Facebook Page

BNSF Mojave Sub Trip 1/1/2016

by Chris Guenzler

Bill Compton and I had talked about going out to someplace to take some pictures. I suggested the BNSF Mojave Sub between Barstow and Mohave. Bill and I finally found a date we both could go and it turned out to be January 1 & 2 of 2016. I got up early and did what I needed to do before it was time for Bill to pick me up. I saw my first train of the year Pacific Surfliner 763 looking down 21st Street just as Bill pulled up. We headed out on the CA 22 to CA 55 to CA 91 to West Colton Yard our first stop of the trip. Just as we arrived at Pepper Street a westbound train was passing beneath us. We parked the Denali and took a look around.

GMTX 721 at West Colton.

A very empty departure yard at West Colton.

The DPU included patched Southern Pacific 6348. We left here and headed for Cajon Pass. We caught up to a westbound Union Pacific train at Dike so we went up Swarthout Canyon Road and then set up for our pictures.

Union Pacific 5719 West above Blu Cut. We returned to old 66 but saw a BNSF westbound coming so we returned to Cozy Dell to set up on the rocks there.

BNSF 8265 at Cozy Dell. From here we took CA 138 east to Forest Road 3N45 and set up on the hill before the BNSF bridge on the east side. Here we waited but didn't have long to wait.


BNSF 7738 East and Union Pacific 5719 West just west of Silverwood.

Now a westbound BNSF train came and we have three trains in one picture.

BNSF 8183 West just west of Silverwood. We had another eastbound BNSF train coming up Cajon Pass.

BNSF 7738 east just west of Silverwood. We then contiuned onward.

A true flying V in the sky at Summit.

BNSF DPU's 6650 and 7826 in the Summit Valley. From here we drove through Hesperia and Victorville then Oro Grande and almost to Helendale before we found our next train to photograph. We took Holcomb Ranch Road to where we set up.

BNSF 4495 West at Holcomb Ranch Road.

Just as we were about to leave this eastbound BNSF train blasted by our photo location. From here we drove to Barstow then took CA 58 out to the east switch of Jim Grey where we set up.

The view west.

Me and my shadow! The signal then came of red over red and I knew we had an eastbound train coming. We walked west to our photo location.

BNSF 4480 East at Jim Grey.

About thirty minutes later we had a westbound train on approach.

Bill Compton getting ready.

BNSF 7125 West at Jim Grey.

BNSF 4383 West at Jim Grey. From here we drove east to Lake Harper Road hoping for another train before sunset.

The view east.

The view west.

The sky became interesting.

Me and my shadow!

A desert view.

Looking west.

Big sun on the first day of the new year of 2016.

The sun and the rail.

Two sunset views. With no trains we returned to Barstow where we checked into the Best Western Desert Inn. Later we went to Carl's Junior for dinner before returning to the room then calling it a night later that same evening.

Click here for Part 2 of this story