Stampede Pass Diary

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Cliffs

Fallbridge Sub MP 118.6
That's a scenic area. Try to make it back for another visit later in October for some great foliage photos. The barn and farming implements on the far side of the ROW make for some nice touches.
 
There was an oiler parked at E'burg about 5 pm. Usually, they run them through as a part of the iron triangle, so unusual to be parked there. Dead on law, or what? Power was two on head end and two, including a Citirail on tail. Not moving, but I don't think a westbound oiler is likely on this line. Earlier, aspect at Bristol East was also all red, although I didn't see anything between there and E'burg. No one in canyon, either. Who knows...
 
Redlynx - Typically trains will run through Eburg with either no stop or a short one. However, talking to one my friends who is an engineer on this line, he says trains will park at Eburg if the crew is up on time. Those trains will sit until another crew is found for them (usually brought up from Pasco I believe). A week or two ago there was an empty bathtub gon train parked in the siding for around 3 days. This week there was an empty grain parked on the main for a couple days. All the other trains running through had to take the siding to get by until it finally left a few days ago. Now there is another empty grain sitting in the siding that has been there for a day or two.

No trains run west on the Stampede sub. The only exception to this is the odd MOW or work train, which I've seen happen a few times over the past year.

All trains running east are empty, with a couple notable exceptions. I've seen two or three times a stack train rerouted over Stampede (during the time that Wenatchee was closed due to fires), with the containers stacked one high (double stacks don't fit in the Stampede tunnels). The other exception was a loaded military train that headed through town a couple months ago. That's the only time I've seen one here.
 
Yah. Westbounds over Stampede are sort of like the proverbial hen's teeth for now. Once in a great while, I've seen them send power east to pick up wells hidden at Bristol or maybe even as far as Pomona and drag them back to Seattle. Empty grainers, coal and oil are sometimes parked there, also, until they're needed wherever to reload. Running eastbound empty grainers, oilcans, or coal over Stampede makes a lot of sense and helps maintain fluidity on the northern parts of the system, besides having a few nice long sidings to store things on. The iron triangle does work for them.
 
Does anyone know what happened to the Stampede Pass Railfans Group on Facebook? It seems to be gone for me....

Disregard, I think I have been excluded from that group (?).
 
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Are they still running empty coals over stampede or is that done? Heard lately the triangle has been upset and coal empties were being routed for stampede for the time being.
 
Yes

Are they still running empty coals over stampede or is that done? Heard lately the triangle has been upset and coal empties were being routed for stampede for the time being.
Yes, and even more trains are being routed over the pass. With the 3rd Main being installed through Auburn and that the Stampede Wye has been adjusted for longer trains to be switched. Once the Stampede tunnel is 'lifted' (to which I have heard BNSF is starting in summer of 2017), I think we'll see more and more trains either as run through's or parked at Auburn for crew change, then taken Eastward.
 
Is it just my imagination, or has Stampede already seen a bit more traffic? Some nights I've heard five or more blowing various crossings in Yakima and Selah...
Friday evening, I observed usual east bound grainer approaching Pomona about 1930 hrs. It looked like there may also have been a westbound (common as hens teeth) in the siding -- headlight and all that. Yet it looked like only the usual bunch of empty wells there from further down the highway. Bristol was still full of empty wells Thursday, and a coal drag was at eburg both Thursday and Friday.
 
It is not your imagination, I live in Auburn close to the Wye and hear trains day & night heading eastbound. With BNSF's partnership with the CP/CN in Vancouver and elsewhere, increase in train traffic has doubled if not tripled along the I5 corridor and that's not even including UP trains using the Scenic Sub too connect over to Spokane, but that is only single track out of Everett with just a few sidings. I don't doubt we'll see more Westbound/Northbound coal trains come through Stampede with helpers in the future, since the Fallbridge Sub is a longer route to take.
 
Noted this afternoon that there are still wells plugging Bristol. They've got a slot train at Wymer (always was a problem spot, even in NP days). Wells seem to be all gone from Pomona.
 
Noted this afternoon that there are still wells plugging Bristol. They've got a slot train at Wymer (always was a problem spot, even in NP days). Wells seem to be all gone from Pomona.

That sometimes happens when Tacoma and South Seattle Yard are full of N/S bound layover trains. I've even seen cars stored on the old Palmer/Cumberland line on the Westside of the Pass.
 

BNSFEng

Locomotive Engineer!!!
Last week ending on the 21st they had the Fallbridge sub down for a couple days with trees down along 15 miles of track west of Pasco due to ice storm problems. Accessing the locations was a main problem so work was slow with only few points to work from and attacking it one tree at a time.
 
Gotta love winter ...I guess. I heard someone blowing Yakima/Selah crossings about 0645 this morning, so I'm guessing they've kept Stampede open. Have they had problems on Stevens? Does anyone know if BNSF has had to break out the rotaries on the passes, or if they've been able to use spreaders and traffic to keep up?
 
Gotta love winter ...I guess. I heard someone blowing Yakima/Selah crossings about 0645 this morning, so I'm guessing they've kept Stampede open. Have they had problems on Stevens? Does anyone know if BNSF has had to break out the rotaries on the passes, or if they've been able to use spreaders and traffic to keep up?
On Stampede, I have not heard of any Dozer or Jordan runs. They're keeping up with the ballast regulator snow plows. On Stevens, they ran the Dozer one day a few weeks ago and should be running it again tomorrow, on the east side, February 17.
 
Anyone know of scheduled track work on the Stampede or Yakima subs? I just saw that they are staging a bunch of MOW equipment in Ellensburg. 8 or 9 87' flatcars with a tractor or two on them (otherwise empty), a lot of various MOW track vehicles, and an assortment of large hi-rail vehicles with cranes as well.

Also saw the E-burg local today. Oddly enough there was a single ES44C4 coupled to the standard dual sd40-2's. The prime mover was off, so I'm assuming this was a dead unit that the local was taking back to Pasco for repair. #6980...anyone know anything about this?
 
Looks like they're working in the canyon on the Yakima Sub right now. MOW equipment was parked at Thrall, and the white bags were laid out across the river from "Big Pines" campground, near Roza this afternoon.
Doesanyone know if they are actually going to do something with the tunnel this year?
 
Yesterday they were doing the MOW thing maybe a mile rr east of Umptanum bridge, then moved the equipment to Pomona apparently to tie down. Lots of MOW machines. I suppose they knocked off to let the evening and night herd of m/t grainers by.
 



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