Tehachapi 3

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This shot was taken near Nipton, near the California/Nevada border, with my first SD90MAC and two SD40-2 locos. 

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A Thursday evening eastbound at Bealville just after sundown has an EMD SD70M, a Rio Grande tunnel motor, a Kodachrome SD40 (7357) and another SD40-2. Why can't these trains be around in sunlight?! The train was held up just past Monolith after tripping the detector there so I got a shot, but as you can see there wasn't too much light around... Dammit.

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X-files style proof:
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Friday morning at the loop with two BNSF SD60s leading two Dash 9s uphill with a double stack container train. The differences between the H1and H2 (last loco) BNSF pumpkin schemes can be seen here. I'd have to say I'm not a huge fan of either... 
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The same train threads its way uphill east of Marcel.
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At Bena, ex-Rio Grande SD40-T2 5409 and an SP SD70 with a string of wagons tie up one of the two tracks for no apparent reason. 
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During a Bakersfield lunch stop, during which our hero gets served the biggest burrito on the planet, a BNSF pig train heads for the hills while the UP train at right awaits its turn.  
teh3 sandcut sp 8-40b.JPGAn interesting mix of power heads a train off the hill at Sandcut. Following Santa Fe B40-8, are BN, UP, Cotton Belt and KCS units....

...and a going-away shot just to prove it...
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A BNSF train heads temporarily downhill through Sandcut before beginning the big climb up the north slope of the Tehachapi mountain crossing. 
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BNSF heads through the Caliente Creek Narrows towards the settlement and horseshoe curve of the same name. 

teh3 caliente bnsf bn sf helpers.JPGThe mid-train helpers on the above train. 

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The train cuts through the golden countryside just before tunnel 2. 
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And not surprisingly, so so its helpers. 
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The second unit on the train is BN 5111, a GE C30-7. This shot was taken at Bealville. Shortly, the train will swing around and emerge from tunnel 5, directly above the middle of the loco, heading left. 
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Leaving tunnel 5 with the standard plume of exhaust fumes. 
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The train now charges through Woodford before tackling the loop. 
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A going away shot shows the doors open on the overheating SD45-2. 
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Here are the helpers again on the same train. Those Santa Fe Dash 8's are looking a bit tatty. 
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A BNSF train winds its way down through the fantastic reverse curves at the west end of Bealville/Allard. It is about to enter tunnel 2. 
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Shortly afterwards, just over the hill, the UP train that was waiting at Bakersfield has made its way up to the familiar curve before tunnel 2. 
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Taken from the same spot as the above shot, the two helpers at the rear of the above train enter tunnel 2. The SP loco is a clean SD45R. 
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Just to show you can never wear out a photo location... 
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The second to last train of the day races the sun out of the Caliente Narrows. This is headed up by a C&NW lightning stripe Dash 9, not that you can see it... 
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Up hill at Bealville's east end, a train with six EMDs catches the last of the sun. Loco number four is a Santa Fe GP30. 
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Saturday morning in the Tehachapi Canyon has two weary looking SD45T-2 tunnel motors flanked by UP power in the form of an extended nose SD40-2 and Dash 9 heading uphill. 
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The same train at Cable. 
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Shortly afterwards, the Swift Roadrailer train heads downhill through Cable with an SD90MAC, a B39/40 Dash 8 and a mystery guest.Member 'ATSF5704' from Trainorders.com reveals: It also has an exhaust silencer indicating a post-1980 locomotive. Checking Don Strack's UP roster data reveals that only 10 MP non-dynamic brake equipped SD40-2's were built with the exhaust silencers 3312 - 3321, built 4/80 under order 786269. These became UP 4312 - 4321 and the last one later became B4321.So I would say that that is UP SD40-2 B4321, ex UP 4321, nee MP 3321.  
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Another downhill train rumbles through Cable as I wait patiently for one going the other way. Another tatty looking Dash 8 warbonnet leads an SD45-2, another C30-7 and an SD40-2. 
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The uphill shot I was waiting for. Makes mental note to get more height next time. 
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Further downstream, another uphill double stack train exits tunnel 10 and heads for Marcel. At this stage my camera packed up, making the wider angle shot impossible until....
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Replenished with a new battery, the next shot had to use another train. Another C30-7, this time with a white cab front, is the third loco. 
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From the same spot as the above two shots, the trains helpers pass Marcel's west switch. Most of the BNSF helpers seem to face downhill. 
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Mmmmm. SP. A complete set of SP power - SD70M's with an SD40M-2 rebuilt from an SD45 head towards Caliente. 
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The same train approaches tunnel 2, just to prove that an old dog can be taught new tricks. 
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And the same train at the top of Bealville. 

After the SP train had ventured up the hill, a big steel coil train which had been waiting patiently at the west end of Cliff (top left of photo below) eased down into Bealville. The BNSF pig train at left is just coming to a stop, its progress following the SP train up the hill having been halted temporarily by this crossing. 

The coil train has train locos: Dash 9 BNSF pumpkin 1 - 1013, Dash 9 BNSF pumpkin 2 - 4978, Dash 8 SF Warbonnet 824. Mid train helpers: Dash 9 BNSF pumpkin 2 - 4499 (less than a month old), Dash 8 SF Warbonnet 839, SD70M BNSF Warbonnet 8285. End of train helpers: SD60M BN Green 9296, Dash 9 BNSF pumpkin 2 4372. This shot shows the mid and end of train helpers.

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The locos have been in dynamic brake since the Summit near Tehachapi to ensure a slow run down the south slope. At Sandcut, the lead and mid locos are seen heading up the short climb before the final decent to Bakersfield. 
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The mid train and end train helpers. The train has actually just broken a knuckle and split just in front of BNSF 4499, not that I had noticed at this moment. 
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After both halves of the train had stopped and I assumed this wasn't a planned move, I drove up to tell the crew what had happened and they had sent someone back to see what was up. The crewman is trying to remove the pin holding the broken knuckle front in the below pic.  
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And they are away again. Because of the wagons on the other track at Bena, this incident held up all traffic on this line for probably an hour. 
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Just past Tehachapi at Summit Switch, a set of BNSF helpers has been cut out of the train to the right which is getting started again for the decent to Mojave. 
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At Mojave, and Rio Grande and SP tunnel motors wait with an EMD SD70M for their next duty, 
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On Sunday morning a stack train heads west between Barstow and Mojave. 
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An AC powered coal train gets started after a crossing east of Barstow. The SD90MAC looks like it needs a tune up. 

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