Sunday, July 23, 2017

New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona - 9, BNSF's Southern Tanscon - 4

Hi, We believed that the Escalante Western would run today as we thought it had not run yesterday, Thursday. So we spent the first couple of hours again on BNSF, this time in the vicinity of CP Baca just east of Prewitt, NM, checking the Escalante Western every 15 minutes or so.

As we arrived we noticed a loaded coal train sitting at CP Baca on the line down from Escalante Junction: the junction with the Escalante Western (above and below).

First up was an eastbound Z train at CP West Baca. These hot intermodal trains only carry trailers and containers on flat cars.

Shortly a westbound Z train showed up shown here at CP East Baca (above and below)

followed by a westbound stack train. This train would wait at CP West Baca

for an east bound auto rack train

and the coal train (above and below).

After the coal train departed there was time for one more photograph of the stopped stack train. The west leg of the Wye at Baca over which the coal train had just passed is in the foreground.

At this point we checked the the Escalante Western again and spotted their empty train headed back to the mine so we broke off from the BNSF to photograph the mine run. This part of our trip is covered in blog #5, Coal Haulers.

The area around Laguna Pueblo was high on our priority list for shots, however, we were aware that the pueblo prohibited photography on their land. Sure enough there was a big sign when we exited I40 stating that photography was not permitted within the pueblo. Therefore, we took a road just north of, and parallel to, I40 and stopped in an area with no houses. Two eastbound stack trains showed up (above and below) before a pueblo animal control officer stopped and told us we were on their land and would have to leave. He further told up that we could photograph from the side of the interstate as that was not pueblo land and that the state police would not bother of us if we were well off the road.

So we relocated to the side of the interstate where we photographed this eastbound coal train

with DPUs. Just as we were about to leave two pueblo police cars stopped and we were informed that we were still on pueblo land. A short discussion ensued in which we explained that we had been told the location was OK (fortunately I remembered the animal control officer's name) and that we were just leaving as they arrived. So they let us go.

Our final stop of the day was at Dalies, NM where the route over Raton Pass and down through Albuquerque joins the Belen Cutoff, the Transcon. Here Amtrak's westbound Southwest Chief is coming off the line from Albuquerque.

A westbound grain train was waiting on the hill coming up from Belen. It continued west as soon as Amtrak cleared.

Thanks for looking.

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