Last summer I headed up to Napavine, WA a couple nights after work to watch the rail action. I hadn’t done it yet this year and with the daylight hours getting shorter I decided it was time. Napavine is a small town located at milepost 65 on the BNSF Seattle Sub, about 75 miles north of my hometown of Vancouver.
I got off work around 16:30 and hit the highway. Traffic lessened as I got out of town. At Woodland I overtook a northbound M-LYDINB (Lake Yard/Portland to Interbay, WA manifest) that had an interesting five units for power… a couple Dash 9s, a GP38-2, GP60B, and CN SD75I. I got off the freeway in Kalama to see what was going on at the grain elevators. A loaded BNSF train was parked on the siding waiting to get into its destination, and up near Peavey was a set of power from a UP train… one AC4400CTE and two SD90s… one maroon CEFX unit and one UP unit.
I hopped back on the freeway and got up to Napavine around 17:45. I pulled in next to Robert who had seen two trains in the previous two hours. Fortunately things would pick up soon.
What we saw, possibly not in order:
M-TACPAS (featuring MRL 4300 — see below)
X-KAL??? (northbound grain empty apparently going over Stampede)
G-NENINB (northbound grain load that passed while I was getting dinner)
Amtrak #14 (only about 2 hours late!)
L-NWE676 (northbound local)
IOASE (Oakland to Seattle UP Intermodal) – this was a short one
Gregg showed up with his two boys around 7:45 and stayed for about 45 minutes. It was good to chat with him again and we discussed some plans for next year’s GorgeRail.
I took a few photos… nothing too outstanding. The power highlight for the evening was the MRL 4300 as the third unit on the M-TACPAS. This is the first MRL SD70ACe to come out of CEECO in Tacoma where it was painted. Who knows, this might be the first photo taken of it on the mainline (I know some guys got pictures of it sitting at CEECO). Yeah, it’s a little fuzzy but here it is. It looked really sharp.
Later on I decided to get a bit artsy and screw around with a longer exposure blur shot of a passing grain train at speed… if anyone cares this was done at shutter priority, 1/6 second, ISO 100, exposure compensation -2.
Just before 9:00 I headed south… passed one northbound manifest at MP 113.5 but that was it.