Thursday, April 12, 2012

Southwest Trip - 4

Hi, Day 4 was our first in Arizona.  Once again we were on the road a little before 8:00 AM.  The day's plan was to follow the railroad from Yuma to Tucson shooting anything interesting.  And once again, the best laid plans...

On the east side of Yuma the railroad makes a long horseshoe to the north and we dutifully followed; up the west side, over the top and down the east side.  About half way down the east side we came upon a work crew and a stopped westbound stack train.  I asked a supervisor how long they had the track and learned this was a rail replacement project and they had the railroad until at least noon.  We left and headed east.

While the scenery up to this point was very nice it rapidly became flat and featureless.  It stayed that way until Gila Bend.  UP ran numerous westbound trains through the area but we did not see anything worth shooting.  A few miles east of Gila Bend the scenery gets interesting again but by this time it had become cloudy so after some exploring we pushed on east.

At Picacho we encountered both sun and a another gang, this time building second track.  A westbound stack train was waiting for permission through the area.  Needless to say we used the opportunity to photograph the train from many angles.

We decided to head on east of Tucson to Cienega Creek where the former El Paso and Southwestern (leased by SP in 1929 from Phelps Dodge Copper Co. and merged into SP in 1955) passed over the original SP.  Usual operation is for westbound trains to use the former EP& SW.  The sun was out moments before this westbound hit the bridge.

We decided to explore some more and encountered three westbound trains around Marsh, AZ.  Note they were taken from 3 different roads.

This is the DPU for the manifest train above.

I hope you enjoyed the photos.

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