Facebook Page

The First Run of the Surfliner Express Train 563 2/15/2011

by Chris Guenzler

It was announced that there would be a Surfliner Express Train known as 563. It would take the place of Surfliner 565 on weekdays and would only stop after leaving San Diego at 7:05 AM at Solana Beach, Oceanside, Irvine and Anaheim before reaching Los Angeles at 9:33 AM. It would miss San Juan Capistrano, Laguna Niguel, Santa Ana, Orange and Fullerton. Laguna Niguel and Orange are Metrolink Stops that are Rail to Rail Program Stops. To make sure those missing stops except San Juan Capistrano would be served by Metrolink 687 which now leaves Laguna Niguel at 8:33 AM and arrives into Los Angeles at 9:55 AM on its new schedule. On weekends Surfliner 565 would continue to run on its normal schedule. Steve Grande and I decided to ride the first trip from Oceanside to Anaheim and Steve decided we should do Pacific Business Class so we would have Train 563 printed on the tickets. Steve would leave from Anaheim Canyon and I would join him in Orange. I did that just a case something would happen that would stop us from getting on Metrolink 800 in Orange and then I would drive him back to Anaheim Canyon. I got up on that Tuesday morning and after my morning duties I drove to Orange, parked and saw something backing from the north into the Orange Station.

Here is the BNSF local early this morning coming off of the Olive Subdivision.

After this picture the BNSF local headed back to La Mirada. I went and bought my Metrolink Ticket to Oceanside.

Orange is a very quiet place at 5:35 AM.

Red signals at CP Maple.

The old Santa Fe Station in Orange.

The signal at CP Maple is now Red over Green meaning Metrolink 601.

Metrolink 601 came into Orange.

Metrolink 601 left Orange this morning.

Metrolink 803 came into Orange right on time at 5:57 AM. I found Steve upstairs in the Cab Car and we were off to Oceanside.

My ticket for our Surfliner Express 563 Trip in just under two hours.

My ticket and Steve Grande's ticket for our Surfliner Express 563 Trip. The train stopped at Santa Ana, Tustin, Irvine, Laguna Niguel, San Juan Capistrano before we reached the shore running along the Pacific Ocean.

We reached the views of the Pacific Ocean on this dark morning before we made our San Clemente stop at North Beach.

Dana Point as we headed south down the coast.

Two views of the San Clemente Pier.

A pair of surfers out enjoying their morning.

The sea lions were out on their reef.

Looking back up the coast towards Dana Point.

Where San Mateo empties out into the Pacific Ocean.

San Onofre Creek looking down the coast.

The San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant known as "Dolly Parton" by railroaders passing by.

Later the mudflats of the Santa Margarita River.

Oceanside Harbor. Reminds me always of "A three hour cruise!" The train arrived and we detrained at Oceanside.

Metrolink 803 has gotten us down to Oceanside. Now we will see what else goes on railroading wise while we wait for our Surfliner Express this morning. We relocated down to beyond the Sprinter Station.

Metrolink 803 and Coaster 638 at Oceanside.

Coaster 638 heads out of Oceanside for San Diego.

The Sprinter came into Oceanside. We relocated to the station and watched the now Metrolink 850 leave for Riverside. Coaster 631 came into Oceanside and would flip into Coaster 640 for San Diego.

Coaster 640 left Oceanside for San Diego.

Surfliner Express 563 First Run

About five minutes late Surfliner Express 563 pulled into Oceanside with Steve and I boarding the Pacific Business Class Car. We soon left Oceanside but not at a fast rate.

My ticket was taken by Conductor Randy Wylie and I enjoyed a Coca Cola. The car attendant Gloria bought us USA Todays.

The San Luis Rey River as we approached Oceanside Harbor.

That "Three hour cruise!" was still going around in my head. We slowed to meet Surfliner 562 in the siding.

The nocturnal Pacific Sun Railroad lays over at the Stuart Mesa Yard.

Passing the traffic on Interstate 5 as we sped north.

Later at San Onofre Creek we return to our beach front running.

San Matoe Creek.

More Surfers this morning.

There's a storm coming in this morning with more rain expected through the rest of the week.

Two more views of San Clemente Pier.

There is a lot of sand left along San Clemente Pier this winter. A few minutes later we turned inland.

The homes of Dana Point.

The train was really moving as we went through San Juan Capistrano without stopping this morning.

The hills as we neared Laguna Niguel.

The train slowed for the crossover at Laguna Niguel. We passed Metrolink 687 then crossed over to get by Surfliner 564.

The train arrived at Irvine making its first stop in Orange County arriving there seven minutes late.

One of the two blimp hangars just past the Tustin Metrolink Station.

The train sped through the Santa Ana Station. I always feel a little funny when I go through my home station.

Santiago Creek was dry but not for long.

The train sped through Orange.

The train crossed the Santa Ana River with the Big A in this view.

We saw Anaheim Stadium as we pulled into Anaheim at 8:57 AM, four minutes late and we detrained.

Surfliner Express 563 headed straight to Los Angeles Union Station arriving there at 9:33 AM right on time. We went down through the tunnel into the Anaheim Station for a few minutes.

The Surfliner Express Sign in the Anaheim Station before we went up to the platform to wait for Surfliner 566. While we were waiting Metrolink 687 came into the Anaheim Station.

Surfliner 566 came into Anaheim and we boarded for the short trip to Orange.

Excellent Amtrak Conductor Joe at Orange where we detrained.

Surfliner 566 heads for San Diego. While Steve was getting his Metrolink Ticket to Anaheim Canyon, I had a picture to take.

This mural has caught my eye from the train but now I got a good close up shot of it. I then bought my Metrolink Roundtrip Ticket for San Bernardino. We went through the tunnel to the east platform.

A daylight view of the Orange Station being worked on to become a Ruby's Dinner. We waited for Metrolink 800 to pick us up.

A high green means our train is getting close to Orange.

Metrolink 800 came into Orange and we boarded. At Anaheim Canyon Steve detrained and I stayed on for my trip out to San Bernardino.

Two views of the Union Pacific Riverside Local at their Santa Ana River Trestle.

New Metrolink Equipment at their Eastern Maintenance Base. The train arrived into the San Bernardino Station.

My old friend the Metrolink 800.

BNSF 7434 East at San Bernardino.

Metrolink 811 ready to take me back to Orange.

That BN GP-9 has been cut way down in the yard at Adam's Steel in Anaheim. The train returned me to Orange where I detrained.

Metrolink 811 heads to San Juan Capistrano before I drove home.