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About Dan

That's me lurking on one of the platforms at San Jose Diridon, "after hours".
  My name is Dan Klitzing, and I've been a railfan from the start. I grew up in Santa Clara, CA watching SP (and later, Caltrain) run commuter trains back and forth along the San Francisco Peninsula.

I started taking photographs when I went to college (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo -- the reason for all of my Cuesta Grade photos) in 1997, at about the same time I created this website. For the next two years I became increasingly interested in railroading, and before long I realized what I wanted to do for a living. Luckily for me I ran into a guy named Frank Caron who let me know about a job opening.

I started with Amtrak as an Assistant Conductor working on Caltrain's commuter trains -- the same trains I watched as a kid. After about a year I was promoted to Conductor and I continued working on the commutes in addition to yard jobs, flagging and the occasional work train.

I've since been promoted to Student Engineer and I now run trains under the supervision of instructors. Every once in a while I pull into Santa Clara and see a little kid waving up to me from the platform. It's almost surreal to think that that was me not too many years ago. I'm very fortunate to be able to make a living doing what I love.  

Here I am sitting behind the throttle of one of Caltrain's F40 locomotives. Thanks for the photo Jim!

One down side about railroading is that with the crazy hours, I have found it more difficult to continue railfanning, including regularly maintaining this website and taking photographs. Railroading really is more of a lifestyle than a career, but I would choose the job over the hobby any day.

Anyhow, I hope you find this site informative, and the photographs enjoyable. I always welcome your comments, questions and suggestions. I may even see some of you in person on the train someday, you never know. Enjoy your visit!

--Dan Klitzing

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