Stampede Pass Diary

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Tuscor

Don't be Ignorant
A westbound came down off Stampede and went into Auburn yard about 2100 today. It was lead by a 5XXX loco. Anyone know what this was?

Yesterday I heard the North Branch dispatcher telling the crew of the second eastbound I saw that the crew of the first was going to go west on a rail train today. I wonder if that was it?

Brian
 
Yesterday I heard the North Branch dispatcher telling the crew of the second eastbound I saw that the crew of the first was going to go west on a rail train today. I wonder if that was it?

Brian
Sounds reasonable. Thanks, Brian.

And I've been enjoying your comparison pictures. Very interesting. Not much change.
 

Tuscor

Don't be Ignorant
And I've been enjoying your comparison pictures. Very interesting. Not much change.
Yeah, seems much of that line is stuck in time. Too bad the locomotives aren't still yellow and black! There was one single BN green hopper a few cars behind the power on the second eastbound Sunday that brought me back to an earlier time. And to think that was once something you would not even take a second look at. Some things change quicker more than others.

Brian
 
Yesterday I heard the North Branch dispatcher telling the crew of the second eastbound I saw that the crew of the first was going to go west on a rail train today. I wonder if that was it?

Brian
T'was BNSF 5250-4648 leading rail train U-LAUAUB5-12 loaded with rail from the BNSF rail welding facility in Laurel, MT.

Brent
Brian had it right. Thanks for the info Brent.

I was hoping for a second daily westbound, a PASTAC, maybe, but no such luck.
 

Tuscor

Don't be Ignorant
Such a nice weekend we just had and no one went out to the Stampede Sub? I did go to Pasco on Saturday, 4-21-12 and had a great chase of an eastbound grain empty out of Ellensburg to Kiona where it met the M-PASVBT. Here are some of the images out to Ellensburg down the canyon towards Pomona.

1) The depot at Ellensburg in case anyone wondered how it looks today.
2) BNSF 5627 East east of Thrall and about to cross the river and head into the canyon.
3) DPU 4949 on the rear of the train.
4) BNSF 5627 a few miles west of Roza.

Brian Ambrose
Renton, WA
 

Tuscor

Don't be Ignorant
5) Same location as last but let the train get closer.
6) Just about to enter the curves around Roza.
7-8) BNSF 5627 at the Roza Dam.

More photos will follow.

Brian Ambrose
Renton, WA
 

MP 6.7

needs to get a life. ;)
I've noticed more and more of the Northwest grainers have been getting AC4400's and ES44AC's lately. Saw a Tacoma grainer the other day with 5600's for all three units.

Guess they've got enough AC power for the coal drags now and they're finally spilling into grain service.
 

Sinamox

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Tuscor, you lost another round of Stampede chicken by posting first. I was tempted with morning eastbounds but couldn't commit to a whole weekend or day. Need some 5am Auburn departures for a couple of shots, then I'll go. When the pass is clear in a couple of months I'll defiantly go. Glad you got to get out and chase.

I've noticed more and more of the Northwest grainers have been getting AC4400's and ES44AC's lately.
Monday I saw three power sets at Boeing (S. Seatte) each with a single AC unit in consist. I thought that the operational benefits of brushless modulated AC traction were only present with no DC units in consist. Is there a reason why the GEs have been released to the general freight pool and not the EMDs? Even without the operational benefits do the ACs have a better maintenance schedule, lower cost? If that alone justified the purchase why would they buy anything else?

Ok this is not really a Stampede post so I'll bring it back by reposting the pic of the first three AC44CW at Stampede
 

Tuscor

Don't be Ignorant
I almost didn't have anything to chase out of Ellensburg Saturday morning. When I got there at 10:00 AM the 5627 had been there awhile already. I was itching to get to Pasco so was planning to leave by 11 AM if no crew showed up by then. 11 came and went and by the depot I sat. About 11:30 a crew van drove by and I was glad I waited. They wasted no time getting out of town and my first shot past Thrall was taken shortly after noon. My main goals for heading to Pasco were to check out the orchards near Kiona to see if the trees were blossoming yet (they were) and to get to Providence to see if the hills were green (they were).

Besides, with 2 sunny weekend days forcast for Pasco, I had to go!

I'm with you Sinamox. First sunny weekend after you can get across Stampede Pass I am headed for Tunnel 4 to get an eastbound coming out of that snowshed!
Brian
 

Sinamox

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My main goals for heading to Pasco were to check out the orchards near Kiona to see if the trees were blossoming yet (they were) and to get to Providence to see if the hills were green (they were).

Besides, with 2 sunny weekend days forcast for Pasco, I had to go!

I'm with you Sinamox. First sunny weekend after you can get across Stampede Pass I am headed for Tunnel 4 to get an eastbound coming out of that snowshed!
Brian
Green hills in the drylands, moderate temperatures and good light all day. I need to reserve my next clear weekend for Trinidad or Providence. Maybe stretch it and do Joso and the Palouse.

Please all regular Stampede travelers report status on FR-5400 (the Stampede road). Last year it was cleared of snow on June 23rd with at that time several feet of still on the ground. The snow depth at the weather station has dropped a foot in the last week and is currently at 92". The CleElum ranger station website lists road conditions but is usually a couple of weeks behind with info.

So please stop and check the road on you I-90 trips and report back.
 

Sinamox

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Please all regular Stampede travelers report status on FR-5400 (the Stampede road). Last year it was cleared of snow on June 23rd with at that time several feet of still on the ground. The snow depth at the weather station has dropped a foot in the last week and is currently at 92". The CleElum ranger station website lists road conditions but is usually a couple of weeks behind with info.

So please stop and check the road on you I-90 trips and report back.
Weatherstation snow depth 89" Looks like the same as 2010. Expect early June.
 
On Friday 5/4 there were 2 westbounds that departed ellensburg within an hour of each other (11am-12pm). one must have been the m-pasvbt. any idea what the other westbound was?

FWIW, still looks like an average of 2.5 or 3 eastbounds per day on the sub. the peak was the first two weeks of march when it was a solid 4 eastbounds per day. the early-afternoon time frame out of auburn (esp. 2pm-3pm) is still the most reliable, though it seems pretty random.
 

GoalieFergy53

Last Train to Clarksville
I was driving eastbound along Maple Valley Highway today (east of Maplewood Golf course) just before 11am. Passing me going west was a tow truck towing a BNSF Ford Superduty pickup which had extensive damage to the front end. Anyone know what happened? Hopefully all parties involved came away uninjured!
 

ES44AC

What is your malfunction?
That truck came from the Kanaskat section compound, it was my former foreman's truck that the track inspector was using and he hit the snow plow while hyrailing, I don't remember if he hit the regulator plow or the bigger one a few months ago.

I was driving eastbound along Maple Valley Highway today (east of Maplewood Golf course) just before 11am. Passing me going west was a tow truck towing a BNSF Ford Superduty pickup which had extensive damage to the front end. Anyone know what happened? Hopefully all parties involved came away uninjured!
 
BNSF seeks injunction against BLET regarding Stampede Pass line:

http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/05/10/46388.htm

Courthouse News
Fort Worth-based BNSF Railway says it wants to create a new interdivisional freight line, known as the Northwest Triangle, to run between Auburn, Pasco and Vancouver, Wash., beginning in June.
....

Since the new line will not run through a home terminal, BNSF says it can implement the change on 20-days notice under the collective bargaining agreement. If that was not the case, BNSF says it would have to engage in additional procedures.
After presenting the plan at an August meeting, neither the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen nor the United Transport Union challenged the home terminal factor, the railway says.
Now, however, the union has characterized the line as a "major dispute" or unilateral change under the agreement, and strike-worthy.
"On May 4, 2012, BLET General Chairman Matt Wilson refused to agree that the dispute at issue was a minor dispute, and he expressly reserved the right to consider this dispute a major dispute if he was not granted certain concessions unrelated to these Northwest Triangle Operational change," the complaint states.
BNSF says this position is "indefensible," that the dispute is minor based on the language of the agreements, arbitral authority and past practices, as well as Wilson's willingness to arbitrate if he is granted the concessions.
It says Wilson is holding the railway "hostage to his major-dispute threat" to get the concessions.

Full article is here:
[www.courthousenews.com]
This is related to the "Iron Triangle" plan involving Stampede that BNSF wants to implement. There is more info on this other thread regarding Stampede, starting at post #26:
http://www.railroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36539&page=3
 

Tuscor

Don't be Ignorant
Two just met at Easton

Checking ATCS this morning just saw two trains meeting at Easton. I then checked out railroadradio.net to see what was gouing on.

BNSF 5689 East has left Easton on track warrant 431-4 at 08:23 while the BNSF 5492 West left on track warrant 431-5.

Wish I were up there this morning but I have another work safety meeting to attend.

Brian Ambrose
Renton, WA
 



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