Author Topic: Railfanning Washington State  (Read 3648 times)

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Sokramiketes

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Railfanning Washington State
« on: August 30, 2007, 11:43:32 AM »
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I put a little time into posting this at Trainboard.  Thought I'd move it over here and complete the story... hope you guys don't mind.

3 solid days of railfanning, and 1000 miles on the rental car. We started off at 5:00am at my friends house in Battle Ground, WA, and drove East along the Columbia River Gorge following the BNSF mainline out of Portland. Our plan was to make a big loop. Battle Ground NE to Trinidad, then back West along the BNSF Steven's Pass line, to Seattle, and then back South to Portland.

We left before sunrise in order to catch the morning light farther out in the Gorge. As we were driving East, we spotted our first train... an eastbound out of Portland, so we raced ahead and pulled off the road to catch this guy:



It was still early, so the sun had yet to peak out from the low clouds and burn off the mist, and the photo is a little dark... but we're off to a good start.
Mike

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Sokramiketes

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Re: Railfanning Washington State
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2007, 11:45:04 AM »
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We decided to stick around this location for a little while to see if anything else was going to pass by. A little hike from the gravel turnout, gave a great vantage point by scrambling up a pile of rocks. 6:25am rolled along and brought this westbound, its orange nose aglow in the morning light.

Mike

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Sokramiketes

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Re: Railfanning Washington State
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2007, 11:45:31 AM »
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Hot damn. Of all places to pull off the road on the fly, we snagged a meet as this EB pulled into the viewfinder. Too bad the light wasn't better, as our luck in catching trains seems to be great this morning! We're at about roadmile 53 here, somewhere east of Stevenson.

Mike

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Sokramiketes

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Re: Railfanning Washington State
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2007, 11:46:39 AM »
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Once the EB cleared out, I snagged a shot of the weary Warbonnet. It's sad to see the glorious red turned to pink, and the paint patches, dirt, and failing clear coat adding a bad case of psoriasis... but with the dim light, we can still pretend...

Mike

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Sokramiketes

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Re: Railfanning Washington State
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2007, 11:47:34 AM »
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So, moments after shooting the Warbonnet, we piled back into the car and blasted off at mach 2, trying to chase down that EB. Just a little ways up the road, we caught up to it as it was slowing down. As we rounded a bend, we saw the flashing lights of the volunteer fire department. They had a hose draped across the tracks, MP 71.6, and were the reason for the slow order we just heard on the radio. Seeing our chance, we drove ahead a bit to find a nice curve in the tracks, and sat and watched the distant heaadlight, looking for signs of movement. We caught the conversation between conductor Judy, who had stepped off the train to talk to the fire crew, and Engineer Dave, who was waiting patiently for the fire department to finish putting out their "hot spot". We also heard the roadmaster get on the radio saying that he would be there shortly.

So, we watched the sun play peek-a-boo in the clouds. Sun, then shadows, then sun, then shadows... Finally, the train gets clearance to continue at about 7:25am. And we have clouds. As we're watching the train start up, and watching the clouds hoping they clear, we hear on the scanner, "4336, You're getting your picture taken!" A quick glance at the highway, and the roadmaster goes flying by in his pick-up.

By the time the train rolls into view, the sun is back out!



Now we're talking! The extra time at this location also allowed me to line up the passing engines with Mt Hood in the background, also recently lit by the sun. The Gorge is too cool.

Mike

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Sokramiketes

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Re: Railfanning Washington State
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2007, 12:19:48 PM »
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Of course, with the highway right here, and the train still trying to accelerate from its dead stop, we jumped back in the car and took off down the line to shoot the hat trick.

Here we are at Walnut street crossing, MP 75.5.

Mike

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Sokramiketes

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Re: Railfanning Washington State
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2007, 12:21:35 PM »
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Having had an excellent morning, we decided it was time for a bathroom break and quick stop for breakfast at McD's. While finishing up, a WB and another EB cruises through town. Not wanting to miss a train, we raced back to the car and tore off down the road, first on the hunt for the EB. We passed the head end, and found a good place to pull off. Bingo!



That's John Carrol in the shot. With the four of us shooting, it wasn't always easy to stay out of each other's shots. Back in the car, we made the decision to head back West and see how fast that WB was moving.

Well, it was moving along at a good clip, but with Racer John McCarthy at the wheel, we caught up to him and I caught this grab shot out the window at 60mph with Mt Hood again making an appearance.

Mike

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Sokramiketes

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Re: Railfanning Washington State
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2007, 12:23:12 PM »
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This is great! And it's only 8:30am as we pull off the road to shoot the NS power at the head end.

Mike

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Sokramiketes

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Re: Railfanning Washington State
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2007, 12:24:15 PM »
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We rolled into Avery about 9:00am after seeing a train parked in the siding while we were going down the highway. It didn't take long before he rolled past our location down by the river banks. This area is now in the arid portion of central WA. It's amazing how quick the trees disappeared.



Mike

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Sokramiketes

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Re: Railfanning Washington State
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2007, 12:25:39 PM »
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The hills were neat in this area so we stuck around. This barge floated past on the Columbia River while we waited.


Next train through town was the Portland section of the Empire Builder.


And finally we caught this EB.
Mike

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Sokramiketes

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Re: Railfanning Washington State
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2007, 12:26:34 PM »
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We rolled into Wishram around 10:20am, and I had to download 162 photos off my memory card already! Next up will be the afternoon of day 1. I'll try to sort those photos tonight.
Mike

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Mark5

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Re: Railfanning Washington State
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2007, 11:31:11 AM »
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Good stuff. 8)

Gotta say the pumkin looks a helluva lot better in real world than on my Kato crap-9.

Bob Bufkin

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Re: Railfanning Washington State
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2007, 12:13:30 PM »
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Something weird is happening.  When I saw your photos at work they were O.K..  Today all the BNSF power comes our blue and silver.  What gives.

Sokramiketes

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Re: Railfanning Washington State
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2007, 01:44:25 PM »
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Something weird is happening.  When I saw your photos at work they were O.K..  Today all the BNSF power comes our blue and silver.  What gives.


That blue and silver train is Amtrak...  ;)

Seriously, I don't know why the photos would be changing colors.  Is it your monitor?  They look OK to me still.
Mike

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Sokramiketes

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Re: Railfanning Washington State
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2007, 01:53:08 PM »
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Ok, it's about 10:30am now, and we arrived in Wishram to poke around the yard. Only thing on the move was this guy pulling a cut of cars out of the yard:

« Last Edit: August 31, 2007, 02:08:27 PM by Skibbe »
Mike

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