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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

14-08-18a PHOTOS: Eugene Oregon

So some weeks before my Coast Starlight trip kicked off we got one of those Amtrak e-mails explaining how there would be a surprise service modification in the form of a Bustitution between Portland and Eugene due to a UP maintenance blitz on the Brooklyn Sub. Now I have experienced this type of Bus Bridge before and it actually didn't cost much time since buses, running direct without stops, can usually make better time than the train.

I'll get into the details of the bus ride as I get into the photo part of the post, but suffice ti say we made it to Eugene and got rolling again on our new Train 11 where I was able to document at least some of the former Southern Pacific line to San Francisco. You can see the full set of photos here.

We begin with our original Train 11 trainset waiting under the canopies at Portland Union Station with Amtrak P42DC #167 and Heritage baggage car #1721. This trainset would proceed to wye before picking up the group of northbound passengers.

Amtrak "Mae West" Talgo cab car #7911 was sitting at the head of the Cascades trainset that was waiting for the next northbound departure. Not only is it ugly, I doubt it will substantially enhance the safety of the passengers and crew if the train hits anything more than a compact car. Also is it just me or is this transit look extra long?

Starlight passengers wait for their bus or train inside.

Despite the "corridor" type service, the Portland station still features a non-electronic train board behind the ticket window.

You heard the tower...GO BY TRAIN!

View of the station as my bus departed northward across the Willamette River. You can see a better panorama here.

Although it took about 30-45 minutes for our bus to get out of Portland, the 2 hour express run to Eugene still has us less than an hour behind schedule. Note the Southern Pacific style station signs with the terminal mileage.

There the new Train 11 trainset was waiting, having arrived earlier that day with the northbound passengers. 

This train was equipped with a Pacific Parlor Car, #39972 "Nappa Valley", which turned out to be a huge plus. 

In recent months Amtrak had taken to substituting the second P42 for a P32-8WH, but for this trip we were treated to Surfliner F59PHI #461!!! The leading P42DC was #123.

The limitation of the bus bridge was that the "local bus" collecting passengers from downtown Albany and Salem, was running late and we wound up waiting about 30-45 minutes for it at Eugene, setting our train back about 90 minutes or so which would impact my ability to take photos out the back later. Here we see the signal to proceed southward out of the Eugene siding as the last few passengers scramble to get aboard.

Because of the delay the remainder of the photos I would take out the back of the train would be affected by some degree of backlighting. Here we see a truss bridge over the Willamette River.

After a few minutes we started to run along side Lookout Point lake.


Of course more trees means more fires.

Tunnel 22.

Unfortunately due to catastrophic backlighting I was forced to abandon my survey and retreated to the parlor car for dinner. This deprived me from getting any good photos of the Willamette Valley switchback where the line climbs up from the lowlands up the Cascade plateau. I was able to manage a few side window shots however.

I also managed this photo of our train entering the tunnel.

Another sharp curve allows this photo of #123 and #461 taking the signal at the south end of the Cruzatte siding.

On the Abernathy siding we encountered a welded rail train with SD70M #4554 and ES44AC #7093.

The welded rail train was capped off by a Southern Pacific caboose. 

Departing Tunnel 3 things just got too dark to continue taking photos any longer so I just gave up aside from a single night shot when the train was making a smoke stop at Kalamath Falls.

Tune in next time as I visit Emmeryville for the third time, but depart in the southward direction.

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