On August 21st, 2011, I was given the opportunity by a good friend of mine to ride the Feather River Express from Portola to Davis, California.
The Feather River Express is a train comprised of various private rail cars. The private car I was on is called the Silver Splendor and is owned by LA Rail. The Silver Splendor was originally built in 1956 by the Budd Company. The car was created for the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railway and ran from Chicago to Denver on the California Zephyr service. The original name for this car was the "Silver Buckle" but that was changed once it entered private ownership. The car can seat a total of 60 people. The car consists of lower level table seating, lower level lounge seating, and dome car seating. Every seat in the Silver Splendor is extremely comfortable and offers a great view of the passing scene. It is definitely a first class experience. To learn more about the Silver Splendor or to view future public trips, visit these sites. You surely won't be disappointed riding in this level of luxury.
The scenery along this trip was incredible. Shortly after departing Portola, the train was snaking along the North Fork of the Feather River providing incredible scenes of the canyon below. Soon after we were soaring high above the mountains on the Clio Trestle. Quickly after we again found the train winding along the river. The mountains and river made for incredible scenery all the way down to Oroville. Along the Feather River Route, the scenery is only second to the impressive railroad infrastructure you pass along the way. The highlights of this route are the Clio Trestle, Williams Loop, the world famous Keddie Wye, Honeymoon Tunnel, the double bridges at Tobin and Pulga, Northfork Bridge, Highway 70 Bridge, James Horsehoe, as well as many other bridges and tunnels along the route. It really is amazing how a railroad could have ever been built through this section of land.
Here are some photos from this trip:
This is the greatest train trip I have ever taken. I would like to thanks my friend and coach Mike. Without him, none of this would have happened. I would also like to thank Jon and Heidi for allowing me to experience their rail car first hand. I also owe a special thanks to the car attendants Ken and Yorkman for making my ride so enjoyable. Great train and great people made this an unforgettable journey.
So sit back and enjoy a true American Railroading experience!