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Western Railroad Discussion > Amtrak Detours In the Feather River Canyon


Date: 06/17/13 18:06
Amtrak Detours In the Feather River Canyon
Author: Amtrakdavis22

On June 14th, 2013, both Amtrak Coast Starlight trains were forced to detour via the Feather River Canyon and BNSF Gateway Subdivision. What forced the detour was a derailment on the Shasta Line just north of Dunmuir near Cantera. Both trains ended up being over 10 hours late, but at least they were able to continue.

During that time, I was up in Chico, California for a baseball tournament. I was already planning on shooting trains in the canyon that morning. When I heard the news that Amtrak trains were going to be in the canyon, I stopped planning to catch other trains. I woke up early in Chico and headed strait for the canyon.

I eventually caught up to Amtrak 14 near Serpentine Canyon (just east of Belden, California). My main goal was to beat it to Keddie where I could see it take a left turn up the Gateway Subdivision. Soon I found myself at Keddie with a few crew members waiting for the train.

It was quite the operation switching out crews at Keddie. First off I should tell you that on a detoured train like this, there is an Amtrak crew running the train, but a "pilot" (someone qualified for the route) must also be in the cab. So as Amtrak 14 approached Keddie, the crew on the train realized they were not qualified to take the train across the north leg of the wye. After talking with the dispatcher, it was decided the BNSF pilot had to walk across the Keddie bridge towards Tunnel 32 and board the train there.

So the BNSF guys walked across the bridge and got in the cab near the Tunnel 32 portal. They then slowly pulled up to let the old crew hop in the transition sleeper to take them across the bridge. From there, they crossed the bridge and stopped to let out the old crew near the Renzenburger car. This entire operation took around 10 minutes and gave me plenty of opportunity to shoot the train. Once everyone was good to go, the train departed north towards Klamath Falls.


From there, I went back down the canyon to chase an intermodal train 14 had met at Paxton. I have photos of that train but they will be shown in a later thread. After that, I went back to Chico for lunch before returning to catch Amtrak 11.

Having a friend report the time Amtrak 11 departed Keddie helped me time a shot at Tobin well. I arrived approx. two minutes before the train passed through. I got my shot and then drove back to my original location at Pulga. I set up at Pulga and waited for a ten minutes or so. The canyon was quiet besides Amtrak 11. Soon 11 came rolling on through posing in front of the famous double bridges for me.

After that I chased 11 down to James and South Oroville. I noticed they met an eastbound BNSF manifest at Kramm. Soon my day was done but I was very content with the outcome. Definitely a day filled with rare opportunity and I was glad I could shoot it.

I hope you all enjoy these photos of the Amtrak Coast Starlight in the Feather River Canyon!

Photo 1) Amtrak 14 rolls along the Feather River as it exits Serpentine Canyon near Twain, California.

Photo 2) Amtrak 147 exits the portal of Tunnel 32 at Keddie. The impressive infrastructure of the Keddie Bridge can be seen below.

Photo 3) The BNSF pilot crew prepares to board Amtrak 147 and take the train across the wye.

Enjoy!

Jake Miille
Chico, CA
Jake Miille Photography








Date: 06/17/13 18:06
Re: Amtrak Detours In the Feather River Canyon
Author: Amtrakdavis22

Photo 4) Amtrak 14 slowly turns towards the BNSF Gateway Sub as it comes through the Keddie Wye.

Photo 5) After stopping to let off the old crew, Amtrak 14 is now departing Keddie for good. Here it is seen passing the tunnel which makes up the east leg of the Keddie wye.

Photo 6) Amtrak 11 approaches the Tobin bridge as it comes west down the Feather River Canyon.

Jake Miille
Chico, CA
Jake Miille Photography



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/13 18:10 by Amtrakdavis22.








Date: 06/17/13 18:07
Re: Amtrak Detours In the Feather River Canyon
Author: Amtrakdavis22

Photo 7) Amtrak 11 poses in front of the Pulga double bridges as it rolls through the depths of the Feather River Canyon.

Photo 8) Amtrak 132 leads the Coast Starlight around a large curve at James, California.

Photo 9) My friend waves to me from the cab of Amtrak 132 as the train heads south out of Oroville. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains can be seen in the background.

I hope you enjoyed all the photos. Any questions on this days events are welcome as I'm sure I was unable to cover everything in my report. It was a fun day and I can't wait to get back up in the canyon soon.

Thanks for viewing!

Jake Miille
Chico, CA
Jake Miille Photography



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/13 18:15 by Amtrakdavis22.








Date: 06/17/13 18:17
Re: Amtrak Detours In the Feather River Canyon
Author: pummer

Great pictures!



Date: 06/17/13 18:17
Re: Amtrak Detours In the Feather River Canyon
Author: qnyla

Excellent coverage.



Date: 06/17/13 18:39
Re: Amtrak Detours In the Feather River Canyon
Author: kimura

FAN-tastic photos of this rare event! Thanks!



Date: 06/17/13 18:41
Re: Amtrak Detours In the Feather River Canyon
Author: NorCalRails32

Great shots my friend! I especially like Photos 1, 5, and 7. Glad you were able to catch this rare move through the Canyon!

-Nick



Date: 06/17/13 19:03
Re: Amtrak Detours In the Feather River Canyon
Author: walstib

Great shots, all of them.

Excellent written report, too.



Date: 06/17/13 19:07
Re: Amtrak Detours In the Feather River Canyon
Author: mukinduri

Great photos. I don't think I've seen any before from this angle.

Do you have to have to get special permission to visit the east (where the unused tunnel forms the third side of the triangle) side of the Keddie wye? or is there access to the general public? I couldn't figure out how to get there myself.



Date: 06/17/13 19:43
Re: Amtrak Detours In the Feather River Canyon
Author: SPB

Thanks for posting such terrific shots of an unusual Amtrak operation. Good that you had time to get the to canyon and knew the spots for good photography.



Date: 06/17/13 20:03
Re: Amtrak Detours In the Feather River Canyon
Author: PasadenaSub

Awesome coverage, JT - especially the Pulga bridge photo. Having been up there about a month ago, I recall how dicey it was to park the car and walk in the road to get to that spot. Luckily the road flaggers had the traffic stopped ahead so I had a big lull to work with.

Rich



Date: 06/17/13 20:23
Re: Amtrak Detours In the Feather River Canyon
Author: atsf121

Great pictures. Noticed both trains had an old Pepsi can, how's that for coincidence. Took me a minute to figure out the last photos were southbound, thought I was still looking at the Northbound.

Nathan



Date: 06/17/13 21:40
Re: Amtrak Detours In the Feather River Canyon
Author: Margaret_SP_fan

Those are great photos, JT! SO glad you
chased this rare move! You take great
photos!



Date: 06/18/13 05:21
Re: Amtrak Detours In the Feather River Canyon
Author: ns1000

GREAT set of pics!!!! Thanks for sharing.



Date: 06/18/13 06:56
Re: Amtrak Detours In the Feather River Canyon
Author: dancollins3

Even though this was very time consuming, consider yourself privileged to travel an area where few folks do.
My son and I were privileged to ride a tour though the canyon and end up in Klamath Falls Oregon.
You had the "E Ticket Ride of railroading!
To the folks who took the Pictures Thank YOU! These Photo are awesome!!!
Dan



Date: 06/18/13 07:15
Re: Amtrak Detours In the Feather River Canyon
Author: Torisgod

atsf121 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Great pictures. Noticed both trains had an old
> Pepsi can, how's that for coincidence. Took me a
> minute to figure out the last photos were
> southbound, thought I was still looking at the
> Northbound.
>
> Nathan

There's been a lot of P32 use on the Starlights recently.

Tor in Eugene



Date: 06/18/13 07:46
Re: Amtrak Detours In the Feather River Canyon
Author: MacBeau

Nice group of images.
—Mac



Date: 06/18/13 08:21
Re: Amtrak Detours In the Feather River Canyon
Author: wag216

Detour? Detour? That is the way that God indented the CZ was to be used!

(LOL) Really great photos and story! Thank you, wag216



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