Amtrak’s Coast Starlight along the Pacific Coast—August 2016.

Back in 1994, I’d made a project of Southern Pacific’s famous Coast Line focusing on the line between Watsonville Junction and Santa Barbara, California.

Traffic was sparse compared with other SP mainlines. Yet there were 2-3 through freights in each direction daily, plus Amtrak numbers 11 and 14—the Coast Starlight.

 Last week, I decided to revisit Gaviota, California to make photos of the Coast Starlight. I often require images of this popular train as illustrations in books and magazines, and my 1994 Kodachrome slides are now a bit dated.

However sparse through freight was on the Coast in 1994, it was busier then than now. I neither saw nor heard of any Union Pacific trains on the move during my exploration, and the only active UP presence I noted was that of a passing HyRail truck and a track gang.

Looking Southern Pacific timetable east (Union Pacific direction south—and never you mind the compass) Amtrak's Seattle-bound
Looking Southern Pacific timetable east (Union Pacific direction south—and never you mind the compass) Amtrak’s Seattle-bound Coast Starlight works along the Pacific Coast on the bluffs above Gaviota. Exposed using a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera in August 2016. SP’s Daylight look especially fine here. 

Amtrak 14 was on time and the pleasant mix of sun and coastal mist made for a nicely lit scene that captures the spirit of this supremely scenic run.

Tracking the Light posts Daily.

2 thoughts on “Amtrak’s Coast Starlight along the Pacific Coast—August 2016.”

  1. The right man in the right place at the right time. What a wonderful combination of rail, vista, and weather!

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