More train confusion

Last week, I was zipping along through downtown on my happy little Xootr, and down came the crossing arms.  As I had–once again–neglected to heed my rule of “always get across the tracks as soon as you can,” I let out a mental sigh and resigned myself to a wait.

Chugging southbound was…an Amtrak passenger liner.  This week, another Amtrak was coming south by the Blue Diamond plant, and then headed west on the River Park tracks.  A dozen years of Sacramento, hundreds of trains witnessed, and those were both a first.  Anyone have any idea Amtrak was bogarting the freight tracks?

2 Comments so far

  1. wburg on February 3rd, 2009 @ 10:11 am

    Amtrak doesn’t have its own tracks; except for a few places on the east coast, they always use freight railroads. Exactly what tracks are you talking about–the old Western Pacific mainline between 19th & 20th, or the old Southern Pacific mainline at B Street (the one elevated on the levee)? I assume the "River Park tracks" is the southbound SP right-of-way that runs parallel to Elvas Avenue and behind Sac State.

    The Amtrak "San Joaquin" trains that run south through the San Joaquin Valley normally run on the SP B Street line and turn south at the Elvas wye, but sometimes if there is something blocking the tracks (maintenance of way etcetera) they can be re-routed using the old WP mainline and then returning to SP right-of-way south of Sacramento. That’s kind of a special treat through Midtown, especially for folks at the Old Spaghetti Factory–that used to be a Western Pacific passenger station, a stop for the WP’s "California Zephyr" passenger trains.

  2. uneasyrhetoric on February 6th, 2009 @ 10:39 am

    I’ve seen it too. It’s the line between 19th & 20th, so it must be the WP mainline.

    I didn’t know there was a connection between the WP& SP lines until Stockton; this confused me because the San Joaquin stops in Lodi.

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