Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Colombia River Gorge - 2

Hi, Our second full day dawned crystal clear.  We staked out a shot we wanted at Lyle, WA but any eastbound trains that were going to run before the curfew this day already were gone.  However, we were fortunate to spot an eastbound UP merchandise freight on the Oregon side of the river.  Since there was a shot in The Dalles we wanted we abandoned Lyle and headed to The Dalles.  We think the building was a brewery at one time.

We chased the merchandise train but it was passed by a garbage train headed for a landfill south of Arlington, OR which we shot at Blalock, OR.

Behind the garbage train was a stack train.

Our next location was Heppner Junction, east of Arlington. 

The stack train had a single DPU.

The stack train was followed by the merchandise train we photographed at The Dalles.

After the merchandise train we explored east to Boardman, OR, where we had lunch.  After lunch we returned to Heppner Junction where this westbound came along soon after our arrival.  As the sun still was high we elected to wait for another westbound.

However, while we were waiting we spotted a train of Herzog hoppers heading west on BNSF.  As there was nothing on UP in the offing and there was another train behind the Herzog hoppers we headed west, crossed the river toward Maryhill, WA and continued west on the old SP&S right of way where we set up for the Herzog train.

As we searched for our next photo location this grain train surprised us.
From the radio we learned that there were 4 more westbound trains; the first of which would be a coal train.  Note, we saw many coal trains during our visit.  We assume they originated in the Powder River Basin or in eastern Montana.  At any rate we set up for this shot in Maryhill, WA and waited for about 3 hours, while perfect sun became clouds and then came back to partial sun.  Finally, as the shadows crept toward the track the dispatcher let the coal train run.

We chased the train to Horse Thief Lake State Park but were reluctant to enter because it is now a fee area and because there was a sign saying the park closed at dusk.  We talked to a ranger who told us the fee applied to anyone who entered the park.  Therefore, we headed up onto Washington route 14 where we photographed the coal train by the last light of the day.

I hope you enjoyed the photos.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Colombia River Gorge - 1

Hi, Friend Stan Short and I spent 8 days photographing in the Colombia River Gorge east of Portland, OR from 7/15 to 7/23.  While I feel we were able to get some nice photos there were a number of problems with trains and weather that made it a frustrating trip. 

We arrived in Portland and departed the airport about 11:00 AM.  After crossing into Washington and getting a quick lunch we were ready for action.  Unfortunately, BNSF was not ready when we were.  After following the tracks about 100 miles to Wishram, WA we learned that there had been a washout  the night before we arrived another 50 or so miles east of Wishram and that the line would be closed at least for another 24 hours.

We crossed the river and headed east.  As we neared Quinton (exit 123 off I-84) we encountered a UP westbound, our only train of the day and chased it back west.  We were able to photograph it at Goffs, just east of the John Day Dam (exit 114 off I-84),

and at the Dalles Dam (exit 88 off I-84).  So ended our first day.

The next morning we set up at Lyle, WA for a shot we really wanted.  Unfortunately, nothing ran except tow boats such as this one bound upriver.  The BNSF line along the Colombia was closed due to the washout and a curfew for track work, and the Oregon Trunk through the Deschutes River Canyon also was closed during the day for maintenance.  The UP was open but traffic was light early in the week and sporadic.

We photographed our first train about at 2:10 PM between Maryhill, WA and the John Day Dam.  This location is reached using the old SP&S roadbed and is open to public access by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

We chased the garbage train catching it at Lyle, WA (the clouds cleared a few seconds after the shot),

west of Hood, WA, and

at Stevenson, WA.

Day 2 done.  I hope you enjoyed the photos.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Railfanning 7-1 and 7-2-2012

Hi, Friend Marc Laborde and I headed down to North Carolina on July 1 to attend the first day of the NS Family Portrait event at the North Carolina Transportation Museum on July 3 (see post below).  As we headed south along the tracks we could here NS #213 leaving Bristow, Va, the crew change point just south of Manassas, VA, so we elected to wait at Calverton we photographed the train passing under a classic Southern Railway signal bridge.

We were able to get ahead of the train an photographed again at Winston, VA south of Culpeper.

We got behind 213 at this point.  However, without realizing it, by Lynchburg we were ahead of it and #211.  We were unable to get any more photos until the bridge over the Yadkin River  on the north end of Spencer, NC.  Here we shot a northbound freight, and

and 3 southbounds, including


The next morning we went into Salisbury, NC to photograph around the station.  The first train to show up was #18M.  It waited west of the station for

Amtrak #73, a 403B train funded by NC DOT.

Once #73 cleared, #18M headed for Linwood Yard, a few miles away.

Shortly thereafter a local went west.  The building at the left is the old freight station.  It is located within a wye formed by the mainline to Atlanta and the route to Asheville, NC.  Local interests are attempting to preserve it.

Our final train in the depot area was #214.

We then went exploring around Linwood yard and found a grade crossing on the main line by pass around the yard.  Here #214 heads north.  Number 18M was making a pickup out of sight deep in the yard.

Right behind #214 was Amtrak #74.  That's a former GO Transit F59 on the point.

After lunch we returned to the Salisbury station for Amtrak #75.

We had seen this caboose sitting on a string of empty coal cars outside a power plant in Spencer on Sunday and went back to photograph it on Monday.

We then went to Landis, NC, about 10 miles south of Spencer for the rest of the afternoon.  Friend Doug Koontz, a former North Carolinian suggested this town.  The first train was this westbound stack train followed by

a westbound freight.

In quick succession around 6 PM were Amtrak 76,

#299, and

and eastbound freight
I hope you enjoyed the photos.