San Diego steam excursion June 1st, 2008

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by TrainNut, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    San Diego Steam Special
    Author: J-1Hudson

    San Diego Steam Special!
    A high speed round trip along the scenic California Coast on Sunday, June 1, 2008. Power will be ex-Santa Fe 3751, the engine that pulled the last steam powered train to San Diego in 1953. Work on the trestles is being completed and the trip has been approved by all the agencies involved.

    Depart LAUPT 7:45 AM with stops at Fullerton, Irvine and San Diego, Old Town, arriving in San Diego at 11:30 AM, after an en route water and service stop. The 256 mile round trip includes many miles along the Pacific Ocean followed by a climb up the 2.3% grade of Miramar Hill. Depart San Diego at 2:30, and arrive at LAUPT at 6:30, after another en route water and service stop.

    Tickets: Coach: $169, child's coach (13 and under) $99, Dome seat (Silver Lariat) $249

    Information and ticket orders: Central Coast Chapter, NRHS or

    San Diego Steam Special: Central Coast Railway Club PO Box 434 Santa Clara, CA. 95052-0434

    Hal Lewis, Central Coast Ry. Club
  2. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

  3. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I saw that engine run to the Grand Canyon a few years ago. Folks, this is one very impressive machine :D

  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I hope to go to San Juan Capistrano Sunday afternoon to see it on the return trip.
  5. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    I know I am not going to be politically correct. With the "tree" hugers out in Cal, how is steam being allowed? California has the countries strickest pollution controls in the nation. I do love a good steam locomotive smoking up the town!

  6. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Thank you kind sir, I'm writing an article about excursion trains and it's very fitting that you mention this one. The article will come out on May 1, but I doubt that this train will need the extra publicity. I'd drive to the coast for this, but the timing is not right.:cry:
  7. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member


    Oil-fired steam can be quite clean, cleaner than diesel, depending on fuel, condition of burners, and skill of operator. Oil-fired steam used a very dirty bunker C (almost tar) for fuel because it was much cheaper than other fuels in the age of steam. You put in kerosene or equivalent, and adjust the air flow appropriately, and steam will be very clean.

    The steam portion of the exhaust is of course just water vapor, and does no harm.

    Coal burning is another story. But with careful firing, a steam locomotive can be nearly as clean as an electric power plant without pollution controls.

    The steam era ended before some of the newer technology to enhance fuel efficiency and reduce polluting exhaust could be exploited in new engines. Overseas, where steam lasted longer, some of this development work did take place. Keeping stack draft to a minimum was one such technology, but it required installation of smoke lifters ("elephant ears") on the faster locomotives to get the exhaust above the engine and out of the crew's eyes.

    Railroads didn't like dirty burning steam engines - the soot and exhaust deposits greatly increased maintenance. But it was a trade-off between cost of clean-burning fuels and the increased maintenance - and cheaper fuel usually won.
  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Andy, so far the railroads and what equipment they operate is entirely regulated by the federal government. The state has no say in what runs on the tracks. 3751 is an oil fired locomotive, however and I think they are running the lighter more efficient burning fuel oils rather than bunker c. One advantage of steam over internal combustion is that an external burner can be much cleaner burning compared to an internal combustion engine that must fire and burn the charge before the power stroke is completed and the exhaust stroke starts.
  9. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    Oh man, 3751 is coming to San Diego! I'll be taking that day off and getting me some pictures when she descends the south side of Miramar Hill!
  10. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Where do you think they will be turning that rig around once they reach San Diego? I looked at the yard and found a small turntable but it does not look large enough to do the job. There are also two wye's but they only look large enough to handle the trolley system. Also, I can not seem to find a physical address for the San Bernardino railroad historical society where 3751 is currently residing. Can anyone point me in the right direction? This looks like it could be a fun chase as long as traffic doesn't get backed up and spoil the whole thing.
  11. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    There's a large wye at MCRD, and a MUCH larger one at the top of Miramar Hill.
  12. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I guess if Miramar hill is the closest place to turn it around, that's what they'll have to use. It just seems kind of far at 12 miles away (24 round trip). It's lookin' like I might be chasin' this one.
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    That was the way the Amtrak San Diegans used to run until they initiated push pull service. 3751 was being kept at the Amtrak yard at the Redondo Junction roundhouse the last time I was in downtown LA probably 4 or 5 years ago.

Share This Page