Road Trip 2009!


After a couple of years of no road trips account various issues, this year I was able to hit the road again for a couple of weeks, starting with driving to the National Narrow Gauge Convention in Colorado Springs, and then heading north to Montana for some MRL and BNSF railfanning. It was a great trip and the first time in over 40 years of shooting train photos that I did not have a single roll of Kodachrome with me! All of the photos here were shot on Provia 100F (with the exception of a few shot on Provia 400X and just a few taken with a cheap digital camera- those are marked). Enjoy!

First day of the trip we were at Lupton, Arizona and I got a couple of BNSF trains here. This is a westbound with some coil steel. September 15, 2009.
On to Belen....and here is a yard engine shunting cars in the yard. Nice to see a clean BN green painted unit. September 15, 2009.
Then we went east to Scholle...with the double tracking project in full swing, we settled for a couple of photos from the highway overpass here. September 15, 2009.
A late afternoon westbound bare table at Scholle....September 15, 2009.
This is one of the few shots I took on Provia 400X film - Trinidad, Colorado on September 16, 2009.
As part of the National Narrow Gauge Convention the Union Pacific spotted this engine for photos at Colorado Springs. September 18, 2009.
This caboose (likely a shoving platform) was also here with the UP 1989. Colorado Springs, September 18, 2009
At a museum in Colorado Springs (at the old Rock Island Roundhouse) they has this DRWG caboose. September 18, 2009.
The National Narrow Gauge Convention was a lot of fun - some really good clinics, modeling and vendors selling all sorts of goodies! September 18, 2009. Digital photo!
Part of the convention included layout tours, and one of the guys even had real narrow gauge cars in his back yard! September 18, 2009. Digital photo!
Next day we went up the Joint Line and got this train at Palmer Lake..September 19, 2009.
Here is the DENLAU train at Longmont, Colorado on September 20, 2009.
An interesting dimensional load on the DENLAU train at Longmont, Colorado September 20, 2009.
Next day on the way to the coal fields (PRB) I got this SP unit in the rain at La Salle, Colorado. September 21, 2009. Digital photo!
My first time ever in the coal fields - lots of trains all stacked up account a derailment had shut down the road for a day. This photo was taken just as things started to move again. Bill, Wyoming September 21, 2009.
Nice to see leased power still being used....Bill, Wyoming on September 21, 2009.
Part of the wreck at Bill, Wyoming just being cleaned up - September 21, 2009.
Next day we went to Reno Junction and got quite a few trains in the area. Here one is loading up. September 22, 2009.
The tail end of the above train. September 22, 2009.
The sun finally came out at Reno Junction and I got some decent shots of all of the traffic there. September 22, 2009.
This is the same train as shown above after loading up and going around the balloon track and now headed south. Reno Junction, Wyoming September 22, 2009.
These 2 units were just sitting there in the bright low afternoon sun at Reno Junction. September 22, 2009.
Next day it was on up to Laurel, Montana and the MRL. Here is a SD35 in the yard. September 23, 2009.
This purple caboose apparently is just sitting here for some unknown (to me) reason...? Laurel, Montana September 23, 2009.
This is an interesting transfer table..shows pride in the company! Livingston, Montana September 23, 2009.
This was an interesting power consist! 5 SD45's, 3 SD70Ace's, 1 GP35 and 1 GP7....Chestnut, Montana September 23, 2009.
The same train near Bozeman, Montana on September 23, 2009.
The above train about to enter Bozeman Tunnel at West End, Montana on September 23, 2009.
 A rather interesting signal system for motorists...I'd never seen anything like this before. It is lit red for the train below. September 23, 2009.
An eastbound BNSF grain train near Livingston approaching the crossing signal shown above. September 23, 2009.
I wonder if these F45's will ever run again? Livingston, Montana September 23, 2009.
A westbound BNSF grain train is widening out the throttle as it leaves Livingston, Montana late in the afternoon of September 23, 2009.
The MRL's 3 unit SD70Ace helper set....
And the grain train is on its way west towards Bozeman.
Next day near Bozeman is the local train with a GP35 on the point. September 24, 2009.
Same train at Chestnut, Montana.
The local shown above had 3 SD70Ace's for helpers...the head end crew made sure that the helper engineer only had one of the SD70Ace's on line! Chestnut, Montana September 24, 2009.
Later that afternoon I got this westbound near East Muir, Montana. September 24, 2009.
He is going into the hole for the eastbound local at East Muir, Montana. September 24, 2009.
Perfect afternoon light for the westbound near Chestnut, Montana on September 24, 2009.
Next morning I got the local switching at Townsend, Montana. A nice clean shiny SD40-2! September 25, 2009.
A BNSF grain train is meeting the local at Townsend. September 25, 2009.
The tail end of the BNSF grain train at Townsend. September 25, 2009.
After the grain train is gone, the local gets back to work switching at Townsend.
Then it was on up to the ex-Great Northern main at Selby, Montana. One of the few Santa Fe warbonnets with decent paint..September 25, 2009.
Same scene as above but taken with my cheap digital camera. Selby, Montana September 25, 2009. Digital photo!
Another interesting dimensional load. Shelby, Montana. September 25, 2009.
Here is the 'bogus' Great Northern F45 at the Isaac Walton Inn in Essex, Montana - you can stay in it for $299 per nitght! September 25, 2009.
Same as above, but taken with a cheap digital camera.
Overall view of the Isaac Walton Inn and the GN F45 on a beautiful fall afternoon at Essex. September 25, 2009.
Same as above, taken with the digital camera. September 25, 2009.
Some BNSF engines at Essex, Montana on September 25, 2009.
Next morning I got this shot in Columbia Falls on the Mission Mountain RR. September 26, 2009.
Same as above, with the digital camera.
An eastbound train at Marias, Montana September 26, 2009.
Near Bison, Montana - just outstanding scenery! September 26, 2009.
Of course I had to do the 'famous' barn and bridge shot at Two Medicine, Montana - September 26, 2009.
A westbound at Glacier - September 26, 2009.
The usual GN publicity photo spot at Summit....too bad the semaphores are long gone! September 26, 2009.
Late in the afternoon I got this eastbound near Nyack, Montana. September 26, 2009.
Next day at Whitefish, Montana....another great fall day. September 27, 2009.
The stuffed and mounted Great Northern NW3 at Whitefish. September 27, 2009.
Another example of the great scenery and train traffic I saw on this trip. Near Nyack, Montana September 27, 2009.
One train right after another....near Nyack, Montana September 27, 2009.
Same train taken from the overpass at Essex, Montana September 27, 2009.
Next day it was back to MRL country and here is the eastbound gas train at Perma, Montana September 28, 2009.
Same train highballing past the buildings at Dixon, Montana September 28, 2009.
The Paradise local switching a lumber mill at Thompson Falls, Montana September 28, 2009.
The Paradise local power headed east to Paradise after completing their switching. Thompson Falls, Montana September 28, 2009.
The following morning I chased a westbound BNSF grain train out of St. Regis and got this shot at Toole, Montana September 29, 2009.
The BNSF grain train crossing the bridge at Paradise, Montana September 29, 2009.
Right behind the train above was the gas train. At Paradise, Montana September 29, 2009.
This engine is just west of Paradise, Montana September 29, 2009.
Here is the gas train switching as a westbound BNSF train highballs past. Pipeline, Montana September 29, 2009.
The eastboound gas train has just crossed the bridge at Paradise, Montana September 29, 2009.
My last shot of the MRL on this trip is of the gas train at St. Regis, Montana September 29, 2009.
Here is the stuffed and mounted Milwaukee Road E70 at Deer Lodge, Montana September 30, 2009.
The Port of Montana engine in the rain at Silver Bow, Montana September 30, 2009.
North of Salt Lake City we found a good spot to hang out and watch trains near Kaysville, Utah. Lots of traffic especially with the Front Runner commuter trains. October 1, 2009.
One of the Front Runner trains at Kaysville, Utah on October 1, 2009.
Engine No. 1 at Kaysville, Utah on October 1, 2009.
Here is a northbound Union Pacific train at Kaysville, Utah on October 1, 2009.
Front Runner engine No. 2 at Kaysville, Utah on October 1, 2009.
A piece of Union Pacific track equipment at Kaysville, Utah on October 1, 2009.
Another Union Pacific freight late in the afternoon at Kaysville, Utah on October 1, 2009.
The above train stopped here just as a Front Runner train came up behind him. Kaysville, Utah on October 1, 2009.
And the last photo of the trip was taken on October 2, 2009 at Martin, Utah of the Utah Railway MK5000.

All Photos on this page 2009 by Ted Ellis - all rights reserved.