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Western Railroad Discussion > California Coast request

Date: 05/08/02 21:00
California Coast request
Author: ockahuna

I have a friend from the east coast would is looking for some Railfan tips on where good traffic is in Central California?

He plan on being in the Santa Barbara to Montery next month.

Since I only know the Southern California area could some help??


Date: 05/08/02 22:15
Re: California Coast request
Author: Christo26

ockahuna wrote:

> I have a friend from the east coast would is looking for some
> Railfan tips on where good traffic is in Central California?
> He plan on being in the Santa Barbara to Montery next month.
If your friend doesn't mind watching Amtrak all day he can go to the Depot in Santa Barbara and watch without being bothered about being on RR property. From Santa Barbara north to Gaviota, the tracks just about run along Hwy 101. I can't be of much help beyond that. Sorry.

Date: 05/08/02 23:08
Re: California Coast request
Author: DelMonteX

If your friend is looking for a lot of traffic, he/she will be disappointed. On average only 8 or 9 trains a day pass through Salinas, maybe a couple more further south. That includes the two Amtrak trains, and one or two locals.

That said, if patients are a quality your friend possesses as well as a good scanner, there are a few good sites. Cuesta grade just north San Luis Obispo is probably tops on the list, although recent rumours are the helpers are not being used. The oil cans at Bradley/Wunpost might be interesting. North to Salinas, is pretty much just chasing the occasional train. There are secondary roads, that provide close views as opposed to Highway 101. And there is a bridge or two and a tunnel (north of King City).

South of SLO, I'm not familar with. But I'm sure others will have a suggestion or two.

If luck prevails, the local might be kicking cars in Salinas, it does happen once or twice a week.

Watsonville and Santa Cruz might be worth a trip further north of Monterey. There is usually some activity at Watsonville, and the Santa Cruz local makes it out M-W-F to Davenport. The work in Davenport is pretty interesting and it's about an hours drive from Monterey.

Hope that helps.

Date: 05/09/02 13:22
Gaviota Trestle
Author: tmengineman

If you're just north of Gaviota trestle, and out in the weeds on one of the trails (not far) you'll have a view similar to this (of a special taken last august..) Enjoy!

Date: 05/09/02 13:57
SLO helpers
Author: pismopete

There are currently three UP "SD40-2" types assigned as helpers at San Luis Obispo (a 3200 series, a 3400 series, and a 2800 series (ex-SP SD45T-2).

Peter Arnold

Date: 05/15/02 11:42
coast line activity
Author: calpoly

im not really sure about traffic patterns on the coast line, i live roughly 100 ft from the tracks at the south end of the SLO sighting, but cant tell sometimes because many of the trains run at nite and im usually passed out by then(college life :) but i can usually count of 6-8 frieghts with 4 amtracks running by my window.

some things i do know for certain regarding the coast line is that cuesta tops my list for places to see. there are just a ton of spots to take pics, there is stenner trestle, the horeshoe curve, the 'lesser-known' horseshoe curve below serrano and then the way the tracks cling to the mountain side on their way up to thru 3 or so tunnels to reach the summit (this can be seen driving up the cuesta grade on highway 101 right outside SLO) the only problem with photographing cuesta is accessibility. the horseshoe curve is really easy to get to, the road is just filled with pot holes. but it will take you right to it. just be sure to expect a friendly visit by an officer from the Mens Colony which happens to be about 100 feet from the curve.

if you'd like any more info about the sites to view on the coast, especially on cuesta, i know all the roads and such to get there.

also, there are helpers in SLO just like pismopete said. they actually just helped a train last nite that came thru around 10pm. you can always count on the helpers to run light up the hill towards santa marg. most of the time after the amtracks have passed, but sometimes they will charge up in between.


enjoy yer stay.

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