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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.)

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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.)

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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.)

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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.)

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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.)

Rail Photos

RailPAC rail PHOTOS of the month (February, 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.

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After losing over 45 minutes between Roseville and Colfax, Amtrak train #6 the California Zephyr passes a Sunday work crew doing preliminary work for signal upgrades near MP 165 at Blue Canyon. New bi-directional signals are currently being cut in between Colfax and Gold Run. On the day this photo was taken, February 23, the California drought had seen bare ground all winter. A few days later a huge winter storm came through the area. (Ralph James photo and caption.)

2.

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This winter has been cold, windy, and snowy over most of the country. Here is Amtrak #50, The Cardinal, departing Dyer, Indiana on the evening of February 8 after crossing the Lincoln Highway (US30). (Photo for RailPAC by Steven Crosmer.)

3.

ARTIC Construction

Construction continues on the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Station (ARTIC), showin with an Amtrak Pacific Surfliner going through on February 17. (Photo by Dave Vornberger.)

4.

Noel 2-2014 Burbank Airport sign

View from the Train Station at Bob Hope Airport. In the background is the covered elevated walkway to the air terminal from the new parking structures and transportation center. In the near future a new bridge will connect the station to the walkway and allow people to walk over and on top of the tracks between platforms. (Photo and caption by Noel Braymer.)

5.

Noel 2-2014 Metrolink at LA River

From one train to another. This view is from the photographer’s February 21 southbound train on the west side of the Los Angeles River looking at a Metrolink train headed east to San Bernardino on the Union Pacific tracks on the east side of the river. The big white building in the distance is LA General Hospital. A few days later the Los Angeles River was filled with runoff from the storms. (Photo by Noel Braymer)

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Rail Photos

RailPAC rail PHOTOS of the month (January, 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.
LaJunta station photo 1-2014 by Larson train
This is the LaJunta, Colorado, station with Amtrak’s Southwest Chief, one of the endangered stations on that route if the train is rerouted or eliminated next year. While the local communities along the route are cranking up their support for maintaining the present train route, as should be the case, Amtrak must consider the effect on towns like LaJunta of a discontinuance. Photo by Daniel Carleton.

2.
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Another celebration for the 150th Anniversary of Caltrain service was held on January 18, 2014, at the Santa Clara station. In this photo a “piper” is making his entrance to the tent where the ceremonies were held. Distinguished guests included members of the Caltrain Board including RailPAC VP North Art Lloyd, who is also a veteran Samtrans Board member. Photo by Bruce Jenkins.

3.
Expo LRT 5th Street grade crossing construction
Expo line Phase 2 work is progressing in Santa Monica. Crews are preparing forms for the 5th Street grade crossing track slab concrete pour on January 23. The last mile of mainline runs along Colorado Avenue and gently curves here into the new 4th Street Terminus Station in the background. Photo and caption by Dave Vornberger.

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At the LOSSAN Board meeting on January 15, 2014 in the City of Orange RailPAC President Paul Dyson presented a plaque to Linda Culp, honoring her work on behalf of Intercity Rail, and a companion certificate of appreciation to Daniel Veeh of SANDAG for the two of them handling the administrative duties of LOSSAN for the last 14 years. A fulltime LOSSAN staff will take over this work at OCTA as the organization reorganizes into its new JPA status. OCTA photo.

5.
Meeting Mark Murphy
Amtrak General Manager, Long Distance Services, Mark Murphy was a featured speaker at the RailPAC Steel Wheels Conference, speaking to a large, interested crowd, on February 1. More photos and articles about the meeting can be found on this website. Noel Braymer photo.

Rail Photos

RailPAC PHOTOS of the Month (December, 2013)

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 RailPAC Photo Editor, at info@railpac.org. Russ Jackson, Photo page editor. And, a HAPPY NEW YEAR from the RailPAC Staff.

1.

The Crescent "Baggage Car Train

The Crescent “Baggage Car Train

RailPAC member, Alexander Friedman, was on board the northbound Amtrak Crescent that derailed in South Carolina on November 23, 2013. This is one of his photos from that event. To read his complete report, see “Getting Derailed on the Crescent for Thanksgiving!” on this website, below.

2.
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Amtrak’s new Metropolitan Lounge opened in October, located on the second floor of Los Angeles Union Station, above the rental car booths. It was dedicated in a ceremony in December. RailPAC President, Paul Dyson, attended and wrote an article about the event which is posted on this website. Noel Braymer photo.

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One of the features of the new Metropolitan Lounge at LAUS is the free snack bar available to all travelers that use that facility. Russ Jackson photo.

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Other news from LA Union Station was the effort being made to keep other than train riders from camping out in the waiting room. This sign says only ticketed riders may sit in this area. It doesn’t say where someone waiting to pick up a rider can sit. Noel
Braymer photo.

5.
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From the Archives. What would winter be like without a photo of a train in the snow? Here a New Mexico Railrunner train waits at the Santa Fe station to depart for Albuquerque and Belen in 2008. Bob Snow photo.

Rail Photos

RailPAC PHOTOS of the Month (November, 2013)

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 RailPAC Photo Editor, at info@railpac.org. Russ Jackson, Photo page editor.

1.
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How’s this for an historic photo? Is that really Mr. & Mrs. Leland Stanford speaking at the Caltrain 150th Anniversary celebration at the Menlo Park station on October 19, 2013? Photo by Bruce Jenkins.

2.
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Eastbound Amtrak Sunset Limited train 2 waits for westbound train 1 to pass at the west edge of Union Pacific’s new classification yard, under construction west of El Paso in October. Photo taken from the rear door window of the Texas Eagle sleeping car by Russ Jackson.

3.
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Union Pacific’s new double track project segment from Tucson west to Picacho opened in November, 2013. This photo, taken from the rear door window on the Sunset Limited Texas Eagle train 2 sleeping car in October, looking west, shows the construction was nearing completion. That is Picacho Peak in the distance on this cloudy Arizona morning. Photo by Russ Jackson.

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Amtrak’s new first class Metropolitan Lounge at Los Angeles Union Station looks out to the tracks. Photo is looking east, by Russ Jackson

5.
LAUS Christmas tree photo 2012
To commemorate the season, this is the Christmas tree in the waiting room at Los Angeles Union Station, in 2012. Each year a tree is displayed for arriving passengers to see. Photo by Noel Braymer.

Rail Photos

Six RailPAC PHOTOS of the Month (from October, 2013)

Here are this month’s 6 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 RailPAC Photo Editor, at info@railpac.org. Russ Jackson, Photo page editor.

1.
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Amtrak opened its Metropolitan Lounge at Los Angeles Union Station in early October. First class (sleeping car) passengers can reach it by taking the elevator beside the rental car location near the ticket windows. In this photo an early customer was RailPAC VP South James Smith, who was traveling on the Coast Starlight. He is checking in with attendant Stephanie. (Russ Jackson photo)

2.
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Tucson, Arizona is building a light rail/trolley system that will extend from the University of Arizona’s Medical Center to downtown and the municipal buildings. Their first car, seen here, arrived in early October. (Russ Jackson photo)

3.
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RailPAC held its annual meeting in San Francisco on October 5 at a site near the Caltrain station, the Muni line, and across the street from the Giants baseball AT&T park. (Noel Braymer photo)

4.
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A featured speaker at the RailPAC meeting was California High Speed Rail Authority Chairman, Dan Richard, who entertained the crowd with a funny and charming talk about the progress of the project. Richard is confident it will be a success once built. (Noel Braymer photo)

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In October Caltrain celebrated its 150th anniversary of transporting commuters. An event was held at the Menlo Park station on October 19, attended by RailPAC VP North Art Lloyd and Director Bruce Jenkins. In this photo the MC, State Senator Jerry Hill, is telling the crowd that “It’s a great day not just for Caltrain, but for the communities it serves.” (Bruce Jenkins photo)

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The Menlo Park Caltrain station is a good example of the classic architecture and design of the stations on its 50 mile Peninsula line. (Bruce Jenkins photo)

Rail Photos

RailPAC PHOTOS of the Month (September, 2013)

Here are this month’s 5 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 RailPAC Photo Editor, at info@railpac.org.

1.
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Two Metrolink trains connected together, at the Oceanside Transit Center. On September 20 RailPAC’s Noel Braymer was on board. “Everything was normal until we left the City of Commerce station on Metrolink #604 after leaving LAUS on time at 4:30 PM on Friday September 20, 2013. We barely cleared the station around 4:45 PM when we came to a halt.” See his full trip report on this website. (Photo by Noel Braymer)

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The Fullerton, California station, with the photographer standing on the pedestrian bridge, looking northwest, at about 11:45 a.m. on September 14. On the left is southbound Pacific Surfliner #572 from Los Angeles, using the low-level cars. The bilevel Surfliner on the right was northbound #769 to Los Angeles. (Photo by Alek Friedman)

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Photographer Friedman arrived on the train at Fullerton in order to transfer to this bus, #4968, to Palm Springs. The bus “thankfully stops right in the middle of downtown Palm Springs, not at the train station,” twice daily, but riders must purchase a train ticket to ride the bus. (Alek Friedman photo)

4.
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Back in Fullerton at the end of the trip, this BNSF freight train lumbers through the station. Friedman reports the bus ridership was low eastbound. Westbound it was quite high; “by the time we picked up a half dozen passengers in Riverside nearly all rows were filled on the very fast very comfortable bus ride.”
(Alek Friedman photo)

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From the RailPAC photo archives: In August, 2005, these three RailPAC “suits” gathered to help choose the new menu items for the Amtrak California lounge car meals. (left-right) Art Lloyd, Bruce Jenkins, and Bill Kerby were happy to partake of the new cuisine offerings served up by Caltrans’ Food & Beverage Supervisor Marguerite Monahan. All three eaters are veteran rail advocates, having been involved in rail issues for decades. (Russ Jackson photo)

Rail Photos

RailPAC PHOTOS of the Month (August, 2013)

Here are 5 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 RailPAC Photo Editor, at info@railpac.org.

1.
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RailPAC President Paul Dyson presented a plaque of appreciation to Jacki Bacharach for all her support for passenger rail in her years on the LOSSAN Corridor Board. The LOSSAN Corridor meeting was held in San Diego on August 23. (Noel Braymer photo)

2.
Strandberg 6-25-2013  new Benson shelter
The Benson, Arizona stop for Amtrak’s Sunset Limited now has a new shelter and a new sign at the same location, the Patagonia St. crossing. The new 6 x 8 shelter replaces an old shack that opened only to track side. This one sits on the old pad. Some trains must double or triple stop here to discharge passengers, as well as other stations on the line, because there is no platform. (Richard Strandberg photo)

3.
San Joaquin with comet cars 8-1-2013
San Joaquin trains 711 and 718 now run with low level cars. This consist for the August 1 first run, seen at Oakley, was Cabbage (formerly an F-40 locomotive converted to be a control cab) 219, 2 Amfleet cars, a Horizon Cafe car, 2 more Amfleet coaches, and 3 of the new Comet cars, with locomotive Amtrak 41. (Robert Heywood photo)

4.
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A San Diego Trolley is approaching the downtown San Diego station. The photographer was getting off a Coaster and headed into downtown for the LOSSAN meeting last week and month. This shows the zig zags non Amtrak passengers have to take to head towards downtown or to get into the Depot building because Amtrak closes a gate they have put in when there are no Amtrak trains loading or unloading.
(Noel Braymer photo)

5.
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From the RailPAC Archives: This group of officials have dedicated the new Yolo Causeway construction east of Davis in November, 2006. In the group on the right is the Capitol Corridor’s managing director, Gene Skoropowski. At that time, for financial reasons, a crossover was not part of the project, but in 2013 a new crossover is in operation near this site, the only one between Davis and West Sacramento, which makes operations on the line more efficient. (Russ Jackson photo)

Rail Photos

RailPAC PHOTOS of the Month (June-July, 2013)

Here are 5 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 RailPAC Photo Editor, at info@railpac.org. THIS MONTH: Los Angeles Union Station, Newhall station, North Hollywood, the Ft. Worth Intermodal Center, and BICYCLES!

1.
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There is still no replacement for Union Bagel in the LAUS waiting room. An Amtrak “Metropolitan” first class lounge for long distance passengers is under construction on the second level above the rental car location, which is scheduled to open in September, 2013. (Noel Braymer photo)

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All the display advertising in the pedestrian tunnel leading to the tracks at LAUS are for NBC’s Spanish language TV station, Telemundo. (Noel Braymer photo)

3.
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A southbound Metrolink train arriving at the Newhall, CA, station on June 16, 2013. (Noel Braymer photo)

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Bicycles at the North Hollywood Red Line Subway station, showing that many train riders arrive to ride the trains by means other than cars. (Noel Braymer photo)

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Passengers arriving on Amtrak, the TRE Commuter line, on a bus or other means can rent bicycles from this location at the Ft. Worth, TX, Intermodal Center. (Russ Jackson photo)