Stampede Pass Diary

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Nice. There was an eastbound empty grainer holding at East Auburn around 12:45p today with a UP SD70M as the second of two units on the point. Not sure if it headed east yet or when.

It's still the EB leg of the iron triangle. Ellensburg is the last point serviced by locals, apparently on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

In the last year though I have seen two westbounds heading up Stampede. Both were ballast trains performing maintenance somewhere up the line. A rare occurrence, and it was definitely odd seeing a train heading the "wrong" direction.



Don't be Ignorant
glad you got out there this weekend Tuscor, nice catches! all empty grain you see up there, anything else?
Yes, all three were empty grain. Heard there were a few coal and oil empties on the 3 day lineup but none while I was out.

Luckily there is a lot of grain running right now, hope it lasts awhile!

Just hearing the third train in about two hours, but this one "might" be westbound. It sounds like it might be ex-BN horn action and I didn't hear the rumbling leading up to it. It also sounds like it might be moving a bit slower. Perhaps it was out at Ravensdale or Kanasket, or perhaps it is an eastbound movement but of a local nature.



Fallbridge Sub MP 118.6
There has been a string of M-T well cars tied down in the Bristol siding for about the last month or so. Some power arrived this afternoon from the Seattle side and latched on for a west-bound movement.

BNSF 5915 and a second motor got a track warrant from West Bristol to the West Side and started pulling about 19:20 this evening.
Had what sounded like a westbound movement at 12:30am this morning. "Old style" BN horns. I couldn't see the train but it almost sounded like empty well cars or something, if it's even possible to tell what they sound like. lol

Odd thing on Yakima Valley Sub. I happened to be on a road that parallels the BNSF main between Toppenish and Wapato today when I met a eastbound grainer. (Nothing unusual about that as they seem to run every afternoon around 3 or 4.) What is odd is that my radar detector went off in x-band about the time I could see the headlights, and ceased when they went past. No cops or other vehicles around. Is BNSF experimenting with some sort of radar on the headend, or could it be the PTC equipment? Just odd that a train would set off a radar detector! Maybe they're trying a method to detect passed out drunks on the tracks -- often a problem on this stretch...
I'd heard that the locomotive speedometer tracks the passing of the crossties; maybe not extremely precise but the average spacing is pretty constant. That it might cause false triggering of a radar detector seems plausible, more so than PTC gear.

Seems too that I read the speedometer radar is really used to detect wheelslip by obtaining a true ground speed rather than relying on wheel rotation.
Thanks. That does make sense. I'll be curious to se if next time I'm on a road next to the tracks, a passing engine set off the detector.
By the way, all three units on the headend looked really clean -- almost like they'd gotten out of a wash.
From the horn sounds late at night and what I see during the day, seems like they're running 7-10 a day. Is that about right?
Just a heads-up that about 15 minutes ago an eastbound UP/CP empty grain train was departing Auburn eastbound. I'm assuming it is heading east, but it could be that it's kicking cars. Not sure. It had two UP units on the point (looked like SD9043MAC's) and two CP units.

Just had an eastbound empty coal train pass through Covington at 11:00pm with six units on the point and two on the tail end. I think they were:



Dave, this train is sitting in Ellensburg right now on the siding. Been there since this morning. I didn't get a great view of the head-end, but from what I saw it is two SD70ACe's, one ES44AC, 2 SD70MACs (Executives). The DPUs are SD70MAC (heritage 2) and ES44AC. It's really strange to see that many units here...normally it is 3 units total, usually with one of those being the DPU. I'm assuming they're shifting some power back east. I'm also assuming a few of the units were offline for the entire trip.

If it's still there after work I'll see if I can get a better look at the lead units.

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