Thursday, November 12, 2009

Down to UP, Part 1

I had some time Thursday afternoon, so I decided to head south to Maricopa, Arizona to see the Union Pacific mainline. I figured there might be a few trains there... and I was not disappointed.

When I arrived at the Amtrak depot, I saw the Silver Horizon, a former California Zephyr passenger car. It is looking a little worse for wear but it is still an attractive car.
Silver Horizon car in Maricopa, AZ

I could see that Union Pacific was putting in a second track in Maricopa. The two tracks end just west of Maricopa and UP is double-tracking their entire 760-mile "Sunset Route" between Los Angeles and El Paso. Incidentally, UP has a neat factsheet about their presence in Arizona.

Anyway, back to the trains. I saw an eastbound stack train pull up to the end of the double track and stop. I drove over and saw that UP 5003, 4357, and 9810 were the power on the head end. They had their headlights dimmed, so I figured there must be a westbound coming soon. I went a little west of Maricopa to try to catch it. It was hot waiting for the train!

At 13:17 it came, with UP 8045, 4186, and 7838 on the head end of a manifest train, and dirty UP 4449 and UP 7877 pushing on the end.
UP 8045, Maricopa, Arizona

The eastbound still didn't move, meaning another westbound train was coming. I picked another location, and at 13:35 I shot UP 7380, 4263, 8606 leading another manifest train.
UP 7380, Maricopa, Arizona
UP 5490 was pushing on the end.
UP 5490 pushing in Maricopa, Arizona
After that train passed, I repositioned again to get the eastbound... but I found another train first. To be continued...

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