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Railfanning in Tehachapi

On May 22, 1998, I got a taste of what REAL railfanning and train chasing were all about! It was my first trip to the "Loop" and I would met up with a friend and fellow railfan, Sebastian. Sebastian and I met on the Internet a little over a year ago. The main purpose of his visit to the United States was to railfan. I left my home in Santa Barbara at precisely 6:30am in order to be in Tehachapi by 10am, where I would meet up with Sebastian. I estimated a 3-hour drive each way but I wanted to stop in Fillmore for some breakfast. Below are photos I took at the Loop and surrounding railfan hotspots. Enjoy and I would appreciate any comments you might have.

Click on thumbnail for full size image Description

(57K) Me on top of a the best hill to view the entire loop. I brought a scanner with me to listen to rail traffic.

(21K) Foolish trespassers at the tunnel opening with a train approaching from the other side!

(23K) The trespassers at least have the common sense to get out of the way! The engineer spotted them and blew his whistle.

(88K) "Hi-ball the trespassers!" The engineer said on the radio.

(46K) A colorful mixture of power on this train including what looks like a leased Conrail unit.

(54K) The same train making the last turn before going behind the mountain.

(47K) Exhaust pours out of the tunnel opening when the train emerges. One could only imagine the vast amount of soot that engineers of the steam era had to endure.

(70K) Another eastbound makes its way over a bridge with highway 58 in the background.

(37K) At BEALVILLE, MP 339.5, is a great grade crossing in which to photograph trains. Too bad there was a lot of construction debris in the way.

(34K) Another leased locomotive seen at BEALVILLE.

(34K) It looks like BNSF was so eager to get this unit into service that they didn't even bother finish painting it!

(63K) We had to run hard to get this photo of a BNSF westbound approaching the end of Tunnel #1 just east of BEALVILLE.

(44K) A nice photo of the train blasting through.

(30K) This looks like a hotbox detector and/or car counter? On the side pannel it said the operating frequency was "910-930 MHz." Sebastian and I didn't have scanners that covered the 900 MHz band so we couldn't listen to it. It looked like the unit was not completely installed.

(36K) Union Pacific Eastbound trailer train roars past at BEALVILLE. Here one can see the new car counter/detector.

(49K) My first close look at a CTC switch in action. It's hard to imagine that a dispatcher has control over it back in Omaha, NE, where Union Pacific is dispatched.

(39K) This SP westbound train was waiting for the eastbound shown in the above photo. With the switch aligned from siding to main, the train is beginning its transition.

(33K) Sebastian, my railfan partner and friend. Hi Sebastian, hope you like the photo!

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All Photos © 1998 Steven Reynolds.

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