San Joaquin Starlights Calls On Bakersfield. More than 380,000 people live in the Central Valley community of Bakersfield, California...and it's no stretch to say almost every one of those individuals had no idea that a rather unusual sighting of an Amtrak, long-distance passenger train was stopped at the original, 1899-built depot here on September 15, 2019.
Forced off its normal, coastal route due to Metrolink track work in the San Fernando Valley, today's north and southbound Coast Starlights were routed through Soledad Canyon, the Mojave Desert, Tehachapi Pass and almost the entire length of the Central Valley before crossing Altamont Pass and rejoining their normal route in the Bay Area. While the southbound train rather relatively on time, its northbound counterpart (only an hour into its journey) found itself stuck behind a Metrolink train that struck a trespasser. Delayed more than four hours, the rain made good time once the tracks were reopened, but the delay found the Starlight arriving into Bakersfield at sunset.
After waiting for a southbound Union Pacific train to make its crew change and crew the depot, the northbound was finally able to pull up to the original Southern Pacific station for its own crew change. While this changing of the guard unfolded, the sky above erupted in a brief splash of colors before giving way to nightfall and the Starlight's departure for its run up the Central Valley.
An ongoing/growing album of photos that IMHO reveal the awesome, but seldom seen beauty of railroads at sundown or in the light of sunrise. From dusk to dawn, lights are on! (And I continue to find new "Lights In The Night"!)