May 30th, 2017


Train-ing Day

I made it up to the Western Pacific train museum in Portola, CA today. I passed the place several years ago and it looked interesting. I guess it's up there on the list of great RR museums because it also has a program where you can actually operate a locomotive. I'm not big on the whole "fantasy" concept where you pay a lot of money to fulfill some childhood dream. I liked this museum because it focused on more modern equipment. There was only one steam-era loco in the place. It was also interesting that Union Pacific uses adjacent tracks to store some of their fleet, so it's like another museum.

It only took about 2 hours to go through the entire museum. I then headed north to see Union Pacific's (formerly Western Pacific) line up the Feather River Canyon. Once again I had come through here coming back home on my Rainfurest trip, but didn't spend a whole lot of time. I did luck out and catch a merchandise freight coming through the canyon. I had to laugh when I saw some graffiti on one of the cars. Some artist did a good rendition of Fat Albert. Someone else wrote "rapist" across his chest. I lol'd. I then headed down to Donner Pass to check out the UP mainline. I found a road named "Cold Creek" and took it. I wasn't sure about how kosher it was since it was perhaps a state park or perhaps private land or maybe it was Forest Service. I ended up in a great spot. It's a broad sweeping horseshoe curve. I was able to catch 2 eastbounds with dynamic brakes whining and flanges squealing as they descended Donner Pass. It was also nice to then experience silence after they each went by. I spooked a fox while walking down a road and I watched a coyote saunter down the tracks. It ended up being a nice day. Maybe I'll check out another museum tomorrow.