake put on for all of us to celebrate the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. We finished the story and took the trolley the one stop back to Elizabeth's hotel then I took it back to Arena station and went up to my room and called it a night.

Our last morning in Salt Lake City started with a return trip to JB's Restaurant and I had the Breakfast Buffet and orange juice. Back to the motel I put the corrections into my stories before we loaded the car and I had our keys extended so we could get out of the parking lot. We had our final NRHS safety meeting before we went down and loaded the bus. We then drove straight to Heber City and there we pulled into the parking lot and unloaded the NRHS passengers. Once everyone was off the bus, I started looking around. Maine Central GP-9 52 and Boston & Maine GP-9 77 were ready to go. Heber Valley caboose 12300 was my assignment on the train. I met an NRHS member who walked down to the two stations with me in Heber City then returned to the station area. At 9:30 AM we boarded the caboose and were ready for our trip to start. I was working with fifteen year old Allie. I took pictures of everyone in the caboose and we started the trip off by passing the Heber City station. As we passed the station sign, the train went into an emergency stop and I went flying down the aisle before someone grabbed my shirt stopping me safely. Almost immediately the Heber Valley police arrived and we saw our conductors going by us in a pickup truck. Everyone had their own ideas of what happened but Skip Waters then came back and told me that the engine and business cars had both derailed. I then let my passengers know the new plan. The trip could still happen if both of the equipment could be re-railed, we would leave at noon and go straight to Vivian Park and return but the photo runbys would be cancelled. We all thought that was a good idea. While front end loaders were used to try to re-rail the train along with hydraulic jacks, I read the history of the Heber Valley Railroad to my passengers to pass the time. It was then announced that the trip was cancelled and we would be bussed back to Salt Lake City. We loaded up Bus 1 and while we were waiting my driver Chris suggested we returned to Salt Lake City via Provo Canyon. I got the green light from the NRHS and our driver also told me he would stop to let people take pictures of the derailed car. Once we got to Deer Creek Lake, I gave a running commentary most of the way back then collected the lanyards for use in the future and thanked my passengers and had them gave a hand to Chris our bus driver. We returned to the Radisson Hotel where we unloaded the bus for the final time and turned in my time statement, vest and radio and that ended my 2019 NRHS duties. Robin returned and we both said goodbye to Elizabeth before we went to my car.

Robin and I started the drive to Ely, Nevada but we stopped in McGill so I could show Robin what was left of the railroad. Did we ever get a surprise when we found the Nevada Northern McGill station. The Nevada Northern mainline tracks at the US 93 grade crossing were out of service. We drove into Ely and found the Nevada Northern station to check in to their bunkhouse. The young man in their gift shop told us to come back in an hour after the train returned. So Robin and I drove up Robinson Canyon looking for the train and found it all the way up in Keystone waiting to be wyed and I had my first view of an old friend, Nevada Northern 4-6-0 40. We took a few pictures here then relocated and the steam train left Keystone for East Ely with us in chase mode. We next headed to the tunnel where we caught him exiting into Robinson Canyon. With the chase done, we stopped by the closed White Pine Museum and took pictures through and over the fence. Once we finished here, we drove to the East Ely station and arrived as the train was backing in. Once the station help had returned and the other guests for the bunkhouse arrived, each party signed releases and then we walked across the tracks to the bunkhouse. We got shown our room C plus the bathrooms and kitchen. I walked back to the East Ely station and moved the car. Nevada Northern 40 had finished wyeing but had to perform one of its daily duties and we moved over to take pictures of the engine heading to the ash pit to drop its ashes from the firebox. Our final pictures that day were of the wig wag signal protecting the road crossing which we took to reach the bunkhouse. From here we went to Carl's Junior and brought the dinner back to the bunkhouse. I continued to work on the stories for the rest of the evening. Robin and I got up and went to McDonald's which was under construction so we took our food back to the Nevada Northern Bunkhouse and ate it in the kitchen area. I then walked down towards the Engine House and photographed Nevada Northern caboose 22 that can be rented out to stay in like Joe Berbec and his friends did last night. I drove to the East Ely station and parked my car then returned the keys and picked up our comped tickets for our train trip this morning. Nevada Northern 40 started backing towards us and I started to take pictures. We stopped to throw a switch and then headed to the East Ely station another way. We walked back to the station area and Nevada Northern 40 then backed onto our train. Once they boarded the train we went to the open car and were joined by four other NRHS members. At 9:30 AM the train backed out of the East Ely station to the switch past the wig wag signal. Once they threw the switch we were on our way towards Keystone for my third trip on the Nevada Northern and Robin's first trip. Later the train entered the tunnel in Robinson Canyon. We then came to a stop for a few minutes before our conductor threw the switch and we backed up the wye all the way to the end to something I never expected, a fake cemetery, western town and train robbers. After that we started back to East Ely. then drove down US 97 to our first stop on the way home at Caliente to photograph the Union Pacific station. We drove through Rainbow Canyon, reached the end of the paved road and drove 38 miles down a dirt road to get back onto US 97. I drove the rest of the way home going through heavy traffic once in Barstow and once on Cajon Pass. After that it was an drive west on CA 60 to CA 57 to CA 22 off at Grand Ave where we gassed up the Focus one last time before we headed to my house in Santa Ana. We arrived at 8:05 PM and Robin pulled his car out of my driveway. We unloaded the car then I pulled mine in the driveway and I got into my house ending a great NRHS Trip for 2019.

My next trip was 24 Hours in Saginaw so I flew Southwest to Love Field in Dallas and got my rental car and drove to Dennison, Texas my first stop of this solo trip. There Missouri-Kansas-Texas F7A 401B was on the point of a display train across the tracks from the Dennison MKT station. Next I drove to Oklahoma City and rode the Oklahoma City Streetcar. I made my way to Interstate 235 which took me to US 77 north which I exited at Hefner Lane and turn left onto May Avenue, taking me to my dear friend Bonnie Isbill's apartment. We visited for a few minutes then Bonnie, Leanne and I went to the Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner. That evening, I showed her my OCRHS Utah trip which she enjoyed. The next morning, I drove to Wichita Falls, stopped for breakfast then drove Interstate 44, the H.E. Bailey Turnpike, for 110 miles back into Texas and stopped at the Texas Welcome Center to pick up a State of Texas map and was given good directions that took me directly to the Wichita Falls Railroad Museum. They were closed so I had to shoot through the fence. They have some nice equipment including FW&D 2-8-0 304, MKT NW2 1029, MKT caboose 212 and MKT caboose 111.

From here I drove south on US 287 and at Deas found BNSF 9319 East with the Norfolk Southern Virginian Heritage unit 1069 in his consist. Further down the highway I found BNSF 4406 West heading for Wichita Falls. I continued to Saginaw and pulled in to the parking lot to wait for Amtrak and soon The Heartland Flyer came through the town this early afternoon. I then drove to the Texas and Pacific Station in Fort Worth and parked in a lot on the south side of the station and bought my single region ticket then went up onto the platform. Trinity Rail Express train 2931 came into the Texas and Pacific station it shares with the TEXRail trains that go to DFW Airport. This would my first ride on this service plus riding the Stadler built trainsets. At 1:25 Train 230 started moving with a very smooth ride. My new rail mileage on this trip would be from the junction with the TRE to where the Grapevine Vintage railroad comes into these tracks at that junction and then east of Grapevine all the way to the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport station. The train pulled into the DFW Airport Terminal B Station and I detrained for pictures. My new mileage was now over. I reboarded the train for the return trip to Fort Worth, which had become Train 237, and it had been a great trip on this new service. I then drove and checked into the Days Inn Fort Worth Stockyard Motel for my two night stay here then headed over to the parking lot for the Saginaw Station, parked my rental car and went trackside.

BNSF 2030 came by on a local, Amtrak 822, the Heartland Flyer, went north through Saginaw followed by BNSF 4114 East with DPU 7395 going south. BNSF 7335 West was followed by the northbound Heartland Flyer heading back to the Powder River Basin for another load of coal. I then checked in into 24 Hours At Saginaw and gave $20 to help cover insurance for the event. I returned outside and photographed BNSF 6784 West with CN 2990 and 2155 in its consist as it went north. Union Pacific 4558 East came through next. My friend Jim Choiniere had brought his two grandchildren who were making their first visit here. BNSF 6598 East passed us next then I went inside to watch the programs that were being shown. The first one I saw was an Operation Lifesaver Presentation by Amtrak Conductor Angie Hicks, followed by David Wiegand - from New Mexico - "Santa Fe, early Amtrak & Rock Island". He did not have a slide projector so his was narrated but really good. Then I showed "Chris Guenzler - from Southern California - Trains in the Life of Chris Guenzler 2018 & NRHS Conventions I have been to" programs which both went over well. After that I returned to the Days Inn for the night.

I awoke feeling rested and after breakfast and filling up the rental car, I returned to the Saginaw station where I watched "BNSF Arizona Divide" provided by Chris Tolley followed by "Tennessee Pass and the Royal Gorge Route"- by Chris Tolley both of which I enjoyed. Next was Ken Fitzgerald's Live Locomotive Horn Demonstration. The trains started to come through and BNSF 5011 East was my first train of the late morning followed by Union Pacific 8882 West, BNSF 6539 with Ferromex 4048 heading into grain siding and BNSF 4633 West with Citirail 1334. I called Let's Talk Trains while BNSF 5901 East came through Saginaw with DPU 9798 and 9935. I returned to the station for an ATCS program which was excellent. Soon I was back outside to photograph Amtrak 821, Heartland Flyer, then BNSF 266 with 261 and 1423 came north through the interlocking followed by southbound BNSF 266 through the interlocking. I walked over to Arby's and picked up lunch and dinner before returning to the event and watching Willie Melendez - DVD - "Santa Fe Odyssey Volume III" and then Melinda G. West - from Shreveport - "Oh Yes They Did!" Next was the "Great Locomotive Race" Trivia Game - Sam Metzgar and James Dolande. I was the Santa Fe and took second and won a Railfans Chasing Trains DVD.

After that it was back outside for more trains, namely BNSF 9230 East with BNSF 9639 in its consist. A light BNSF engine move came north but stopped at the signal. The northbound Heartland Flyer passed our location followed by BNSF 4721, which would be my last train to photograph at this event. I went inside and watched the end of the Tarantula Express video. Next was David Wiegand who showed his slides which were really interesting. I then showed the final program of the event, "Trains in the Life of Chris Guenzler 2010 & 2011" plus the Big Boy in Echo Canyon, NRHS Nose to Nose and Promontory Summit May 10, 2019. I thanked Skip for having me and I returned to the Days Inn checked my phone and learned that my flight home was cancelled. I took the information and got a flight home with a layover in Houston. I was not happy since I would get home an hour later than planned. In addition, my boarding passes were in the B and C groups. The next morning, I drove back to Love Field to return the rental car then was bussed over to the airport. I managed to get into the A group for my flight to Houston and upon arrival at the gate, also obtained an A group boarding pass. The gate agent was a doppelganger for a teacher I work with, Katie Wright. I enjoyed my flight which arrived early, called Carl who was picking me up and I returned home, ending a fantastic trip to Texas and 24 Hours At Saginaw.

I saw a post on about a private car trip with the Pacific Railroad Society aboard the National Forum, a private car I had yet to ride. I signed up then called Chris Parker who also signed up. We would take Pacific Surfliner 562 down and Pacific Surfliner 591 back aboard the National Forum. Chris and I both got open section A so we would be sitting together. I enjoyed my summer vacation after another school year finished and rode trains daily until the morning of the trip. I was up very early and drove north up Interstate 5 to LAUPT then walked into the tunnel looking for a green-vested Pacific Railroad Society representative to sign in for this unique trip. I walked up to the platform and boarded the National Forum after a pair of pictures. Chris showed up ten minutes before the train left and we were all set to enjoy our day together. The train left LAUPT on time. Once in San Diego and after taking pictures, we walked down to San Diego Harbor where we saw USS Dewey Destroyer Arleigh Burke Class DDG-105 and USS Wayne E. Meyer Destroyer Arleigh Burke Class DDG-108. From there I bought us Complete Harbor Tour Tickets so we would do both ends of the harbor. We waited for the boat to load on the ramp onto the Spirit of San Diego and this tour gave us a really good history and were very educational. The ship first goes out to Point Loma then back to the dock then goes to the southern harbor and under the Coronado Bay Bridge to the US Navy Fleet docks.

After that Chris and I rode the San Diego Trolley Santa Fe Depot to Amaya Depot station on the Green Line then took the Orange Line back to 12th and Imperial Station. A few minutes later the PCC car came into view and we boarded for a circle trip around downtown. Next we took the Blue line to San Ysirdo and back to E Street where got off and walked to the Black Angus. There was a thirty minute wait to be seated then another forty-five minutes and we were running out of time. Since we had to take the train back, we had no choice but to leave with no food. Neither of us were happy about the outcome. We returned to E Street then waited twelve minutes for the next Blue Line Trolley to take us back to American Plaza. We walked back to the National Forum and boarded the train. It had been a great trip aboard the National Forum and I was really glad that Chris and I had done it together. We arrived into LAUPT and I said my goodbyes before I paid for the parking then drove home via the 710 and 91 freeways to get home and I was in bed by eleven, ending a fantastic day in San Diego.

I had purchased my Milwaukee Road 261 tickets for a return trip to Glencoe and new mileage to Winthrop. I reserved a room at my usual hotel then a rental car and was set to do this trip solo. Elizabeth Alkire then decided to ride both days but stayed at another motel a few miles away. I offered to drive her to and from the train and back to the airport on Sunday after the trip. So I ended up flying early Friday morning and Elizabeth would fly into the Twin Cities late Friday night and her motel would pick her up at the airport. It seemed we had a plan that would work well for both of us.

I was up well before dawn and waited for Super Shuttle to arrive. They dropped me off at the airport half an hour before the security lines opened so it was a breeze to get to the gate for my flight to Minneapolis this morning. I got off the plane and had to take the little train to the Enterprise rental counter. This was quick and he walked me out to a Hyundai Elantra and then I drove and checked into my usual motel. I drove to the 28th Avenue Blue Line station and parked across the street then bought my day pass and waited for the next train to the Mall of America. I boarded the last car of this train and took it to the Mall of America. After the tunnel under the airport you get a great view of the airport from the trolley. I rode the rest of the way to Target Field and detrained to check the time of my Northstar commuter train to Big Lake later this afternoon. I had time to ride to and from St Paul. My Green Line Trolley came into the station and I took this all the way to St. Paul Union Station. Once there I was the first one off and on to the other which I took back to Target Field with plenty of time to catch the Northstar commuter train. I bought my roundtrip ticket then had pictures to take.

The train left on time and first I spotted the new E unit that the Friends of the Milwaukee Road bought which was making its first run this weekend on our excursion trains. Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 261 was ready for the weekend trips at Minneapolis Junction. The train ran out to Big Lake and I detrained for pictures. A BNSF local was stopped at Big Lake waiting to follow us back to the Twin Cities. The train left late due to PTC problems with the cab car computer. They fixed it and soon we were rolling east down the railroad. The Blue Line train left for the Mall of America and I returned to my motel room with a stop at Subway to get dinner. I wrote this story then called it a night ready for a big day tomorrow with Milwaukee Road 261. Elizabeth then called and was safely en route to her motel.

Saturday morning, I drove over to the Best Western Dakota Ridge Hotel where I picked up Elizabeth at 5:45 AM and drove her to St. Paul Union Station and dropped her off so she could ride the light rail from there to Fairview Avenue, part 1 of her Twin Cities rail experience. I drove to the Fairview station, parked across the street and then waited on the platform for her to arrive. From here, we went to McDonald's where I had hot cakes and sausage before we went to Walmart where I had to buy a new memory card reader and then drove to Minneapolis Junction where we parked the rental car and started to look around. Due to the Milwaukee Road Historical Society being on the train today and buying three coach loads of seats for their members, all the other coach passengers were upgraded to the former Henry Hudson lounge car which the 261 group has put in fantastic comfortable seats, so no one was upset. Due to a malfunctioning switch, we could not make our reverse move out of the track we were on, so the creative BNSF dispatcher took us out north past Van Buren Street where we waited for a BNSF hotshot stack train to clear out of our way. We met a CP Rail transfer job waiting for everyone else to clear before he could return to home rails. Once we received a clear signal, we then went back by Minneapolis Junction to the switch that aligned us onto the wye track to begin our trip to Glencoe, or so we thought at the time.

Milwaukee Road 261 took the southeast leg of the Minneapolis Junction wye to begin our trip with him leading. We crossed the Mississippi River and on the way to Glencoe, I talked with many people and others from the 261 crew whom I had not seen in years. It is always good to catch up with people I know. The train continued west past Glencoe and I and Elizabeth were excited to be getting rare mileage of over seven miles to where we were going. At this point, we did not know where that was. To prove to people that we were really west of Glencoe, I shot the milepost 481 sign that the train passed. We approached our unknown destination as I was looking for a sign post to tell me where I was going. I spotted the Brownton station sign and knew we were in Brownton, where we would be allowed to detrain for a photo runby opportunity. Special thanks to the Milwaukee Road Historical Society for this unique piece of rare mileage today. We did photo runby #1 and backup move #2. We reboarded the train and then put all the pictures from the last two days into the computer. I converted yesterday's pictures and then Elizabeth renamed the photographs and then proofed yesterday's story. She then converted and labelled today's pictures then typed the story which took us as far as Cologne. We now relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the trip back to Minneapolis Junction. It had been a great trip on Milwaukee Road 261 today. Just think, we get to ride behind it tomorrow to Winthrop and new mileage for both Elizabeth and I. After the trip I drove Elizabeth back to the Fairview Avenue station where she boarded the Green Line train to Target Field and took the Blue Line to the Mall of America where she turned around and came back to 28th Street station where I took her back to her hotel, stopping at Subway for dinner. Then I returned to my usual hotel for the night.

Sunday morning, I picked Elizabeth up at the Best Western Dakota Ridge and drove to Minnehaha Park to a surprise for her - the Minnehaha Milwaukee Road station. From here we stopped at McDonald's for breakfast and then drove on over to Minneapolis Junction. We parked the car and then walked over to where the loading line for the first coach started. We boarded the Nokomis and took a left hand window seat. The train left on time at 9:00 AM but pulled forward like yesterday although this time did not have to wait for a freight train. We ran down to Van Buren Street again then backed all the way past the junction with the southeast leg of the wye which we would take to start the trip. Milwaukee Road 261 took the southeast leg of the Minneapolis Junction wye as the rain began but subsided once we were out of the Twin Cities area. Later we saw the Norwood Young America water tower and stopped because our crew had to throw the switch to the track to Winthrop and then re-set it back to the main to Glencoe. As the train came off the main line, we started our new mileage to the way to Winthrop. We ran to Hamburg where they announced we would do a photo runby and then when we arrived, we detrained and walked through the mud to a stack of cement support pillars upon which we stood for the runby. We did photo runby #1 at Hamburg followed by photo runby #2. We reboarded and continued but five miles from Winthrop, the weather was changing for the worse in Minneapolis, it was decided that we would forgo going into Winthrop and try to beat the rain back to the Twin Cities. That was okay with us as we had to get her back to the airport. It had another good Milwaukee Road 261 trip and although not as many miles as yesterday, the unexpected double runby made up for it.

Once back, I drove Elizabeth back to the airport and then returned to my usual hotel for a good night's rest. It had been two great days of Milwaukee Road 261 trips, bringing my total to 32 day trips with this steam engine. I slept in then had the hotel's breakfast and at 11:00, I checked out and drove the rental car back to the airport. I got my boarding pass, went through security and waited for Delta Flight 2671. I flew home to Orange County Airport and Cliff Prather picked me up and drove me home, thus ending another exciting two-day trip with Milwaukee Road 261.

Southern Pacific Krauss-Maffei ML4000 9010 was going to make its first run and I decided I should cover this. I invited Chris Parker along on this trip but due to his lack of business for his tree cutting company, it was not possible. I planned a trip so I could ride BART Extension Service from Antioch to the Pittsburg/Baypoint station and return before taking pictures of ACE trains on Altamont Pass. The next day I would cover Southern Pacific Krauss-Maffei ML4000 9010 making its first trip, then ride the entire Santa Clara light rail system. I would stay in Tracy for two nights before returning home.

I drove a new way into Wasco and caught Savage 8611 then drove north and found BNSF 7051 East at Pond siding as well as BNSF 7246 West at Sandrini, BNSF 4114 East south of Corcoran and BNSF 4336 East north of there. I then took CA 43 to CA 99 to Road 20 1/2 to the BNSF mainline. From here I took CA 108 to CA 99 to CA 104 to Interstate 5 to CA 4 and went out to the BNSF middle fork bridge of the San Joaquin River where I photographed San Joaquin 713 heading west with one of the low level trainsets. From here I drove to Antioch, bought my Clipper Card and loaded it with a ticket to Pittsburg Centerpoint station. I boarded a one-car train and rode to Pittsburg Center station where I changed to a two car train to Pittsburg Centerpoint. I returned to Antioch then took CA 4 East to Vasco Road to Altamont Canyon Road. I parked just below the Greenville Trestle crossed the road then climbed along the fence to my next photo locations. I fought traffic on Altamont Pass Road then took Midway Road to Patterson Pass Road but there no place to park, so I went into Tracy finding the ACE station and parked the car there. I then found the Microtel Inn and Suites for a two night stay here.

The next day, I loaded the car and went to MacDonald's for breakfast then drove Interstate 205 West to Interstate 580 West to Interstate 680 South to CA 84 West to Niles Blvd and pulled into a parking lot near the Southern Pacific Niles station and parked. I took pictures of the station, Western Pacific bay window caboose 467 among other things. I went to Walmart to pick up a few items before I returned to the parking lot across the tracks then checked in and received a gift and my train ticket. I got there and at 9:00 AM they started the pre-boarding ceremony. After that I was time to board so I led the way to the Coach 2454. The trip started so I went to the rear vestibule for a good picture. I was on new mileage until we got to the east switch of the wye. We went through Niles Canyon and stopped at the stairs where I was first off the train and led the way to the photo line at the top of the hill. We all reboarded then backed two-tenths of a mile to pick up our flag man. We ran to Sunol station where the train took a twenty minute stop and I bought a T-shirt. When the train left Sunol, I was on new rail mileage again until the photo runby. We reloaded the train and traveled back to Niles where the trip ended. It had been a unique railroad adventure and a big thank you to all the Niles Canyon Railroad staff.

From here I drove down to Alum Rock for my next rail adventure. I parked my car in the lot before walking across the street to the station where I got a 5 Dollar Day Pass paper ticket which was good only on the light rail for 8 hours. This is a Blue Line train which makes stops at several stations if you request them. So the possible stops were: McKee, Penitencia Creek, Berryessa, Hostetter, Cropley, Montague, Great Mall/Main, I-880/Milpitas, Cisco Way, Baypointe, Tasman, River Oaks, Orchard, Bonaventura, Component, Karina, Metro Airport, Gish, Civic Center, Japantown/Ayer, St. James, Santa Clara, Paseo San Antonio, Convention Center, Children's Discovery Museum, Virginia, Tamien {connection to Caltrain}, Curtner, Capitol, Branham, Ohlone/Chynoweth, Blossum Hill, Snell, Cottle and Santa Teresa, the end of the line. My next ride was back to Ohlone/Chynoweth for the line that will be eliminated. I detrained here then boarded the one-car train for Almaden, which stops on request at Oakridge before arriving at Almaden. I reboarded and rode back to Ohlone/Cheynoweth. I rode to the Convention Center station where I got off and waited for the next train to Winchester. This line's stations are: San Fernando (SAP Center), Diridon (connection to Caltrains), Race, Fruitdale, Bascom, Hamelton, Downtown Campbell and Winchester. My train was taken out of service so I had an to wait which, added to the wait I had at the Convention Center station ruined my chance to ride the whole system. Mountain View would have to be done another time. My last train for Alum Rock came in and took me back there arriving at 6:07 PM.

I drove Interstate 680 and had to deal with a seven mile long traffic jam. Elizabeth told me there were two accidents on Interstate 580 before Tracy so I took Altamont Pass Road and missed both of them. Back in Tracy, I stopped at Arby's for a pair of roast beef classics and enjoyed them in my room. I worked on the story before calling it a night. Sunday morning, I drove to the Modesto Amtrak station and saw Santa Fe 4-8-4 2921 is on display. I then drove back to Empire and took J7 south along the BNSF mainline before going south to Le Grand. My next stop was at Sharon where I photographed San Joaquin 702. After that, I took CA 99 south to Selma where I turned south onto CA 43 which took me back to the BNSF mainline and pulled off at a crossing due to a train that was heading my way. I drove just one mile further and saw two headlights with one coming my way, which was BNSF 4010 West just north of Angiola. BNSF 7323 West was in the siding here and I also caught BNSF 7990 West at Sandrini with a coil steel train which is very heavy for BNSF. I took CA 43 to Interstate 5 at Castic then took Interstate 210 to CA 57 to CA 22. I had heavy slow traffic from Pasadena all the way to CA 57 then the usual heavy traffic where the CA 57 comes into CA 60. I got through it all arriving home at 2:15 PM ending a great solo railfanning trip.

My mother died on July 31, 2019 at 9:18 PM. With the funeral set for Friday August 9, 2019, Elizabeth flew down Thursday night and stayed with me with me until she went home Sunday night. We went to the funeral together and with good friends around me, I did fine. We rode trains ourselves and with some friends which helped. I took her to work with me and she helped set up my work area and met my staff members. The next week I went back to work which did me good, as well as resuming my train riding.

Later in the month Elizabeth flew back down to ride the National Forum with me from Santa Ana to San Diego and back. The car was supposed be on Pacific Surfliner 562 but an Amtrak mistake put the car on Pacific Surfliner 1564 instead. With us arriving in San Diego an hour later that meant we could only do the Southern Harbor Tour together which we did then rode the complete San Diego Trolley System and historic car 1000. We had dinner at Black Angus and then rode back to San Diego. The next day we rode a single roundtrip to Oceanside before I took her back to the airport.

Metrolink decided to rebuild bridges in the San Fernando Valley over the weekend of September 7 and 8, 2019 so I bought Coast Starlight Business Class tickets for Bill Compton and I. Then they switched it to the weekend of September 14 and 15 so I switched the Jack London Inn to the next weekend. Chris Parker and his friend Nick decided to ride as well. We all looked forward to the detour over both Tehachapi and Altamont Passes. After my usual Saturday duties I was ready at 7:20 AM when Bill pulled up and we drove to the Santa Ana train station for Pacific Surfliner 763 to Los Angeles. The train made its way to Anaheim and Fullerton before we made our final sprint to Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal. Bill and I got a Red Cap ride to the Metropolitan Lounge. We met Brian then walked up to the platform to wait for the Coast Starlight to back into the station. Later that would take through the tunnel to the world famous Tehachapi Loop. For the first time on these trips, there was a BNSF train on the Loop. We left Bakersfield at 3:52 PM and continued north on this trip. At Saco we met the southbound Coast Starlight then a Union Pacific freight at Cowelo then at Tipton we went into the siding to wait another Union Pacific freight that hit a car. We took a ninety minute hit and I had the Signature Steak eating my entire meal without moving an inch. The freight went by us and we took off at track speed heading to Tulare and beyond. We ran through Goshen Jct., Kingsburg, Selma and Fowler before entering Fresno in the last light of the day. By the time we got to Madera we were a night train running through Chowchilla and into Merced. From here we ran straight to Turlock and through Modesto and on to Manteca where we stopped. They switched train crews before they wyed the train at Lathrop and then we headed to the former Western Pacific route to take us to Niles where we would run to Newark, ending our detour. From there we ran the rest of the way north to the Oakland Jack London station at 12:37 AM, where Bill and I detrained into the night. We walked to the Jack London Inn for the night.

Sunday morning, I enjoyed breakfast at the Buttercup Restaurant on Broadway and learned that my southbound train was over two hours. When Bill returned from the motel's breakfast, we took pictures of a Capitol Corridor train heading to Sacramento then I bought us San Joaquin train and bus tickets plus tickets on Pacific Surfliner 792 back to Santa Ana. San Joaquin 712 for Bakersfield came into the station and we boarded the second car. The train left Oakland on time but was delayed getting into Emeryville by that Capitol train that left before us. We ran to Richmond then onto Martinez where we waited for the Coast Starlight to transfer to our train. We left Martinez and Bill was on new mileage all the way to Bakersfield. We ran to Port Chicago then entered the BNSF mainline to Bakersfield for the rest of the trip. The train ran to Antioch then crossed the California Delta on the way to Stockton. Chris Parker was in Turlock-Denair as we were in Escalon and although we are running over fifty minutes late, it was much less compared to Mr. Parker's two hour and twenty minute delay. We stopped in Modesto then sprinted to Turlock-Denair before we ran to Merced and a crew change. From there we ran to Fresno, then to Hanford and onto Cocoran. From there it was on to Wasco then the final sprint into Bakersfield arriving at 4:41 PM. Bill and I left the train and headed straight to the Amtrak Thruway Bus and took our seats for the train bus to LAUPT. The trip was fast and didn't take all that long on this late Sunday afternoon. We arrived into LAUPT and walked up to the platform for the final train of the trip. The trip was quick. We left LAUPT on time then sprinted to Fullerton followed by Anaheim and to our last stop of Santa Ana. We walked to the parking structure and Bill drove me home ending another great Amtrak adventure.

Next it was going to be Big Boy in Southern California. I joined the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society and I was selected to be a car host on the two day Big Boy excursion. On October 8th Bill Compton met me at my home and Chris Parker took Metrolink 312 to Rancho Cucamonga and drove to the Motel 6 in Barstow for the night. The next morning we drove out to the Union Pacific Mojave River Bridge. First we had a practice train which was Union Pacific 9051 East before the first pictures of Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 4014 West crossing the Mojave River. From here we drove to Indian Trail Road and had two freight trains before Union Pacific 4014 West went through our photo location. Next we went to the hill overlooking the Frost Flyover. A bare table train came through Union Pacific 8020 East went under and Union Pacific 4014 West went over the train here. We got ahead of the train and took Rancho Parkway to Interstate 15 to CA 138 and turned onto the road at Canyon Siding and parked. We all went up the hill to the old mining area and set up for our next set of pictures. BNSF 5459 West came in view followed by Union Pacific 4014 West. The last photo spot was at Palm Avenue before the steam train headed to West Colton Yard. We dropped Chris off at Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink station before Bill drove me home to Santa Ana.

That Friday after work, I drove CA 55 to CA 91 where it was bumper-to-bumper traffic through Corona then the same thing on Interstate 15 other than five miles of my drive. I was glad to reach 4th Street in Rancho Cucamonga. I checked into the Hilton Garden Inn and had a second floor room and working internet. I relaxed and worked on this story until the 7:00 PM Safety Meeting. I was up very early on October 12th then drove to the Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink Station, parked my car and then boarded the bus to Union Pacific's West Colton Yard. I would be car hosting with Dave Arthur on the City of Los Angeles (souvenir car) for the trip to Barstow. We prepared the train for the passengers to arrive by bus between 7:30 and 8:00 AM. Dave Arthur and I gave Dave the lowdown on our duties for today's trip. I met many people and a few old friends during the trip today. The souvenir car staff served plenty of people and the car emptied out before we departed. We would be taking 300 passengers to Barstow.

At 10:00 AM the train started backing up to the main line. We backed past the signal west of Cedar Avenue and once we got a favorable signal, Big Boy 4014 east started pulling the train on its way to Barstow. The car started to fill up again with more souvenir hunters. At the east end of West Colton Yard is Pepper Street where many railfans and others were ready to photograph or just watch the train depart the yard. The train will now leave the Sunset Route for the trip over Interstate 10 and beyond on the Palmdale Cutoff completed in 1967. The train crossed the Lyle Creek Wash bridge and stopped traffic on Interstate 210. I never realized a steam train had the power to do that. Railfans and others were all over our route this morning here where I shot Union Pacific 4014 last Wednesday. The train took the curves to reach Dike siding and Devore, went under Interstate 15 and entered Cajon Pass and made the big curve to enter Blu Cut. The next highlight was the trip around Sullivan's Curve. The train ran past the Mormon Rocks then under the freeway and crossed the old US 66 route with my photographers recording and taking picture of our train. There were plenty of railfans on Hill 562 on this day. Big Boy 4014 East took the Silverwood Connection to reach the BNSF mainline just below Summit and I was on new rail mileage for a short segment.

Later, I took a break and walked into the dome of the City of San Francisco and rode here to the servicing stop at Victorville. I walked back to see the Cheyenne and take a picture from the rear end of the train. The train being in Victorville was a big event for this town. We ran to Barstow where we picked up a pilot engineer and started to take the wye at Barstow to turn the train. Since I had three cars of people behind us in the City of Los Angeles who had to walk through this car to get off of the train, I thanked each and every one of them for riding with us today. I bagged the trash in the City of Los Angeles and took it to the vestibule of the City of Portland then helped take off the souvenir car stock that they would sell in Barstow. Once that was done, the train pulled west back to the mainline and we got a favorable signal, we started the back up move to Yermo and I headed to the Cheyenne for more picture taking. I documented the route to Yermo as we backed all the way there. Once there I unloaded the trash and helped with unloading the food that was left onboard. While we waited to do more, I was told to tell everyone to get back to the bus. We stopped at the Best Western Motel in East Barstow and then a motel in Lenwood to drop off some passengers. That left just four of us on the bus back to the Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink station. I drove back to motel and called it an early night.

Sunday morning, I was up by 2:30 AM and after preparing for my day I returned to Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink station, parked my car and then boarded the bus to Yermo with for other car hosts. Today I would be car hosting with Art Sutton in the Texas Eagle (streamliner coach). I slept all the way to Barstow on the rear seat of the bus. I returned to my seat and the bus driver tried to back into the Best Western parking lot and got stuck. She had to call a tow truck which came about twenty minutes later. In the meantime, the Barstow Police showed up with three cars and blocked the road to protect us. Once the tow truck arrived he pulled us out and we loaded the bus with the rest of our car hosts. Our bus driver then started driving us, so she thought, to Las Vegas. She missed the two Yermo exits and drove us to Minneola Road where we took Yermo Road and back to where we were suppose to be for the Union Pacific 4014 Excursion Train. Every trip is an adventure I told everyone.

We arrived at Yermo and after our second Safety Meeting, I went into the Texas Eagle and made sure the car was ready for my passengers. Once my car was ready I went outside to the front of the train for a pre-departure picture then went back inside and moved all of the lunches to the area right in front of me and put them in the conductor's area of the car. I then moved all of the snacks and placed them above my head in the luggage racks. We departed Yermo and a few minutes later I caught the US Army locomotives with the train which was interchanged and were now here. The train then crossed the Mojave River. I then had to get the drinks for our car and the City of Salina, which would be sharing my ice box in this car. I loaded the ice box and now we were ready for the passengers booked in the Texas Eagle. The train arrived into Barstow and I met my other car host, Art Sutton. Since we only had three doors on the platform, my job during loading was to ask each passenger going through my car, "What car are you in?" and then tell them how many more cars they had to walk through. We had 360 passengers booked aboard the train today. Once my passengers arrived into the Texas Eagle, I told them to remain seated until we departed. Once I had every passenger in my car, I gave them the safety briefing and told them the reasons why they could not open the vestibule's windows. We were a sealed train which they all understood why after I finished explaining it. I told them all lunch would be at 11:30 AM and snacks would be passed out at 1:00 PM and distributed water to any passenger who needed it.

The train left Barstow right on time at 11:00 AM. Twenty minutes later, Art and I took drink orders and passed them out to the passengers in our car. Next I passed out every lunch and but two people did not get lunches. The caterers made them fresh salads in fifteen minutes to the passengers' satisfaction for the service they received. Later the train was serviced on the Silverwood Connection. It was now snack time so three sets of snacks were distributed. I made a second pass offering more for anyone who wanted them for their trip on the bus and most passengers took something with them. The train took the curve after we passed the Mormon Rocks and our train brought traffic to a stop on CA Highway 138. The train took Sullivan's Curve and I pointed out the San Andreas Fault at Blu Cut to my passengers then had all the photographers ready for the big curve at Blu Cut. I thanked my passengers for coming today and went over the rules for disembarking the train. I passed out the rest of the water, before taking the snacks back to the souvenir car and returned the lunch bags to the souvenir car kitchen. Next was collecting the trash and I finished that just as the train came to a red signal at the east end of Slover Siding. The train took the east leg of the wye and I was on new mileage once again as we returned to the Sunset Route.

We backed west beyond the signal at Cedar Street then pulled back to the loading point at West Colton Yard and all my passengers waited until I came to get them to unload the train. I helped all passengers from the Texas Eagle and once the last ones were detrained I unloaded the trash then dumped the ice box and took it to the car where we unloaded it. I checked the car but everyone had taken everything with them. I rode in the vestibule as the UP allowed us to do and moved the train back to unload the Cheyenne and then moved the train back and we waved goodbye to all the passengers on the busses as they left West Colton Yard. My job was not complete until they inspected my car and after that I boarded Bus 0 and once the souvenir car stock was loaded into the truck, everyone boarded the bus and we took surface streets back to the Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink Station where I turned in my green vest and radio. I drove back through very heavy traffic and was soon home. A special thank you to Union Pacific for two great days of trips and to both the Rail Giant Museum and the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society Southern California Chapter for running these two days of trip and to all the volunteers like me who worked the trips.

I wanted to get my 1,600,00.0 Rail mile after the two-day Big Boy trip. I called Robin Bowers and asked him to join me since I wanted a picture taken of me doing it and he agreed. I worked my day at Heninger Elementary School then drove to the Santa Ana train station and bought my round trip to Oceanside and then met Robin and we walked to wait for the train. I looked down the track and soon I saw the headlight approaching. The train pulled in and I took my usual seat in the Bike car with Robin sitting across from me. All too soon we reached the shores of the Pacific Ocean and arrived early at Oceanside. On the return trip, I handed him my camera and at CP Bake on the Metrolink San Diego Subdivision, I passed 1,600,000.0 rail miles. I felt really good about finally reaching that number of rail miles. We detrained at Santa Ana and I drove home to write stories.

Bill Compton and I wanted to go to West Colton to see the Big Boy come through and chase it east. Robin Bowers wanted to join us as did Chris Parker so we all met at my house early in the morning and soon we were driving up CA 57 to the CA 60 then Interstate 15 to Interstate 10 and off at Pepper Street. We walked out to the bridge to wait for Union Pacific Big Boy 4014 to leave this morning from West Colton Yard. We all photographed the various rail action and I took a picture of me and many shadows. We left for our next spot to take pictures and drove Interstate 10 to catch Union Pacific 4014 East at Desert Lawn Drive. Heavy traffic caused as us be behind the train but despite that we did get ahead of him and reached our next photo location at Haugen Lehman Way. It took just a few minutes to get back to Interstate 10 and we took it to our last photo location of the day, North Indian Canyon Road bridge. We took this road south to East Racquet Club Road to CA 111 to Interstate 10 to CA 60 to Interstate 215 to CA 91 to CA 55 to CA 22 and we got to my house after 12:30 PM ending my coverage of Union Pacific Big Boy 4014.

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 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. First Pacific Surfliner 580 arrived followed by Metrolink 817. Pacific Surfliner 579 finally arrived 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. I detrained then walked to the end of the platform where I met two members of the Fullerton Railroad Plaza group. I boarded the train and took the rear seat in the Pacific Trail. The train left LAUPT on time and traveled first to Fullerton where my good dear friend Carl Morrison boarded. Next was 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.

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 that I joined Carl as the train headed towards New Mexico and we got caught up on things. Breakfast was then being prepared. I enjoyed the red mesas of New Mexico and trees were in their fall colors on the Rio Grande River floodplain. It had been an excellent first time trip aboard the Pacific Trail private car and I stepped off a very happy train rider into the seventy degree air of Albuquerque.

I went into the station, connected to Greyhound's wireless network then 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. I just waited in the cool shade and waited until I saw a headlight coming my way. 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 of 179 and 30, Viewliner baggage 61011, Transition 39033, Sleepers 32256 and 32009 George M Pullman, Diner 38048, Lounge 33033 and Coaches 34048 and 34032. The train left on 4:45 PM and I was starting home. I took a fresh air break at Gallup then made up the room and called it a night.

I slept almost to Kennebrook then went to the dining car for breakfast and 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 after a very restful trip aboard the Southwest Chief. I found a Metrolink machine and bought a Sunday weekend pass and waited for Metrolink 660 to arrive which it did almost 25 minutes late. The train stopped in Norwalk-Santa Fe Springs, Buena Park, Fullerton, Anaheim, Orange and Santa Ana where I detrained and drove home.

My next rail adventure was the Metrolink Holiday Express Train which I bought a ticket on-line at the Metrolink website and on 12/1/2019 got myself to Laguna Niguel and was in Car 6 for the ride to Oceanside and back. We had visits from Santa's Elves, Mrs. Claus, Santa Claus who visited each child in the car and the characters of Elsa and Anna from the movie "Frozen" . Northbound we had a man created who balloon animals or snowman or anything else a child could think of and then Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse entertained all everyone. I attended the annual Train Riders Christmas Party at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Fullerton, then on December 14th, Bill Compton and went out to Frost and the BNSF Flyover for pictures. We caught the BNSF 2019 Christmas Train at San Bernardino on the way home. While waiting for Metrolink 815 at the Downtown San Bernardino station on December 30th, my wrist got broken in two places when I tried to get up and my wrist landed on the ballast between the train and the platform. Jeff took me first to Urgent Care then to the Emergency Room which sprinted my arm. I see my regular doctor who will refer me to an Orthopedic Specialist.

All these stories can be found on my web site at My rail mileage was 1,560,286.3 on January 1, 2019 and on December 31, 2019 it was 1,613,175.4 with a grand total of 52,2889.1. The year started with 8749 Days of Sobriety on January 1, 2018 and ended with 9113 on my 62nd Birthday on December 31, 2019.

May each of you have the best holiday season ever and may next year be one of the best in your life. Take care of each and everyone of you, be safe and until next year, goodbye!

Chris Day 9113