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To Colorado via Wyoming.

by Chris Guenzler

I was sent an E-mail in February about the Union Pacific Historical Society Convention having their convention in Cheyenne, Wyoming with a trip to Yoder being one of the schedule events. I rejoined the UPHRS and two months later my convention order form came and I sent it off. My other traveling companions had other things they needed to do so this would be a solo trip for me. I booked the Amtrak via Sacramento to visit my Brother Bruce then would go into work with him and take a Capitol Service Train to Emeryville to get on the California Zephyr for Denver. Coming back it would be the bus down to Raton, New Mexico where I would catch the Southwest Chief home. Later it was announced the Summer Detour Dates of the California Zephyr going via Wyoming and my trip fell on one of the detour dates. I contacted with success the Georgetown Loop Railroad, Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad, Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad and the Pikes Peak Cog Railroad to write stories about their train trips. Would I finally get to both Yoder and the top of Pikes Peak? I would also be visiting the Colorado Railroad Museum twice, the first time to shot pictures of everything they have and the second trip is their 50th Birthday Bash when they will be running trains. That day I would also be riding the Platte Valley Trolley. My excellent trip agent Carole Walker set up my hotel reservations and car rental in Denver for what should be an exciting series of rail adventures in Colorado and Wyoming.

Thruway Bus 7/5/2009

I was up at 4:15 AM to prepare myself for the worst part of the trip the Thruway Bus. My mother drove me down to the Santa Ana Amtrak Station and the bus was waiting to make his left turn as we passed him and she dropped me off. A few minutes later the bus pulled in and loaded its two passengers. At 5:30 AM we were off to Fullerton where we picked up two more passengers. It was then a quick trip to LAUPT arriving there at 6:18 AM. We sat there in Los Angeles until past 7:30 AM where we boarded 8 more passengers and headed over the big hill to Bakersfield. We arrived there at 9:32 AM and after I retrieved my luggage, I waited to board the train when its doors opened at 9:40 AM.

San Joaquin 713 7/5/2009

The train consisted of Engine 2013, California Baggage/Coach 8206 Humboldt River, Coach 8026 Mad River, Cafe 8806 Salinas Valley and Cab Car 8305 Mount Tamalpais. The train departed Bakersfield on time for points north with me watching Scorpions "Live at Wacken Open Air 2006".

BNSF in Bakersfield.

On the way to Wasco I had a lunch of a Hot Dog and French Fries which was excellent. At Angiola our train took the siding for the southbound San Joaquin 702 before it arrived into Corcoran. San Joaquin 712 was met on double tracks north of Bowles.

A part of the Circus Train at Calwa before we reached Fresno. I took a fresh air break at a very hot Fresno this afternoon. The train left Fresno on time. The Scorpions took me past Madera and I put on my CD of Metallica "Death Magnetic". That took me almost to Stockton as I worked on my next show in September at the Orange County Railway Historical Society. The train arrived into Stockton early and I detrained.

Thruway Bus 7/5/2009

The driver loaded all the luggage followed by the passengers and we soon departed Stockton for Elk Grove. It was a quick trip and we soon arrived at the Elk Grove Thruway Bus Stop with my Brother Bruce waiting there for me. I would spend tonight at his house with his family and in the morning I would go to work with him at Amtrak Sacramento in the morning.

Capitol Corridor Train 523 7/6/2009

Bruce drove me down to the Amtrak station dropping me off and I went inside to wait. I bought a USA Today and once that was done walked out to the train and waited for the train doors to open. This train had a consist of Engine 142, Superliner Coach 34943 Oak Grove, Surfliner style Coach 6464 Stinson Beach, California Cafe 8813 San Fernando Valley, Coach 8011 Yuba River and Cab Car 8307 Mount Baldy. The train left Sacramento still under the clock of darkness and headed to Davis.

Later the hills caught me eyes.

Next the oil refinery at Benica.

Crossing the Carquinez Strait before Martinez. It was a beautiful trip along the water's edge and along San Pablo Bay. It was a relaxing trip and all too soon the train pulled into Emeryville.

Emeryville 7/6/2009

I walked and sat down in the station and the Station Host asked me where I was going and told me that all my luggage had tags on them. After a few Sudoku Puzzles I went outside to get a picture of the Coast Starlight that I last saw in Sacramento arriving there at 5:20 AM.

Capitol Corridor Train 527 came into Emeryville with Surfliner Style Coach 6461 wrapped with "Blaze a Trail, Ride the Rails Kids Ride Free on Weekends Capitol Trains". I had seen this train set leaving Sacramento so I knew I would see it again this morning.

Surfliner Style Coach 6462 also came in wrapped with the same slogan.

Here is a picture of that slogan.

Surfliner style Coach 6462.

Coast Starlight arrived into Emeryville a few minutes late this morning.

The Coast Starlight then left Emeryville a few minutes late. I walked up the stairs to the first landing on the pedestrian bridge to wait for our train to come from the yard into the station here.

Capitol Corridor Train 529 next came into Emeryville a few minutes late. A few minutes later I saw a Superliner train heading my way.

Capitol Corridor Train 529 then left for points south.

California Zephyr 6 7/6/2009

The California zephyr arrived into the station at Emeryville. It had a consist of Engine 183 and 134, Baggage 1247, Transition 39013, Sleepers 32077 District of Columbia and 32096 Michigan, Diner 38045, Lounge 33038 and Coaches 34055, 34016 and 31033. I had room 4 in the 32077 with JR as my Sleeping Car Attendant. The train left Emeryville a few minutes late on account of heavy baggage loading. They called all the sleeping Car Passengers in for a light breakfast. I had Rice Krispies along with some bacon and a roll.

Mud flat along San Pablo Bay.

The oil refinery along San Pablo Bay.

The CZ is about to cross the Carquinez Straits. We were delayed at Suisan Marsh by track work on our mainline and we had to wait for Capitol Corridor Train 533 before we could run to Davis. I put on my CD of Sweet "Blockbuster! the Best of Sweet". From there it was back across the Yolo Causeway and into Sacramento our first fresh air stop and crew change of this trip. The train left Sacramento on time and headed to Roseville. I put the second Sweet CD on next that would last into the Foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Union Pacific power at Roseville Yard.

Two visitors from Canada were here in a pair of Canadian National units. The CZ then made its Roseville Station stop.

Southern Pacific 2252 steam engine is displayed in Roseville. The CZ then headed east into the Foothills of the Sierra Nevada. I will relax on this trip across Donner Pass since have already documented it on my last eastbound to get to a Wyoming Detour on that trip with Carl Morrison and then westbound on both of the Million Mile Trips coming home from La Plata. Just a few pictures of today's crossing.

Several views of the American River Canyon.

The Union Pacific has a major tie replacement project going on Track 2 below Emigrant Gap.

The California Zephyr at Yuba Gap. I put on my first of the two DVD set of the "Ultimate Gretzky". The train later stopped at Truckee.

The train followed the Truckee River into Nevada.

Two waterfalls in Nevada before we reached Reno our next fresh air stop and crew change. The train left Reno on time and headed east to Winnemucca as the CZ no longer stops in Sparks.

The Truckee River east of Sparks.

Mountains east of Sparks. I watched the Bonus DVD of Wayne Gretzky but had to stop it as I have a 5:30 PM Dinner Reservation as we sped east towards Winnemucca. I had the Braised Flat Iron Bordelaise and ice cream with two gentlemen, one from San Francisco and the other from Denver. Back in the room I finished up the Gretzky DVD. At Winnemucca we did another crew change then a fresh air stop. My next DVD of the trip was ABBA "In Concert".

The Humboldt River on the way to Elko.

The Valmy Coal Fired Power Plant shot over a UP coal train unloading there.

Mountains in Central Nevada.

The CZ is nearing Palisade Canyon as night was beginning to take hold. Tired I made up my room and called it a night.

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