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Date: 11/20/20 17:17
Recent Trip to the Inside Gateway
Author: stanhunter

A friend and I made a trip to BNSF's Gateway Sub, aka the Inside Gateway, between Keddie, CA, and Klamath Falls, OR.  It was beautiful fall weather - cold at night and in the mornings, and mild during the day.  There was a bit of snow left over at the higher elevations, but the roads were all in good shape and we were able to find quite a few awesome photo locations.  The railroad runs through some pretty remote areas of northeastern California, and is very scenic, with lots of 10 degree curves and some substantial grades (in the 1.6% range).  Railroad traffic was sparse during the day, due to maintenance I suspect, but we did see a few trains during the four days we were there.

1.  Monday, November 9:  First train we saw was BNSF 4996 North at Hall's Flat.  Hall's Flat is at the top of the long uphill grade coming south from the Pit River.  BNSF has recently completed installing CTC from Keddie to Bieber, with Track Warrants governing the north half of the railroad.  In these photos you can see the new CTC signals.

2.  BNSF 4996N tips over the top of the hill and begins its descent to the Pit River.  The speed limit drops from 49 to 40 at this location, and another 1.6 miles beyond, it drops again, to 25 mph.  Note the BNSF warbonnet as the second unit, and the CSX unit trailing.

3.  You can really see the grade change here.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/20 17:24 by stanhunter.








Date: 11/20/20 17:23
Re: Recent Trip to the Inside Gateway
Author: stanhunter

Part 2...

4.  We were able to catch the 4996N again at Little Valley.

5.  The next day (November 10), we caught BNSF 8158N, the "Local", at the big curve at Jellico with a short train.  The loaded center beams were picked up at the reload at Cear Creek Jct, former connection with the Almanor Railroad.

6.  Later that day, we saw BNSF 5954N descending the grade at Willow Springs.








Date: 11/20/20 17:29
Re: Recent Trip to the Inside Gateway
Author: stanhunter

Part 3...

7.  On day three (November 11) we headed north from Bieber.  We stopped in at Lookout, where the McCloud River Railroad used to connect with the GN/BN/BNSF.  Rails are still there, but no activity on the McCloud anymore.

8.  We ventured further north, and caught the Local, again with the 8158, switching the sand pit at Tionesta before returning north to Klamath Falls.

9.  With the Local in the clear in the spur at Tionesta, BNSF 7401 South blasts upgrade on the long tangent south of Mammoth.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/20 17:53 by stanhunter.








Date: 11/20/20 17:31
Re: Recent Trip to the Inside Gateway
Author: koloradokid

stanhunter Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A friend and I made a trip to BNSF's Gateway Sub,
> aka the Inside Gateway, between Keddie, CA, and
> Klamath Falls, OR.  It was beautiful fall weather
> - cold at night and in the mornings, and mild
> during the day.  There was a bit of snow left
> over at the higher elevations, but the roads were
> all in good shape and we were able to find quite a
> few awesome photo locations.  The railroad runs
> through some pretty remote areas of northeastern
> California, and is very scenic, with lots of 10
> degree curves and some substantial grades (in the
> 1.6% range).  Railroad traffic was sparse during
> the day, due to maintenance I suspect, but we did
> see a few trains during the four days we were
> there.
>
> 1.  Monday, November 9:  First train we saw was
> BNSF 4996 North at Hall's Flat.  Hall's Flat is
> at the top of the long uphill grade coming south
> from the Pit River.  BNSF has recently completed
> installing CTC from Keddie to Bieber, with Track
> Warrants governing the north half of the railroad.
>  In these photos you can see the new CTC
> signals.


Isn't that a grade north from the Pit River?

Robert



Date: 11/20/20 17:33
Re: Recent Trip to the Inside Gateway
Author: icancmp193

You did quite well. Daytime traffic has been slow (2-4 trains), but I usually hear 2-3 more in the dead of night.

TJY



Date: 11/20/20 17:37
Re: Recent Trip to the Inside Gateway
Author: stanhunter

Part 4...

10.  We caught the 7401S climbing the grade at the big cut at Willow Springs.  The short days make for a lot of shadows, and the light was fading fast.

11.  7401S passing the solar-powered flange lubricator.  Many of the signal, dragger and lubricator installations are solar-powered, due to the remoteness of the area.

12.  Workhorse GE C44-9W Santa Fe 622 leads the DPU set on the 7401S.  








Date: 11/20/20 17:39
Re: Recent Trip to the Inside Gateway
Author: JFArrFan

This is very interesting! Thank you

Jonathan Fischer
West Seattle, WA



Date: 11/20/20 17:43
Re: Recent Trip to the Inside Gateway
Author: FiveChime

Desolate but pretty country up there.

Great photos!

Regards, Jim Evans



Date: 11/20/20 17:43
Re: Recent Trip to the Inside Gateway
Author: stanhunter

Part 5...

We headed to Hall's Flat, where BNSF 7383 North was waiting on the main track to meet the 7401S.  

13.  7383N waiting for the 7401S.  Note the CP unit trailing the lead unit.

14.  As the light quickly fades, 7401S arrives at Hall's Flat, taking the siding to meet 7383N.

15.  The meet.








Date: 11/20/20 17:50
Re: Recent Trip to the Inside Gateway
Author: stanhunter

Part 6...

16.  After the meet, BNSF 7383 North starts the drop downgrade leaving Hall's Flat.

17.  The next day, November 12, we headed back to Sacramento, catching BNSF 6278 South,with a trainload of FedEx Ground trailers, getting a fresh crew at Almanor.

18.  The 6278S crosses Indian Creek, south of Crescent Mills.

It was a great trip to a very interesting railroad.  I can't wait to go back again in the spring!  Thanks for looking.

Stan Hunter
Fair Oaks, CA
 








Date: 11/20/20 17:52
Re: Recent Trip to the Inside Gateway
Author: stanhunter

The railroad is largely flat North from the Pit River to K Falls.  Some undulations but nothing like the grade southbound from the Pit River to Hall's Flat.


koloradokid Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> stanhunter Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > A friend and I made a trip to BNSF's Gateway
> Sub,
> > aka the Inside Gateway, between Keddie, CA, and
> > Klamath Falls, OR.  It was beautiful fall
> weather
> > - cold at night and in the mornings, and mild
> > during the day.  There was a bit of snow left
> > over at the higher elevations, but the roads
> were
> > all in good shape and we were able to find quite
> a
> > few awesome photo locations.  The railroad
> runs
> > through some pretty remote areas of
> northeastern
> > California, and is very scenic, with lots of 10
> > degree curves and some substantial grades (in
> the
> > 1.6% range).  Railroad traffic was sparse
> during
> > the day, due to maintenance I suspect, but we
> did
> > see a few trains during the four days we were
> > there.
> >
> > 1.  Monday, November 9:  First train we saw
> was
> > BNSF 4996 North at Hall's Flat.  Hall's Flat
> is
> > at the top of the long uphill grade coming
> south
> > from the Pit River.  BNSF has recently
> completed
> > installing CTC from Keddie to Bieber, with
> Track
> > Warrants governing the north half of the
> railroad.
> >  In these photos you can see the new CTC
> > signals.
>
>
> Isn't that a grade north from the Pit River?
>
> Robert



Date: 11/20/20 18:34
Re: Recent Trip to the Inside Gateway
Author: bobk

Fantastic series!



Date: 11/20/20 18:46
Re: Recent Trip to the Inside Gateway
Author: icancmp193

I watched that FedEx train head by the house. I am pretty sure these are repos (i.e. empties). We get one every now and again, sometimes with a lot of JB Hunt containers. But, it's nice to pretend it is a hotshot intermodal!

TJY



Date: 11/20/20 18:50
Re: Recent Trip to the Inside Gateway
Author: GN599

Home sweet home! 



Date: 11/20/20 20:06
Re: Recent Trip to the Inside Gateway
Author: TCnR

Nice series, great trip.

Kinda surprised to see Halls Flat, thought it would have been too much snow or mud or both. Yep, the Pit River is near Pitville, that's the easy access to Little Valley and the gravel road to Jellico and points south. Big climb out of Little Valley to the south. Haven't seen between Little Valley and Bieber / NuBieber, lots of back roads though.

Someone on TO was saying there was talk about storing cars on the old trackage near Lookout, the first few miles has always been GN / BN / BNSF. Some sort of deal to ensure access for the McCloud back in the day. I'm sure that's been discussed on TO, or will be shortly.

Great stuff, t4p.



Date: 11/20/20 20:21
Re: Recent Trip to the Inside Gateway
Author: ShoreLineRoute

Jointed rail all gone?  I was last up there in 2011.

Oliver Barrett



Date: 11/21/20 05:26
Re: Recent Trip to the Inside Gateway
Author: DaveL

Moccasin Siding (closest to Keddie, but short) has had a string of centerbeams for over a year!
Also, no jointed rail to at least Bieber (Nu Bieber), maybe all the way to Wishram.

Dave



Date: 11/21/20 07:31
Re: Recent Trip to the Inside Gateway
Author: JDLX

Thanks for the fantastic photos!

As for the Lookout trackage, GN/BN/BNSF owned the full 34 miles from Lookout to Hambone, McCloud River/McCloud Railway operated the line as agent and maintained the line as directed by GN and successors.  BNSF kept something like 5.8 miles of the branch intact when they scrapped it out, they sent a tie gang over the line a couple months ago to prepare it for car storage. 

I've got the basic outlines of the story on the branch here:

http://www.mccloudriverrailroad.com/AlongTheLine/Hambone-Lookout.htm

....and some pictures of the tie gang at work on another part of the website here:

http://www.mccloudriverrailroad.com/Miscellaneous/LookoutTrackwork.htm

Thanks again!

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV



Date: 11/21/20 07:34
Re: Recent Trip to the Inside Gateway
Author: BobL

stanhunter Wrote:

> > Isn't that a grade north from the Pit River?
> >
> > Robert

No, it's south of the Pit River.  Between Bieber and K Falls, the grades are very gentle.



Date: 11/21/20 08:15
Re: Recent Trip to the Inside Gateway
Author: tgcostello

Thanks for your photo essay on this little covered major rail line.  Your photo #9 is spectacular.
Tim Costello



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