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Thread: BNSF Funnel and Mullan Pass

  1. #1

    Default BNSF Funnel and Mullan Pass

    I just realized that I hadn't really posted any pictures from this summer. So here are several from my trip from WA back to TN in August. I stayed in my car on Friday night, and Saturday morning I was up early looking for trains on the funnel.

    1) Early morning eastbound stack train nears Athol, ID.

    2) Another eastbound stack train rolls by a westbound manifest train near Cocolalla, ID.

    3) With 2 SD40-2s this train looks similar to pre-BNSF days (except for the patches on the cabs). This westbound manifest train is nearing Granite, ID.

    4) A westbound hopper train with two BNSF's and a CSX rolls through Algoma, ID.
    Marlin Thorman

  2. #2


    The funnel was very busy this day. I saw about 30 trains in 12 hours.

    5) A westbound train rolls over the UP tracks near Deep Creek.

    6) A faded ATSF unit pulls a westbound manifest train out of the Deep Creek Tunnel.

    7) ATSF 6359 leads a 41 car westbound tie train as it enters Colburn, ID. The hopper cars are all full of old ties.

    8) The next day I headed up to Libby area. Here an eastbound hopper train waits in the siding for a westbound Z-train to pull through Fisher River.
    Marlin Thorman

  3. #3


    9) A few minutes later an eastbound stack train rumbled up the valley with a couple BNSF engines.

    10) I was a little disappointed to see the BNSF 6231 on the point of this westbound Z-train. I would have made a sweet looking picture with three old ex-BN units.

    11) Another eastbound stack train at Fisher River with a mix of older power.

    12) Two units lead an eastbound manifest train as it approaches Rock Creek. You can see the remains of a fire on the hill in the background.
    Marlin Thorman

  4. #4


    13) The next morning I started in Whitefish, MT. I had plans to shoot on Marias Pass for the day, but the weather turned to rain. Here an eastbound hopper train rolls out the yard in Whitefish during a break in the storm.

    14) I headed south to the MRL for the rest of the day. MRL 328 and 4308 lead the gas local out of Missoula, MT.

    15) The next morning I started for Mullan Pass. The first train was a westbound manifest train. I was able to find a curve where the train was heading more south near Bradley, MT.

    16) An eastbound stack and auto train rolled through the tunnel around 10am and here it is just before Austin.
    Marlin Thorman

  5. #5


    17) When I got to Helena, I found a westbound manifest train getting ready to depart. Here the first half of the train pulls forward to allow the helpers to cut into the middle.

    18) The two helpers now pull the train up to couple on with the rest.

    19) I chased the train up the hill. Here the lead units cross the Skyline tressle.

    20) The two mid-train helpers are in full throttle as they power by.
    Marlin Thorman

  6. #6


    21) Finally MRL 4302, 4300, and 4314 bring up the rear of this westbound.

    22) The ML train starts uphill at Elliston, MT with 4 units on the front and two more on the rear.

    23) The train went into emergency just before it reached Blossburg siding. I talked the with the train crew for a few minutes as they walked the train to find the problem. It turned out to be a disconnected air hose near the back. Finally after fixing the problem they continued over the hill. Here the lead units are just about to pass Skyline siding on the east side of the tunnel.

    24) The train now rolls downhill into Austin after making several sharp curves to help descend the mountain.
    Marlin Thorman

  7. #7


    25) MRL 4300 and 4313 help slow down the eastbound ML train as it passes Austin siding.

    26) The next train up the pass was a westbound loaded coal train! Here the train is really getting in gear as it approaches Austin.

    27) The lead units have just passed the east end of Austin siding as the train slowly grinds uphill.

    28) MRL 346 has been added just behind the power along with six other helper engines to help this train over the hill.
    Marlin Thorman

  8. #8


    29) The westbound coal train has just exited Mullan tunnel and all of the exhaust fills the sky.

    30) After safely making it down the other side, the train prepares to stop in Elliston to cut off the six helper units.

    31) Finally on the move again the train is now approaching the town of Garrison, MT.

    32) The next day I hung around Bozeman pass for a little while but the weather started raining again. I did catch a westbound train with several boeing cars up front. After this train MOW got track and time for the next 3-4 hours so I headed down to Yellowstone National Park.
    Marlin Thorman

  9. #9


    33) Four days later I left Yellowstone and the Tetons and headed for TN. In Nebraska I was able to catch a little UP action on Sunday evening. Here a westbound stack train sits on the main near Lodgepole, NE.

    34) A couple miles farther down at Chappell, NE, a westbound coal train also sits on the main track.

    35) Just before sundown a westbound manifest train rolls through Roscoe, NE as the sun glints off the cars.

    36) My car all painted up for my trip (my girlfriend did the painting). Funny thing is that I almost didn't make it. The car kept over heating during the day. I finally ended up driving all night to make it from Iowa to Tennessee! Well that is it for this trip. I can't believe I haven't put these up sooner.
    Marlin Thorman

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Spokane, Wash.

    Post Awesome shots!!!


    I can't believe you would be hiding these pictures you took especially that what we all know you can produce..

    SP&SFan out!!
    Photo Critiques Welcome.
    See: My Gallery

    Moderator - Weyerhaeuser Yahoo Group

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