Domes To Reno
The California Zephyr Returns
railfan / TOURIST TOUR
APRIL 15-18, 2004
PHOTO ALBUM RECORD OF THIS OUTSTANDING TOUR
MANY PEOPLE TOLD US MONTHS AGO WE WOULD NEVER PULL THIS
EXCURSION OFF AND IT WOULD NEVER BE APPROVED BY AMTRAK
AND UNION PACIFIC.
FOLKS......WE DID IT!
THE LAST MINUTE RUSH TO GET AN F UNIT
GETTING READY IN OAKLAND
THE EXCURSION ON THE MAINLINE
ONBOARD WITH OUR PASSENGERS
OUR ENGINEER IS A RAILFAN AND ONE OF OUR CLIENTS !
Phil Gosney, an Amtrak engineer out of Oakland, a railfan, and good Trains Unlimited, Tours client was the lucky one who caught the job of being our engineer for the long weekend. Brian Wilson was called with Phil as the assistant engineer and also a dedicated railfan. In fact Brain really missed this assignment by 30 minutes but was able to trade with another engineer so that he could work it with Phil. Wow, we now almost have an all railfan crew except for the brakeman. Even the conductor was taking up vertibule space in the High Sierra and taking pictures. Everyone was having the time of their life.
Also we want to thank Brian Wilson for going back home and getting his Nathan M-5 horn and installing it on our WP 806-A F unit. Phil said that there were many comments about "That beautiful Horn". If you happened to be in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, folks stated that they could hear the special train coming for five miles away with the horn echoing off the mountains and trees on the former SP Donner Pass line. Several people said they were content to only listen to the horn and the roar of an F unit , and this established the fact that this train was from another, bygone era of railroading. The Nathan M-5 horn has to be one of the finest sounds in railroading during the diesel era.
Phil says another interesting fact was the discovery of white flags inside the engin room of the former CN FP-9 6304. It just seemed the proper thing to do is fly those "White Flags" as a Passenger Extra. Phil says that he must admit that working our "California Zephyr" excursion on Donner Pass was some of the finest days in his 35 years of railroading. As Phil put it "I am pround, and honored, to have been part of this historical event for the recreation of the original "California Zephyr" Phil, we were proud to have you as our engineer.
SPARKS....FOR THREE DAYS IT LOOKED MORE LIKE
A WESTERN PACIFIC RAILROAD YARD THAN
EX-SOUTHERN PACIFIC NOW UNION PACIFIC YARD.
Hello: Just wanted to thank Trains Unlimited for the very enjoyable "CZ" event these past few days. It was very enjoyable to see all of the Western Pacific and California Zephyr again. I hope it worked out well enough to one day do this type of event again. Over the years I have taken advantage of many Trains Unlimited, Tours events and always enjoyed myself and this event was no exception.
Trains Unlimited, Tours : My husband and I went on the domes to reno trip on April 15 and we both had a fantastic time. Its been 10 years since we have been on vacation and this trip was worth it. All the employees onboard were very, very nice and helpful. Anything we needed they were there to help. This was our second trip with Trains Unlimited, Tours and the last trip was great also, it was domes down the valley and it too was fantastic. We both can't thank you enough for a great trip.
Paul & Rhonda
Dear Chris: Your "Domes to Reno: The California Zephyr Returns" was a huge success, and I was extremely grateful to be a small part of it. I know these things are never smooth from the inside, but from the outside, it was nothing but seamless perfection. We hope to be on another trip very soon.
Hello TUT: Wow, what a fantasic trip! Your California Zephyr Returns excursions was worth every dollar spent.
Dear Trains Unlimited, Tours: Your ability to continue to offer and run spectacular train tours and excursions is just amazing. Year after year you are able to come up with new railroad adventures that never fail to please. Keep up the good work and hope you can again operate the "California Zephyr" in the future.
Comment from a trackside railfan: You just gotta love seeing a modern rebuilt, and repainted WP F-unit geared and cleared to run on the class one railroads 100 MPH (Official top speed was 79mph) but one scanner announced 81 MPH and perhaps even faster. It was fun speeding up the hill, seeing old and new railfan facrs, eating junk food, drinking coffee, talking on my cell phone and reading my Altamont Press Donner map all the while driving at excessive speeds. This may be as good as special train railfanning gets!