Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Southwest Trip - 3

Hi, On the second full day of our trip, 3/23, we headed east along UP's former SP Sunset Route.  We left the motel a few minutes before 8:00 AM and took I-10 over Beaumont Pass.  Our intent was to catchup with an eastbound or to hear one behind us on the radio so we could find a good spot to wait for it.  The bast laid plans..., as they say.  No eastbounds.  Lots of westbounds, though.

This was not the problem it might seem, however, as the scenery over the western stretch was not particularly attractive.  The portion of the line along I-10 is very urbanized and I-10 frequently is close to the track.  Once off I-10 on the east side of Indio the line is flat and straight although there was an abundance of searchlight signals.  Things did get more interesting when the line broke away from the Salton Sea.

After traveling a couple of hours we came upon a work zone where a section of second main track was being installed.  Eventually an eastbound arrived at the work area and when it was cleared through we beat it to Niland, CA where classic signal bridges were still standing.  This was about 3 hours after leaving San Bernardino.

From Niland we attempted to follow the railroad.  Although we eventually ran out of back road we did find a number of locations around Iris siding.  The first group of photos are at East Iris.  First up was a westbound stack train.

The train in the first 2 photos had a single DPU.

An eastbound was next

with a pair of DPUs.

Some more time was spent exploring and we concluded we had to back track to Niland.  On the way we encountered this eastbound,

again with DPUs.  The DPUs certainly added to the productivity this day.

Another westbound was right on the heels of the one above so we shot it at West Iris where it took the siding for a meet.

The eastbound was not long in coming.

Here are its DPUs.
Another double tracking project was underway at Mesquite.

It was now time to get down the road and find a place to stay in Yuma, AZ.  As we got near to the state line at Araz we decided we had time to explore and found the signal bridge shown below.  The train showed up after a short wait.

Again this train had a DPU.

A short distance further east was Winterhaven, CA, right on the state line.  We observed the westbound stack train leaving Yuma and doubled back to shoot it.  When we arrived at this spot an eastbound manifest was about to pass.  We were concerned it would block our westbound so we did the best we could with the meet.

Fortunately, the trains were running left handed.

So ended our day.  I hope you enjoyed the photos.

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