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Passenger Trains > Black Friday on the Wine Train


Date: 11/29/19 23:02
Black Friday on the Wine Train
Author: wpamtk

Being perhaps the last sunny day for awhile, Pullman and I headed up the Napa Valley to shoot the Wine Train operations. In a coincidence (or not?) both of their black-painted units were in use, GP38-2 #5076 on the lunch train and GE 80-tonner #57 on the "Quattro Vino" winery tour train. In these views, #57 and train wait for their happy passengers to return from a visit to the V. Sattui Winery just south of St. Helena. The weather here is certainly milder than at the unit's last U.S. Army duty station in Alaska.






Date: 11/30/19 08:14
Re: Black Friday on the Wine Train
Author: ExStarlightHog

I preferred the Alco's that they were first using years ago. 



Date: 11/30/19 12:16
Re: Black Friday on the Wine Train
Author: dcfbalcoS1

      Now it looks like a cheap amusement park ride.



Date: 11/30/19 12:29
Re: Black Friday on the Wine Train
Author: PHall

dcfbalcoS1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>       Now it looks like a cheap amusement park
> ride.

This is NOT the "Wine Train". This is the little lunch time train. The Wine Train still has the big power and many cars.



Date: 11/30/19 13:00
Re: Black Friday on the Wine Train
Author: wpamtk

The regular lunch train (somehow I neglected to take a digital photo of it) was something like 12 cars. These smaller trains take small groups of excursionists (usually about 20-25) to tour several high-end wineries. The groups are intentionally kept small and the trips are quite expensive. As for the original Montreal FPA4s, remember they were worn out when the Wine Train bought them, and then they got another 30 years out of them. I think the ex-California Western Alco RS-11 is still serviceable, but I'm not sure. The main power consists of the ex-Portland & Western GP9, ex-Sierra GP20, and ex-Norfolk Southern GP38-2. The ex-Army 80-tonner is generally used on the train that goes all the way to Krug because of the light rail at the end of the line, although I have seen the RS-11 up there too. I haven't seen the ex-Navy 80-tonner out on the line in some time. So that's 10 units currently on the roster, although not all are serviceable. In their early years, they also had a GE 44-tonner (now scrapped) and a Baldwin DS44-660 (now at WPRM in Portola).   



Date: 11/30/19 13:59
Re: Black Friday on the Wine Train
Author: SN711

I’ve seen them run the GP38-2 out to Krug, but it was over kill for just one car. That unit had more character when it still had NS markings.

I haven’t been out that way in almost two years. Nov - Feb is the best months for photos with the low sun all day.

Gary

Posted from iPhone



Date: 12/01/19 19:18
Re: Black Friday on the Wine Train
Author: dcfbalcoS1

        Do the ALCO FA's have a multitude of problems or would a transplant of a newer engine take care of the biggest share of their ills?   EMD 567 like the Rock Island did. ( or 645 )



Date: 12/02/19 00:37
Re: Black Friday on the Wine Train
Author: wpamtk

dcfbalcoS1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>         Do the ALCO FA's have a multitude of
> problems or would a transplant of a newer engine
> take care of the biggest share of their ills?  
> EMD 567 like the Rock Island did. ( or 645 )
I think they're just worn out, and of course spare parts may be a problem. It appears that lately they've figured out that a single bi-directional unit handles even the big train just fine, rather than needing two back-to-back as in the case of carbody-type power.  Also, I hear that next year they'll be getting at least one new low-emissions locomotive, largely paid for with state air quality funds. I have no idea what it will look like, but I'm not optomistic that it will be very attractive. 



Date: 12/05/19 12:20
Re: Black Friday on the Wine Train
Author: JohnM

I interpret this as a positive.  Their business seems to be growing from where it started and yes stuff wears out and often looking for new solutions shows that they are making some money versus just trying to patch stuff up.   Of course the rail fans will bitch and moan....but the paying customers are onboard wanting a pleasant experience without breakdowns, not trackside with a camera.   

Any progress on creating a "commuter" shuttle train for the wineries and other local businesses?



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