Santa Fe 3751 and 24 private cars graced the Surfline route in September 2008. The train was a special dubbed The AAPRCO San Diegan. It ran from Los Angeles to San Diego and back as a highlight of the American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners annual convention, held this year in San Pedro, California. Pentrex fielded several camera crews to bring you the all excitement of this rare event! Departing Amtrak’s 8th Street Yard early in the morning, the San Diegan slipped from the Metrolink River Sub onto the BNSF San Bernardino Sub for the trip to Fullerton.
Following behind the 4-8-4 locomotive were three Amtrak P42 DC units and a rainbow array of 24 unique private cars, including the Observatory Dome Car. Passing through Fullerton, the train entered the Metrolink San Diego Sub and continued on its way toward the blue Pacific coast. Rolling across trestles, speeding below sand bluffs flanking the coastline, steaming past scenic lagoons, the San Diegan thrilled both riders and railfans lined up to watch its progress. After powering over the grades of Miramar Hill, the train glided into San Diego’s Old Town Station, where the power was cut out and moved to the Miramar Wye for turning, and giving its passengers plenty of time to tour the Old Town area before boarding for the trip home in the darkening twilight. Steam, smoke, echoing whistles, glorious landscapes, and a fabulous collection of vintage private varnish make this special train excursion one you’ll never forget. Plus, we’ve included bonus footage of a private car ride from Oakland to Los Angeles the following week as a special treat! San Diegan Surfline Steam is a ride the whole family can enjoy!