An Early Morning Shot, South & Then North

I took the following shots recently while walking parallel to the tracks into downtown Portland.  I had tried making the trek a few times earlier in the week and various things got in my way; from running errands to the alarm clock not going off.  After finally hitting the ground early enough I managed these shots.  One is the Amtrak Cascades approaching form the south, and the other is the same train moving north toward downtown Portland.


Amtrak Cascades in Push Operation
Amtrak Cascades CAB leading in Push Operation


Amtrak Cascades #500 in Push Operation
Amtrak Cascades #500 in Push Operation

Sixth Street

Sixth Street

Amtrak train 27 passes over the venerable 6th St. overpass

Modern, elegant, and stylish or old, boxy, and crumbling.  How would you describe the railroad underpass at Sixth St. in Vancouver?  I’m afraid I’d have to go with the latter three descriptions just based on appearance.   Each time I drive under it I question its strength though I’m sure that its design and construction is sufficient because the trestle still does its job just fine.  I guess I’m spoiled by more modern construction that looks far more substantial and overbuilt…especially in the railroad arena.

I thought it would be a good idea to start capturing some images of this structure since over the next few years it will be replaced as part of the re-development of the former Boise Cascade paper plant site.  From what Aaron and I gathered at the open house last winter there will be a shoo fly in place for several years while the new structure is constructed.  The new lead for the Port of Vancouver is being built with a very nice overpass structure at 6th St. and 4th St. which should allow for two 10-12 ft. auto lanes plus a bicycle lane.  Oh, and the clearance appears to be much more modern than the current 8′ 8″ height.  It will be nice to be able to pass under this without having to remove the railroad radio antenna from my rig!

[tags]  trains , railroad, railfan, photo, photography, amtrak, vancouver, washington [/tags]

DINA 2007 – The Rest of the Photos

As I mentioned in my November post I participated in DINA 2007 by visiting UP’s Brooklyn Sub.  I have posted several additional photos from the day into my gallery including “Station Stop Salem” which was published in the DINA issue.   Of course these images have a bit of a story a true Northwest railfan can appreciate.

My visit to Oregon City (Train Time at Oregon City) was probably not what most people would call fun.  It was raining.  No, not the annoying mist kind of rain, the heavy downpour kind.  Ugg.  To get a decent photo of the elevated platform the photographer has to be elevated also.  For me this meant getting onto the roof of my vehicle.   I successfully set up the tripod and took a few test shots without getting overly wet.  Once I was back in the relative dryness of my vehicle, I calculated that when I heard a horn as the train blew through downtown I could climb up and minimize my time in the rain.   When I heard horns I started the process.  In the 3 minutes the train took to get from downtown to the depot I was soaked.  Since I was committed I didn’t give up and as the train pulled in I fired away just as planned.  I returned to my vehicle completely soaked but pleased because I got the shot.  In the end I think it is my favorite photo from the day.

Just after I left Oregon City I heard the detector south of Hito go off.  I knew I had another northbound but didn’t have a great plan of where to shoot it at.  I really wanted to shoot something on the new Pudding River bridge but there was no way I was going to get there ahead of the train.  Instead I took a few minutes to scout around Coalca and came up with “Fall In The Northwest”.  It was taken at 8:15am on a rainy October 20…so how dark was it?  Take a look at the EXIF and you’ll see quickly just how dark it was.  The outcome though was far better than I expected and it ended up being my second favorite photo of the day.

Not long after Coalca I dried out (heat on hot, fans on high) and fortunately as the day wore on the rain turned to showers.  By the time I captured #11 exiting the trees at Shedd (below) the rain stopped altogether ending a good day of railfanning.

Starlight at Shedd

[tags] amtrak, brooklyn sub, coalca, day in north america, oregon, oregon city, photography, railfan, railroad, shedd, trains, union pacific [/tags]