PNWR Background Gallery - Page 1

        In early April 2003 Drew Mitchem and I had a weekend trip to the Spokane area planned. We picked Apr 5-6 and would meet up with Ted Curphey in Spokane. Drew would provide the transportation (his Ford Escort) and we decided on an early morning departure from the Seattle area. By 5am early Saturday morning we were on I-90 and crossed Snoqualmie Pass without incident and quickly made our way across eastern Washington. Only one train was seen before we arrived in Spokane, a westbound grain train picking up cars at Scribner siding about 9:30am. The sun was trying to break through the clouds just before it started snowing! As quickly as it started it was over and after some pics we were headed for Spokane again where we caught up with Ted at Yardley. A westbound BNSF S-CHCSEA stack train was leaving Yardley for Seattle so we decided to follow it out of town and photograph it along the former GN line towards Lyons siding. We got pics of it and a couple of eastbounds before heading north to the ex-NP line at Cheney and then east of Spokane to the Funnel where we got as far north as Algoma, ID. Here we shot a nice looking westbound in good sunlight with 3 ex-BN SD40-2's for power. The weather was mixed sun and clouds most of the afternoon.

        After a few more trains we decided on Rathdrum, ID for dinner with Ted before he headed for home and Drew and I went into Spokane to see about getting a room for the night. However a convention was in town so no rooms were available. We decided to head up to Sandpoint which turned out to be a good plan in the long run and got a couple of motel rooms there.

These are the trains photographed today:

01) WB G-SHMKAL  FURX 7263/FURX 7291/BNSF 2369/3039/3207  Scribner @ 0934
02) WB S-CHCSEA  BNSF 6843/BN 7137  Spokane @ 1020
03) EB S-TACCHI  BNSF 4503/5472/4533/4602  Lyons @ 1101
04) EB S-SEACHC  BNSF 1079/9261/8301       Lyons @ 1114
05) WB M-LAUPAS  BNSF 4329/4178/BN 6164    Cheney @ 1147
06) SB UP MEDHK  CP 8623/SP 208       Cheney @ 1159
07) WB G-HMGVAW  BNSF 711/ATSF 632/BNSF 4769  Ramsey, ID @ 1330
08) WB V-CHCPTL  BNSF 8077/7914/7145  Algoma, ID @ 1519
09) SB UP OETT5  CEFX 105/SP 360  (DPU's SP 127/CEFX 101)  Athol, ID @ 1617

        Sunday morning we woke up to daylight savings time and some snow showers which turned into rather large flakes making for a great snowy scene. Drew and I took off finding a southbound UP making for the BNSF/UP diamonds. With seconds to spare we managed to to get some pics of the METHK with UP 4930 at 6:58am. Only it felt like 5:58 as yesterday at this time it was! We met up with Ted again at Athol where instead of snow we had sunshine, not a bad tradeoff. A number of BNSF freights were photographed including an eastbound Z- PTLCHC led by three SD40-2's rather than the expected big GE's normally seen. Then it was back to Spokane where that UP METHK caught at Sandpoint was photographed once again.

        Over the scanner we heard an extra train for Kettle Falls would be leaving Yardley soon so we headed to Napa St to wait for it. This was really special as the Kettle normally leaves Spokane well after dark. 5 geeps headed up the train of iron ore and we followed it out of Napa St where it turns north and heads up the hill to Hillyard. We continued a bit further north to around Deer Park before calling off the chase after getting it in quite a few locations. Thankfully for Drew and I, Ted knew the area well and led us to many excellent spots which we really appreciated. I never knew the ex-GN main line north out of Spokane had so many hills! Those geeps sounded great climbing them!

        It was soon time for Drew and I to start heading for home so we followed Ted west across a very scenic area of Eastern Washington I had never seen before. About 30 miles northwest of Spokane is Long Lake Dam on the Spokane River. Ted pulled off at the overlook where we got a great view of this unusual dam. He told us this was the only square dam he had ever seen. I had to agree with him on that. Completed in 1915 it was a sight to behold. Ted also told us it was intended to power the gap between Avery, ID and Othello, WA on the Milwaukee Road which was never completed.

        From here we continued on west and were soon along the BNSF main line and headed towards Odessa, WA where the three of us would have dinner before Drew and I would head for home and Ted back to Idaho.

These are the trains photographed today:

01) SB UP METHK  UP 4930/9452/CP 9106/UP 1005  Sandpoint, ID @ 0658
02) EB M-PASLAU  BNSF 4329/4178  Athol, ID @ 0803
03) EB X-TACSPL  ATSF 930/BNSF 4188   Cocolalla, ID @ 0829
04) WB Z-CHCPTL  BNSF 5278/5351/9282  Cocolalla, ID @ 0838
05) EB Z-PTLCHC  BNSF 6359/6831/BN 8070   Cocolalla, ID @ 0841
06) EB M-PASNTW  BNSF 6871/FURX 7262/BNSF 7889  Cocolalla, ID @ 0904
07) WB H-GALPAS  BNSF 8737/7897/3113  Cocolalla @ 0956
08) NB M-SPOKFA  BNSF 2091/2740/2286/2703/2094  Napa St @ 1207 (Kettle Turn)

        A few of things that stand out about this trip for me include the northbound daylight run of the Kettle Turn and the early morning snow showers both Saturday and Sunday. I'd have to say that this was really an enjoyable weekend. Thanks to Drew and Ted for being a part of it.

      And now on to the Gallery....

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