Trains of Edmonds, Washington

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#22
Most of the Caltrain consists that I rode on when I was stationed in the San Francisco area were that short (as are the Railrunner trains here in Albuquerque), and short consists like that are common on a lot of other commuter routes. Ridership levels at certain times of the day are part of the reason, but so is the need to maintain relatively fast acceleration rates on a lot of these routes (especially when the routes in question have lots of stops - and lots of freight traffic and/or are rather long), and the easiest way to achieve that with locomotive hauled trains is to keep those consists as short as possible. (It's also easier to keep shorter consists clean - or at least get the trash out between runs - than with longer consists. American commuters are not always the cleanest of people, and some routes - or some trains on a route - can be much worse than others in that respect.)
 

Bob

Forum Host
Staff member
#23
Sound Transit constantly evaluates ridership of the various Sounder trains and adjusts the number of cars as needed.
Hopefully it's picking up. They've had a few bad winters, at times it seemed like service was cancelled more than it ran. "Reliable" is a real must for commuters, and after riding the bus or whatever for 3 weeks until the track reopens, I'm guessing a lot of them say "screw it, why go back?"

Also, the logistics of the North Line suck. If Sound Transit had a clue, there would be a station at Broad Street for all the tech folks in that area. But NO... You get to ride all the way to the south end of downtown, and then commute back north if you work in downtown. Really stupid, and the ridership shows it.

South Line trains during the rush are what, 7 or 8 cars? They run 10 morning to mid day trains each day. Granted the mid day train is short.
North Line trains are 2 to 4 cars. They run 4 morning trains.

So, roughly 50 cars vs 16 or so.

That's all you need to know right there. The public has spoken. Build a station on the North End guys!
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#24
Monday afternoon (4/23/18) at the marsh.

The front of the new Sounder control car looks like a city bus sans steering wheel.

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Nothing spectacular about the Chicago bound Empire Builder (Amtrak #8).

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I have to start posting a new collection of photos of older units since the old threads got zapped. Here is a light northbound (tt/east) power hop, possibly the Gold Bar Turn.

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Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#25
There are fewer and fewer Cascade green units these days, although I did see one Sunday in a string of engines parked at the intermodal yard south of Boeing Field. Monday a newly repainted "Boeing" series GE, #749, passed through Edmonds in the consist of a northbound (tt/east) freight. These units are/were painted in the red & silver War Bonnet scheme.
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#26
Sandpipers on their spring migration have been stopping at the marsh en route to their nesting grounds in the far north. Friday (4-27-18) started out overcast, so I wanted to get down there and photograph the birds. Wednesday and Thursday had been bright sunshine, which makes for bad photos due to heatwaves and glare off the mud flats.

I had my super telephoto package of the 5DIII + 500L telephoto + 1.4x teleconverter mounted on a tripod for far birds, but I used it to get some Itsed65 shots of two northbounds (tt/east) freights. I wanted to get the Edmonds Marina Beach Park sign in the photo as a location marker.

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The white box mounted on the stand may be the hotbox detector at MP 17.1. If you have a scanner, it can be heard on the BNSF channel for this location.

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My son used my 1Dx + 100-400L II telephoto zoom for the more typical scenic shots.

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Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#27
Later on we went to the 3:00pm showing of Avengers Infinity Wars. The weather had changed to bright sunshine and scattered clouds by the time the movie was out, so we went to Brackett's Landing North, another good location to photograph trains.
http://edmondswa.gov/visit-a-park-text-15/parks-map/brackett-s-landing-north.html

Brackett's Landing North is on the north side of the ferry dock and is home to the famous Edmonds underwater dive park. The jetty and beach offer water side views of trains with Sunset Ave. in the background. The best time for shooting trains is in the afternoon to avoid back lighting.

A southbound (tt/west) freight waits for a late 6:00pm Seattle-Everett Sounder.
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Brackett's Landing North has trains, birds, and marine life to photograph. Sometimes I can get more than one in a single photo, such as this flock of Brant in flight with the train in the background.
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The 6:00pm Sounder finally arrived and passed the freight as it headed toward Everett. At Brackett's Landing North you can get closeups of the trains....

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Or you can get scenic panoramas.

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#28
I just checked the Train Status of The nothing special ;) Chicago bound Empire Builder (Amtrak #8) coming into my hometown is still on schedule. Actually 23 minutes early this afternoon. The train also makes a stop at the Glenview Depot (GLN) that is the town I grew up in.
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#29
Several years ago I tried to create a thread where forum members would photograph the same Empire Builder as it traveled between Seattle and Chicago. I posted photos of the Builder at Edmonds and Bruce Butler posted some at Spokane. That was it. :(
 
#30
That was a good idea. Although I will not be in Glenview until Mothers Day. My Mom still lives there. She is going to be 80 in December. I currently live in Western Springs - The BNSF Railway Line. The depot opened in 1915. - 3 tracks and 2 side platforms.
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#31
Late Saturday afternoon (4-28-18) a southbound (tt/west) passed Sunset Ave. with a UP unit in the consist.
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We don't see much of Uncle Pete north of Seattle.
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I wasn't sure if I could get the entire consist and the high green light in the photo before the lead diesel tripped the signal to red.
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Made it!
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Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#32
That was a good idea. Although I will not be in Glenview until Mothers Day. My Mom still lives there. She is going to be 80 in December. I currently live in Western Springs - The BNSF Railway Line. The depot opened in 1915. - 3 tracks and 2 side platforms.
I lived in Naperville from 1987-91. Lots of action on that triple track main. The only grade between Chicago and Aurora was the westbound climb to the station at Naperville.
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#33
Monday (4-30-18) a pair pf Geeps headed a southbound (tt/west) past the marsh.
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Three new looking hoppers were coupled behind the engines.
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I estimate the train approached fifty cars. It looked like a transfer run instead of the usual light power hops or Gold Bar Turns I see powered by Geeps. I am surprised the Geeps were being used instead of the SD50's I usually see on these types of trains.
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Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#34
My son and I wound up the day at Brackett's Landing North. Two southbound (tt/west) freights were stacked up waiting for the afternoon passenger parade. The 4:30 Sounder met the first train, which was stopped near Sunset Ave.
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The freight was released after the Sounder passed.
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The second freight moved up in line. It would have to wait for the 5:00 and 5:30 Sounders as well as the Chicago bound Empire Builder (Amtrak #8). Flocks of Brant are still hanging out in Edmonds before migrating to their nesting grounds in the far north.
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Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#36
Next up was the Seattle section of the Builder. It was powered by a single Genesis unit, the usual power for the past 2-3 years. It was really working to accelerate the baggage car + six Superliners out of Edmonds. I wonder what it will sound like when it hits the grade out of Skykomish up to the summit of Stevens Pass at Cascade Tunnel.
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#37
The Amtrak 137 Genesis unit is of the P42DC variation I think. The #137 has been the lead engine on many routes over the years. Thanks for the great photos Bill.
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#38
The public pier is another spot along the waterfront where I take train photos. Train photos are secondary to bird photos at this location, as the views of trains are questionable, even with a really big lens. These shots were taken on May Day with my 5DIII + 500L telephoto + 1.4x teleconverter, which gives a combined reach of 700mm.

The farthest shot is of trains rounding the bend at Mukilteo. You can get a glimpse of the Mukliteo-Clinton ferry.
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Past Picnic Point and approaching the old marina.
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At Shell Creek Spit
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Sometimes you can get artsy shots with the ferry in the foreground. This train is at Picnic Pt. The second diesel is a UP unit, the second one I have seen passing through town in a week.
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Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#39
Shooting through the ramp connecting the dock to the ferry. The 5:00pm Sounder was still powered by a Cascades unit.
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I wanted to get a shot of Amtrak 4 leading Chicago bound Empire Builder (Amtrak #8) out of Edmonds. In many Asian cultures, 4 is the unlucky number, much like 13 in the US.
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One of the new Sounder units powered the 5:30 Sounder. A guy on a paddle board is getting a unique view of the train.
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Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#40
Wednesday afternoon (5-2-18) a southbound (tt/west) had a KSC Southern Belle unit ahead of four Boeing 737 fuselages.

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Super telephoto closeups of power for the 5:00pm Sounder and Chicago bound Empire Builder (Amtrak #8).

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