Back From The Snow

Back from the snow?  Well I wouldn’t say I was in the snow that much on Stevens Pass because west of Scenic (west portal of the Cascade tunnel) there was none.  East of the tunnel there was snow down to Peshastin.  Yikes!  I hope we have cool summer because there really isn’t anything to keep us wet through the summer.

As it ends up I took one photograph with the trees covered in snow.  On Saturday morning an eastbound Z train just happened to be across the pass while it was still cool enough out that the overnight precipitation had fallen as snow and stuck to the trees.   Thanks to the light amount of snow I was able to photograph the train at west Berne.  Normally this location is so snowed in that  getting a photo here would require snow shoes.

Z at West Berne

The next photograph of an empty grain train shows just what the entire west side of the pass looked like…green.  Normally there’s a foot or less at Foss River in January but not this year!

Green At Foss River

This year Robert, Aaron and spent more time between Leavenworth and the Chumstick tunnel than ever before.  There are a few photo locations in the Chumstick and the longer we poke around in there the more we’d like to see.  The photo below is a coal car mid-train in an east bound coal empty crossing the Chumstick Highway where the tracks head into the Chumstick tunnel.  Definitely there are a few locations here that I’ll visit again.

Coal in the Chumstick

I’ve posted a few more of my photos on railroadforums.com in a thread containing many photos from the group of us at Tracks in the Snow.  There are some great photos in this from many of the group so I encourage everyone to hope over there and take a peek.  Ken and Greg caught a couple I particularly like.   Hopefully there will be snow next year.

[tags] train, railroad, railfan, photo, photography, bnsf, stevens pass, snow [/tags]

It’s January, Where’s the Snow?

This morning I’m on my way to Stevens Pass for a winter railfanning adventure.  From other railfan reports there isn’t much snow up there this year.  In fact 6″ is the report from “the slot” where the photo below was taken in January 2008.  During that winter several snowfall records were set and BNSF was one big snow storm away from not having any where to put snow in some locations.  Fortunately for them the weather held and a concentrated effort with the slot train through February cleared out the tight spots.   Thanks El Niño

Deep Snow

BNSF’s S-CHCTAC climbs Stevens Pass after meeting the S-TACSTP3 at Merritt

[tags] train, railroad, railfan, photo, photography, snow, BNSF, El Niño [/tags]

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]