Road Trip 2004!


This year's railfan trip was a 2 1/2 week, 4801 mile journey to the National Train Show in Seattle, Washington, with a week of railfanning before and after the Train Show. We drove from Phoenix to Seattle via Helper, Utah, Idaho, Columbia River Gorge, Portland, then to Seattle. After the Train Show weekend, we went east to Spokane, then spent several days on the Montana Rail Link, both around St. Regis and in Mullen Pass. Then it was highball back here to the Phoenix area, and we got a bonus at Black Mesa....the BM&LP coal train with a newly repainted red/white/blue/yellow unit. It was a successful trip, and the weather was good for the most part. We actually got more rain here in Arizona on the way back than anywhere else on the entire trip!

These photos are just the first to be scanned and posted...the rest of the film is being processed now and I will scan and post them when they get back here.

After driving from Phoenix to Kayenta, AZ Friday afternoon, Saturday we got to the Soldier Summit area just in time to see this westbound coal train climbing the hill. July 3, 2004.
And this is the helper set for the above train, led by the newly repainted 5005 in the new owner's colors. July 3, 2004.
Here's a "rolling roster" of the engine mentioned above.
The next morning we got this BNSF trackage rights train just east of Helper as it is headed east towards Grand Junction, Colorado. The low early morning light makes for good lighting. July 4, 2004.
After the BNSF train above cleared the next siding east of here, a westbound UP coal train is shown just arriving in the Helper area.
After changing crews, the train is headed out of Helper and towards the climb to Soldier Summit.
Later on a BNSF coal train arrived at Utah Junction. Here the train is just coming to a stop prior to backing his train down into the UR yard, where they will run around their cars and then go out to the loadout a few miles down the UR branch.
The next day (Monday the 5th) was mostly a travel day headed to Oregon. Along the way at Rupert, Idaho the Eastern Idaho Railway had a lot of power parked along a road filled with parked cars of the locals who were having their 4th of July parade on this day instead, the 5th. Here is a high-hood SD45.
One of a few GP35's they had here.
And a rather grubby looking ex Chessie GP30.
This engine has apparently just been delivered within the past few weeks seeing as how the paint is still fresh and clean. July 5, 2004 in Rupert, Idaho.
Headed west we got this military train just leaving Glen's Ferry, Idaho after being stopped by a hot-box detector. No defects were found, but the train was delayed for a while.
The next day we spent in the Columbia River area...here we have the eastbound garbage empties at Cooks, Oregon July 6, 2004. Sometimes it does pay to take a chance for a better photo by shooting across a public highway. This time I was lucky that no highway traffic happened by at the same time as the train.
On into Portland for the night, and the next day we found some interesting equipment on a shortline in the area. Note the "shop trucks"!
I was told that there is a new/rebuilt prime mover and main generator recently installed in this old ex Great Northern NW5. It sure would be nice to see it run again, preferably in GN colors!
We then went over to the Albany/Corvallis area, and got this engine switching the yard in Albany. July 7, 2004.
Next day we stopped by the Mount Rainer Railway in Elbe, Washington and looked around for a while, and took a few photos. This was the first time I'd ever seen a Heisler in service. July 8, 2004.
Later on that afternoon we visited the North West Railway Museum in Snoqualmie, but account a Thomas the Tank Day event, we could not see much at all. Apparently this engine had been moved out of the way for the event, but it was nice to see it in the clear.
After the 3 days of the National Train Show in Seattle, we highballed east towards Spokane, and here at a well known spot near the town of Marshall, Washington I saw quite a few trains in nice light. Here an eastbound grain empty is nearing the town. July 12, 2004.
A westbound Union Pacific train rounds the curve at Marshall. July 12, 2004.
Here's an eastbound BNSF train with a nearly new C44-9 on the point. The late afternoon sun sure brings out the fresh colors on this engine. July 12, 2004.
This is a westbound BNSF local doing some switching in the area. July 12, 2004.
And another eastbound train passes through...note how the low sun angle helps light up the reflective stripes on the trailing unit. July 12, 2004.

The rest of the photos are below on the 2nd Section page.

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This Web Page and all Photos on it are () copyright 2004 by Ted Ellis. All rights reserved.