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The Topock Trip 3/22/2014

by Chris Guenzler

3/21/2014 Bill Compton and I decided to go out to Topock for some pictures of BNSF trains. I would take Metrolink 602 to Irvine to meet him there. I drove down to the Santa Ana train station and parked. I got my Metrolink ticket then got my stuff from the car. As I waited to got to see a train come in.

Metrolink 641 for Fullerton came in first to Santa Ana heading to Fullerton.

Next Metrolink 602 picked me up for the 9.8 mile trip to Irvine. To say this was a quick trip would be an understatement. I detrained at Irvine and waited for Bill who pulled up right on time. We took the Toll Roads to the Riverside Freeway but had to go west to Weir Canyon Road before we went east on the Riverside Freeway due to a long back up of people trying to go onto the 91 Freeway from the Toll Road. We did the stop and go traffic on a Friday afternoon on the Riverside Freeway listening to good music. We made it to Interstate 15 and with only a few minutes of delay we made it to Cajon Pass and out onto the High Desert to Barstow where we stopped for gas. From here we drove the straight shot to Needles on Interstate 40 where we checked into the Motel 6 there. I showed Bill my Winterail 2014 program before we called it a night.

3/22/2014 We got up at 7:00 AM and after checking out of the Motel 6 we went to MacDonald's and I enjoyed my Hot Cakes and sausage. From there we checked the Needles yard before we took Interstate 40 out to Topock and parked up on the bluff overlooking the BNSF crossing of the Colorado River.

The Needles rock formation from which Needles the town got its name. We did not have to wait too long for a train to arrive.

BNSF 6511 East was the first train of the day at Topock.

BNSF 6883 West was our first westbound train of the day.

BNSF 7125 West was our next train of the day.

BNSF 6681 East came into Arizona.

BNSF 6779 West was the next train.

BNSF 7262 West came along next.

BNSF 7375 East came through next as I was on the phone to Lets Talk Trains giving my weekly report. From here we crossed the Colorado River into California and stopped at the Park Moarbi Road bridge over the BNSF mainline.

BNSF 8008 East came by while we were here. From here we drove down below the BNSF bridge over the Colorado River and then went up onto the hill overlooking the bridge.

The BNSF Colorado River Bridge.

BNSF 7324 East crossed into Arizona. We had no westbound trains as we waited here so we give it until 12:30 PM and we went back to the car.

One last view of the BNSF Bridge across the Colorado River. Next stop Needles.

Click here for Part II of this story!