QUOTE(KevinKorell @ Jul 26 2008, 10:23 AM)
Tentative dates for SoCal Fest 2009 are Wednesday, July 15 through Tuesday, July 28 (total 14 days)
Based on research after the Florida Fest took place, and the realization that we could get shut out of any RailRunner riding if we arrive late into ABQ on a Saturday, I have created a whole new itinerary that is bascially two days earlier (made necessary by the thrice-weekly nature of the Sunset Limited). The alternate plan would have us in ABQ on a Thursday, which would give us Friday morning as a makeup if we missed riding on Thursday. Also I was not 100% definite on the service offered on Saturdays, particularly on the new extension to Santa Fe. There will be no Sunday service on the existing or extended RailRunner.
Option 2, the alternative schedule for now, is becoming increasingly popular the more who have seen it. This version would begin on Monday, July 13 and run through Sunday, July 26 (still 14 days).
What this does to California is to shift things ahead 2 days as well. We would now arrive into LAX on a Friday, and then the only scheduled activity (in case we are a few hours late) is a round trip on the Ventura County Line to Moorpark. What I had for Sunday before, I left on Sunday on the alternate itinerary, because the San Pedro cars run on weekends, as does the Metro and the bus between Long Beach and San Pedro. Because Saturday and Sunday do not contain as much Metrolink service as weekdays, two round trips had to be made expendable. What was eliminated from this trip were rides on parts of the 91 Line and parts of the Orange County Line. The 91 Line is duplicated by the Southwest Chief from Los Angeles to San Bernardino, and the Orange County Line is duplicated by Pacific Surfliners from Los Angeles to Oceanside. So you'll get that trackage on Amtrak but won't ride commuter rail over some portions. And when riding the IEOC line, we will ride it in places where it covers parts of the 91 and Orange County lines too.
I have also juggled San Diego around a bit so that we do most of the riding of the San Diego Trolley in the morning of the following day rather than the day we arrive. Only the Bayfront segment of the Orange Line, which encircles downtown San Diego, remains on the first day's schedule. I figure somewhere in the Gaslamp District we can find a place to have dinner. In addition, I switched our SAN departure on the Pacific Surfliner from 12:00 Noon to about an hour and a half later. This would put us at Los Angeles Union Station for a more comfortable waiting time in the first class lounge. And should we be severely delayed coming up from San Diego, there is always Fullerton rather than dog-legging into L.A.
You can compare the two itineraries here: http://pages.prodigy.net/kevinkorell/itin/itinsocal.htm