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.

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