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!

The King Has Arrived

Amtrak engine 470, sporting a wrap advertising the King Tut exhibit at the Pacific Science Center, guides Amtrak Cascades train 501 into Vancouver depot.

For the last 9 months or so Amtrak has advertised the King Tut exhibit on one of its locomotives.  Over the months I’ve photographed the 470 a handful of times but I never did capture the nose herald the way I wanted to though.

Now, many railfans found the wrap on the 470 appalling.  I can see that.  It really does take away from the traditional look of the locomotive. Personally I didn’t mind it at all.  I thought the design of the overall advertisement was appropriate and it fit onto the locomotive well.   What really made this nice for me is now not every Amtrak Cascades train looked exactly the same!

I never went out of my way to photograph this unit but when it was around I did make sure to capture it in some way.  Now that the exhibit ended I’m expecting the wrap will be removed and the 470 will go back to its former atire.  Last weekend when the king arrived at the Vancouver depot I made sure to capture it again and focus on the nose that I’d never really captured.  Who knows, this might be the last time I see the 470 this way.

Oh, should I tell the king his right flap is down?

Winter’s Still Here!

How can I be so positive in my assessment?  Here’s how…

1.  Its very foggy. Amtrak Cascades train 500 of the 27th departs Vancouver shrouded in heavy fog.  With the recent power issues the Cascades are having it probably a good thing a Dash-8 is supplying the power today.

Amtrak Cascades train 500 in the fog

2.  Rail cars exiting the Gorge are covered in snow.  Thanks to a good dose of snow between Skamania and Bingen even trains that park at Eighth Street for a few hours, like this grain train, are still covered in the white stuff.

Packed Snow

3.  Trains have snow on the nose.  It looks like this M-SPOLVJ enjoyed the brunt of the storm as it passed between Bingen and Skamania.

M-SPOLVJ is plastered

Winter’s still here!

[tags] amtrak cascades, bnsf, columbia river gorge, photos, railroad, snow, trains, vancouver, wa, winter [/tags]