A event that hasnt happened since the 1970s. One of the biggest highlights of 2012 was shooting NKP 765 rounding Horseshoe Curve just west of Altoona, PA. I was one of a dozen railfans that set up at this spot including Norfolk Southern's official photographer and one of the editors of Trains magazine.
The other highlights for me was chasing ATSF3751 to the Grand Canyon and the heritage unit gathering at Spencer, NC.
This is the first of two trains the Durango and Silverton ran to Silverton on this day. This is the more typical angle and only 500 feet from this shot.
I am standing on the only rock that hangs out on this side of the tracks. A tiny cut almost. Behind me, the tracks take a sharp turn as it follow the Animas river, which, is two feet to my left and two hundred feet down!
I was having a diffilcult time trying to figure out a name for this. BNSF Meet, Meet from above, and a Descending were three options, but Caliente will do.
So why Caliente? Well, that is the town on the railfan famed Tehachapi pass. A virtual railfans dream to visit! But Ill get to that in a second. Caliente is where the tracks in the background come towards me, then loop behind me to meet the tracks in the foreground. Ive seen photos like this before and couldnt figure out how it all worked until I saw it myself.
Now why is Tehachapi a railfans dream? Well, if the timing works well and the trains are running heavy (as they where on the two days I visited), you will be railfanning constantly. I maximized my potential by chasing EVERY train that hit the pass. Chase one one way, it meets another, chase that, it meets one, chase that. It kepts me BUSY and I walked away with shots from every easy legal angle there is to do. I had no trouble with the local ranchers as I did not go onto their property as many railfans feel the need to do.
I have heard horror stories between ranches and rent a cops to both UP and BNSF both shutting the railroad down for trackwork. I spent the night on the pass and can assure you all, theres just as much if not more traffic at night.
ATSF 3751, the oldest surviving 4-8-4, the first to be built by Baldwin Locomotive Works and the first to be built for the Santa Fe passes one of EMDs newest locomotive. A spotless Union Pacific SD70ACe at Lenwood, CA, outside of Barstow, CA.