Saturday, March 17, 2007

Hello Friends and Solano Ferry Fans ...

From: "Thomas Rubarth"

Not many of you know that my brother Bill and I are TV stars. Need proof? ... Huell Howser (California's Gold) has posted a few FREE Podcasts on his Website, and our 2005 Solano Ferry segment is included (were we that bad?)! This show is periodically broadcast on PBS stations all over California but apparently never anywhere else. Normally offered for around $19.95 as a DVD, as a Podcast this show is simply free for those who download it. I am not sure how long Huell plans to keep this particular show as a Podcast so you may want to download this soon. 

This is not exactly a "ferry foamer's" tape, but it is a nicely done "everyman's introduction to the Solano ferry. One cool part of this video (at least for Bill and I) is that the second half of this half-hour taping takes place on the "water side" of the Solano wreck in Antioch, not easily accessible to most since you need a boat to see these views.  

Not familiar with Podcasts? You'll probably need high speed Internet. And you'll also need Apple's "iTunes" software and also "QuickTime Player" on you Mac or Windows computer. Most of you may already have these components on your computer. If not, you can get the latest versions of these for FREE at... 

iTunes Download and Apple's Quicktime.

(Note: you DO NOT need "QuickTime Pro", just the "QuickTime Player" located just "behind" the "Free Download" button.) 

Now go to Huell Howser's California's Gold website ... and click on their Podcast advertisement in the upper right side of the page. You should get a list of about eight free Podcasts from Huell within your iTunes Podcast list. Just press the "Get" button next to the Solano title, then wait for it to download. Once complete, go ahead and play it like a movie on your computer (or video iPod). BTW, you can enlarge the video by going to iTunes "View" menu and selecting larger size options. 

BTW, I'm the handsome one. Enjoy. 

—Thomas Rubarth

Fire on the UP in Sacramento

From: Steve Ewald

A trestle in Sacramento, on the UP (former SP) double-track transcontinental route, burned to the ground this evening (3/15/2007). The trestle was just north (railroad east) of the American River bridge, between Elvas & Swanston on the Martinez Subdivision. No news yet on how it started, although it seems suspicious. This cuts off the major yard in Roseville from all direct routes to the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California.

Amtrak Capitol Corridor service between Sacramento and Auburn will be replaced by motor coaches until the trestle can be replaced, which will probably take several weeks. As far as the California Zephyr (which also uses the route) is concerned, I'm not sure how they'll handle it – perhaps a bus bridge between Sacramento and Roseville.

At this point, the most direct rail route between Roseville and Sacramento is: North on the Valley Subdivision from Roseville to Binney Junction (Marysville), approximately 35 miles; then south (railroad west) on the Sacramento Subdivision (former WP) to Haggin (Sacramento), approximately 40 miles. The only problem is, there is no connection that would allow westbound trains to turn left (or eastbounds to turn right) at Binney Jct.; some sort of run-around move with the engines would have to be made at a siding to the north, or engines would have to be on both ends of the train.

My guess is that the Feather River Canyon and Tehachapi Pass (and even perhaps the Coast Line) may see a surge in traffic while the trestle is replaced.

—Steve Ewald

[from the R&LHS Newsgroup.]