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Monday, June 8, 2015

15-06-08 PHOTOS: El Paso

Over the past 5 years my annual cross country Amtrak trek has resulted in large, often multi-part posts with 30 or so photos each. Well, as I alluded to in last week's post, this year's trip was ruined by Dan Akroyd parking his private car on the back of the train for the entire journey. I tried to salvage things as best I could, but I am going to need to perform a complete do-over next year. Good thing my new Amtrak credit card is giving me 20k free rewards points :-
In this part I cover much of the former Southern Pacific route between Tuscon, AZ and El Paso, TX. Keep in mind my train is actually running ahead of schedule due to anticipated congestion in the San Antonia area. You can view the complete set of photos here.

How the view out the back could have certainly been worse since the bi-level Superliner did quite literally overshadow the heavyweight car attached behind it. However this was the view I was stuck with for the entire trip. Um...I think that's a signal there and there are some mountains in the frame as well.

On the curvier parts of the line I was occasionally granted a reasonable sight line, such as here near Fenner where I nabbed this photo of KCS AC4400 #4550 on the rear of a doublestack train.

S-curves and mountains near Sibyl, AZ.

Out of the mountains and onto the flats near Wilcox.

Wilcox MoW base.

An unidentified CP GE unit hauling ass behind a UP GE near Raso.

These remote signals near the Arizona border are powered by both wind AND solar.

What may or may not count as a mesa.

UP AC4400 #5686 partly seen at Lordsburg.

UP SD70ACe #8312 seen on the end of a double stack train in the Lordsburg yard while Train 2 makes a station stop.

Anything in the Northeast advertising itself as "authentic" Mexican food is a fake.

UP ES44AC #7960 at the head of an intermodal train in Lordsburg Yard.

Southwestern Railway GP40 locomotives #9710 and #9964 at Deming, NM.


Passing through one of the two fuel pads at UP's sparkling new Santa Teresa yard, west of El Paso, I caught AC4400 #7221 gasing up.

Signal bridges were one of the few things I could take good photos of. Unfortunately there weren't that many.

UP locomotives waiting for us to pass so they can pull into the yard.

UP SD70ACe #8492 and SD70M #4382 as part of a 4 or 5 engine lashup on the head of a double stack train on the downgrade into El Paso.

These flowering bushes certainly beautified the RoW.

Running just a few feet north of the US-Mexico border. Someone please alert Donald Trump...the wall's already been built!!

My view of Mexico.

Crossing the Big River.

Union Pacific GP40-2 #1371.

South of the border transportation solutions are a bit more traditional. This one car road train was being hauled by a one horsepower locomotive.

UP ES44AC #7910 and SD70M #4212 taking the clear signal at TOWER 169 in El Paso.

UP SD70ACe #8849 was giving a push from the rear.

Train 2 providing it's passengers with a smoke break at the El Paso Amtrak station. Fun fact, Orange, CA is closer to El Paso then Orange, TX.

The cause of all my problems...Gulf, Mobile and Ohio observation car #800589.

Who you gonna call?

That's it for today. Tune in next week as my train competes against the speed limit in East Texas.

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