Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Truckee and Trains

The drive through the Sacramento Valley and into the Sierra Nevada was not fun at all. The air conditioning in the minivan couldn't keep up with the nearly 40°C temperatures, and trying to do so also overheated the engine, so we had to turn off the AC whenever the needle went into the yellow zone. At Nyack we stopped and put additional water in the tank, which was not low, but not especially full, either. By Donner Summit it finally got comfortable, at we decided to stop in Truckee for dinner, because it would probably be much hotter in Reno or at home. Further making our minds up for us were warning signs that a brush fire at the Nevada border was causing delays.

Amtrak on Hold

As we drove through downtown Truckee, we saw the eastbound California Zephyr stopped. Besides the fact that it was at least two hours behind, the sheer number of people around it showed that they weren't going anywhere soon. Indeed, we saw one of the train crew walk away, heading for the convenience store. We assume that the train was being held because of the fire, and would not be allowed through until it was safe for them to proceed.

Know Your Tracks

There's no question which track is which here in Truckee.

We walked around a bit and picked a place that had a couple of outside tables where we could enjoy the comfortable evening air and had a nice Italian meal. We wanted to get home, but decided that we needed this meal (and a chance to cool off) first.

Rail Train in Truckee Yard

After I got this photo of continuous welded rail train sitting in Truckee Yard, Lisa drove us toward home.

While we had dinner, the warnings of delays from Nevada DOT had cleared, but the smoke and some fire was still there.

Nevada Brush Fire

This picture is taken from I-80 around the first Nevada exit. The dark line in the middle distance is the railroad, with the fire beyond. At this point, it appeared to be mostly burned out, but there were numerous hot spots.

Nevada Brush Fire

The fire did not appear to have actually reached the railroad tracks, but there may have been parts of the burned area we couldn't see.

We made no further stops and went home. Perhaps an hour after we got home, Amtrak went by (they were still at Truckee when we left). We assume that they had to get the all-clear not just from the fire department, but from Union Pacific. Lisa and I were on a trip coming up from Los Angeles on the Coast Starlight where for hours we thought we were doing to be put on buses at Paso Robles to take us to Sacramento due to a brush fire, but at the last minute the word came that the bridges were safe and we weren't going to have to ride any buses, which pleased up mightily. I hope the train patrons were similarly pleased. And on the bright side, their unexpected stopover was at one of the more comfortable places they could have been stopped between Emeryville and the Nevada desert.

I'm still on a backup computer, and nothing to restore the work machine has worked; not even the backup image from two weeks ago. Tech Support is dispatching a re-imaging DVD-ROM, which I am to use to re-image the computer back to bare metal. I sure hope it works, and that it arrives tomorrow. There's a lot of my job that I simply can't do on backup equipment.
Tags: amtrak, fire, travel, truckee
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