Del Mar Horse Race Trains: Train Talk Ep. 14
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Del Mar Horse Race Trains: Train Talk Ep. 14

August 11, 2019


Hello everyone and welcome to Train Talk! The railroad between Los Angeles and San Diego,
California, known as the “Surf Line” or the LOSSAN Corridor, is the second busiest
passenger rail line in the United States. Coaster, Metrolink, and Amtrak Pacific Surfliner
passenger trains as well as Union Pacific and BNSF freight trains travel on portions
or all of the line. At various times of the year, this already
very crowded rail line sees even more traffic than usual. One such time is the third week in July when
the annual Del Mar Horse races typically begin. In more recent years, San Diego’s Comicon
event has also been held on this same opening weekend of the races, drawing even more people
traveling on the train from Los Angeles and Orange County to San Diego. To accommodate the extra riders, Amtrak lengthens
some of its train sets and adds some additional trips to the schedule. We are in Del Mar, California on top of a
coastal bluff that overlooks the tracks. This location is about 3 miles south of the
Solana Beach train Station, which is where racegoers typically disembark from the trains. We are here to see several of the late morning
trains as they bring people into town for Comicon and the races. The first train we see is number 568. This is an extra train that has been added
to the schedule. The train runs Wednesday through Sunday of
opening week. An hour of extra time has been added to the
trip due to the expected longer than normal boarding periods at each station. Train 568 is operating with a set of single
level “Horizon” passenger cars and Amtrak’s last Dome car, the “Ocean View”. The dome car is available to passengers with
business class tickets. Back before Amtrak existed, the Santa Fe railroad
would frequently run extra trains for people traveling to and from the horse races. In more recent years, Amtrak has also borrowed
sets of commuter cars from Coaster and Metrolink to run as extra trains on particularly busy
weekends of the horse race season. The next train we see is number 573. This train is also running with a set of single
level “Horizon” passenger cars. Today, 573 is running almost an hour behind
schedule. Late running trains are a typical problem
on these busier than normal days, as longer than normal boarding times can lead to a chain
reaction of delays throughout the system. Appearing shortly after train 573, Pacific
Surfliner 768 comes around the bend. This is often the busiest train during the
races and to handle the extra people, Amtrak has added 4 additional coaches along with
a second locomotive to the train. Two privately owned rail cars are also along
for the ride this morning, bringing this train to an impressive 12 cars. Number 768 is running a half hour late this
morning, due in part to the extra cars being added in Los Angeles. Following this train’s arrival into San
Diego, the 6 extra cars and locomotive will be taken off and held in San Diego until the
evening. Not too long after 768 has passed, another
Amtrak train heads north. This is train number 777, heading all the
way to San Luis Obispo, the farthest point north on the Surfliner route. 777 is running just 10 minutes late after
being delayed by train 768. In addition to Amtrak, Coaster also ran 2
extra trains in each direction on opening day of the races. This is extra train number 643, running 10
minutes behind schedule. 643 is running with 6 cars today instead of
the usual 5. Just 10 minutes later, regularly scheduled
coaster train 645 makes an appearance. The train is running with 6 cars and two locomotives
today, a very unusual occurrence on Coaster trains. Recently, the Coaster locomotives have been
suffering from a series of breakdowns. It is likely that this extra locomotive is
on the train today just incase there’s a problem. In the late afternoon, we show up at the San
Dieguito Lagoon to see the evening trains as they take visitors back home. On the other side of the lagoon are the Del
Mar Fairgrounds and Racetrack. The first train we see is Amtrak number 591. This is the extra long Surfliner train returning
to Los Angeles. So far, it’s only running about 10 minutes
behind schedule this evening. A little while later, Amtrak train 784 heads
south across the lagoon, also running about 10 minutes late. The train will be held at the siding here
for northbound Coaster train 665. The coaster set with two locomotives makes
one more appearance on train 665 as it heads into the fading evening light. It is uncertain how much time these workhorses
have left on the commuter railroad. Replacements are likely just a few years away. Finally, with the last light fading from the
sky, northbound Amtrak extra train number 593 passes by. The train continues toward Solana Beach and
into the twilight. From there, it will take racegoers home following
another successful opening day at Del Mar. Thanks for coming along for the ride to look
at these special race trains. If you have any questions or comments, be
sure to leave those below. Also, if you haven’t already done so, be
sure to subscribe to be notified of all my video uploads. That’s it for now, Until next time, I’m
Mike Armstrong. I’ll see you down the line! Thanks for watching.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Nice vid also I live in Tacoma Washington and I was happy to see you upload and railfan Amtrak casscade

  2. I'm going to miss those coaster f40phs what locos from coaster can replace them they are needed
    you can do a train talk about f59phis and f59phs

  3. In the early 1960's I served in the US Navy and would use the Santa Fe San Diegans to get to and from home on weekends I had off. I remember those specials for Del Mar, when the stop was much closer. Occasional 'flag stops" occurred too.

  4. Mike Create Another Train Talk About Indonesian Special Trains That Running During Mudik Balik Season, Christmas & New Year

  5. +CoasterFan2105, Keep It Up, Awesome YouTube-Friend. Because you're still on Fire, Today! WHOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND HAVE A NICE SUMMER, DUDE! YOU'RE GONNA NEED IT!!    😀

  6. Nice Episode. Also The Bridge at Del Mar will soon be Double tracked and Plus A Special Events Platform in the next few years.

  7. Nice Video! Also what do you think Coaster will use as a Replacement i feel they would Something like the MBTA Engines

  8. amazing coasterfan 2105 train talk i like amtrak trains but long ones and i wish i could see dash 8 that day

  9. cool video! Do you know when you are going to the Bay Area? Cause at Burlingame CA. Will be 2 locals at every night Monday thru Friday night. Trains will be at 7:30 to 7:45.

  10. If Coaster's F40PHs are going to be replaced, does that mean you're gonna have to change your channel name and profile pic?

  11. Nice video! I enjoyed seeing all these trains with the horizon cars and the Ocean View Dome Car! Hopefully they don't replace 2105 but if they do you should look into purchasing it! 😂

  12. Wow Mike, your videos are awesome!  You really set the bar high.  My channel finally started growing and I got 10 thousand subscribers real fast after just stagnating.  I like your ideas.  Your videos are a great motivator!

  13. Great video! Any scheduler with any experience would schedule things so these unacceptable delays did not occur so regularly.

  14. Nice video and content do you mind checking me out (my videos and you don't have to sub because I know you probably won't )

  15. Really awesome video, and I loved the ocean scenery along the route. Great narration about the rail system as well. Keep up the awesome videos! And thanks for sharing them 🙂

  16. Wow trains get to bigger amounts of them i actually went on 768 surfliner train to watch the parade or parte i saw a cameraman i did not no it was you did you see me? Thanks for posting this video 🚝🚆🚉

  17. Nice video. Beautiful trains passing by along stunning ocean cost of CA. Amstrong's interesting explanations why those trains are needed even if people have personal cars and motorways are built.

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