Despite covering the same ground as my 2012 trip I managed to fill most of the gaps in coverage my first survey of the line suffered from due to my need to eat and sleep. I also have a better handle on the tendency for Cannon cameras to have a disastrously cool automatic white balance and I was able to shoot most of this year's run with the "flash" setting that brought the warm tones back.
Anyway you can see the first set of photos right here!
We begin on San Francisco's Powell St hill where, due to the MASSIVE line of tourists waiting to board the cable car my dad and I felt we should just walk to the place I had identified for lunch. Here cable car #19 passes us on the steep upgrade, however we still would have been waiting in line.
Inbound #18 car at California Ave.
After lunch we managed to squeeze onto a cable car and continued onto the end of the Hyde Line where cars 18 and 3 were waiting their return to service.
Car #28 waiting down by the turntable.
Alcatraz island as seen from the Municipal Pier.
East coast style sea gull.
It appears as if the Route 15 has been extended across the country somehow. Ex-SEPTA MUNI PCC #1055 in PTC colors.
PCC #1050 on the other hand is painted in the local colors of the SF Municipal Railway.
Seen here at the Embarcadaro with double ended PCC #1009.
Coming down the pike was Minneapolis-St. Paul painted PCC #1071.
Time was getting short so it was down to the Caltrain terminal where we caught a limited stops train to San Carlos. Here is a rear view from the railfan window showing the express portion of the run to San Bruno.
Gallery cab car #4006 departing San Carlos.
Cutting to the next morning here is the southbound Amtrak Train 14, the Coast Starlight, making a brief station stop at Emeryville with an odd mix of power including P40DC #809 and P32-8WH #505.
Train 14 departing Emeryville only to reveal a Capitol Corridor train with F59PHI #2002.
F59PHI #2002 with a graphic indicating it has had its EMD 710 engine replaced with...an EMD 710 engine.
Amtrak F59PHI #2002 departs Emeryville southbound past a Diverging Clear signal. Love the sound of those EMD engines. Superliner Cab Car #8305 was on the rear.
Here we go, Amtrak Train 6, the eastbound California Zephyr, pulling in from the yard. I would be on the second of two sleepers giving a railfan window a mere 60 feet from my sleeping accommodation. Power was supplied by P42DC #22 and #173.
Departing Emeryville the train travels out along the bay for a while. On my last trip I got plenty of photos of that and this time I was trying to cut back a bit to ease the post production process. Still, here is a side window shot of the older Carquinez Bridge.
UP GP15-1 #Y561 at the Martinez Yard.
Amtrak P42DC #155 was providing power on this San Joaquin service train stopped across the platform at Martinez.
Here is the interlocking tower that controls the famed Suisun bridge.
Video of the entire crossing of Suisun Bay.
Passing a train of double stacks on the Capitol Corridor. There is absolutely no reason this part of the line should not have already been upgraded to 90 or 110mph service.
Passing an inbound Capitol Corridor train with cab car #8312 near Dixon, CA.
Another F59PHI powered Capitol Corridor trainset at the new Sacramento Station. On my last trip this new station was still being built.
What's left of the old Southern Pacific shoppes are being turned into a museum.
Full view of the trainset with Superliner Cab Car #8330.
A wide shot of the new station. Still only two passenger platforms with new freight bypass tracks.
Surviving Southern Pacific signal bridge at ELVAS interlocking, a famous wye junction.
Due to some work to rehab a grade crossing my train had to make a reverse move to switch tracks after making the station stop at Roseville due to the lack of an appropriate turnout. This took us past the engine terminal in the Roseville freight yard. Here we see UP #569, one of the "Icebreaker" GP38-'2s assigned to the Donner Pass route. The odd contraption on the roof of the cab is designed to break up ice formations in the various tunnels when deployed.
Two more such units #600 and #602 with ice breaker on #602 in the raised position.
Souther Pacific MoW vehicle #324 is a snow plow used for some of the lighter snow events on the pass. Thanks to the recent drought and climate change, these and the other snow fighting equipment may not be needed for much longer.
When the snow really comes down hard it is time to break out one of the old school rotary plows. These former SP units work in pairs with a former F-unit generator car attached to the plow itself. Here are power car #209 and plow #8208.
Here is a second plow set, with #211 and #8211.
Well that's it for this part of my trip. Next time tune back in for another trip over the Donner pass. Also remember if you like what you see you can subscribe to my YouTube channel or follow me on Twitter.