Amtrak Surfliner Inaugural Celebration on June 1, 2000! The celebration train started from San Diego at 7:30 A.M. and made stops at Oceanside, Santa Ana, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara.
This page is mostly photos since we were able to post those immediately after we returned to the TrainWeb office at the end of the Amtrak Surfliner Inaugural Celebration. Additional details will be posted later. In the meantime, enjoy the photos!
Click On Each Link For Photo Highlights:
Surfliner christening in San Diego
Post christening photos in San Diego
Amtrak Surfliner Committee
Inaugural festivities in San Diego (1)
Inaugural festivities in San Diego (2)
People and festivities in San Diego (1)
People and festivities in San Diego (2)
Speeches in San Diego
Celebration in Santa Ana
Speeches In Los Angeles (1)
Speeches In Los Angeles (2)
Nose to nose trains the night before the event
Click On Each Link For Additional Photos:
Set #01 / Set #02 / Set #03 / Set #04 / Set #05
Set #06 / Set #07 / Set #08 / Set #09 / Set #10
Set #11 / Set #12 / Set #13 / Set #14 / Set #15
Set #16 / Set #17 / Set #18 / Set #19 / Set #20
Set #21 / Set #22 / Set #23
Ray Burns, Shivam Surve, and I, Steve Grande, of TrainWeb along with Kirk Shneider, author of California by Bus, Train and Ferry headed out of Fullerton at 7:52 P.M. on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner (the route, not the trainset) down to San Diego on Wednesday evening, May 31, 2000. When we arrived at San Diego, there were two trainsets on the track across from ours. One was a California Car trainset and the other was the Surfliner trainset! They were attached to each other F59PHI to F59PHI, nose to nose! We spent the night sharing a couple of rooms at the Best Western that is five blocks from the San Diego station.
At 6:00 A.M. on Thursday morning, we got up and were out of the room heading to the station at 7:00 A.M. We were at the San Diegan Santa Fe before the 7:30 A.M. scheduled start of the festivities. The first two tracks closest to the station building are the north and south tracks for the San Diego Red Trolly. A North San Diego County Coaster train was on the next track away from the station and he Amtrak Surfliner trainset was on the track after that. A number of people had already arrived for the speeches and festivities.
There were several small bands playing live music. Mascots from a number of San Diego attractions mingled with the guests. Free refreshments were served to the Surfliner celebrants including coffee, orange juice, bagels and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts! Newscrews from a number of radio and TV stations as well as photographers and reporters from a number of newspapers were mingling among the guests taking photos of both VIPs and other attendees as well as of the events.
After all the speeches, Mr. Warrington, along with a number of the other Amtrak people instrumental in bringing the production of this train to fruition headed over to christen the train. For today's train, there was an F59PHI at each end of the train. Everyone was gathered around the F59PHI that was attached to the Coach/Baggage (Cab Control) Car. This locomotive was at the south end of the trainset. Normally, there will not be an F59PHI at this end of the train as the entire trainset can be powered by the F59PHI at the north end of the trainset and the engineer can control the train from the Cab Control room in the Surfliner Coach/Baggage Car.
Photographers and video people kept coming by and wanting to photo/video me working at my notebook computer on the train. The current photographer taking my photo is from the Los Angeles Times. Maybe my photo will be in the Friday L.A. Times and maybe not. I don't know where the video people were from, but there are television crews all over the train. Some of them are probably independents as there are labels on the equipment indicating the professional videocameras are rented.
Although not on the itinerary for this train, the train also stopped at Oxnard and Ventura, each for just a couple of minutes to pick-up or drop-off special guests.
The GPS coordinated display was displaying a variety of messages for the first time that I've been on the trainset. During the first two days of operation, all the display showed was "Amtrak". Today, however, it displayed the following messages in the order indicated:
In between each of the above messages, the unit would display the closest Amtrak station. Later, I found out that the station names were being changed manually and not by the onboard GPS system. I'm very interested in seeing this display automatically controlled by the onboard GPS system which will hopefully be in operation soon. Now it makes sense why the only stations that came up on the display were some of the stations that were on the itinerary of this special inaugural celebration train, including:
San Diego wasn't the only festivity location serving free food! Los Angeles was serving free tacos, hotdogs, popcorn, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, and a number of other food items! Ray and I were almost the last people to get into the line for hotdogs and they ran out of hotdogs just after serving us! After reboarding the train, I was actually sorry that I had one of the free hotdogs as they started serving free sandwiches and other food on the train! They had a type of tuna sandwich that I really like and seldom find anywhere. I had to have one of those even though I wasn't really hungry. Fortunately, they were just finger sandwiches and were not too big. In Santa Barbara, they were serving free raviolis, vegetables with dip, and cake!
Everyone we talked with had a very high opinion of the new trainset! A number of people had various suggestions of how this or that could be better or should have been done differently, but overall, just about everyone thought it was a significant improvement over the trainsets that the Surfliners will be replacing.
The following is just a start at a list of people that were on the Surfliner Inaugural Celebration train. There were many more people on the train, including just about everyone that we know at Amtrak! Little by little, as we can remember the names of the people that were on the train, we will add them to this list: Roger Bahn, George Barlow and wife, Barney Brantingham, Michael Beener, Ray Burns, Cindy Camara, Yvonne Chanatry, Steve Covell, Cindy Darlington, Mike Feenaughty, Steve Grande, Richard Hamilton, Brian Humphrey, Johnny Johnson, Bill Lewis, Gil Mallery, Raymond Mancardi, Patrick Merrill, Osvaldo Grobel Murgel, Dalton Parker, Tony Perry, Alice Pinkley, George Rainey, Charles Roebuck III, Bob Root, Gary Schlueter, Kirk Shneider, Ric Silver, Ed Stauss and wife, Shivam Surve, Cathy Vaughan, George Warrington, Jack Wilson, Debbie Woods . If you have names of additional people that I missed, please click here to send them to me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you were on the Amtrak Surfliner Inaugural Celebration Train and would like to write something about the event and your experiences, please click here to send your writing to me by e-mail at email@example.com. I'll be happy to post your writing at this website!
Everyone disembarked from the Amtrak Surfliner Inaugural Celebration Train at Santa Barbara. I believe the train will be deadheading back to Los Angeles later in the evening. Most of the people from the Celebration Train took the next southbound train that departed out of Santa Barbara at 3:50 P.M. Our Celebration Invitation served as our ticket for travel on this return train.