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In cooperation with Amtrak, BNSF, UP and the Napa Valley Railroad, AAPRCO is pleased to announce that our thirty-sixth annual convention will be held at Napa, California, on Tuesday, October 1, through Thursday, October 3, 2013.
Our convention special train, the Napa Valley Limited, will offer travel over some of the most scenic routes on the west coast that are not accessible by any regularly scheduled Amtrak train. The following itinerary represents the current plan, which is subject to approval by the host railroads.
Cars will gather on Tuesday, September 24, in Seattle, WA. On Wednesday, September 25, your passengers can enjoy the delights of this magnificent city while our train is assembled. The Napa Valley Limited will depart early on Thursday, September 26, and travel over the spectacularly scenic Stampede Pass line. This is the former Northern Pacific route of the North Coast Limited to Yakima and Kennewick, WA.
At the suggestion of our most senior Associate Member, Watson C. Warriner Sr., we have explored the possibility of a detour to visit the facility where he worked to help end WW II. We sought approval to operate our train 31 miles into the Hanford Nuclear site to the historic B Reactor where an exclusive tour has been arranged for our passengers. This line is the former Hanford Railroad that was built in 1942 by the U.S. Government for the Manhattan Project. A passenger train has never operated on this line. As of August 24, we have not obtained approval to operate on this line, due to track conditions and the cost of inspection/repair to comply with FRA standards. However, we will offer an optional tour where passengers will detrain at Prosser WA in mid-afternoon and a bus will take them on tour of the B reactor site; they will rejoin the train at Richland, WA, where the train will spend the night.
On Friday, September 27, we will depart Kennewick WA and follow the Columbia River for 125 miles to Wishram, WA, cross the Columbia River, and roll south through the beautiful Deschutes River Canyon Gorge via the Oregon Trunk line to Bend, OR, where we will spend the second night.
On Saturday, September 28th, the Napa Valley Limited will depart Bend, OR, and make a short run to Chemult, OR, where passengers can detrain for an optional bus trip to Crater Lake National Park. A tour with lunch (on your own) at the Crater Lake Lodge is planned. When we pass through Chiloquin, OR, the train will pause briefly to detrain those passengers interested in visiting Train Mountain Railroad. The Napa Valley Limited will continue to Klamath Falls, OR, for full servicing and the third night layover. Passengers participating in the Crater Lake and Train Mountain Railroad tours will rejoin the train at Klamath Falls.
On Sunday, September 29, the train will depart Klamath Falls OR continue on the Inside Gateway route on BNSF Railway. We will pass through the Modoc National Forest, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Plumas National Forest and through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. After passing Lake Almanor, we will connect with the Union Pacific Railroad at the famous Keddie Wye and proceed through the spectacularly scenic Feather River Canyon to Oroville, CA, on the UP Canyon Subdivision, where we will spend the night.
On Monday, the 30th, we depart Oroville and continue south on the old Western Pacific (original California Zephyr) route to Sacramento, and then turn west on the Union Pacific Cal-P Line of the Martinez Subdivision to the Napa cutoff at Suisun-Fairfield. At Suisun-Fairfield, we will leave the UP main line and be escorted by the California Northern Railroad around the wye at Napa Junction and on into Napa, CA. We will tie down in the former Kaiser Steel Facility just south of Napa, where riders may transfer to our convention hotel, the Embassy Suites Napa Valley, or remain on the train during the three days of the convention.
Our traditional convention activities will be conducted between Tuesday, October 1, and Thursday, October 3, at Napa. These include two car parties, technical seminars, the car owners’ meeting, the associate members’ meeting, the annual meeting, vendor activities, the board of directors meeting and the annual banquet. Potential optional off-site activities include a lunch ride on the famed Napa Valley Wine Train, a hot air balloon ride over the Napa Valley, a bay cruise to San Francisco for the day (A shuttle will run to the Vallejo Ferry Terminal in the morning and meet the last boat back in the evening.), Napa Valley winery tours with wine tasting, a side trip to Sacramento to visit the California State Railroad Museum or the Crocker Art Museum, and a side trip to the Western Railway Museum in Rio Vista.
On Friday, October 4, following the conclusion of the convention, the Napa Valley Limited will retrace its’ steps to the Suisun-Fairfield interchange and then proceed west to Emeryville and San Jose, CA, and onward to San Luis Obispo, CA where it will spend the night.
On Saturday, October 5, the Napa Valley Limited will depart from San Luis Obispo at noon and follow the route of Amtrak’s Coast Starlight, terminating at Los Angeles late on Saturday afternoon.
Please make your plans to join us on this rare and spectacular scenic special train and attend the convention in beautiful Napa, CA.