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Western Railroad Discussion > Cane Creek Subdivision - (Potash Branch)

Date: 09/23/07 13:33
Cane Creek Subdivision - (Potash Branch)
Author: skyview

The ex DRGW now UP Cane Creek Subdivision (Potash Branch) runs through exceptional scenery in Utah's Moab canyon area. The branch leaves the Green River Subdivision at Brendal, UT (mp 533.8) and runs some 35.8 miles to the potash mine at Potash, UT, passing within several 100 yards of the entrance to Arch's National Park.

The local has kept to the same once a week, Friday's only schedule for years, leaving Grand Junction during the morning. Typically, the train will arrive at Brendal around midday, and set out a tank car or two at Brendal itself. After servicing Brendal, its south to Canyon Country to service the potash mine, and provides an easy albeit midday chase. Despite the midday sun, good angles can be had, particularly during the Sept through April lower sun seasons. The train runs at 30mph for the first 21 or so miles to Seven Mile, then slows to 10mph for the steep downgrade into Moab and through the over 1 mile Bootlegger Tunnel, providing just enough time to shoot the train as it descends towards the tunnel and again after a 10 mile drive along the Colorado to Emkay.

Once at Potash, the train sets out its empties and picks up loads, and returns northbound to Brendal. Typically, the train requires less than an hour to set out its empties at the mine, and pick up the loads (usually 6-12 or so cars).

The radio frequency is 160.920.

If in the area, this branch is a must see! Actually, if anywhere in the Western Colorado or Eastern Utah area, this trip is worth the effort, with Arches National Park a must see after the train has left!

The first image shows the train leaving the Provo Sub at Brendal.

The second image shows the train near the Moab UT airport, as it makes the curve to pass under Utah Highway 191.

The third image shows the train at Seven Mile (mp 21.3) just before the train will slow to 10mph.

Date: 09/23/07 13:37
Re: Cane Creek Subdivision - (Potash Branch)
Author: skyview

The fourth image shows the train against the red rock walls as it descends towards Bootlegger Tunnel.

The fifth image shows the train very close to the end of the 10mph segment along Highway 279, just over 3 miles by rail but a 10 mile drive.

The sixth image shows the train at the same spot as the previous image, along the canyon on the way to the Potash mine.

Date: 09/23/07 13:41
Re: Cane Creek Subdivision - (Potash Branch)
Author: skyview

The seventh image shows the train arriving at Potash UT where it will set out its empties and pick up the loads. BTW, the final scene of movie "Thelma and Louise" was filmed just up the road from where this image was taken, where the road is high above the Colorado River.

The eighth image shows the train returning north, with the Colorado River in the foreground.

The ninth image shows the steep canyon walls carved by the Colorado River.

Date: 09/23/07 13:43
Re: Cane Creek Subdivision - (Potash Branch)
Author: qnyla

These are really great photos of a unique branch. Thanks for posting.

Date: 09/23/07 13:44
Re: Cane Creek Subdivision - (Potash Branch)
Author: skyview

The 10th image shows yet another scene with canyon walls, just prior to where the rails depart highway 279.

Image 11 shows the train now north of Seven Mile, and again moving at 30mph.

Image 12 showing the train with the LaSal mountains behind it.

Date: 09/23/07 13:45
Re: Cane Creek Subdivision - (Potash Branch)
Author: skyview

Finally, image 13 showing the train in the more typical scenery of the north 1/2 of the line, headed back towards the connection with the Green River Sub.

Date: 09/23/07 14:25
Re: Cane Creek Subdivision - (Potash Branch)
Author: alex14ramos

Thanks for sharing. This line has been on my "must see" list for awhile now. Once I get my license... Looks like you got a pretty cool power set also. The scenery is so nice on the branch that I think its pretty hard to get a "bad shot."

Nice work,
Alex Ramos

Date: 09/23/07 14:29
Re: Cane Creek Subdivision - (Potash Branch)
Author: skyview

Hopefully you can make the trip. The scenery makes it hard to go wrong, and all the shots I took (at least as far as I know) were taken from public property.

Although I have heard no rumors to indicate the line will be abandened, I worry about how long a 36 mile branch through somewhat rugged terrain will survive with only 6-12 loads per week!

Date: 09/23/07 15:46
Re: Cane Creek Subdivision - (Potash Branch)
Author: RustyRayls

I love that kink in the siding in the 3rd shot. Must be some kinda wicked slow order through there!

Date: 09/23/07 16:43
Re: Cane Creek Subdivision - (Potash Branch)
Author: RayH

Nice shots, A#1.

Date: 09/23/07 17:39
Re: Cane Creek Subdivision - (Potash Branch)
Author: GrandeGold

Excellent work, Skyview. You did the branch to perfection in one trip.

The low fall lighting worked much better for you than the vertial lighting during my trip last April.



Date: 09/23/07 18:12
Re: Cane Creek Subdivision - (Potash Branch)
Author: mojaveflyer

Nice stuff! Thanks for posting them. I was wondering where you were, hadn't seen much from you recently... We need to do some night shooting!

Date: 09/23/07 20:10
Re: Cane Creek Subdivision - (Potash Branch)
Author: Indecline

Great coverage. A very unique part of the world. I have my Arches photos currently posted on my website from last fall. The train didn't go down the line the Friday I was there though.


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