|Santa Maria Valley Railway Historical Museum|
With the luck of the Irish, I ended up at the Santa Maria Valley Railroad's (SMVRR) yard in downtown Santa Maria just as their GE 70-tonner No. 80 was positioning to leave the yard and head west out of town. The yard is located between S. McClelland and S. Miller where Jones would run through if it were a through street at this point.|
[See the Map of the SMVRR]
As No. 80 approached the gate marking the exit of the yard where it would enter onto Jones Street (at S. McClelland), it passed the siding where Caboose No. 180 (seen out front of the loco) is being restored by the Santa Maria Valley Railway Historical Museum. Also on the same siding was a boxcar I'd not seen there before.
The schoolbus-yellow diesel can be seen well on its way down Jones Street with the crossing gate coming down behind it and the caboose clearly visible on the siding.
The diesel and its 2-man crew is seen next as it's leaving the paved Jones Street just west of S. Thornburg,
and then as it's crossing S. Depot Street.
This next picture catches the oncoming No. 80 backlit by the early sun, casting streaks of light through the haze of the morning. Don't you just love the American flags waving on the front end!...
At this point, the loco is just leaving the wye located where S. Railroad Avenue crosses the tracks. From here, the SMVRR line goes on west toward Guadalupe and south to the airport industrial area. Today, they're headed west.
At an industrial complex just west of the wye, the diesel picks up two tank cars. They pull on down (west) towards a turnout.
Once through the turnout, they throw the switch and push the tank cars back into a siding. A maintenance-of-way piece of equipment can be seen on the far siding as the train backs through the turnout and into the siding where it will leave the tank cars.
Unfortunately, this is the end of the line for me today - have to get to work.