Back To The Transcon

by Steve Eshom on October 9, 2012

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series 2012 New Mexico Adventure

After a few days enjoying the Apache and Copper Basin we headed back to BNSF’s transcon to enjoy the steady stream of trains. If you have any interest in trains you must see the spectacle that is the transcon.  Each time I find myself trackside there I am amazed at how BNSF operates this line.  Trains move fast, they are frequent and I feel a sense of urgency in everything that happens there.  Delays are not acceptable and everyone must do their job to perfection to keep a long string of trains on the move.  If one train should falter it is moved aside and dealt with off the mainline.  I find it an interesting study on how railroading can reinvent itself to meet a differing set of demands.  Just spend 2 hours trackside and you’ll see what I mean.

This trip we focused quite a bit on the area between Double A and Seligman with a heavy focus on the hill east of Seligman.  It seems we have rarely ever stopped on the hill but this time we found several locations in the few miles between Seligman and Crookton which appealed to us.   In the end we spent one evening and one early morning there capturing some great light on the trains and a bit of nice light on one of the passing showers.

Since we stayed in Flagstaff an early morning visit to the crossovers at Darling was required.  Surprisingly we actually watched a train be run around by a number of eastbounds.  Rarely can a train sit so long on one main before opposing traffic appears which is why many sidings exist on the transcon.  This train probably sat on main 1 for about 40 minutes before following a string of Z trains east.  No more than 20 minutes after it crossed over and headed east a flurry of westbounds showed up to use the space it occupied.

Never a dull moment on the transcon.

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