7mm US model dabblings

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by Jordan, 8 April 2013.

  1. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Great photos Mick.

    I see you've managed to bag an ASTF red warbonnet loco (photo 5, post #716). Full marks for that one :thumbs:.
     
  2. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Dave, yes, there's quite a few of the old ATSF Dash 9 kicking around, many have been restored to service from storage recently. I do need to start taking more engine shots than the constant scenery ones lol.

    Today was a mixed bag, clearly the morning was MOW day and frustratingly the only time when the weather was half decent, so after kicking my heels for several hours and picking one or two trains up the rest of the day was very busy, but the weather just :shit: and really windy....just looking out the motel window and the clag has eased to give a nice red sky evening, though sun down is in 20 mins so little point venturing out now, though I might try and bag some night shots of the Amtrak around 9PM if I can muster the energy....lot of walking today.

    This is my last day at Flagstaff, tomorrow it's the long trek to Cajon, or more precisely Hesperia for the motel, I'll try and pick a few bits off on the way but y'all have a nice break tomorrow form my photo bombs :D

    First stop was Williams Jct where the line for Phoenix branches off and called the Phoenix sub, the main line is on the Seligman sub. As mentioned yesterday the branch was the original main line into Willams and then points west, but ATSF built a cut off around Williams.

    First up was a WB hammering along and over the small crest at Williams.
    IMG_2138.jpg

    After that silence for a good 40 minutes and then I thought I heard a train but being as it was so windy I couldn't be sure or it could of been trucks using Jake brakes on the I40 a mile or so away. But it got louder and faded here and there and then lottery time.

    IMG_2141.jpg

    An intermodal on the Phoenix sub! There's not many trains on this line, maybe five or eight a day, so to catch one here is quite rare, I've not yet seen a single photo of a train using this line. This is not the original alignment, that started where the loco stands and went through the trees at left on the same grade and joined the now main lines just where the fifth or sixth wagon was in the last photo. This is a new link line to join the cut off which by this stage has started to descend to ease the grade.

    Anyway, having rounded the bend he just sat there for an age, from my view point I could just see the crossing at S Garland Prairie Road where I was the other day and sure enough spotted a hi rail come down the hill and jump onto the road, but still the train sat there.

    A short while later another EB blasted through.

    IMG_2150.jpg

    You can see how much the new cut off is dropping down from the original grade quite clearly, which is behind that pile of rubble on the right. On the rear a nice SD70ACe is in full dynamic as is passes the junction.

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    Eventually the Phoenix train is cleared and ambles down to the main line with a nice wave from the conductor.

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    Even though I'm technically on BNSF land everyone is very friendly and only a few crews fail to wave. By law BNSF own up to 20' from the track center line, that area is verbotten, mind you're a bit of a dick if you stand thatv close to 12,000 ton barreling down on you at 40-50mph, it also makes the crews nervous and if you stay there long enough you'll get a visit from the railway police. What isn't so clear is the road that BNSF puts in along each side of the track, technically it's theirs but in many rural places it also serves as access to remote homesteads and in Cajon enthusiasts use it at will to access photo spots, I won't, I prefer to walk.

    Suffice to say, once again if you're acting the dick on the access road then chances are you'll get a visit, but if you're sensible and stand well back then everything seems to be fine.....so far!

    Moving on a couple more WB hammer through Williams.

    IMG_2189.jpg

    Same location as before but what's different here is five units up front, not overly common, and all running Elephant style, even less common.

    Finally a higher wider angle. Since the Crookton cut off was built, the Southwest Chief (SW) can no longer stop in downtown Willams, the station still stands and sees freight traffic pass through from Phoenix as well as being the base for the Grand Canyon railway. Instead, the SW stops right here in the middle of nowhere, in MOW yard and on the main lines, to make matters worse it's the dead of night both ways and the access road is just gravel.

    IMG_2203.jpg

    The little critter had come off the Phoenix sub behind the intermodal. Next onto Chalender.
     
    Last edited: 17 April 2018
  3. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Chalender, a location I'd picked from Bing and Google maps but not the crossing, it was either side that interested me. After parking at the crossing a brisk ¾ mile walk to the east brings you to a nice alignment you can work well with.

    First up was a WB and even though it's going down hill is doing so at full bore to get a run at the grade to the west of Chalender. If the sun were out this would of been the perfect angle!

    IMG_2213.jpg

    A bit further up on the curve.

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    Again some sun here or on the mountains would of made this photo, on the end you get a nice trailing DPU shot as they blast down the hill.

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    Several other trains passed, nothing special as I was out of location but did bag this decrepit looking Ex ATSF Dash 9 (note gull wing roof profile)

    IMG_2257.jpg

    The train in the background is actually a source of all the woes that followed, it's creeping along at 5mph whilst it's not that steep here it was clearly in trouble, the third unit had shut down, engine doors banging in the wind, no doubt the crew had tried to sort it on the go. At this stage Transcon2 is open for full service, so all the trains bottled up either side are now in a headlong rush to get going. It was WB after WB, some only five or six minutes behind the last, however this slow EB just dragged everything to the rear to a snail pace.

    Another WB thunders up the hill to the West of Chalender crossing, I was out of place but grabbed it anyway.

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    My chosen spot was that grassy knoll by the fir tree, but before I can get there a EB winds down the hill at about 1mph waiting for the signals to clear from the back log ahead.

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    Out of location and out of sorts I didn't get time to change lenses and bag the trailing UP SD70M or Ex ATSF Dash 9, much gnashing of teeth ensued!

    Finally in place I manage to bag the DPU rolling downhill, even though the train has the road it's a flashing amber so he's just keeping speed with that ailing train way up ahead.

    IMG_2311.jpg

    Moments after that another EB crawls around the corner and this continued for another five or six trains, so many I gave up keeping track.

    IMG_2314.jpg

    However there was no delay on the WB and they just kept coming and coming, train after train, spaced no more than 10 minutes apart.

    BNSF 7876 hammers past another EB rolling through at about 5mph.

    IMG_2322.jpg

    A nice SD70M DPU gives good service working flat out to push up the grade.

    IMG_2328.jpg

    Knowing I had at least five trains ahead of me I decided to decamp and head East, determined to finally get to the summit at Riordan, I did manage to get there but the road was, well lets say not covered by the rental agreement, but I'd walked far enough today and took it easy.

    Originally there was a depot here (depot in the US is station) and a wye for turning banking engines, in the West they were put on at Ash Fork which is West of Williams, in the East it was Angel which is just West of Winslow, the wye still exists at both locations apparently; It's something I want to research more when I get back home.

    The wye is clearly visible from the aerial images in Bing and Google, but on the ground nothing remains and it's hard to determine where it was, other than looking at the aerial images and standing exactly there. The ground is certainly not level, the turning end or headshunt is much lower than the main lines it joined to so the wye would of been sloped rather than level through out.

    The line is virtually straight here so getting good shots of the crest is hard without getting too close to the tracks, but with a little work it can be achieved.

    Here one of the back logged trains I saw at Chalender crest the Arizona divide, the crest is just about where the second and third loco is situated, by this stage the back log must have cleared as the EB came thick and fast, charging up the hill at a fair old rate, most had seen me before at Chalender so plenty of horn and waves.

    IMG_2381.jpg

    Next up another with five on the front.

    IMG_2389.jpg

    This is a bit further West so not quite on the crest, I was set up here to try and get a WB coming over the top, so not the perfect location for EB, again like earlier, all fives units are Elephant style, what I didn't know at this moment was that this was one of BNSF 12k stackers (12,000 feet long) and sure enough a pair of mid train DPU's roared past (I've a photo but little point uploading, there's enough photos already from today) and finaly after what seemed like an absolute age the trailing DPU's rolled by, by this stage in full dynamic mode.

    IMG_2394.jpg

    The loco is just over the crest which by eye I worked out as being where those two dips in the track are and is 7,322 feet above sea level. Once again, sun here would of made this, but then sun in the head on shots would of failed, that's the problem with E-W alignments, you either spend all day there or work it in the morning and return in the evening. I've changed my schedule a bit to be back here in a just under a couple of weeks for a few days, but right now, it's lights out and head West young man tomorrow.

    As mentioned earlier, I may have to revisit these images and adjust them as cloudy shots are hard to process on a lap top screen.

    Enjoy.
     
  4. Genghis

    Genghis Western Thunderer

    Great stuff!

    Reminds me that a couple of years ago I drove Mrs Genghis and the two young(ish) Genghises from San Francisco to New York. You get to realise how big and boring the USA is in the middle! The boredom was relieved by trying to overtake a freight train running parallel to the road, but even travelling at 77mph for many miles we could not overtake the train: it was so long and so fast....................Hugely impressive.

    Note too from these excellent shots how well maintained the track appears, despite the heavy axleloads and the cruel telephoto lens.
     
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  5. michl080

    michl080 Active Member

    Mick,

    great shots. I love your daily updates.
    I am looking forward to be in Arizona in 10 weeks time. I have already scheduled some time for train safari.

    Michael
     
  6. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    David you're not wrong !

    IMG_2419.jpg

    Just endless, I like trees, rocks, mountains, little nooks and crannies, if you like vast spaces and dwarf shrubs then you'll like it here, Having said that has a raw appeal all of it's own that needs respecting, I mean 90 miles between service stations!

    I set out this morning thinking it'd be a boring six hour just shy of 400 mile trip, not at all and it ended taking nearly ten hours with stops here and there to photograph trains, I did miss out on route 66 section around Cadiz and Bagdad due to a bizarre road layout that requires you to head 10 miles toward the west, turn around and head 20 miles East to re pick up route 66 and then as you pass the ten mile mark heading west, be only five from where you started. Not a problem as I'll do that on the way back.

    So to begin, I ignored everything until I got to Needles which is about half way, passing through Kingman was spectacular so looking forward to stopping back there on the way back. I had planned a couple of days in Needles before Kingman but a quick drive around told me it was a dogs dinner of a town, I filled up near the motel I'd picked put, the motel was nice enough outside and the location fine but to be fair nothing train wise to inspire me to stay. So that's two days I have to fill somewhere else, maybe stay where I am at the moment.

    What I did do was pick up the obligatory spot at Topock which is 12 miles before Needles.
    IMG_2420.jpg

    I'd been following this train from Kingman and could see him miles away, but just couldn't catch him on the long down hill run. He was doing 65 and I was doing 70, but I knew he had to slow for the Colorado River bridge and by sleigh of hand and a bit of fore planning spun into the parking spot just in time to grab this shot. We're now in California and that truck you can see top left is in Arizona.

    A few moments later another appeared.

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    And crossing the bridge a nice pair of DPU's giving it the big heave ho up to Needles.

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    From my spot I could see well into Arizona and spotted another coming down the hill so scooted round to my spot I'd picked put for the bridge shot.

    IMG_2455.jpg

    Sadly he got here before I could get in position, so I just bailed out of the rental and grabbed this shot of the train crossing from Arizona into California on the bridge over the Colorado River.

    My prime spot was behind me up a steep hill, partially fenced off but moderately accessible. However, security around here is tight, not just BNSF but local rent a cops for some plant near by and I'd been warned they were particularly nosy, anyway I'd hiked up to my spot after parking the rental nice and safe off the road and sat and waited for the next train, it didn't show but keeping a wary on my car from my lofty height it wasn't long before rent a cop pulled up and started peering through windows and jabbering on the radio and then driving off. At which point I decamped and buggered off before the real police turned up, I will get my shot but need to come up with a plan B.

    Onward to Needles for gas and and grub and then out of town and by chance decided to take Goffs road which follows the line very closely, I had originally planned to stay on the freeway. The only problem with Goffs road is the lack of traffic, if you get stuck out here you're pretty buggered.

    Winding up the hill I spotted a slow moving stacker and knew the road would present some opportunities and so it came to be.

    IMG_2466.jpg

    Crawling up grade at a blistering 12mph (the cruise control won't go that low lol, so I had to manually pace it) we find the train I'd seen crossing the Colorado river bridge, a stop at Needles for a crew change and my gas and grub stop meant we met again here.

    A little further on was Klinefelter, this has potential, but I did a quick bail and a grab shot for the time being.

    IMG_2469.jpg

    And closer but no depot name showing, a better angle a little further up would have fixed that.

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    Further up the hill the main road (to Las Vegas) crosses the tracks and a stacker ahead of the one above was crossing (the second one I photographed at Topock), but due to traffic I couldn't get close, but once he cleared I managed to make my left turn just before a EB came crashing down grade.

    IMG_2478.jpg

    Anyway off I set after the stacker and came across this sat in a siding.

    IMG_2481.jpg

    Some detail shots and the chase was on once again for the stacker up ahead.
     
    Last edited: 18 April 2018
  7. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    By now he was doing 14 mph so it wasn't hard to catch up and try some pacing shots.

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    A dozen of those in the bag and hoping one would be in frame, in focus and show some panning it was time to get ahead.

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    This shows the whole train length from about three miles away, still crawling up the grade at 14 or so mph.

    The summit is where Route 66 crosses the line at Goffs, back in the day there was a wye to turn banking engines. Approaching the summit our train rounds the final curve past a line of stored double stack wagons, there's quite a few of these in sidings along the way.

    IMG_2511.jpg

    The summit is 2,598' above sea level, Needles is 488' and only 40 miles way. Once over the top the lead engines shut to idle, the DPU's still pushing hard.

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    And one final one passing under the impressively huge signal bridges with the engines now ramping up to dynamic braking mode.

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    Down hill speed varies between 45 and 55 mph so some more pacing shots.

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    Shortly after it was back onto the I40 and points west, the main line is pretty straight but some of the scenery is amazing, especially the lava fields around Lavic and Pisgah but access is difficult for the best scenery. I did get a spot at mile 721, that's it, that's all it's called.

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    A Westbound grain train thunders along the dead straight track at 65 mph, on the rear a nice Ex ATSF Dash 9 in H1 scheme.

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    Moving westward I spotted a UP train coming down the grade from Las Vegas about 10 miles away so a quick pit stop at Dagget proved worthwhile.

    IMG_2593.jpg

    Having come down the grade he eased to a stand at the junction with the BNSF Transcon2 and to indicate a train not ready to move, dimed the main lights and switched off the ditch lights.

    His path not being set as this empty loco move had the main line.

    IMG_2594.jpg

    A nice NS unit on the end, but a blurred close up photo as I'd set the aperture wrong, doh.

    Once clear the UP had the path, lights on and time to pour on the power.

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    And one more because it's UP and a GE ;)

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    There are some ugly power lines across the original so I've taken them out, I'll take the finer ones out when I get home on the main PC, I know that means the photo is a fake but they really do mar the mountain range in the background. If the originals clean up really well I might have one printed in A3 for my study wall.

    There's not many trains on the Las Vegas line so bagging one right off the bat on a drive by was a nice bonus. Right, early night as off to Cajon in the morning, already had a drive down the main freeway, bloody hell it's steep! The new 138 road leaves little room for parking and virtually nothing at summit, though the gate was open to hill 582, still it was a long drive and maybe I missed a nook I can sneak into, or else it's a two mile hike up from the parking near McDonalds.

    Enjoy MD
     
    Last edited: 18 April 2018
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  8. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Michael, where about are you going, if it's anywhere near where I've been then I can do some maps and notes on how to best get there. Most places are easy enough to access if you just want to see trains.

    MD
     
  9. Rob R

    Rob R Western Thunderer

    Mick,
    Fantastic photos that make my efforts look like Kodak Brownie snapshots from the thirties.

    Looking forward to the next installment.

    Rob
     
  10. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Thanks, but I can't take credit for some of the locations, I spent months before trawling Flickr and the web for other peoples photos, then locating them on the map and making notes, plus reading other rail fan trip reports and the such like.

    Those make up about 30% of my shots, ones I know where I'm not going to go away empty handed, the rest are all exploring new locations or angles.

    I'm sure your photos are perfectly fine, you were there, you took them and they will be memory joggers in the future of fun times in the past, that's all that counts.

    Right suns now coming up, time to head to the pass and see whats about.

    MD
     
  11. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    It's that time again ;) Silly long day spent mostly around Sullivans curve.

    First up caught a very late running Southwest Chief but not in an ideal location, it was ahead of me along the Lugo road and I only just got in front.
    IMG_2616.jpg

    Shortly after I got the shot I wanted at Summit, the train had come to a stand waiting for the Amtrak to clear. This is a sensitive area and I fully expected the security guard to put down his Paddington bear mug of cocoa and ask me to move on, but no he stayed holed up, it was early and cold for California but I took my one shot and departed.
    IMG_2637.jpg

    A quick breakfast in McDonalds with coffee and it was off hiking to Sulivans curve, first up was this BNSF coming put of what was Cajon depot and across the wash curved bridge to climb toward Sullivans curve.
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    With the above train half way up a down hill train came down M2 which was the additional track added in 1913, the up hill train is on M1 which was the additional track added by BNSF in 2007/8.
    IMG_2659.jpg

    Moving further up we find a pair of light engines making a move up M2, they would return half an hour later going down M1, they are just about to enter Sullivans curve. IMG_2673.jpg

    They were followed shortly by a double stack train.
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    A mere ten minutes after that a UP train came down the SP Palmdale Cut Off line.
    IMG_2703.jpg

    This would of come down from Mojave and Tehachapi. The cut off line was actually busier than I imagined.

    Climbing higher I tried to get all of the curve in, waste of time, it was already perilous up here, if you slip, gravity is a bitch, looking back it wasn't the smartest of things to do, but I'm glad I did.
    IMG_2724.jpg

    Descending back down and moving further up hill to a nice spot, although you're shooting into the sun with up hill trains no matter what time of day really. The SP cut off is just above the train.
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    And around the curve onto Drawbar Flats.
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    This was the reason for being here, to get a downhill UP train on the cut off in the cutting with the mountains behind, earlier in the morning would of been better, I will be back here much earlier at some point I hope.
    IMG_2747.jpg
     
  12. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Page two, a short while later a UP comes up M1, this'll be going to Barstow and then turning off at Dagget for Las Vegas and points onward I suspect.

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    Nice SD70ACe and equally nice DPU.
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    Climbing to the top of the hill the cutting is formed from we get an overall view of Sullivans curve.
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    Turning round and looking north another UP train on the cut off line comes through another cutting onto Drawbar Flats.
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    Followed very closely by a MOW train.
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    There was a long lull now with only one or two other trains but from this same vantage point so I headed back down the hill to a lower point to try and get some power shots of the wash bridge, it's here that you realize how steep this really is, I did take some broadside shots at 50mm focal length but I'm too close to the track bed for them to illustrate the point, I'll try another day to show it more graphically. These are not telephoto but 24 -75 mm focal length due to the proximity of the line.

    Another UP comes up M1, Cajon depot was just to the right.
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    With a nice DPU.
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    Followed at minimum distance by a BNSF train.
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    After that it was time to look over Swarthout Canyon and Blue Cut, shooting directly into the sun was never going to work well so I may revisit early one morning, besides the cars parked under the trees for shade along the old Route 66 road, some with single males, some empty, confirmed my view that this wasn't a place to hang around. A google search back at the motel confirms you don't really want to hang around if you don't want to be approached. When leaving I did nod naively a pleasantry at the T junction to a car entering the road up to the UP cut off line, he promptly spun around and followed me out, so I jumped on the I15 and gunned it across four lanes and belted up the pass, he gave up and took the next exit.

    Anyway, on the way to Blue Cut and Swarthout I grabbed this BNSF coming out of the canyon and into the Cajon depot area.
    IMG_2949.jpg

    There's a road off Route 66 that climbs up and over the SP cut off line and I think goes to an old campsite, now barely used I believe, every car that drove up past me came back down 5 minutes later but I wasn't approached to be fair, but I did manage this shot of a downgrade UP coal train.
    IMG_2955.jpg

    I wasn't in the best location as it caught me by surprise around the curve so I didn't get a good shot of the patched SP unit trailing. Interesting note, this crossing, the view above and the two below have me standing on the San Andreas fault, the earth didn't move (oddly the wife keeps saying the same, I've no idea what she's on about :eek:) it'd actually be nice to feel a real earthquake, there was a 5.3 one a few weeks back in the area apparently.

    Moving back down the hill a bit I grabbed this BNSF train coming up M1 at Blue Cut, the new BNSF line, in the middle is M2 the ATSF additional line of 1913 and at far left M3 the original line up the hill. IMG_2964.jpg

    A wider view, the scar (the steep sloped right to left downhill one) on the hill in the back ground is the SP cut off and may give a clue as to how steep these lines really are. IMG_2968.jpg

    Note red automobile to the right, yes that's the old Route 66 pull off, down there you 'will' be approached, up here less so. The location will work better at sun up as the light will be aligned right down the canyon and I'm hoping the local 'boys' will all be tucked up in bed still.

    To be fair there's a lot of photos on Flickr from around this area, which either makes the posters of dubious character or this issue isn't as large as the 'web' would have you believe.

    My initial concern in the Cajon area was the rent a cop security guards and BNSF police, right now they don't scare me half as much as the rest of the local wildlife!
    For example, it's rather bizzare to see obese people eat half of their McDonalds and throw the rest in the bin and then watch a homeless guy dive right in and pull it out and eat it, in broad daylight mid morning. It's certainly a nation of extremes.

    Tomorrow it's supposed to rain here so I may not go back to the pass and instead head north east to dryer sunny climes.

    Enjoy MD
     
    Last edited: 19 April 2018
  13. D816Foxhound

    D816Foxhound Western Thunderer

    Mick,

    Looks like you had a good day. Your more "panoramic" shots really do emphasize the massiveness of everything out there - trains and scenery - compared to back home. I'm certainly enjoying these!

    Roger
     
  14. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    There's even some photos not on Flickr from that spot......from 2013. Not much has changed in four years apparently, scenery and train wise anyway. 029.jpg
     
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  15. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    James, some one has made a bench up there from Railroad ties so I expect it's one of those places to visit on Cajon, though the path to it is not well trodden. The red car isn't there though :D, I think there was a fire around here so that might explain less vegetation in my shot, you can certainly see the damage at Sullivans curve

    So many people visit Cajon I'd think almost every angle has been used and doubt they're all posted on line.

    I was going to head up to the Bowl or Alray but with the threat of heavy rain in the area have decided to keep to public roads, a lot of the USFS tracks and trails are washes that will fill in minutes if it rains up in the mountains.

    MD
     
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  16. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Mick -you probably have your own highlights but the best so far I've seen are the ATSF warbonnet and the patched SP unit :).

    Keep 'em coming. They're all good :thumbs:.
     
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  17. Big Train James

    Big Train James Western Thunderer

    We didn't have the red car at the time.....:oops:....:eek:....:rolleyes:....:confused:....:p....:cool:. The old part of Route 66 is pretty fun when you rent a ford Fusion but the rental place is out of cars so they give you an Audi instead. While there's still guardrails and power poles about, there's very little in the way of other drivers to accidentally smash into at high speed :thumbs:. The guardrails and power poles are somewhat more predictable in their behaviors and reactions.

    If nothing else, we were visiting later in the year. Late August or late September I believe. So vegetation would have changed by then.
     
  18. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Dave, I do, it's getting up close and feeling the ground shake as they go by and listening to that stack chat, DPU's are best as there's no crew to upset and they're only doing 5-8 mph at best so you can get mere feet away from them as they blast past, even better under bridges with the reverb. I'm now getting my ear in and you can tell the Tier4 from a Gevo and the bark of a Dash 9, I've decided that the Tier4's sound dreadful, with a pair up front they sound like someone hovering in the room next door, hateful whine, gone is the classic GE chug. I've not seen many ATSF units here, but common as muck at Falstaff, wonder if they're switching them in and out at Barstow or they're on trains heading north at Barstow up the Pacfic coast through Tehachapi.

    James, I think locals are using the old Route 66 (R66) as a commuter route, in the afternoon it's one long line of cars doing 70 plus coming out of San Bernadino, I did notice across the Interstate I15 just after the junction with R66 some sensors so wonder if they're charging to use I15 after that junction so locals use R66 instead.
     
  19. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Ok another day, not so good today, sunny at the motel but eight miles away you could see the storm front, so with nowt to loose decided to just go to West Colton for some overhead detail shots of engines in and out of the yard, here's the view from the dash as I came over the summit rise and dropped down the pass.
    IMG_2999.jpg

    A lot of cloud but some sun making photography interesting, so I bailed on West Colton and decided to explore The Bowl and Mormon rocks.

    After much trekking and missing several trains due to not knowing the area and weather, there were photos but they're pretty grey and worthless as a public material I ended up at The Bowl and Steins Hill, I'm not sure which hill is actually Steins Hill, the one I'm on or the one on the inside of the loop. With the sun in more than out it was always going to be a lottery.

    Here's a view looking down the pass.
    IMG_3028.jpg

    The train is on BNSF M1 which is usually reserved for up hill trains, to the right is the SP Palmdale cut off. There's some excellent opportunities around here and if the weathers good tomorrow, which it's supposed to be, then I'll be back.

    Turning around the train is rounding The Bowl and heading toward Noisy Point and Alray.
    IMG_3033.jpg
    Inside the curve just above and too the right is the old ATSF alignment removed and the new one seen here added in 1977, a bridge wash out I believe, at least the remains of a wash out bridge stopped me following the old alignment. Whether the wash out was after the new curve or the cause of the new curve I've not yet found out.

    Whilst this was rolling by a UP local train rolled down the cut off line catching me out of position so a quick grab shot.
    IMG_3042.jpg

    This was followed shortly by one grinding up through the curves.
    IMG_3054.jpg

    With an up close and ground level DPU.
    IMG_3076.jpg

    Back on M1 another BNSF crawls up around The Bowl
    IMG_3082.jpg

    And another from a wider lower down the hill angle.
    IMG_3109.jpg

    The old alignment is the other side of the wash and still substantially intact. With the weather closed in and getting cold from the biting wind after fours hours exposure....despite being well wrapped up....I headed back down to the rental, traffic also dried up as well.

    I re-positioned hoping to catch some trains coming down M3, most traffic goes up M1 and down uses M3, very little uses M2 in the middle which is the new line added in 2007, it's basically one long siding, but if it is used I've only seen three down hill trains.

    So bearing all that in mind it was a surprise to see a stacker making good speed up M3 toward me under the 138 road bridge. IMG_3142.jpg

    Turning around he's crossing the Cajon wash and rounding the curve, the scene of a fatal ATSF run away in 1996 in which two crew members perished; https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/RAR9605.pdf
    IMG_3152.jpg
     
  20. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    A short while later dispatch put another up M3.
    IMG_3157.jpg

    And another from a wider angle.
    IMG_3167.jpg

    Of course the reverse was now true on M1 and with traffic picking up again it was a bit of a back and forth, missing the head end which was infuriating as very little comes down this section of the line (M1, M2) into the sun, I grabbed the DPU going under the 138 bridge on M1.
    IMG_3176.jpg

    Now in prime position and expecting the flow to continue I missed a UP five unit power move on M3, after that Dispatch switched back to normal running and from the 138 bridge slope I picked up this one coming up the hill.
    IMG_3183.jpg

    This is a nice location so I worked the angles for a few more shots. Shadow flank.
    IMG_3200.jpg

    Sunlit flank
    IMG_3201.jpg

    Wide angle.
    IMG_3203.jpg

    And ear shattering DPU under the bridge, these Ex ATSF Dash 9s (Gull wing roof) are the best.
    IMG_3214.jpg

    There were a couple of UP trains coming down as well but you don't get much notice so it's easy to be out of position and end up shooting almost right at the sun.

    Back on M3 at the wash a SD70ACe swings around the curve and onto the bridge.
    IMG_3224.jpg

    By this time the sun has swung too far round for nose on shots so it's a little washed out, if I wasn't so lazy I could of walked up to the monument and got better shots but after this next next view of it going away I bailed out and headed home, much earlier than normal.
    IMG_3228.jpg

    A rather bitty and overall disappointing day really, but tomorrow is a new day. Mind because I knew the photos would be shite I didn't take photos of all the trains or even post up some of the ones I did take and took the experience in more, man, machine defying raw gravity.

    MD