The past few weeks have had an itch that needed some attention.
It had been oh so long without a train ride. Also time was running
out to see the "No Further West," The Story of Los Angeles Union
Station, an exhibition at The Los Angeles Public Library's Central
Library in the Getty Gallery. I wanted to go on a weekend to see
model trains running in the Getty Gallery on select weekends. The
weekend of August 2 & 3, the Pacific Coast Modular Club would be
running their trains. The last weekend for model trains was to be
August 9 & 10. The exhibition was in honor of Union Station 75
anniversary in May, 2014.
With a Metrolink weekend pass this might be my answer. The Metrolink
ticket or pass is also valid on the Metro system in LA. It can be
used as a tap card. From Union Station I could ride the red line to
Pershing Square Metro station and walk two blocks to the Central
Checking schedules and fares from the Santa Ana to Union Station,
the senior fare is cheaper than the weekend pass. And at the Irvine
station, I can save a few cents with the weekend pass.
But the just
right or same price station was Tustin. As I had never been to the
Tustin station it was time for a new adventure. The main reason for
not using this station before was it is not an Amtrak station.
Sunday August 3, 2014.
Leaving home with extra time to find and scope
out the location, I arrive and park in the new parking garage at
11:45 AM. This was about 30 minutes before Metrolink's 663 12:16 PM
departure. Free parking is for 72 hours.
Take this 70 bus to Sunset Beach at PCH and Warner for a nice day at
Looking south to Oceanside.
Track 2 looking north towards LA.
While waiting for the train, I chatted with a
fellow traveler whose destination was San Bernardino. He was using
the weekend pass for the first time. We both thought he would be
better going to LA and getting a train there as the next train from
here to San Bernardino was not until 3:43 PM.
My ride to LA. Metrolink 663 on time at 12:16 PM.
Quickly boarding and finding a seat in the more
comfortable older cars, I turned around and setting behind and
across the aisle was buddy Chris "Million Mile" Guenzler. So I moved
over and sat across the table from him. We talked about going to
next summer's NRHS 2015 convention in Rutland, Vermont. He is
planing several excursions to take before and after the convention.
As I have never been to New England, I am looking forward to seeing
as much as possible. About 8 minutes later we were at the next stop
and his stop in Santa Ana.
Then the train passes by the under construction Anaheim
transportation center. A glass cathedral to train travel. Then it is
our stop in Fullerton. A good crowd boards here and the census is
close to 3/4 full. A group of four set several rows ahead of me at a
table. It is two couples facing each other and seems to be the first
ride for one or two of them.
We arrive at L.A. Union Station and at 1:20 PM
and I step off into a warm, humid afternoon. Then down the platform
ramp and thru the tunnel to the West Portal. There is now new
signage in the tunnel at each platform telling what and when for
trains using this platform. This helps since the arrivals and
departure sign in the lobby has be removed. On pass the busiest
pretzel stand in the country, pass the most unfriendly roped off
waiting area in any public building, I arrive at the old ticket
Gone is that nasty old wooden barrier.
Each railroad had their own ticket counters. Three windows for three
The plan was to have lunch and then go to the Central Library. As I
planed to take the 4:40 PM back to Tustin that gave me almost three
hours to spend. And what better place for lunch near LAUS than
Philippe The Original. I walk to the West Portal entrance and
At Alameda St.
I cross Alameda St and walk by Olvera St.
& Plaza toward 1001 N. Alameda. Standing at the corner waiting
to cross Cesar Chavez Ave, I see across Alameda the two couples from
Fullerton walking. Walking to the next block I turn and see the
group behind me. At the next block they are still following.
Lunch at 1001 N. Alameda and Ord St.
As I enter the foursome is getting closer.
This place is always busy so I looked for a good
line to queue up. The foursome are now right behind me. The
line slowly advances and one of the foursome ladies ask me for a
recommendation. This is her first time here and for sure she will
double dip she tells me but undecided as to meat type. I tell her it
is all good. She watches as I order my beef stew, cole slaw and
lemonade. The ordering procedure here is unique to Philippe. I told
her I saw them get on the train in Fullerton. She wanted to know if
I was from there and I said no, I was from Huntington Beach and she
said they had just come from church there. After receiving my meal I
told them to enjoy their lunch and sandwiches and went to find and
table and seat.
After a satisfied lunch I walked back to LAUS by
going down Olvera St.
Post Office Terminal Annex building.
Olvera St shops.
Amtrak bus bays with ticket room windows.
Arriving back at LAUS, then proceeded down stairs
to the Metro station. The Metro gives art tours of their stations at
different times of the month. Check out their web site for tours as
these are very informative and best of all, free. I used my
Metrolink ticket to tap and open the gate. This station is end or
beginning of the red and purple subway lines. So I can take either
line to the Pershing Square. A short wait and a short ride to my
Pershing Square Metro station entrance. Building with three wings is
the Biltmore Hotel.
After exiting the station, I look down 5th Street
towards Broadway and Spring and it looks like a farmers market is
closing down for the day. 5th St is closed between Broadway and
Spring for the Sunday market. I then walk up 5th St to the central
Looking up Olive St at 5th St on corner of Pershing Square.
Corner of 5th and Grand Ave with tallest building in west for the
next few years.
NW corner of 5th St and Grand Ave. I think this is the old Edison
SW corner of 5th St looking down Grand Ave. Central Library Annex on
right with Hilton Checkers Hotel behind. A good place to have a nice
lunch. Next to Hilton is the old Crocker building at 6th St. and
Grand. At one time the tallest in LA. The Milennium Biltmore Hotel
is at my back at SE corner of 5th and Grand.
Arriving at Central Library at 5th St entrance
and then upstairs to the Getty Gallery and the exhibition and small
In the future?
In the past.
Always liked the outdoor waiting room at LAUS.
Architectural drawings, sketches and blueprints of Union Station on
High speed train is a blur.
First class observation lounge car on the Santa Fe.
Lodwrick M. Cook Rotunda.
Inside new annex at central library.
If you know Dewey, you'll be able to find your way around.
Upon leaving the Central Library, look across 5th
St. and see this.
Bunker Hill Steps.
AT & T microwave tower. Used for cross country television
transmission. Building on right is Gas Co.
One last look at the tallest (for now) building.
Walking back down 5th St. to the Metro station
was short and quick. My Metrolink ticket opens the gate in the
station. Just TAP it.
Inside and track level at the Pershing Square Metro station.
My red line train ride to LAUS.
Chinatown artifacts found while building LAUS and located under East
View of tracks from next to East Portal.
New signs on platforms. My train 666 on track 8B.
Train 666 on right, Track 8. My ride back to Tustin.
Entire consist of 666 to Oceanside.
Now it time to show my ticket and board an older
car. The passenger load is similar to this morning, about 3/4 full.
We left on time.
The ride was good and lots to see. Quick stops at all stations.
Arrived back in Tustin around 5:40PM. Safe and sound at my car. Saw
bright light coming on the northbound track so I waited to see. It
wasn't long before a Surfliner, the single level consist, 785 blew
thru very fast.