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Rail Photos

RailPAC trip report PHOTOS for Christmas (2014)

This is a SPECIAL 10 PHOTO EDITION. All the photos (except one) are from Russ Jackson on his family’s Fall trip across the country. To see these photos larger, click on the photo. To read the full trip report, see “Trip Report on the Texas Eagle and other trains: How was it?” that was posted on this site on November 28.
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1. Amtrak’s Texas Eagle departing the St. Louis, MO, station is about to cross the Mississippi River on a cold November day with full view of the Gateway Arch.
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2. The Texas Eagle has arrived at the Chicago Union Station platform on a very cold and wintry November, 2014 day.
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3. Many Amtrak sleeping car attendants “dress up” the area at the top of the stairs like this one on California Zephyr #5, providing passengers with books and other items. On this trip the ice, fruit juice and coffee were always available.
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4. November snow was visible out the car windows across Iowa, Nebraska, and Colorado. This is the platform at the Denver station just as #5 has arrived. Because of the weather the photographer was unable to visit the newly remodeled station (seen in the background).
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5. The trip of the California Zephyr up the face of the Colorado Rocky Mountains in the snow is always a much anticipated view out the car windows.
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6. The writer is in better weather on the platform in the Reno trench where #5 has made a very productive stop.
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7. It was a cold day, but this non-rail photo tells the story of the beautiful California Central Coast at Pt. Joe on the Monterey Peninsula 17 Mile Drive.
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8. The return trip on Amtrak took us on #422, the combined Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle through car. At the Tucson, AZ, station the disabled ramp has been removed from its storage shed to assist loading a passenger in a motorized wheel chair. Note the new-style “stepstool” by the car door alongside the traditional yellow one.
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9. Many Amtrak car attendants decorate their cars for the holiday season. This is one of the displays that Lisa, our sleeping car attendant, provided. Lisa will also conduct holiday bingo games in the Sunset Limited’s Sightseer Lounge on her runs during December.
LAUS Christmas tree 2014 Braymer photo
10. With this photo of the Christmas tree next to the main entrance at Los Angeles Union Station we close our trip and wish all the readers a Happy Holiday from the RailPAC Photo department. If this picture looks familiar, it was seen first on the December 7 RailPAC e-newsletter. This report writer was standing next to Noel Braymer when he took the photo.

Rail Photos

RailPAC rail PHOTOS of the month (November, 2014)

Here are this month’s photos by RailPAC photographers!
Click on each photo to see it full size!
8 PHOTOS THIS MONTH. LOOK FOR A SPECIAL WINTER EDITION SOON!
Contributions to this page are welcome. Send your jpg rail photos to Russ Jackson, RailPAC Photo Editor, at info@railpac.org.

1.
Donner pass with rainbow 11-2014
This is Donner Lake at 7000 ft in the Sierra Nevada, with the photo taken through the window of Amtrak’s California Zephyr on a dry day in November, 2014. On this day there was enough mist in the air that a rainbow formed, a portent of a possible end to the drought? Russ Jackson photo

2.
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The Union Pacific Railroad continues its project to double track the “Sunset Route.” While segments east of Maricopa, Arizona to El Paso have been completed, there are segments yet to be done in western Arizona and in California east of Indio. In this November 3, 2014 photo grading for the second main west from Mohawk, Arizona awaits rail. A UP freight is about to roar by on the single track. Ralph James photo

3.
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At the RailPAC-NARP meeting November 15 in Sacramento RailPAC President Paul Dyson (right) presented a plaque to retired Caltrans Divison of Rail Chief Bill Bronte, honoring Bill’s work in building the California Corridors into the huge success they are. Bruce Jenkins photo

4.
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The eastbound California Zephyr is arriving at Emeryville station on November 17, 2014. The photographer boarded there to ride it as far as Sacramento, although he was planning on going to Roseville to ride both Zephyrs that day, but with the westbound train running 3 plus hours late that day he cut his trip short. Mike Palmer photo

5.
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The eastbound California Zephyr has arrived at Ft. Morgan, Colorado only 15 minutes late on the evening of October 26, 2014. This photo shows the importance of the Amtrak long distance trains to small communities, with this small group preparing to board. Steven Crosmer photo

6.
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Veterans Day, 2014, at Chicago’s Union Station where there was a busy “Hire Veterans” event in the Grand Hall. Russ Jackson photo

7.
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The Ferry Building at the foot of Market Street in San Francisco sees an F Line historic trolley about to pass by on this November day. Russ Jackson photo

8.
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The SMART project in Marin and Sonoma Counties is under construction, as seen in this new ballast at the Hamilton Parkway crossing in Novato in November, 2014. Russ Jackson photo

Rail Photos

RailPAC rail PHOTOS of the month (October, 2014)

Here are this month’s photos by RailPAC photographers!
Click on each photo to see it full size!
Contributions to this page are welcome. Send your jpg rail photos to Russ Jackson, RailPAC Photo Editor, at info@railpac.org.

1. (of 5)
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This was the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Caltrain Baby Bullet trains, which was held the end of October at the 4th & Townsend Caltrain station in San Francisco. Caltrain Ridership has more than doubled in that ten years. Congresswoman Jackie Speir is speaking in this photo. Seated in the front row are State Senator Mark Leno (left) and Caltrain JPB Chairman and former SF Supervisor Tom Nolan (right). (Photo by Bruce Jenkins, who represented RailPAC and retired JPB Director/RailPAC VP North Art Lloyd.)

2.
Strandberg trip 7-2014 Tucson trolley 2 car 107 closeup
Tucson, Arizona’s modern streetcar, not technically light rail, seems off to a good start. Tony Haswell writes from Tucson that “ridership is close to projections and there have been no significant operational glitches. Tucson lacks either space in existing arterials or unused RR rights of way for provision of true light rail at a reasonable cost.” (Photo by Richard Strandberg.)

3.
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A San Diego Blue Line Trolley approaches the E Street station in Chula Vista on the original line, and using one of the original trainsets, on October 18, 2014. (Photo by Noel Braymer.)

4.
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On the same day, October 18, a San Diego Green Line Trolley is at the Washington Street station in San Diego using the new cars. (Photo by Noel Braymer.)

5.
Anthony trip 10-2014  Las Vegas train station
This is where the Amtrak station in Las Vegas, Nevada, was when the Desert Wind train was still running. A freight train can be seen passing on the Union Pacific tracks at the right. Ridership to/from Las Vegas was always strong for that train, by passengers going north as well as south. (Photo taken October 6, 2014 by Anthony Lee.)

Rail Photos

RailPAC rail PHOTOS of the month (September, 2014)

Here are this month’s photos by RailPAC photographers from everywhere!
Click on each photo to see it full size!
Contributions to this page are welcome. Send your jpg rail photos to Russ Jackson, RailPAC Photo Editor, at info@railpac.org.

1.
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Amtrak’s northbound Vermonter, which travels the NEC to that state from Washington DC daily, is arriving at the BWI Marshall station on August 8, 2014, where the RailPAC photographer will board it for his short trip. He will change trains in Philadelphia to reach his destination in Harrisburg, PA. (Mike Palmer photo.)
2.
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The New York Central Railroad Museum is located in Elkhart, Indiana, just east of South Bend. (Anthony Lee photo.)
3.
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Amtrak conductor scans “tickets” for passengers boarding the northbound Texas Eagle, train #22, on March 5, 2014, at Austin, Texas. A private car is on the adjacent track. The Eagle will depart to the left. (Richard Strandberg photo.)
4.
Noel 9-2014 New Bakery at LAUSA new Armenian bakery has opened in Los Angeles Union Station, in the former Union Bagel location. The next opening will be the former Fred Harvey restaurant which will open again, under new ownership, soon. (Noel Braymer photo.)
5.
Noel 9-2014 Guess WhoGuess who is buying a Metrolink ticket from the center machine at Los Angeles Union Station on September 19, 2014? That’s RailPAC’s former Executive Director, Ric Silver, who now lives in Southern California. (Noel Braymer photo.)

Rail Photos

Rail Photos of the Month: August 2014

Here are this month’s photos by RailPAC photographers.
NINE (9) of them this time from everywhere!
Click on each photo to see it full size!
Contributions to this page are welcome. Send your jpg rail photos to Russ Jackson, RailPAC Photo Editor, at info@railpac.org.

1.
2014-7-29 Texas rail pics and Hi-levels 7
Ever wonder where Amtrak’s ex-Santa Fe “Hi Level” cars are? Some are in Chicago, owned by Corridor Capital for possible use on their new contract to operate the Hoosier State. The cars above are on a privately owned track across the street from the main entrance to the Texas State Fairgrounds at Fair Park, near Dallas. They can be seen from the DART Green Line. Russ Jackson photo.

2.
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Which cars are at Fair Park? Here is a closeup of the nearly dozen cars that have been stored there for some years in anticipation of being eventually used. Russ Jackson photo.

3.
Strandberg trip 7-2014 Tucson trolley 1 Congress & Stone
Tucson, Arizona, began revenue service on its new SunLink Streetcar line on July 26. This view, looking northwest, is car 103 at the historic corner of Congress Street and Stone Avenue downtown. The famous Fox Tucson Theater is a destination in the background. Richard Strandberg photo.

4.
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The end of the line for the Tucson 4-mile street car line, near the University of Arizona Hospital, is positioned so the system can be expanded. Richard Strandberg photo.

5.
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Amtrak Cascades train 501 is arriving a few minutes late at the Tukwila, WA, station on July 18, 2014. These platforms are being rebuilt. Mike Palmer photo.

6.
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The Portland, OR, section of the Empire Builder follows the north bank of the Columbia River. This picture shows the train at the Wishram, WA, station on July 11, 2014. Mike Palmer photo.

7.
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Amtrak Thruway buses provide a popular connection to Amtrak corridor trains in all parts of the state. This is the Sacramento station bus hub. Noel Braymer photo.

8.
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The Denton County, TX, A-Train service connects that county with the Dallas DART Green line. This is a mid-morning southbound DCTA A-Train at the Old Town Lewisville station. Russ Jackson photo.

9.
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This DCTA “Connect” bus picks up A-Train passengers at the Lewisville station, with its route going to Vista Ridge Mall. On this day two passengers boarded the bus. Russ Jackson photo.

Rail Photos

RailPAC rail PHOTOS of the month (June, 2014)

Here are this month’s photos by RailPAC photographers. Click on each photo to see it full size! Contributions to this page are welcome. Send your jpeg rail photos to Russ Jackson, RailPAC Photo Editor, at info@railpac.org.

1.
Noel 6-27-2014 trip Atk 156 at Anaheim
Amtrak Surfliner train departing the current Anaheim station on June 27 with “historic” locomotive 156. (Noel Braymer photo)

2.
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This is the lonely Pensacola, Florida, station that was once a stop for the Sunset Limited extension from New Orleans to Orlando but was discontinued after hurricane Katrina in 2005. The station is still there on March 3, 2014, and keeps waiting for resumption of the service. (Richard Strandberg photo)

3.
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New track number signs at Los Angeles Union Station. The old drumhead numbers for the tracks are gone. (Noel Braymer photo)

4.
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These will be the platforms at Azusa Avenue for the new extension of the Gold Line. The third track beyond the platforms is the BNSF freight right-of-way, formerly the Santa Fe’s Pasadena subdivision. The white building is the old Santa Fe depot. Will this and other historic buildings be replaced? (Photo taken on June 4, 2014, from the new Target store balcony by Don Bing)

5.
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This is the infamous “Tower 55″ at the junction of the BNSF and the UP in Ft. Worth, Texas, in a photo taken from the window of the southbound Texas Eagle in February, 2011. The train is crossing the UP tracks after having waited 20 minutes for a freight train to clear. A big construction project is underway in 2014 to improve this site and cut the number of delays to all trains. The Texas Eagle has been rerouted this summer, with buses taking passengers to/from Ft. Worth from the south, including transfers from the Sunset Limited. (Russ Jackson archive photo)

Rail Photos

Rail Photos of the Month: May 2014

Here are this month’s photos by RailPAC photographers. Click on each photo to see it full size! Contributions to this page are welcome. Send your jpeg rail photos to Russ Jackson, RailPAC Photo Editor, at info@railpac.org.

THIS MONTH WE ARE SHOWING TEN (10!!) PHOTOS, including Art Lloyd’s honor by RailPAC; Train Day at LAUS, Santa Barbara, and Emeryville; the new Amtrak St. Paul station; and a shot for RailPAC by Carl Morrison from Fullerton RR Days. Other articles posted on this site this month have also contained interesting photos, such as at San Juan Capistrano, Florida, the Coast Line, and a full LAUS Train Day report.

1.
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On Tuesday May 20th, the RailPAC Board honored Art Lloyd for his service not only to the group as VP North, but for the totality of his career in passenger rail at a luncheon at the Trellis Restaurant in Menlo Park. Art, at the right in the photo, was joined by many current and former RailPAC Board members, including (left to right) Marcia Johnston, Bill Kerby, and Bruce Jenkins. (RailPAC photo.)

2.
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RailPAC President Paul Dyson, left, presented Art Lloyd with a plaque honoring his service. Art, who would be 89 in a few days, appreciated the photo on the plaque of his favorite train, Western Pacific’s original “California Zephyr.” (Bruce Jenkins photo.)

3.
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This is the RailPAC-NARP table at Los Angeles Union Station on L.A.’s Train Day, also the 75th Anniversary of LAUS, May 3, 2014. In the center is NARP’s Matt Melzer, and RailPAC Associate Director Mike Barnbaum, who spoke with the visitors about passenger rail advocacy. The photographer also spoke with the NARP people about contacting legislators. (Mike Palmer photo.)

4.
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The 75th Anniversary of Los Angeles Union Station included performances in the huge ticket room at the front of the station, once used by the three founding railroads, AT&SF, Southern Pacific, and Union Pacific. The historic ticket windows are shown on the right side of the photo. (Alexander Friedman photo)

5.
Train Day Santa Barbara 2014 Dyson photo
This large crowd is waiting for the southbound special Surfliner to Carpinteria which was part of Train Day at Santa Barbara, which was sponsored by RailPAC and led by RailPAC Director, Dennis Story. (Paul Dyson photo.)

5.
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These are the Amtrak California Comet Cars that run on the San Joaquin trains. This southbound train was at the Emeryville station for National Train Day, May 10, 2014. (Bruce Jenkins photo.)

6.
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If this photo looks familiar, it is the same scene as in photo 3 above, but inside the Emeryville Train Day event a week later. Matt Melzer is in the center, continuing to speak with the northern California visitors about rail passenger advocacy. (Bruce Jenkins photo.)

7.
Minneapolis station closed photo
The longtime Amtrak Midway station in Minneapolis, Minnesota, closed with the last train, the eastbound Empire Builder running late on May 7, 2014. (Andy Selden photo.)

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The first use of the new St. Paul, Minnesota, Union Depot started the night of May 7 with the arrival of the westbound Empire Builder. In this May 20 photo passengers were waiting for the chronically late train #8. Access from this waiting room is through an unmarked door, and down two floors. Agents expected 54 passengers on-off that day. (Andy Selden photo.)

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St. Paul, Minnesota, Union Depot has this small enclosed lounge for sleeping car passengers, but it is at least 100 yards from the one Amtrak gate. (Andy Selden photo.)

10.
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Making sure we show a full train set this month, we are pleased to show Amfleet equipped Pacific Surfliner 572 with locomotive 145 on the point passing Fullerton, California’s very active Amtrak station on May 4, 2014 at about 11:40 a.m. during Railroad Days 2014 presented by the Southern California Railway Plaza Association. (Photo by Carl Morrison, TrainWeb.com.)

Rail Photos

A Photo Tour of the southern Coast Line

By Noel T. Braymer

The railroad that hugs the Coast along Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties is both picturesque and has a great deal of potential for ridership growth. What is holding it back is as usual, lack of funding and cooperation from the Union Pacific. It is only a matter of time though before we will see rail passenger service really take off on this line and see it fulfills its potential. Here is a collection of photos taken over the years of the Coast Line and to its potential and the progress that has been made.

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Click on all photos to enlarge

This photo from the 1980’s shows the Coast Starlight stopping at Simi Valley. The sign says Cal Train Station. This station and the sign were result of a short lived attempt to bring commuter rail service by Caltrans in 1982 from Ventura County to Los Angeles. The project had been opposed and delayed for years by the Southern Pacific. It didn’t survive the change of administration in Sacramento after 1983. But several stations like this in the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County remain.   Photo by Noel T. Braymer

Hay in Moorpark 07/10/06

This is the Metrolink Moorpark Station. True to its rural nature and history next to the station is a livestock feed supply business. Increasingly Ventura County is becoming more of a bedroom community with residents commuting to work outside the county. Photo by Noel T. Braymer

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This is the Metrolink Station at Camarillo. It is literally build under a highway overpass. What is interesting about this station is the artwork at the station station with a horse motif. Photo by Noel T. Braymer

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This plaque at the Camarillo Station gives the background of the artwork and the horse theme. Photo by Noel T. Braymer

Old Oxnard Station as of 07/10/06

This picture shot in 2006 from the current Oxnard Transportation Center shows the old SP Station looking much the same as it did just a few years before when it was the Amtrak Stations. For the railroads many of the old stations were primarily used for their freight traffic which was always their prime business. Passenger service was secondary concern. Photo by Noel T. Braymer

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The station at Carpinteria south of Santa Barbara. Beautiful little town near the beach. The station is only 7 feet at this point above sea level. This is both the good and bad thing about this railroad. The ocean is a great attraction. But the low elevation makes it vunerable to storms and flooding. Photo by Noel T. Braymer

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One of the many sea views from the train on the Coast Line. Photo by Noel T. Braymer

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Since 2009 the City of Santa Barbara has owned the old SP Private Car ‘Santa Barbara” from 1929 and put it on display next to the Santa Barbara Train Station. Photo by Noel T. Braymer

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This photo from Santa Barbara is of passengers waiting for the first train in the morning on a Sunday back in October 2009. Most of the waiting passenger were on an overnight Ambus from the Bay Area making connections to the first  morning Surfliner  departure. Additional trains between San Jose and San Diego would do quite well, if they ran. Photo by Noel T. Braymer
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The sign to the Goleta Station is at the very least colorful. Goleta is the terminus and storage site for several Pacific Surliner Trains in Santa Barbara County. It is also near the University of California Santa Barbara and gets many passengers from students and staff. Photo by Noel T. Braymer

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The Surf Beach Station gateway to Lompoc and Vandenberg Air Force Base. Along with the ocean, passengers can get a close of view of some of the launching pads at Vandenberg.Photo by Noel T. Braymer

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Rough surf at the Surf Beach station.Photo by Noel T. Braymer

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Warning signs for Great White Sharks at Surf. Besides surf the local beach has Great White Sharks and there have been attacks on surfers in the past, which is why there are warning signs. Photo by Noel T. Braymer

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This view of the Coast Starlight and the San Luis Obispo Train Station goes back to 1980. It has taken some time but this is a reminder of the progress that has been made since then. The equipment is better and there is more frequent passenger service. In 1980 there was one round trip a day on the Coast Starlight to San Luis Obispo. Today there are also 2 round trip Pacific Surliners from San San Luis Obispo to Southern California as well as 3 roundtrip Ambus connections to Surfliners at Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara has 5 round trip trains to Southern California. Photo by Noel T. Braymer

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Metrolink Ticket Machine in the San Luis Obispo Station in 2008. As part of the efforts to improve rail connections, Metrolink has set up ticket machines at several stations outside of their service areas such as San Luis Obispo and San Diego. With improved connections from the joint LOSSAN Timetable and future joint ticketing, more passenger should be able to travel more places “seamlessly” in California. Photo by Noel T. Braymer

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San Luis Obispo  by the station with a picture of a monument to the Chinese who built the railroads in California including on the  along the Coast. San Luis Obispo is a pleasant, small but growing town which is a delight to visit. Besides the railroad and being a college town (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) it also has one of the original Spanish Missions which is worth visiting

Rail Photos

Rail Photos of the Month – March 2014

Here are this month’s photos by RailPAC photographers. Click on each photo to see it full size! Contributions to this page are welcome. Send your jpeg rail photos to Russ Jackson, RailPAC Photo Editor, at info@railpac.org.

1.
Sacramento station mural restoration
Work is underway at the Sacramento Valley Station, as experts begin to restore the historic mural. Small portions of the mural itself have been cleaned away, revealing an unexpectedly bright piece of historic artwork. (City of Sacramento caption and photo, courtesy Chuck Robuck.)

2.
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This is the main waiting room at Los Angeles Union Station on March 21, 2014. They have removed some of the seats, which will be restored. On the back wall can be seen the new arrival/departure display monitors, which will replace the large board in the tunnel entrance-way. This photo was taken standing next to the newsstand. (Photo and caption by Noel Braymer.)

3.
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The men in the red blazers and yellow ties aare “Information Ambassadors”, but are really security guards at Los Angeles Union Station, standing in the “east portal.” These “uniforms” are supposed to make them look more friendly. (Photo by Noel Braymer.)

4.
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This view, taken from a Gold Line train, shows the historic Private Car lot at the old Terminal Building tracks at Los Angeles Union Station on March 21, 2014. (Photo by Noel Braymer.)

5.
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RailPAC Associate Director Anthony Lee visited the Dallas area in mid-March, and rode the DART light rail system. Here he is waiting for a Green Line train to arrive at the Trinity Mills station. DART will open its Orange Line extension to DFW Airport in August, four months early, with that station at Terminal A, providing direct service to downtown Dallas. (Russ Jackson photo.)