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Western Railroad Discussion > Battling Clouds

Date: 05/24/22 23:15
Battling Clouds
Author: funnelfan

I was hesitant to venture out this past Sunday because it was a rather cloudy, and with gas being priced like it is. But I also really wanted to get out and enjoy the nice outside temps before things get too hot. So took the risk and went out to photograph a few trains. I lucked out several times, and failed on a few. But all in all it was a nice afternoon. The further I moved south, the clearer the skies became. Larry (Ritzville) also caught several of these trains that day.

1 & 2.  When fast moving cloud shadows are racing across the landscape as the train enters the frame and you're just praying for a spot of sunlight on the tracks. Then when those prayers are answered, I normally called that a "Sucker Hole". But that doesn't seem like the right term, should be something like "Glory Hole". Albeit "Glory Hole" has some alternative meanings that taint the true intent of the phrase as I would use it. I was so lucky on Sunday with a loaded grain train dropping down the hill from Fishtrap siding on BNSF's Lakeside Sub southwest of Spokane, WA.

3. CN SD70M-2 was leading another grain train through a patch of trees by the Missile Base Ballast Pit.

Ted Curphey
Ontario, OR

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/24/22 23:42 by funnelfan.

Date: 05/24/22 23:30
Re: Battling Clouds
Author: funnelfan

4. It's been a few years since I last photographed this angle at the top of Providence Hill in eastern Washington. This is where BNSF's Lakeside Sub makes a long serpentine climb from Lind up to the top of the ridge the divides the Lind Coulee from the Providence Coulee in a wide open landscape that is ideal for photography. The H-NTWPAS is a quite the mix of carload traffic, mostly empty cars returning to the PNW to be loaded again. So the train doesn't struggle unlike the multitude of grain, oil and coal trains that make up most of the traffic on this side of the hill. I bagged this photo on Sunday, watching a air tractor crop duster spraying a nearby wheat field until the train arrived.

5. H-SPOPAS climbing out of the confines of the Providence Coulee at Hatton.

6. H-NTWPAS in the depths of the Providence Coulee. Between Hatton and Connell is one twisted single track slow speed railway as the line curves one way and then the other over several miles. This is the bottleneck on the Lakeside Sub that sets the capacity of the line. I've heard that BNSF has plans drawn up to double track the Coulee, but it will take the route going into meltdown again before they will get serious about starting that project. BNSF currently doesn't have enough employees to even approach the capacity of the route.

Ted Curphey
Ontario, OR

Date: 05/24/22 23:39
Re: Battling Clouds
Author: funnelfan

7. In the middle of all those curves in the Providence Coulee is this one bit of straight track about mid way between Connell and Hatton. A late day empty grain train heads east up the coulee.

Ted Curphey
Ontario, OR

Date: 05/25/22 06:58
Re: Battling Clouds
Author: mojaveflyer

Wow, gorgeous photos with some great light.... Can't beat that! Thanks for sharing!

James Nelson
Thornton, CO

Date: 05/25/22 07:01
Re: Battling Clouds
Author: bmarti7

Great shots of Eastern Washington Ted. Thanks for sharing.

Bismarck Bill 

Date: 05/25/22 08:07
Re: Battling Clouds
Author: coach

I wonder if the BNSF wishes they still had the SP&S route in place?

Date: 05/25/22 08:24
Re: Battling Clouds
Author: Gonut1

Not bad for a battle with the clouds!

Date: 05/25/22 08:47
Re: Battling Clouds
Author: MP90

Great shots. Nothing short of spectacular!

Date: 05/25/22 10:17
Re: Battling Clouds
Author: Ritzville

Great look at the whole area from Fishtrap to Hatton. There has been lots of clouds and thunderclouds lately. You did well Ted!


Date: 05/25/22 14:09
Re: Battling Clouds
Author: TheNavigator

Thanks for an enjoyable group in the Palouse.

Date: 05/25/22 16:07
Re: Battling Clouds
Author: ns1000

Great pics!!

Date: 05/25/22 19:24
Re: Battling Clouds
Author: SP8595

Really Great series with #4 and #6 being really Nice!

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