ARM Trip Report


Train of the Stars (Tucson, AZ - Los Angeles, CA - March 27-31, 2003)


While not quite the Super Chief we did have the tail car and it was pretty special. The Jane Marie and the Vista Canyon departed Tucson March 27 on the rear of the Amtrak’s train number 1, the Sunset Limited with 11 members of the museum. This was just a short weekend trip to Los Angeles to ride private cars and enjoy the company. Having to drive to Tucson to catch the train is a pain for some of us but Fred and Dale Springer rode Amtrak from Temple Texas to Tucson and then switched to the private cars. Tucson had a nice surprise for us though. The Union Pacific executive train was parked on track 571, just 2 tracks over from us. The brass was in town entertaining customers. The 6 car train looked really nice with 2 domes, diner, 2 sleepers and a baggage car that was converted to a reception car.

 Amtrak westbound was 7 hours late. This is now unusual, as the Sunset has been running close to schedule for about the last 4 months. It did give us the opportunity to see Yuma and the Salton Sea in the daylight. We were parked in the private car garden at Los Angeles Union Station. Good place to watch Amtrak, Metrolink and the Surfliners. Holland America had 2 of their new full-length dome on display at the station. Nice new cars, 89 feet long and 18 feet 1 inch high, and spiffy inside.

 Our folks had a wide variety of things planned, including whale watching, train to San Diego, the L.A. fashion district, and Traveltown to watch the startup of the Santa Fe Doodlebug  M-177 and they all got accomplished.

 The trip home was on the advertised. Amtrak took us out of the garden and put us on the rear of the Sunset in the yard, pushed up to the station and departed on time. Most folks were getting out of bed when we reached Maricopa and watched in amazement as about 75 people boarded the train. Arrival in Tucson Monday morning was early. A great time was had by all.


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