PNWR Background Gallery - Page 1


     Saturday Oct. 13, 2001 was the first of 2 planned train trips of the 2nd annual Fall Colors Train Excursion sponsered by the Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce over MRL from Sandpoint, ID to Plains, MT and return on former Northern Pacific trackage. We left Sandpoint around 8am under sunny skies with 9 cars pulled by MRL GP9's 107/133. Three of those cars were domes and one even the former NP 550 once used on the "North Coast Limited." Once at Plains around 1pm the power was run around the train and 3 hours we were on our way back to Sandpoint. It was a very enjoyable ride.

     The next day Ted Curphey (Funnelfan) who also rode it yesterday and I set out to chase Sundays repeat run to Plains and noticed the train not going anywhere plus a few eastbound freights also tied up at Kootenai, just outside of Sandpoint. We soon learned that BNSF freight H-PASKCK1-13 had derailed 11 cars on the west switch at Heron, MT on the MRL line around 3am this morning. So we headed out to Heron to check things out. As the tracks parallel a public road the derailment was easily viewed. The line was expected to be reopened sometime in the evening as crews were just showing up to begin work on it. We headed back to Sandpoint photographing trains tied up in sidings along the way.

      Monday Oct 15 had the MRL up and running again and it was a pleasant sunny morning, at least west of Heron. East of there it was overcast and dark. The H-PASKCK1-13 had its remaining cars put back together and left Heron around 9am. A number of eastbounds were fleeted up against a couple of westbounds which made for some nice photography until it was time to head back to Spokane for my evening flight to Seattle. The scenery and train ride were great and weather not too bad. Ted was great company and spending a few days with him and Gary Muehlius, (who also rode the train Saturday and is a good friend and another big NP fan) made for a real enjoyable time.

      And now on to the Gallery....

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