This segment of my travelogue covers our jouney in the Overland Trail private lounge car pulled by the Santa Fe 3751 steam locomotive from Barstow to Bakersfield through Techachapi Pass on our way to Railfair'99 in Sacramento, California.
If you have any difficulty with the above links, please send e-mail to me about which link is broken. Since I am uploading all these files from the hotel each night, I do not have the time to review them all. I have selected just the video clips that I thought were worthwhile, but I have not had the time to filter which photos are not worth posting. Thus, for now, I have posted all of the photos that we took.
YEAR MON DA DAY Actual-Departure-Time (Scheduled-Departure-Time) Time Zone
1999 JUN 14 MON 06:30 Pacific Time Barsow, CA
Ray and I just arrived back onto the Overland Trail. Andrew slept on the train so he was already in the car. I'm writing this travelogue while sitting at a table at the end of the car in the same place that I was set up yesterday.
Ray and I went off to a local motel. There are quite a few motels in downtown Barstow which are about a $10 taxi ride from the Barstow Amtrak Station. We had to get up about 5:30 A.M. and get a taxi at 6:15 A.M. just to make sure we were down here before 7 A.M. I like to be on the train at least an hour before the scheduled departure time.
It was pretty quiet in the morning when we arrived. There were 2 or 3 people taking pictures. The station seemed quite desolate compared to when we arrived yesterday when there were hundreds of people around the train! A bit after we arrived, the 3751 locomotive blew the whistle twice. I'm not sure that was for. Maybe to make sure the crew was out of bed.
The photo on the left above is of Bill and Betty Putman. They joined us in the Overland Trail from Barstow to Bakersfield. The photo on the right is of Jim Brooks and John Burch.
1999 JUN 14 MON 08:00 Pacific Time Barsow, CA Departure
We departed Barstow pretty much on time. There were several dozen people at the Amtrak Station to see us off. We departed west out of Barstow, heading in the same direction that the westbound Amtrak Southwest Chief departs from the Barstow. If the westbound Southwest Chief had been running very late, we would have seen it come through the station. I assume it probably already went through a few hours ago.
1999 JUN 14 MON 09:05 Pacific Time Barsow, CA Arrival
We pulled into Boron just about on time for water for the steam locomotive. The train actually overshop the watering spot by quite a bit. Our car was almost up to the water hose and we were next to the last car in the train! Thus, we had to back up a bit to position the locomotive by the water. The water was provided by the local fire department. Maybe there was some mis-communication as to where the locomotive would be taking on water. They had 20,000 gallons of water ready and waiting for us!
1999 JUN 14 MON 09:35 Pacific Time Barsow, CA Departure
1999 JUN 14 MON 10:15 Pacific Time Mile Post 814.7
At Mile Post 814.7, we failed the detector on axles 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, both sides! The Detector then reported "Excessive Alarms!" The Conductor walked the train and found the problem was with box car number 779051. They decided to set out the problem boxcar in Sanborn, about 5 miles back.
The Dispatcher gave us clearance for the reverse move. On the move back to Sanborn, the detector reported: "No Defects". All the crew could comment was: "How do you like that!"
1999 JUN 14 MON 11:29 Pacific Time Sanborn
After dropping off the problem boxcar, we were on the move forward again! The detector at Mile Post 813.0 reported "No Defects. 64 axles."
1999 JUN 14 MON ??:?? Pacific Time Tehachapi, CA
We stopped for water for about 30 minutes in Tehachapi. Refreshments were brought up the locomotive crew while we had lunch in the Overland Trail.
I didn't get time to write much more of a travelogue today as I had to spend an awful lot of time trying to get photos and video clips as we went through Tehachapi Pass. Often it was difficult to tell which way the the train was about to turn. By the time we could figure it out and try to get a photo of the 3751, the train would already have straightened out or starting turning in the other direction. However, by going from one side of the train to the other, I think we did get a number of photos and video clips through the pass that you will enjoy! They are posted above.
1999 JUN 14 MON 15:30 Pacific Time (approximately) Bakersfield, CA
We arrived about a half hour late into Bakersfield. For a long time, the train stopped on Main Line #2. A couple of Amtrak San Joaquins pulled into the Amtrak Depot and departed while we were in that position. The Santa Fe 3751 Steam Locomotive was removed from the train along with its tender to receive water and fuel and be serviced.
Originally we were suppose to tie up on the middle spur west of the depot adjacent to the loading dock. Instead the boxcars and our private cars were moved to a track that was almost as far away from the Amtrak Bakersfield Depot as you can get and we tied up in the BNSF frieght yard.
Ray and I walked to the nearest exit which was a fairly short walk and took us out to "A" Street, just a half of a block down from the intersection of "A" Street and California Avenue. We called the Red and White Taxi company and they picked us up from that corner and drove us to our hotel. We stayed at a hotel in downtown Bakersfield, not far from the Amtrak Station.
Since I had quite a bit of work to get done before I could turn in for the evening, Ray and I looked over the phone book to find a place that would deliver. We were not looking for a place that had a web address, but we ran across one anyway! That place is Bill Lee's Chinese Restaurant at www.billlees.com. The menu and delivery information was listed on the web site along with a lot of other interesting details. We placed an order with the restaurant and the delivered it pretty promptly to our hotel room. The food was good and I'd recommend it, especially if you don't have a convenient menu for Chinese food!
We received word earlier today that we will not be going all the way to Sacramento tomorrow. The plan is to have the train stay overnight in Stockton tomorrow evening and then head up to Sacramento the following day, Wednesday, June 16, 1999. That will work out fine with us as our booth won't be ready for us until sometime that day. Once the Overland Trail is parked in the yard at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, it should be right near the roundhouse where we will set up our booth. We shouldn't have to move all our equipment too far.
Once I get these updates posted, I'll be heading to bed. We need to get up at 5:30 A.M. for the third morning in a row so that we can get onboard the train before they start to position it for its departure at 8 A.M. out of Bakersfield tomorrow.
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