Merry Christmas 2013

UP 4045 on the point of the K-BRLC passes through the winter wonderland at “The Slide”.

Merry Christmas everyone!  As my last post indicated a major health issue impacted my family starting in October.  Treatments are going well however I’m still in for a long commitment to this issue so I do not expect regular posts to begin again soon.  In fact it could be another 6 to 9 months before the new normal settles in.  As I mentioned previously, I’m making lemonade.

In the mean time I will pull an image from the archives to help put everyone in a Christmas mood.  This image dates from December 2005 trip to Pengra Pass where our little group experienced some wonderful Northwest snow and enough train traffic to keep the trip very interesting.  Oh and we had the pleasure of retrieving one of our vehicles out of a snowy ditch.  Thank goodness for shovels, tire chains and clear thinking!   That year enough snow fell to limit us to Fields and below on the north side of the pass.  On the south side we ventured as far as Chemult where lots of dry snow lingered around in the single digit temperatures.  Brrrr.  It was cold but lots of great images came out of the effort.

Diverging Routes

As the saying goes when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  Right now I’m making lemonade.

Thanks to a family health issue my focus over the next few months will be away from railfanning and photography.  Instead I will focus on my family and getting well.  The result is my contributions to dogcaught.com will be reduced.  Thanks for the understanding.

September Nights

Amtrak Cascades train 509 has a clear indication on the cantilever signal at Vader, WA on a beautiful September evening.  509 was the last of 14 trains passing this spot in a 4 hour period on September 12th 2013.

Some of the best weather we have in the Pacific Northwest happens in September.  The sun starts down after 7pm but with the warm days the temperatures are still comfortable enough to be outside after sunset.  Early September usually remains dry so the skies are clear and the bugs are few.  All this adds up to some great September nights outside!

Transit Sleuth TV

TSTV

Long time dogcaught.com followers remember contributor Adron Hall.  Adron runs a wonderful transit related blog on which he shares transit history, the economics behind transit, transit politics, and so much more.  He recently started what he’s calling ‘Transit Sleuth TV’.  Adron tells me that the show will be “…a multi-segment look at Portland Transit + Bike + Food + whatever other cultural bits seem to fit into it.”  If you like transit subjects and/or Portland topics this will be fun to follow.

The first episode includes some interesting discussion from one of the transit related (and possibly beer drinking) meet ups Adron hosts in Portland.  I thought the discussion was interesting and told Adron I would look forward to more of others thoughts on transit in Portland.  Adron also showed in the first episode that sometimes using your bike to get around town can have issues!  He has a great solution though that gets him where he needs to go.

If you are interested head on over transitsleuth.com and take a look at the first episode and choose your favorite subscription method.

Short Time Cantilever

Thursday last week I visited Vader, WA with the idea that the cantilever signals there won’t be there much longer.  The nationwide PTC mandate has BNSF replacing signals and upgrading the signal system at quick pace.  While work to stand up replacements hasn’t begun in Vader I’m certain the plans are in place and it will just be a matter of time before it does.

From 4pm to 8:20pm 14 trains passed!  Daytime maintenance held the train traffic up a bit so the early evening time turned quite busy.  At one point the UP local was switching Napavine while 3 northbound trains stacked up from Vader to Napavine South.  Soundbound trains kept rolling but only so the dispatcher could clear a path for Amtrak Cascades trains 508 and 509 could meet more conveniently.

It was a good night to be hanging out with friends and enjoying the activity.