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Passenger Trains > Amtrak California in Utah


Date: 01/25/23 12:47
Amtrak California in Utah
Author: atsf121

My wife was just asking why I've been chasing trains much lately.  It's mostly because Amtrak has been so late through here that I actually get to see them, in the daylight even.  Yesterday BoilingMan gave me a heads up that an Amtrak California F59PHI was headed my way on #6.  I still remember how excited I got seeing the photo in Trains magazine when the first F59PHI was introduced at LA Union Station.  Those were the dark ages when train news was weeks/months old by the time I got it.  I loved the looks of the units, everything from the size to the lines to the colors, and would try to get photos of them on the Cal-P, Mococo, or Stockon Sub whenever I was home from college, and after I moved home from college.  I also rode behind them many a time on the Capital Corridors (work commute for over a year), the San Joaquins, and once on the San Diegan.  I'm now modeling the SP Cal-P and ATSF Stockton Sub in the mid-1990's and have an Athearn F59PHI because it's such an iconic part of that time for me.

So with that background, it's easy to see why I got up before the crack of dawn this morning and ended up chasing for way, way longer than expected.  I checked last night and #6 was running about an hour late, so I set my alarm even though I was secretly hoping it would lose more time.  I ended up waking up before my alarm, and the train was still an hour late into Salt Lake so I had time to get ready, shovel the driveway, and head off.  Side note, I noticed that #5 still hadn't made it to Salt Lake, so I was wondering where they might meet and if I could catch that.  No matter what, I wanted to get at least one video and a decent photo in the dark of the Amtrak California unit, I don't know if one has ever been through Utah before.  I setup at the American Fork Frontrunner station for the first video clip, orignal plan was just a rollby and head home.  As I waited for it to arrive, I thought about heading to Provo to get a picture in better lighting when the train was stopped, but that plan was quickly foiled as I watched the snow plow brigade head south on I-15.  We had 2" of snow last night, and getting from the AF Frontrunner station to I-15 south is a backwards, round-a-bout loop that cost too much time.  So I gave up on the Provo idea of getting a nice still shot of the F59PHI and kept going to Spanish Fork.  Hadn't tried this spot before, had noticed it on previous drives, and it worked out really well.  I checked the map and 5 had left Helper and was heading west, meaning 5 & 6 would meet somewhere in Spanish Fork Canyon.  I didn't have any early meetings, and some mornings I'm off on a bike ride when two of my older kids leave for school, so no one would probably notice I was gone (though I did keep texting my wife that I was heading a little further ...).  I had hoped to catch 6 at the Thistle tunnels, but the traffic lights on Highway 6 through Spanish Fork slowed me down.  So I got in front of it and finally found a place to safely pull off (lots of snow to work around this morning) and waited.  Was crossing my fingers 5 would show up as the dots were really close on the map by now.  No luck, 6 rolled by at CP Narrows and I started to follow when here came 5 around the next curve.  No video, but it was fun to watch a rolling meet.  I flipped a U and went back down the canyon a ways to wait for 5 at the signals at CP Rio.  That's the last video clip.  I was shocked to see out of the corner of my eye that 5 had a BNSF leader (GE I think, didn't see the number), which probably explains the 10 hour delay.  I kinda got stuck in the snow off the side of the road, so it took a few minutes to get going, at this point I just needed to head home.  I had seen a green signal for the eastbound/uphill direction so was curious if I'd see something on the way.  Sure enough, just as I caught up to 5, here came the Denver bound BNSF Provo-Lincoln train.  Sure wish I could have gotten a video of that rolling meet.  2 rolling meets in one day, and no video, oh well.  It was still a great chase, best I've had in a while.  And there have been quite a few chases of late, especially if my wife has noticed.  Was able to get home in time to see my oldest off to work, make my work call, and to get the youngest 3 off to school.  I might need a nap this afternoon.

Thanks IC_2024 for the unit number from your thread CDTX #2007 headed for an overhaul, I wasn't able to catch it this morning in the dark.

Between the BART car Sunday and the Amtrak California F59PHI today, we Californians really are trying to take over Utah!  :)

Nathan

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Date: 01/25/23 13:04
Re: Amtrak California in Utah
Author: BlaineM

Good work and exciting.  I watched the California Amtrak go through Truckee.
Blaine
American Fork



Date: 01/25/23 14:25
Re: Amtrak California in Utah
Author: IC_2024

Wow, Nathan— very fun to watch; such pro work and post production with titles and fades. Makes TO’s a pleasure to see work like yours!
I esp liked the BNSF leader’s horn echoing in the canyon night — chills down your spine hearing that and then markers fade with the red signals.
My poor #2007 trailing w/ all that snow kicking up— she’s not used to that in CA, haha! Also really enjoyed your backstory of why F-59’s mean a lot to you. I survived a particularly bad crossing accident on the 2006 back in ‘95 at Planada, CA when we struck a Cheyenne pickup pulling an airstream trailer after the drunk lady driver ran out of gas on the crossing ( that was right around a blind curve!). We hit it at 70mph, and it blew up instantly filling the cab with flames and smoke that had me reaching for my bandana to cover my mouth and nose as quickly as possible. My fireman buddy, Gary, and I hit the ground running and shut the engine kill switch on the side as we bailed back to safety alongside the train. We didn’t even get a scratch but suffered some minor smoke inhalation so I got a little Oxygen from the ambulance that showed up. I remember taking the mask off, handing it back to the paramedic lady, getting up and walking out of the ambulance. I was in shock and she reprimanded me: “You can’t walk out like that!” I replied, “I just did” as I made my way back to the tracks, helplessly watching 2006 burn, but relieved that the fire dept was getting the blaze under control. The loco’s nose melted from the resulting fire— was hella scary but that’s life sometimes. Ever since then, she’s been my fav— just coupled her on to a train the other night, smiled and thought about our harrowing night “down the valley” — roll on, 2006!!



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/25/23 14:42 by IC_2024.



Date: 01/25/23 18:26
Re: Amtrak California in Utah
Author: BoilingMan

Nice job!  Very nice.
SR

You mentioned the unvailing of the F59 in LA-  I was there




Date: 01/26/23 12:47
Re: Amtrak California in Utah
Author: atsf121

IC_2024 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I esp liked the BNSF leader’s horn echoing in
> the canyon night — chills down your spine
> hearing that and then markers fade with the red
> signals.

Thanks for the kind words IC_2024.  I forgot about the private crossing that I had noticed off as I pulled off a few moments earlier, so I'm glad I started the video early to get that, it was really cool to hear, especially the echo.

> My poor #2007 trailing w/ all that snow kicking
> up— she’s not used to that in CA, haha!

Haha, for sure!  I guess I've been here long enough to be used to the snow now, doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would.

> — roll on, 2006!!

My model is of 2008, but I need another one or two, eventually.

 




Date: 01/26/23 12:47
Re: Amtrak California in Utah
Author: atsf121

BoilingMan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nice job!  Very nice.
> SR
>
> You mentioned the unvailing of the F59 in LA-  I
> was there

Some guys have all the luck!  :)



Date: 01/26/23 15:47
Re: Amtrak California in Utah
Author: ProAmtrak

Nice night video of no. 6!

Posted from Android



Date: 01/26/23 17:30
Re: Amtrak California in Utah
Author: GenePoon

The F59PHI were called "Rocketships" by some, when new.

For those who have never been inside an F59PHI, what looks like cab doors actually go to a cross-unit corridor. The actual cab is forward toward the nose and it is rather small because of its construction, isolated from the rest of the chassis and carbody...F59PHI with the "I" for "Isolated." It does make a difference compared to an F40PH or F59PH.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/26/23 19:20 by GenePoon.



Date: 01/27/23 06:57
Re: Amtrak California in Utah
Author: AlcoRSD15

Fascinating night videos! Outstanding. - Eric B

Posted from iPhone



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