SFO Trip this August

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Tadman
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SFO Trip this August

Post by Tadman » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:07 pm

Ok folks - I have another SFO trip this August. I have to be there 8/3 and 8/4. How I get there is up in the air (or more accurately "on the mainline" as I'd like to take the train).

I've been considering taking 5/6 out and back, flying to LAX and taking the starlight up and down the coast, taking the long way on the Builder, Chief, or Eagle... Maybe throwing in a 15/8 railpass and making the great circle (Builder>Starlight>Chief)

Ideas?

I'm not opposed to flying to LAX or SEA and taking the train down/up the coast, especially if it's worth riding some local trains out there. I would like to visit Niles Canyon or ride Metrolink. Last summer I rode Caltrain end-to-end and did some serious BART/Muni riding.
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lirr42
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Re: SFO Trip this August

Post by lirr42 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:50 pm

Tadman wrote:Ok folks - I have another SFO trip this August. I have to be there 8/3 and 8/4. How I get there is up in the air (or more accurately "on the mainline" as I'd like to take the train).

I've been considering taking 5/6 out and back, flying to LAX and taking the starlight up and down the coast, taking the long way on the Builder, Chief, or Eagle... Maybe throwing in a 15/8 railpass and making the great circle (Builder>Starlight>Chief)

Ideas?

I'm not opposed to flying to LAX or SEA and taking the train down/up the coast, especially if it's worth riding some local trains out there. I would like to visit Niles Canyon or ride Metrolink. Last summer I rode Caltrain end-to-end and did some serious BART/Muni riding.
I took had a 15/8 railpass 2 years ago and I did the great circle thing (actually mine was more like a figure 8). I enjoyed it very, very much.

I took the Lake Shore Limited from NYP to Chicago (it was late, as usual), then the California Zephry to Emeryville, then the Coast Starlight up to Seattle, then across on the Empire Builder to Milwaukee, the Hiawatha back down to Chicago, then the Hoosier State to Indianapolis, then finally the Cardinal back to New York. I spent a couple days/nights at Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis. I was lucky enough to catch a baseball game in each of those cities (except Indianapolis, which has no MLB team), and it turned out to be a very nice trip. The scenery on the California Zephry and the Empire Builder couldn't be beat.

I hope you enjoy your trip!

ExCon90
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Re: SFO Trip this August

Post by ExCon90 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:01 pm

I don't know how much time you can spare for Los Angeles, but if you haven't taken the Surfliner route to San Diego it's worth an entire day, including some of the San Diego Trolley (it can't all be done in one day on an out-and-back-from-LA basis, or at least not in daylight); I think the Green and Yellow (or is it Orange?) lines of the SD Trolley are the most interesting, even though the Blue line was the first.

kevikens
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Re: SFO Trip this August

Post by kevikens » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:06 am

I may have mentioned this to you before but I highly recommend that you take Ca. Amtrak to Martinez, about 40 miles east of SF. There, right near the new station (the old one a good Espe design is a few hundred yards east) is a UP rail yard you can easily observe a few blocks from the station and a never ending parade of passenger trains in a very safe and actually scenic environment. If you are in SF itself take the Richmond BART to the end of the line and as you get off you will be at the Amtrak Richmond Station (do NOT decide to wander about Richmond). All Ca. Amtrak trains will stop there and the next station east is Martinez. You will be travelling along the Carquinez strait so sit on the left side going to Martinez for a fantastic view of San Pablo bay. if you want to see a lot of trains in a scenic environment and enjoy some beautiful sights make this trip. By the way you could take the Sacramento train from San Jose Diridon station via Caltrain to Martinez but that is a very long round about route. Let me know how your trip went.

ExCon90
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Re: SFO Trip this August

Post by ExCon90 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:03 pm

If you decide to do Martinez and have a little extra time you can take BART to Coliseum (there's a covered walkway from the BART station to the Amtrak station -- allow a good 15 minutes for the transfer) and pick up some interesting trackage including Jack London Square, the street running north of there, coach yards and engine terminals, and the forlorn remnant of the Oakland 16th St. Station, damaged in the Loma Prieta (?) earthquake and since isolated well off to the right since they later moved the tracks. But by all means get Richmond-Martinez if you can.

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Tadman
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Re: SFO Trip this August

Post by Tadman » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:16 am

Well, the trip is booked:

- CHI-SFO on Tuesday via SWA
- free week to ride trains and trolleys
- SFO-Palo Alto via Caltrain on Friday
- Palo Alto-SJC via Caltrain on Sunday AM
- SJC-LAX via Amtrak Coast Starlight on Sunday
- LAX-MKE via Airtrain Redeye
- MKE-CHI via Amtrak on Monday AM

I'm probably going to ride out to Martinez one morning via BART and maybe out to the Pacific via Muni another morning. Somehow I need to shoehorn a wedding and bachelor party in there, too... Did I forget about that part? My college buddy is getting married, hence the trip's justification.

Any hobbyshop recommendations in the Bay Area?
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Alloy
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Location: Burlingame, CA

Re: SFO Trip this August

Post by Alloy » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:03 pm

Any hobbyshop recommendations in the Bay Area?
Berkeley Ace Hardware has a hobby shop in the basement, and they always had trains and books there. The Yelp reviews are very favorable for that section of the store, and I can personally vouch for the book section being top-notch:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/berkeley-ace-hardware-berkeley
Farrell Wills

kevikens
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Re: SFO Trip this August

Post by kevikens » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:10 pm

Should you ever get to Sacramento (just stay on the train to Martinez about four or five more stops) and right off the station parking lot is the Golden State railroad Museum with an incredible book selection and other neat railroad items.

Station Aficionado
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Re: SFO Trip this August

Post by Station Aficionado » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:29 pm

Probably shouldn't mention it on board devoted to rail, but there's a convenient ferry connection from adjacent to Jack London Sq. to the Ferry Bldg in SF, if you want a little rail/sail combo (or at there was in '06).

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