Facebook Page

The Long Trip Home via Portland Part 2

by Chris Guenzler

The Coast Starlight pulled into Portland Union Station next to the Empire Builder with Engines 507 and 122, Baggage 1705, Sleepers 32083 Iowa, 32111 Texas, 32019 South Dakota and 32113 Vermont, Diner 38068, Lounge 33006 and Coaches 34092, 34510, 34063 and 34113 with deadheading Lounge 33041. I boarded the Vermont with Louie Martinez as my Sleeping Car Attendant for Room 2 in the Vermont and he was fantastic. I walked the length of the train and on the way back took one last picture in Portland.

A Cascade Talgo laying over between runs on this rainy day. I took a much needed shower and did it make me feel a lot cleaner and fresher. The Coast Starlight left Portland Union Station on time and Louie then did Wine Tasting for those who wanted it in their rooms. I put on Kissology III, the Coventry Show from Queens, NY 12/22/1973. It stopped raining just south of Portland until we got to Salem where it started again. I got a 5 PM Dinner Reservation for tonight.

The State Capitol Building in Oregon. I was told they took the Sub Parlour {Diner} off in Seattle and we all know what train it went east on today? Tonight's eastbound Empire Builder out of Seattle, the same consist that I was on that lost its diner at Oswego, Montana yesterday.

Just another rainy day in Oregon from a warm train almost to Albany.

The Willamette & Pacific yard north of Albany. I next put on the Aerosmith DVD "Rip this Joint".

There was a Hole in the Sky.

The former Oregon Electric Railway approach to their Willamette River Bridge.

After no rain we got it pouring down in Eugene so no fresh air stop for me this early evening. At 5:05 PM they called me in for Dinner. I was seated with Vince, Carmen and Kathy. I ordered the Flat Iron Steak and a Chocolate/Cherry Tort. After Dinner it was Jackie Chan "Master with Cracked Fingers". At Hampton we stopped to meet the northbound Coast Starlight so their third dining car waiter could transfer to our train. Just as the movie was ending, we lost power to both engines at Heather. We had passed a UP freight and they would give us a unit if they got here before we could get going. It took almost an hour and a half of rebooting the engine's computers but they finally got them restarted as the snows continued to fall outside. At this point being extremely tired from the last two nights I made up my bed and called it a night.

1/4/2008 I slept almost to Red Bluff and went to breakfast with Kathy and Barbara on this very rainy morning. I had French Toast and Pork Sausage Patties. After Chico I was back in my room and at Briggs our train came to a stop.

The storm has knocked out the CTC signals on this cold and very rainy morning. The toilets went out in the Vermont so for the balance of this trip I would be visiting the South Dakota to take care of my business. The rain is coming down in sheets being driven by the wind as we sat along old Highway CA 99. At 8:50 AM we came to a stop once again because of a dark signal. Will the old Western Pacific route to Sacramento have the same problems? As we crossed the Feather River there were waves going up the stream. Talk about being in the heart of the storm! The Starlight took the connecting track to the old WP. Back in my room, we stopped in Marysville at the next dark signal. The train crew had to stop and realign all of the switches by hand. At 10:02 AM we got back up to track speed but soon came to a stop again.

The Modoc Railroad Academy north of Sacramento. We stopped again and it was really eerie listening to the wind howl outside. I made a few phone calls and at Del Paso we met a UP freight in the siding waiting for our train to pass. Our train finally arrived into Sacramento at 12:26 PM and a fresh air stop.

There was not a dry spot on the Sacramento platform. I got back on the warm dry train as Kissology I Disc 1 got me to Sacramento, all three hours and 23 minutes of it. Let us see how far Disc 2 gets me this afternoon. Passengers connecting with the California Zephyr made their connection here and their train left Sacramento right before we did. It arrived into Chicago at 10:46 PM Sunday night. The wind was rocking the train and it felt like I was back on that Princess Cruise to Alaska. The Coast Starlight departed Sacramento at 1:21 PM {6:35 AM} after we were delayed by track workers working on weather related problems. The train stopped at Davis at 1:46 PM {6:50 AM}. Due to the weather related problems we had to check as we must check each and every signal to make sure the crossing gates are working and if not stop and protect them.

Later the Suisan Marsh.

Two views of the US Navy Mothball Fleet.

Climbing the grade to the Martinez Bridge. The train pulled into Martinez and we got another fresh air stop. We departed Martinez at 3:26 PM {7:34 AM}.

The train rolled along the Carquinez Straits. We got stopped by a red signal with one track out because of a weather related problems and we would have to wait for two trains to clear out of our way. Kissology Disc 2 finished, a 2 hour, 56 minutes affair so I got through the whole 1st Version today during our slow motion and other delays.

Two views along San Pablo Bay.

View of the Golden Gate Bridge before we pulled into Emeryville at 4:50 PM {8:10 AM}.

Emeryville Station Scene. The train departed there at 5:02 PM {8:20 AM}. They called us in with a 5 PM Dinner Reservation and I was seated with Susan, Beatrice and Norman. We arrived into the Oakland Jack London Station at 5:12 PM {8:25 AM}, they added the Cyrus K. Holiday to the rear of our train and we finally departed Oakland at 6:09 PM {8:50 AM}. I had the Flat Iron steak and Chocolate Ice Cream. I put on Jackie Chan "Fantasy Mission Force" as the train headed to San Jose via Niles. At Santa Clara a Caltrain passed us on the way to San Jose.

Coming into San Jose as we pulled into the station.

Station Scene in San Jose.

Caltrains scenes in San Jose. We departed San Jose at 7:33 PM {10:07 AM}. I watched the end of the movie before I made up my room for the night.

1/5/2008 I was up by Van Nuys which we left at 6:35 AM almost according to my plan that I wanted. I could take Surfliner 564 home to Santa Ana. It had been a relaxing, restful and interesting trip on the Coast Starlight plus I got the extra full night aboard the Vermont Sleeping Car at no extra cost. The Coast Starlight arrived into Los Angeles Union Station at 7:00 AM {9:00 PM} making it the latest non detoured Coast Starlight that I have ever been aboard.

The Coast Starlight at LAUPT with the Cyrus K. Holliday on the rear end after being put on at Oakland last night.

Cyrus K. Holliday.

The Cyrus K. Holliday Drumhead.

Surfliner 564 1/5/2008

My connecting Surfliner was just across the platform from the coach section of the Coast Starlight. The train had Engine 453, Pacific Business Class 6852, Coach/Cafe 6301, Coaches 6402 and 6452 with Cab Car 6907. We departed LAUPT right on time on this cloudy morning. The train stopped at Fullerton then Anaheim before it dropped me off at Santa Ana ending yet another interesting Amtrak train trip.

The Surfliner 564 departed Santa Ana Train station and a minute later my mother pulled up to take me back home to where this trip all started.