This segment of my travelogue covers our jouney in the Overland Trail private lounge car pulled by the Santa Fe 3751 steam locomotive from Fresno to Barstow, California, on our way back from Railfair'99.
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.
As most of you who are frequent visitors to TrainWeb already know, you can click on any photo on this page to display a larger image of that photo.
YEAR MON DA DAY Actual-Departure-Time (Scheduled-Departure-Time) Time Zone
1999 JUN 29 TUE 11:00 Pacific Time Fresno CA CH 55 (160.935)
Kirk Shneider of California Transit Publications (www.catransit.com) and I got our wake-up call at 7:30 AM. We stayed at the Best Western Village Inn (www.bestwestern.com), which I would recommend if you will be staying in Fresno. It is less than a 10 minute taxi trip from the station and is right across the street from Denny's, a shopping mall, and a McDonald's in classic golden arches architecture.
After grabbing some breakfast at Denny's, we took a taxi to the Fresno BNSF Yard at Calwa. We arrived at the yard about 9:30 A.M. As we got off the freeway, we could see the tail of our private train sandwiched between two freight trains. The problem would be trying to find either how to get the taxi to drive up between the trains, or in worst case, at least get us to the head or tail of one of the trains blocking access to our train. It was bad enough that we might have to walk half the length of a long freight train to get to our train, but I certainly did not want to be let off in the middle of the freight train and have to walk completely around it!
We saw a number of people standing in front of the Yard House who were members of our train crew. They were waiting to get around the freight train also, so we got out of the taxi at that point. After a while, two locomotives were backed to the front of the line of freight cars. One of the locomotives was the one painted in support of Desert Storm. A photo of that locomotive is included with the sets on this page.
The train backed up about 500 feet to take up the slack and then pulled forward completely out of the way. Unfortunately, another train going north had pulled up between us and our train on the next track over! It pulled almost out of the way before stopping. There were still about 8 more cars to go before the end of the train would have passed us. We decided to not wait since another train could pull up on the first track and then block us again. We walked all the way around the remaining 8 cars of the stopped freight train and then walked almost the full length of our train to the last car. We boarded through the Tioga Pass and went into the Overland Trail.
The Overland Trail had picked up a few more people who were already on board: an Amtrak San Diegans locomotive engineer and two other private car owners. I don't have their names handy but will add them later.
1999 JUN 29 TUE 11:15 Pacific Time Calwa BNSF Yard CA CH 55 (160.935)
We just heard from the Dispatcher that we are being held until a northbound Amtrak San Joaquins goes by. That train is in Hanford now and is scheduled to go by here at about 11:45 A.M.
1999 JUN 29 TUE 11:51 Pacific Time Calwa BNSF Yard CA CH 55 (160.935)
The northbound San Joaquin just passed us and we are cleared to go!
1999 JUN 29 TUE 11:52 Pacific Time Calwa BNSF Yard CA CH 55 (160.935)
We have departed and are now heading south out of the Calwa BNSF Yard!
1999 JUN 29 TUE 12:07 Pacific Time CH 55 (160.935)
We are out of the yard and really moving now! Probably at the top of the 55 MPH restricted speed.
1999 JUN 29 TUE 12:07 Pacific Time MP 987.0 CH 55 (160.935)
1999 JUN 29 TUE 12:27 Pacific Time CH 55 (160.935)
We pulled into a siding to let a northbound frieght pass us. Then, I heard the following over the radio:
"Give us a good smokey start-up and then you can pull away."
The train lurched forward and a trail of smoke passed by our windows!
1999 JUN 29 TUE 12:56 Pacific Time MP 962.0 CH 55 (160.935)
1999 JUN 29 TUE 13:15 Pacific Time MP 943.7 CH 55 (160.935)
Hot Box Right Side Axle 6 reported hot. Per Track Bulletin, we are high balling that detector.
1999 JUN 29 TUE 13:21 Pacific Time
Dispatcher: "3751, can you give us more smoke?"
There goes more smoke by our window!
1999 JUN 29 TUE 13:42 Pacific Time MP 924.6
We just pulled over and stopped in a siding at Sandrini.
1999 JUN 29 TUE 14:00 Pacific Time
Northbound Amtrak San Joaquin passes us.
1999 JUN 29 TUE 14:02 Pacific Time
We are on the move south again! There were a number of railfans chasing our train that got stuck behind 3 large farm combine vehicles. While we were stopped at Sandrini the railfans were able to catch up and pass us. Once we got moving, we passed some of those railfans standing by the road taking photographs and waving.
1999 JUN 29 TUE 14:29 Pacific Time MP 900.0 CH 55 (160.935)
"You have a defect!"
"Highball that hotbox!"
1999 JUN 29 TUE 15:00 Pacific Time Bakersfield CA CH 84 (161.370)
Arrived in Bakersfield. By about 4:30 PM we were all watered and serviced and ready to go.
1999 JUN 29 TUE 16:35 Pacific Time Bakersfield CA CH 84 (161.370)
A northbound Amtrak San Joaquin just went by.
1999 JUN 29 TUE 16:44 Pacific Time Bakersfield CA CH 84 (161.370)
"Can you give us an estimate of when we will get out of here?"
"Negative. Derailment on the Union Pacific Railroad. You will be the third train out."
1999 JUN 29 TUE 16:45 Pacific Time Bakersfield CA CH 84 (161.370)
A southbound Amtrak San Joaquin just pulled into Bakersfield. A short while later, the same Amtrak train went north. Later, it pulled south back toward the station again. I think some of these maneuvers were just to bring the San Joaquin train into the yard for some quick servicing. There is an Amtrak San Joaquin that does leave for Sacramento around this time.
1999 JUN 29 TUE 17:36 Pacific Time Bakersfield CA CH 84 (161.370)
There has been a derailment somewhere on the Union Pacific track between here and Barstow. There was a Z train and another freight train lined up to go out ahead of us. Those two trains appear to have already departed. We are still being held and are not sure when we will be allowed to leave.
1999 JUN 29 TUE 17:47 Pacific Time Bakersfield CA CH 84 (161.370)
The northbound Amtrak San Joaquin just went by us.
1999 JUN 29 TUE 17:48 Pacific Time Bakersfield CA CH 84 (161.370)
"Steamtrain come out easy as soon as he clears."
1999 JUN 29 TUE 18:17 Pacific Time CH 14 (160.320) Bakersfield, CA
1999 JUN 29 TUE 18:29 Pacific Time CH 14 (160.320) Kern Jct, CA
Stop at Kern so the helper 8658 can get by.
"It switched back. That is strange. I wonder why it did that."
Men and equipment at Mile Post 315.
1999 JUN 29 TUE 18:32 Pacific Time CH 14 (160.320) Kern Jct, CA
Stopped at Kern Junction.
1999 JUN 29 TUE 19:00 Pacific Time CH 14 (160.320) Kern Jct, CA
Started rolling again! Picked up speed pretty quickly once we got past the derailment. It looked like a few cars of a freight train came off the track at a switch where there was double track.
1999 JUN 29 TUE 19:17 Pacific Time MP 318.8 CH 14 (160.320)
"Mile Post 318.8 - You have a defect! Stop Your Train! Stop Your Train! Axle Number 6, Left Side, 33 Miles Per Hour."
We are exempt for the first six axles, so we kept on going.
1999 JUN 29 TUE 19:34 Pacific Time MP 328.6 CH 14 (160.320) 43 MPH
1999 JUN 29 TUE MP 335.1 Caliente CA
1999 JUN 29 TUE 20:36 Pacific Time MP 347.0 CH 14 (160.320) 23 MPH
1999 JUN 29 TUE 21:15 Pacific Time MP 360.5 Tehachapi CA Arrive
1999 JUN 29 TUE 21:45 Pacific Time MP 360.5 Tehachapi CA Depart
We stopped for water and servicing. A very large crowd could be seen by the side of the train as we left Tehachapi.
1999 JUN 29 TUE 21:49 acific Time MP 363.8 CH 14 (160.320)
"Stop Your Train! Stop Your Train! Hot Box Detector. Axle 3."
As usual, we ignored that report on the locomotive axle.
1999 JUN 29 TUE 18:15 Pacific Time MP 377.0 CH 14 (160.320)
1999 JUN 29 TUE 10:26 Pacific Time MP 380.7 Mojave CA
1999 JUN 29 TUE 00:00 Pacific Time MP 814.7 East Mojave CA CH 36 (160.650)
1999 JUN 29 TUE 00:00 Pacific Time MP 813.0 CH 36 (160.650)
1999 JUN 29 TUE 00:00 Pacific Time MP 788.0 CH 36 (160.650)
1999 JUN 29 TUE 00:00 Pacific Time MP 784.0 Boron CA CH 36 (160.650)
1999 JUN 29 TUE 00:00 Pacific Time MP 765.0 CH 36 (160.650)
1999 JUN 30 WED 02:00 Pacific Time Barsow, CA
We spent about an hour or more out at the wye just outside of Barstow waiting to back into the station. By the time we finally did arrive into the station and take a taxi to our hotel, it was 3 AM. Because of the late arrival time, the plan is for the 3751 to leave Barstow tomorrow at 11 AM.
Click herefor the next segment of this rail journey.
Click herefor the previous segment of this rail journey.