Facebook Page

A Trip to Tehachapi 2/16/2013

by Chris Guenzler

Bill Compton and I planned to make a Tehachapi Trip and finally he picked a date and I was up at 4:50 AM to get ready and Bill arrived at 5:40 AM to pick me up. We drove to the Fullerton train station to pick up Richard, a friend of Bill's and we headed to the Riverside Freeway which we took west to Interstate 5 to CA 99 on to Bakersfield. We followed the tracks east out of town and stopped for gas and ice before heading into the mountains. We found our first train at Bealville sitting waiting for a westbound train.

BNSF 7063 East waits at Bealville.

BNSF 7377 West came down the grade into Bealville.

BNSF 7063 East then left Bealville for points east. We left too and drove up to the Tehachapi Loop. We hiked up to the hill that overlooked the Tehachapi Loop. BNSF 7063 East made it to Woodford where he waited for a pair of trains there. I called the Lets Talk Trains show and during my phone call I spotted our next westbound train coming down the grade through Marcel.

BNSF 5211 West made the trip down the grade through the around the Tehachapi Loop.

Union Pacific 5395 West with DPUs 5465 and 5365 made the trip down the grade around the Tehachapi Loop.

BNSF 7063 East finally went up the grade around the Tehachapi Loop and headed east. We drove back down to an overlook near Tunnel 2. We had been hearing over the radio that the Union Pacific 5372 east was having major problems with its DPU brake line system. We went by that train at Caliente on our way to our overlook. The plan was to bring new DPU's out of Bakersfield but the plan tied up the railroad from Calienta to Ilmon. All traffic came to a stop. We listened to the radio as these plans took place.

A track inspector came by heading east up the grade to Tunnel 2 and would wait at Bealville.

BNSF 7063 West came down through Cliff and would wait at Bealville and had a talk with the dispatcher about his wait. We knew we had one BNSF eastbound at Bena and another one at Edison. We would wait for the new DPU's to come up to Ilmon and then go get the bad DPU's and replace them with their DPU's and take the bad DPU's to the helper pocket track at Bena and tie them up there. Once the new DPU's were ready and an air test made things should be moving again on this railroad.

Click here for Part 2 of this story