On June 17, 2000 the Santa Susana Club invited Bob Sanchez, the Alaska and Prez to accompany them on a moonlight tour of Tehachapi. We traveled along the old Espee, Now Metrolink track. From Saugas to Lancaster, we saw one Metrolink train. From Lancaster to Tehachapi is now UP track. The trains were fully visible. Just like a bright Alaska night, only warmer! We stayed until midnight. It was absolutely wonderful! .
The History and Travels
of the Business Car Alaska.
Part 4, Back to California.

On June 20, 2000 the Alaska and Prez ventured to the LA Model Railroad Society in Hawthorne, CA. We were unable to run the Alaska. However the Alaska and the PREZ were on display. The members couldn't have been warmer. they invited us back at a later date for a rail tour. LAMRS is a beautiful layout with a Midwestern theme, complete with a ore ship and dock. It also features a full size oil refinery.

On June 21, 2000 the Alaska and Prez ventured over to the Highland Park Society of Model Railroad Engineers. The MSMRRE's old friend Jerry Brooks was our host. Highland Park has been in existence for 52 years. The layout is complete and very impressive! The Prez was treated like Royalty. He rode behind The City of Los Angeles for the tour of the Railroad. At one point the Prez was trapped in a tunnel as the City of Los Angeles exited without him. As soon as the Engineer realized he was PREZless, He went into emergency stop and backed up to retrieve the Prez. The Prez wasn't scared in that tunnel because he had brought along his California Roller Babe Monique, to keep him company. We stayed and visited our new friends for about 4 hours.

On June 22, 2000 the Alaska and Prez ventured into Orange County, where we toured the Orange Coast Railroad Club in Garden Grove, Ca. On this Railroad the track work is complete. However, the scenery is about 25% complete. We toured behind a freight, pulled by a Black Widow Trainmaster (Espee). After a station shop, power was switched to a gray and red Espee Trainmaster. Our hosts were Brian, Dave and Steve

On June 24, 2000 the Alaska and Prez headed to San Diego's Balboa Park. The home of 5 model railroad clubs! We first toured the La Mesa Model Railroad Club We were the guests of Don Mitchell, friends of Peter and Karen Ely of Santa Susana and Sierra Pacific fame. Our host was John Ball the Trainmaster. Our tour Engineer was Matthew Douglass a young Engineer much like our own Casey Durand. Matthew made sure that we had all the photo ops possible. As we traveled both directions of the beautiful layout. The Railroad is an accurate model of the Espee - ATSF line from Mojave, Ca to Bakersfield, Ca (Tehachapi Loop). the caliber of the modeling of the San Diego layouts defies description! They are simply the best!

Also on June 24, 2000 and after our Tehachapi tour, the Alaska and Prez moved next door to the San Diego Model Railroad Club. They model the San Diego & Eastern Arizona and the Tijuana & Tecete. The prototype was one Railroad with 2 names and 2 countries. The SD&EA is in the US. The T&T is in Mexico. These lines snake through the US & Mexico from San Diego to El Centro, Ca. This is exactly how the SDMRE models it. Our host was Joe Bredestege and when he found out that the Prez was there for a tour, he immediately pulled out the varnish. We started out our tour in style, a double headed 1920's heavyweight train.  The Prez being the Prez couldn't quite keep it together and was caught sampling some local flavor. She seemed none to happy as she was telling her "tail" to the local police. The Prez's train then continued over the border to Tijuana where he visited his friends in the Mexican Mafia. Well, hate to say it but our hosts had enough. They immediately uncoupled the Alaska from the varnish and put it on a MOW train headed out of town!
On the 4th of July, 2000 while heading back to Southern California with Bob, the Alaska and Prez stopped in Yreka, Ca at the Yreka Western Railroad, a prototype railroad that runs from Yreka to Montague, CA a total of eight miles. Inside the freight house is the Siskiyou Model Railroad Club where we were able to arrange a tour.  Our hosts Bob, Jay and Vern were as nice as could be showing us around.  The Alaska was put behind an ESPEE "OVERNIGHT" train pulled by F7s ABA and a string of 20 "OVERNIGHT" cars. The layout was complete and well done.

On July 25, 2000 the Prez had a tour of Dave Athman's mid 50's Nickel Plate railroad which is in Camarillo, Ca.

On July 29, 2000 The Alaska was pulled behind a Passenger Train at Gary Siegals L&N Railroad in Santa Barbara, Ca. it was requested by Mr. Tom Turner, Gary's coordinator. He had remembered that when Jeff was there for the last time, Gary had the Alaska. He tacked the Alaska on the end of the a passenger train and ran it out for Jeff to see. Tom said that Jeff got a big kick out of it and was totally surprised to see the Alaska.  After Jeff's death when Tom knew we were coming to operate, He asked if we would like to bring the Alaska back and run a memorial train in Jeff's honor. That is when I requested the party car and the provision car to be sent.  A lot of Jeff's email friends from the LDSIG & OPSIG were there and everyone in attendance was touched.

On August 21, 2000 the Alaska with the Prez on board attended a high level secret meeting in the Oval Office with president Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet.  Little is known of the agenda of the meeting as everyone involved is hush-hush. When asked, the answer was "No Comment".  Reportedly accompanying him to the White House was his entourage known in some circles only as the "Party Car Gang." Although present at some of the meetings, at dinner they were not seen in the company of the Prez and were said to retire to an undisclosed location where they stored their own provisions for the evenings.  When asked, the Prez was quoted as saying "I was told that "Information discussed is available only on a 'Need to know' basis and you do not have a need to know.

The Alaska, Prez and the Party Car Gang spent time with Sam Seaborn, President Bartlet's Deputy Communications Director working out some of the fine details after the Oval Office meeting. Later, the PREZ was overheard talking to some members of the Party Car Gang, "That Sam is a pretty nice guy. I think we should invite him for a ride on the CSWRR sometime."
These two pictures are of Martin Sheen and Rob Lowe, taken on the Set of the Television Show, The West Wing.
Go to Part 5 of the Story, Far, Far from Home.

Return to The History and Travels of the Business Car Alaska.

Go to Model Railroading in Alaska.
Would you like to have the Prez and Business Car Alaska visit your Railroad or Club?  For more information, e-mail Marty Quaas, CEO of the Consolidated South Western Railroad.
On June 29, 2000 the Alaska and Prez headed north with Bob to Oregon, where contact was made with two clubs in the Medford - Grants Pass area. Unfortunately everyone there seemed to be out of town. So while I did talk with the clubs, we were unable to tour there.
Would you like to have the Prez and Business Car Alaska visit your Railroad or Club?  For more information, e-mail Marty Quaas, CEO of the Consolidated South Western Railroad.