Tehachapi Detour!

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zephyr17

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I just got a customer service alert for my upcoming trip on the Starlight. The southbound (at least) will be detouring over Tehachapi 4/27-4/29. I am on the southbound leaving Seattle 4/27, so will detour 4/28.

Any one the "UP trackwork" on the Coast line that is causing the detour. This seems kind of last minute.
 

Devil's Advocate

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Isn't this detour named after a dusty overlapping circle on the edge of a desert somewhere? Not trying to dismiss your luck but I've honestly never understood the source of the appeal relative to the enthusiasm level.
 

rms492

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I'm surprised Mr. Anderson okay'd it, the way things are going, the next rule to come is "no more detours" because they cause a loss of ridership due to missed stops.
 

anumberone

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That's interesting, I wonder if it's going straight to Sacramento or if it will jog off at Stockton over to Concord and pick up the remainder of the usual route. I think it will be crowded, maybe only to Bakersfield, but if it goes straight to Sac. I may try to hop It myself.
 
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brianpmcdonnell17

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That's interesting, I wonder if it's going straight to Sacramento or if it will jog off at Stockton over to Concord and pick up the remainder of the usual route. I think it will be crowded, maybe only to Bakersfield, but if it goes straight to Sac. I may try to hop It myself.
In the past, the train did not stop to pick up or drop off anyone at any station over the detour route, including Bakersfield.
 

Seaboard92

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It actually takes the Union Pacific ex Southern Pacific instead of the ex Santa Fe which the current amtraks use. So it's a long haul of rare millage.
 

Chey

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I just got a customer service alert for my upcoming trip on the Starlight. The southbound (at least) will be detouring over Tehachapi 4/27-4/29. I am on the southbound leaving Seattle 4/27, so will detour 4/28.

Any one the "UP trackwork" on the Coast line that is causing the detour. This seems kind of last minute.
No. I am NOT jealous.

[yes I am]
 

zephyr17

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That's interesting, I wonder if it's going straight to Sacramento or if it will jog off at Stockton over to Concord and pick up the remainder of the usual route. I think it will be crowded, maybe only to Bakersfield, but if it goes straight to Sac. I may try to hop It myself.
My notice says it will take the detour after Oakland. So it will take the former WP over Altamont to Lathrop, then wye and down the former SP.
(Sorry, Chey. Altamont and Tehachapi.)
 
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cpotisch

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So what's so special about the Tehachapi Detour? Still don't quite get it.
 

KmH

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It's special because it's a route not usually traveled by the Coast Starlight.

I'm still hoping I get a chance someday to see the Wyoming detour (UP Overland route) between DEN and SLC the California Zephyr takes, with no stops.

It would be an even bigger treat if the CZ were to take the even longer detour that starts in Lincoln, NE so the CZ could go through the Bailey Yard at North Platte, NE.

Because. I've seen the normal route every time I have been on the CZ.
 

Devil's Advocate

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It's special because it's a route not usually traveled by the Coast Starlight.
There are dozens of examples of irregular detours all over this country that don't receive anywhere near the same level of attention. So what makes this dusty loop the holy grail of rare trackage fans? I've read hundreds of posts about this spot but never any explanation of what is so amazing about it.
 

zephyr17

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Well, it isn't just the Loop. It is Tehachapi Pass in general. The Caliente and Bealville horseshoes. Big time, busy mountain railroading on a single track line with two railroads, UP (SP) and BNSF (AT&SF). The whole pass is like 40 miles long.

It has long been a railfan mecca, like Donner or Horseshoe Curve on the former Pennsy, but with no regular passenger service since 1971. So the chance to ride it, and not just fan it, is special.

A small distinction, it is appealing to RAILFANS, its appeal to "rare trackage fans" I cannot judge. But to each his own, there is no accounting for taste.
 
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Maglev

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I would want to travel on this route because Tehachapi was the name I gave to my HO-scale railroad town when I was a child. Well, my father suggested it--he was an ambulance driver in that area in World War II.

I think it is attractive to railfans to travel this route because it is an engineering marvel, and the primary route between Northern and Southern California.
 

zephyr17

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Now if the Starlight could detour over the Inside Gateway and Feather River Canyon too, my joy would be complete.
 
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Anderson

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IIRC the Zephyr does that once in a while.

I remember quite fondly doing Tehachapi some years ago with Charlie Hamilton and some other now-longtime friends. Of course, what made it was being in a PPC full of folks who were mostly there for the experience, basically having a run of the wine and cheese (since that was, I believe, loaded for a larger crowd)...but the scenery is quite nice in the mountains. It isn't as amazing as the coast route, but it beats out a number of other Amtrak routes for scenery...and that combined with the rarity of it makes it worth the trip IMHO.

Edit: I doubt Anderson would hard-block diversions given that a notable number of them are due to operational issues on the part of the host railroad (be it trackwork or an accident...the former got me Tehachapi, the latter got me the ex-B&O from Willard to Gary one morning).
 
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calwatch

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Nov 28, 2010
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Tehachapi is something that is fairly but not extremely rare. It seems to come about as often as an Olympic games or lunar eclipse - every few years. It used to much rarer and could become more rare in the future if Anderson has his way.
 

chakk

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I rode the Tehachapi Detour on the CS several years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. It helped me to prepare for my first-ever opportunity to operate trains and work as the Caliente telegrapher on the La Mesa Model RR in San Diego last weekend.

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chakk

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From a check of the Amtrak website, it appears that the northbound CS will take the Tehachapi Detour on 28 April only.

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p&sr

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From a check of the Amtrak website, it appears that the northbound CS will take the Tehachapi Detour on 28 April only.
Looks like the 29th also. At least, LAX to OKJ is available, but for all intermediate points it says that heading to OKJ is "sold out", ie not available.
 

railiner

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From a check of the Amtrak website, it appears that the northbound CS will take the Tehachapi Detour on 28 April only.
Looks like the 29th also. At least, LAX to OKJ is available, but for all intermediate points it says that heading to OKJ is "sold out", ie not available.
Thinking about flying to LAX to ride No. 14 on the 28th...

I did not see any mention of this detour on the Amtrak website...only the fact that it shows sold out at San Jose, but seats available to SFF....

So can anyone give me confidence that the train is indeed scheduled to detour?

I realize they can alter these plans anytime (it happened before due to trackwork changes or early completion),

But wondering why no service advisory?

And is the 28th the best date to try for?

Appreciate any suggestions from those with good info...
 
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