Railfanning in California?

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Railfanning in California?

Postby JBConn » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:22 pm

Possibly vacationing somewhere in California next summer. No idea yet as to which part, maybe SF towards Yosemite? Maybe LA area - Disney?

What are the not to be missed locations, including heritage railroads and museums?
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Re: Railfanning in California?

Postby gprimr1 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:08 pm

The Cajon Pass is an incredible place to go. It's located about 1.5 hours west of LA. The main towns are San Bernadino at the base, and Victorville at the top.

Route 138 splits of I-15 about halfway up the pass and there are tons of views from 138 as well as a series of forest roads you can access. I always buy a forest pass at the gas station at the exit for 138 but I'm not sure if you need it if your not off roading.

You can also get good views on Old US-66. If your up for some more fun, follow I-15 to Barstow, and I-40 until you see an exit for US-66 out into the Mojave desert. MILES and MILES of track and views and almost no one to annoy you. It's the BNSF transcon so it's going to be busy.

Some important advice

1.) It's HOT. The whole area is a desert. Bring plenty of water.

2.) Beware rattlesnakes. I've been to Cajon and you can hear them. I've never had a problem with them, respect them and they'll respect you. If you walk, walk the middle of a path.

3.) If you go out into the Mojave, bring plenty of water and know your location. Cell phone service isn't going to happen on parts of 66 and services are limited so keep an eye on fuel.

Some Photos: If you want to know where I took them in detail PM me

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 74&nseq=40
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 21&nseq=68
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 27&nseq=70
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 25&nseq=71
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 23&nseq=72
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 97&nseq=87
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 70&nseq=93

Also, the Pacific Surfliner runs from San Diego to LA, paralleling the coast for a long period of time. There are beautiful shots around San Clemente, but because of the angle of the sun in the summer, I'm not sure how many great pics you can get. That's why I like Cajon, it's all year. They have East West running for summer and south for winter. Mojave is also wonderful summer photography. If you do go to Mojave, try to stay out past dark. The sky will blow your mind.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 74&nseq=73
-Greg Primrose
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"I'm leaving on a jet train, don't know when I'll be back again. Bags are packed and there ready to go."
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Re: Railfanning in California?

Postby Scoring Guy » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:45 am

One possible Destination, Oceanside, CA.
Train station is only a block or two from the ocean, Wynndom has a nice beach front hotel next to the pier a short walk from the station. Amtrak Surfliners, Metro Link, Coaster, and Sprint trains all serve that station. 30 minutes from San Diego, where the Midway aircraft carrier museum is just a short walk from that station, and the model railroad museum (and many others) at Balboa Park are a medium walk, or trolley car ride away. No need to rent a car, although if you want to have a car for a day trip to the RR museum at Campo, CA (90 minute drive), there is a downtown car rental place near the San Diego station.

Another similar type location is Santa Barbara - just Amtrak Coast Starlight and Surliners for trains, but the station is next the ocean pier, with many lodging choices near by. And you can still visit San Diego from there by rail.

NO, I'm NOT from California, but when I go there I want to see the ocean.
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Re: Railfanning in California?

Postby gprimr1 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:36 pm

If you want to do ocean side railfanning, get on google maps and just trace the line. It is pretty awesome route.
-Greg Primrose
Moderator: General Discussion: High Speed Rail Amtrak
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Re: Railfanning in California?

Postby TSTOM » Thu May 29, 2014 8:20 am

My son ( we're native NJers ) relocated to Fullerton ( SE from LA near Disney ) last Fall and is a buff. He tells me Fullerton station is a popular spot - and VERY active - for watching Amtrak, commuter and about dozen big freights DAILY. 3-track ROW with several sidings within a mile in either direction and the area is very safe with plenty of places nearby for refreshments.

Oh and Scoring Guy....we're life long NJ ocean/beach bums too....Fullerton is about 20 minutes from great beeches like Huntington, Newport and my personal favorite, Carona Del Mar !

:wink:
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