A long day for the penultimate on the road. And now all are in for the night, safe aboard the 21 cars remaining of the 2013 Napa Valley Limited. Parked just south of the former Southern Pacific station here in San Luis Obispo.
Depart was before 0600 from Napa. The dawn came as we head down through Cordelia. A windy day greeted us as we came into Suisun. Mount Diablo was easy to make out across the Bay.
Several Capitol Corridor trains and number 11 the southbound Coast Starlight passed before we finally were back on the Union Pacific line to Oakland.
From there it was a quick ride to the Benicia Bridge – the longest rail crossing of a navigable waterway in the west. Bright sunlight greeted our approach on the Benicia side.
A nice ride along the shores of San Pablo Bay brought us to Emeryville, where train 6 the California Zephyr was waiting to depart with the Pacific Cape and the Georgia 300 on the rear.
This was not the only PV sighting of the day as we caught up to number 11 adding the Colonial Crafts and two matching Pennsylvania cars. With this delay we departed San Jose after a crew change and ran ahead of number 11.
Crossing the Cuesta Grade we rolled down to hold the siding at Chorro as both 11 and 14 passed us. This was the traditional meeting spot for the SP’s Coast Daylight trains. With the cooler breeze from the ocean coming inland, it was a pleasant wait high on the hill above San Luis Obispo.
Plenty of great photos were taken as the Starlight’s passed our 21 car special here.
After that it was everyone back aboard and down to SLO.
Tomorrow is the last day of the convention train – complete with the fabled 113 miles along the shore of the Pacific Ocean. A wonderful finish to a great trip.