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Chris Guenzler Abbreviated Story
of Amtrak Coast Starlight Detour

Coast Starlight # 14 Detour Story 3/22-3/3/24 by Chris Guenzler

3/21/03 Northbound was 775 to LA, Bus to Bakersfield, then because 714
     was three hours late down the valley I was bused to Sacramento.

3/22/03 # 14 came in on time as it was the 11 set turned in Oakland that
     day. We ran the normal way north and I had a good day in Klamath
     Falls, even getting a pic of the Amtrak Surfliner painted F-40 383
     in freight service we had passed at Hotlum. 11 arrived an hour late
     but we heard on Grahman's scanner who I met that a freight at Castle Crag was
     having a major problem, it derailed from what I was told.

3/23/03 We sat in K Falls for 5 hours while A decision was made to
     reroute as extra 112 down the Highline and a BNSF pilot engineer 
  was called. We left K Falls at 4:32 AM and went to the BNSF yard to get 
  orders which took until 5:50 AM
  to do. By now it was twilight so my day was looking up. We went through
  Merrill at 6:15 AM with the sun up we had views of Mt Shasta, the Lava
  Beds National Monument and some absolutely unspoiled NE California
  views. We made our way to Bieber, crossed the Pitt River and a
  spectacular climb out up the grade. We reached Halls Flat we passed
  BNSF 4504 South at 9:90 AM and at Lodge Pole met # 14. We reached
  Westwood then saw Lake Almanor. We stopped in Greenville to met a
  freight BNSF 747 and a smoking stop leaving there about noon. We
  descended into the Feather River Canyon to Keddie a UP pilot crew
  change at 1:00 PM. We ran down the Feather river Canyon passed all the
  fantastic landmarks. At Virgilia we passed the BNSF 6331 East. At 
  Pulga where our crew died on the law arriving there at 2:50 PM and leaving
  there at 4:30 PM. This was a fresh air stop with four freights passing
  with UP 4560 East, UP ? West, the BNSF 4504 west from Halls Flat
  earlier then BNSF 4834 East. We then travelled the rest of the canyon
  under the Pulga Bridge and across the North Fork Bridge. James was
  reached at 5:13 PM, Oroville at 5:46 PM and Sacramento as reached at
  6:47 And left at 5:56 PM. Since I was suppose to transfer to 714 in Martinez they let me
  stay on since I was connecting to a Surfliner at Los Angeles. We
  arrived SLO at 5:15 AM, Simi at 9:27 AM and Los Angeles at 10:30 AM
  making this my latest Amtrak trip ever but well worth it. I got home on
  572 arriving 19 minutes late due to signal problems at Basta. This was
  a real fantastic trip.

Complete story by Saturday night on my web site at

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