Sacramento Train Tour
Have you ever been on board ship long enough to where you get back to shore and find yourself still rolling with the movement of the ship? Well, I spent so much time standing and walking around talking to friends during our train trip that when I got home last night I found myself rocking back and forth with the rhythm of the coach…… that I wasn’t on! Fortunately this morning I’m just about back to normal…...well, my normal. So it all started yesterday (Sat. Jan. 19) around 7:20 AM as members from 10 old car clubs (Bay Area Horseless Carriage, Nor. CA. Classic Car Club, Nor. CA. Rolls Royce owners Club, Santa Clara Valley and South Valley Model T Ford Clubs, Mid Peninsula Old Time Auto Club, Greater Bay Vintage Chevrolet Club, Mission Trails Early Ford V8 Club, Pacific Coast Durant Club) began arriving at the Amtrak station in San Jose where we eventually boarded 46 Passengers on the #724 Capitol Corridor Express train headed for Sacramento, and boy what a great bunch! Everyone was really upbeat, prepared to have a fun time. Most showed up way early as our train didn’t depart until 8:15 AM, which caught me off guard and I had everyone’s ticket. Yeah, I wasn’t ready, but fortunately it only took me a couple minutes to get my act together and after that it all went smooth as silk.
In order to get the incredible low round trip fare that we got, we had to have six passengers to each ticket and the passengers names are on the ticket. Those six people have to board together. The tough part of that might have been getting all six together for boarding, as everyone’s arriving at the station at random times and other than your traveling partner there was no advance notice who your boarding with. So when you arrive you’re told who you’re boarding with, then have to find your boarding group. Believe it or not it really went smooth. The up side to that process is, you may be on the same ticket with people from different clubs and therefore make new old car friends. Everyone was so compatible, it couldn’t have gone better. Once you’re on board you’re on your own, don’t have to stay with your ticket group and only have to meet with them for the return trip boarding. Somewhat typical of Amtrak, they announced the track number that we were to board at, and that the train is ready for boarding. So we all followed directions outside to track 7 only to stand alongside of the train and wait for about 10 minutes or so for them to open the doors. Fortunately nobody needed to be reminded, hang loose, have fun! Key words especially when you’re traveling by train. SCVMTFC members boarding in San Jose were, Ron Beam and his father Roger, Jim Boyden, Rich and Debbie Hershey, Ted and Dorothy Johnson, Troed Johnson and Karen and I.
Once on board, we had a good conductor, she got all of us on the same coach and directed our group passengers that we picked up on the way, to our coach, except that by the time we reached Martinez where we picked up the last of our group, our coach was full so they overflowed into the coach ahead. Early into the trip, traveling through the marshes in South Fremont the train came to a halt in the middle of nowhere. After a few minutes I brought out the old ukulele, passed out the words to all the old time song favorites and with the help of Rob Guzzetta and his ukulele we had a great sing along. Some Forty minutes or so later we began to move again. Word finally came down that Amtrak crews were doing unexpected track maintenance.
So as we headed East, well really North at this point, we picked up nine more of our group in Hayward, (Rolls Royce and Model T club) ten in Oakland (Classic Car and Rolls Royce). After Oakland we rolled on through some of the most beautiful parts of the trip between Pinole and Martinez as we traveled along the edge of the San Pablo Bay, Carquinez Strait, Suisun and Grizzly Bays. Before crossing the bridge over Suisun Bay we stopped in Martinez and picked up our remaining twenty four passengers, Bay area Horseless Carriage, Classic Car, and Rolls Royce owners Club. Had two cancellations in San Jose, two in Oakland and Two in Martinez due them being too sick to travel. That miserable cold is a bad one and did a lot of us in. I was just recovering from my stint with it and in fact started losing my voice again during the sing along.
After lunch people scattered, some went to the train and car museums, Crocker Art museum and a lot of us just wandered through Sacramento Old Town shops. The weather was perfect, mostly sunny, no wind and just plain pleasant. Time went by pretty fast and by 3:30 or so those of us that boarded in San Jose headed back to the Train Station to board the #743 departing at 3:55 PM to head home. The Martinez group took the next train, departing at 4:55 PM, as they had dinner reservations scheduled at a favorite Mexican restaurant in downtown Martinez. Our San Jose Boarding went well, and off we went. Karen and I got off in Oakland and drove back to Martinez so we could have dinner with the Martinez group as we were overdue for a good Mexican dinner, and it was excellent!
I know the following sounds kinda corny but it’s true. The meal topped off a wonderful mild winter day spent with a great bunch of like minded people ready to just have a good time together, and we sure did!
Photos provided by Ed Archer
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