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an hour early but left almost on time at 10:10 a.m. (Rumor Central neglected to take into account passengers had no way of knowing of a schedule change. Other even more outrageous rumors abounded but are best left unsaid). Unlike the eastbound trip, the west-

bound (geographically southbound) journey to Parker remained close to the

revised estimated schedule, pausing at Congress for water and detraining of Phoenix passengers at 3:20 p.m. De- parture was at 4:05 p.m. The same held true for the wye at Matthie where the train interchanged to the Arizona & California in a matter of minutes. How- ever, slow orders on the ARZC contin- ued in effect. Arrival at Parker was at 9:16 p.m. As for my day of chasing, I can safely say I relieved much of my trackside envy.

Day 6: Parker to Los Angeles, via the Arizona & California and BNSF. Distance: 337 miles

Our final day on the road would also

be a long one. We departed Parker on the advertised at 8:05 a.m. and within minutes crept across the Colorado Riv- er and into California. Once again, we were saddled with our pesky slow or- der, however, just like Day 1, our snail’s pace across the desert was a god- send for chasing fans. Also, it was a good eight degrees cooler outside, with the desert temperature hovering

around the century mark. Water stops were made at Cadiz (de- parture at 3:20 p.m.) and again at Barstow, where we loaded more bag lunches to feed our hungry passengers. We left Barstow at 6:30 p.m., making a beeline for Cajon Pass. Our crossing of the pass was around dusk and every dome on the train was packed with gawking eyes and snapping cameras. After a final water stop at San Bernardino we arrived at Los Angeles around 10:00 p.m., and pulled into LAUPT at 11:07 p.m. six days and 1,313 miles after our initial departure!

Epilogue Despite serious delays to our sched-

ule, BNSF Railway and the Arizona & California did their best to keep us moving. To the credit of the 3751 team, their engine performed magnificently, as did their people. One very important player on this

trip was Amtrak, whose staff was re- sponsible for all train operations, with Eric Smith taking the role of liaison be- tween our train and the host railroads. The Amtrak crew (there were two com- plete crews aboard the train) was pro- fessional and seemed to be having fun. Finally, I want to thank the hun-

dreds of passengers who rode with us over our five days of running. Without you, we couldn’t have done it.

Special thanks to Eric Smith, Paul

Prine, Jeff Ferrier and Steve Miller for their assistance.

TOP: ATSF 3751 East meets BNSF 7758 near the summit of Cajon Pass during Day 1 oper- ations on May 14, 2012. MIDDLE: No. 3751 and its train creeps along at 15 m.p.h. near Salome, Ariz., on the way to Parker. BELOW: Looking more like the Grand Canyon Zephyr, domes Silver Solarium, Silver Lariat and Plaza Santa Fe bring up the markers as the train heads towards the setting sun on May 18, 2012. THREE PHOTOS, KEN RATTENNE

Visit the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society’s web site at


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