GorgeRail is back!

For those of you that may have missed the announcement at Autumn Leaf or on rrf.com, the big news is GorgeRail is back!  Check out the GorgeRail website for all of the latest information on programs and registration.   See you in the Gorge in May….

Autumn Leaf Weekend

Last weekend was the 8th Annual Autumn Leaf Slide Show at McMenamin’s Olympic Club in Centralia, Wa.  Part of the slide show weekend tradition is getting out and railfanning with friends in the Gorge, on the Seattle Sub or where ever the whim may take us.  So that’s what I did despite the fact the weather forecast for the weekend included lots of rain.

Friday I headed to the Gorge and met up with a railfan visiting us from Atlanta.  It was a productive day and I was able to show Boras a few locations he’d seen photographs of but didn’t know how to get to.  Saturday I intended to take it easy with the railfanning as I’d have a full evening of slide show work ahead of me.  The result was I just hung out with friends at Winlock and Vader and only snapped one photo the entire day.  Sunday started out up in the air plans wise.  As it ended up I had Ryan and Scott riding with me and it turned into quite a productive day.  Over the next few days I plan to post photos from the weekend.

Friday, 8:00 am, Stevenson, Wa.  Standing on the corner of 1st and Russell in downtown I came to the conclusion Stevenson is much like many small towns in our country.  People were moving around and going about their Friday morning.  Many were headed to the post office to get an early jump on the mail.  One was staying at the Riverside Lodge and was headed up town in search of a coffee.  Another was headed down to the park to walk her dog while others drove to their jobs in town.

While everyone went about their business BNSF did too.  Approaching town were two train which were set up for a meet at the siding in town.   With some businesses across the tracks a mis-timed meet in town can tie up things up for some time.  Today the Pasco West dispatcher had the timing down just right and executed a nearly perfect rolling meet.   The result?  Most people going about their business in town probably never noticed.

Friday, 9:00 am, North Bonneville, Wa.  At just over 35 years old tunnel 1.5 is the newest tunnel on BNSF’s Fallbridge subdivision.  Constructed in 1974 as part of a project to build a second powerhouse in the dam, this tunnel is located at the east end of a long S curve which takes the railroad around the new river channel.  Despite its diminutive 1,503 foot length the tunnel serves an important purpose getting the railroad out of the way of the river and the highway without disturbing the hillside above.  Friday’s M-VAWPAS (Vancouver, Wa to Pasco, Wa) slips easily through the curve and through the tunnel just like the Army Corps of Engineers intended.

Blue & Silver

It was nice to see some sun in Vancouver this morning!  After a week that felt more like spring than winter it was good to be able to top it off with a sunny day photograph.

Amtrak’s Empire Builder crosses the Columbia River and begins to accelerate away from the Vancouver, WA depot.

A Different POV

Its good to railfan with others because you usually get another point of view…if you listen.  Take this photograph of the M-SPOEVE descending from Quincy towards Trinidad.  I’ve passed this point at least one other time but until someone said “hey this is a neat spot, check out the curves” I didn’t notice them.  Once I did I was convinced this location was alright.  Now if only I had an 8,000 ft. stack train!  I find it funny that if you would have asked me what was between the crater and WSS Quincy I would have said “oh just a long straight with a slight curve”.  Live and learn!

<M-SPOEVE

[tags] bnsf, columbia river, photography, photos, quincy, railroad, trains,  washington [/tags]