So here’s my second travelogue. Today’s trip is to the Santa Ana Transportation Center for the Orange County Historic Railroad Society Meeting on Monday February 5th. I left work early at 5pm and headed over to the Santa Fe Depot in Fullerton. I arrived at around 5:15pm and purchased my roundtrip ticket to Santa Ana. I then proceeded outside where took several pictures of a beautiful sunset and then headed over to Knollwood’s to get a turkey burger to go. I got the sandwich and went back to the station to await my train, taking some more sunset shots on the way. I didn’t have to wait long as southbound Amtrak Surfliner 784 pulled in only several minutes after I crossed the bridge. I boarded and sat on the lower level since I was only going a few stops and my bad knee had been bothering me today. I enjoyed my turkey sandwich and in no time I was in Santa Ana. I roamed around the station for a bit, checking out the new bridge (Guenzler’s favorite), and took some more pictures. I started writing this travelogue while waiting for someone I knew to show. Sure enough at 6:40pm, Chris Parker and Ken Ruben showed up.
Chris and Ken sit down as well as a couple of other members of the group and we wait till the people running the show arrive to open up the room the meeting is to be held in. When they do arrive, that’s when the fun starts. First, everyone with the heavy equipment gets into the elevator………..it won’t go to the 4th floor! After repeated attempts we decide to take the stairs. This means I have to pick up the bottom end of Chris Guenzler’s hand cart and the two of us have to carry this thing up two full flights of stairs……but not just any stairs! You see we first go up one emergency flight of stairs, alarms blaring, only to find that they can’t open the door at the top! Back down the stairs we go, alarms blaring. Into the next emergency staircase we go. They alarms are going off in here as well! We finally get to the top and behold, the door opens. We’re all huffing and puffing, I was looking for water and oxygen, and what happens? The elevator door opens! It’s working now. Go figure it would work that way!
The meeting was interesting and informative. After some announcements of local goings-on, Chris Guenzler gave a slide presentation of his trips to La Plata in November for Trainweb’s 10 year anniversary and his trip to Texas where he road the old Tarantula train and the Texas Railroad Museum’s train. This was followed by a slide presentation of old steam locomotives of the Northern Pacific and the Denver Rio Grande with some Alcoa PA s thrown in the mix.
With that the meeting ended. I headed down to the main level of the station and waited for my train home. At 10:00pm I headed for the Chris’ favorite pedestrian bridge to get over to track 1. I got about 4 steps up when an announcement was made that northbound Surfliner 595 would be arriving on track 2 instead of the usual track 1. Hey, less stairs for me…….I’d already had enough of them this evening! A southbound BNSF freighter hauling empty auto carriers went shooting through the station and shortly after came 595. I boarded and made my trip north to Fullerton where we arrived on time. On to my next trip.