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The BNSF Needles Line

by Chris Guenzler

The BNSF Needles Subdivision is one of my favorite places to go out and photograph trains. The action is always good and it a peaceful place to enjoy the desert between trains. Take the Santa Fe 5204 East. Once it passed, I went back to the music from the tape player for U2's "Where the Streets have no name" from their Joshua Tree Album. A most fitting piece of music for your visit. So now take a tour with me from Barstow to Needles.

We will start right at the western end in Barstow before heading east.

The BNSF 4736 West is taking the final turn through the cut into Barstow. 2/12/1999

Santa Fe 773 East is gaining speed at East Barstow. 12/27/1998

BNSF 8279 East heading through West Daggett. 12/27/1998

The Union Pacific has trackage rights to Daggett so here is the CNW 8657 West at Daggett. 12/12/1995

BNSF 4877 East just east of the UP junction in Daggett. 12/23/1998.

At Newberry Springs, the BNSF 4967 blasts through town. 1/13/1997

An early morning shot of the BNSF 8438 East at Hector. 1/12/1999

The Santa Fe 608 West is speeding through Hector. 2/13/1999

Santa Fe 608 West at Pisgah. 2/13/1999

BNSF 4872 East flying through Lavic. 12/12/1998

One of my favorite places is the curve just east of Lavic. Here is the Santa Fe 818 West. 12/11/1998

BN 7863 East finishing the climb to Lavic. 12/11/1998

Once the BN 7863 had passed, the BNSF 4917 east curved by. 12/11/1998

Santa Fe 3751 on the Employee Appreciation Special makes the grade at track speed. 9/16/1992

An odd sight was the CSX power on a military train at MP 700. CSX 8450 West. 12/11/1998

BNSF 774 East approaching Ludlow off the hill west of there. 12/26/1999

Santa Fe 832 West coming out of Ludlow. 12/26/1998

BNSF 105 East off the short hill just west of Ludlow. 2/13/2000

BNSF 6738 East just west of Ludlow. 2/13/2000

BN 7200 East coming into Ludlow. 2/13/1999

Santa Fe 608 West leaving Ludlow. 2/13/1999

Santa Fe 942 East blasting through downtown Ludlow. 12/27/1998

At the National Trails Highway Crossing the BNSF 4716 West. 3/27/1999

BNSF 4799 between Ludlow at Ash Hill. 2/12/1999

Beware of the Sand! The Santa Fe 951 East passed me by as my wheels are deep in the sand. A BNSF maintainer pulled me free and said he is always helping people in need out here. I was one thankful person that a passing train had called him about my problem. 2/12/1999

Passing the Ash Hill sign was the Santa Fe 951 East. 12/11/1998

The BN 7915 East heading through the rock cut at Ash Hill. 2/13/1999

Santa Fe 655 West on the fill heading towards Ash Hill. 2/13/1999

An Early morning finds the BNSF 970 East crossing one of the steel bridges on Ash Hill. 2/13/1999

Right at sunrise, the BN 7041 East nears where the tracks split until Siberia. I will take you down to Siberia on the South Track then west up the North Track to near here. 2/13/1999

The rear of the above train with the North Track in the foreground. 2/13/1999

The South Track stays along the highway so photography is easy. Here is the BN 8088 East. 12/26/1998

Crossing another steel bridge with Santa Fe painted on it was the BNSF 4225 East. 2/12/1999

Curving into Siberia is the BNSF 794 East with the north track climbing behind it. 2/12/1999

Santa Fe 659 East storming through Siberia. 12/12/1998

Santa Fe 608 West starting up the North Track's grade at Siberia. 2/13/1999

This shot of the BNSF 4716 West taken from the South Track shows the North Tracks grade. 3/27/1999

Santa Fe 537 West comes off the curve in the above picture. 2/13/1999

A closer view of Santa Fe 537 West. 2/13/1999

BN 7199 West climbing out of Siberia. 2/13/1999

Early morning with Santa Fe 682 West on the curve that returns the North Track to a westward trek. 2/13/1999

Santa Fe 618 West nearing Klondike. 2/12/1999

BNSF 3266 at Klondike. This brings to an end our North Track Tour. 2/12/1999

The BNSF 720 East descending the grade towards Bagdad. 12/11/1998

BN 8136 climbing the grade towards Siberia. 12/11/1999

BNSF 4782 West blasting through Bagdad. 12/13/1999

BNSF 4944 East coming into Bagdad. 12/13/1999

Santa Fe 655 West passing MP 666. 12/26/1998

BN 8088 East flying through Amboy. 12/26/1998

Santa Fe 864 West heading through Amboy. 12/26/1998

BNSF 786 East climbing the short hill at Saltus. 12/12/1998

Santa Fe 7431 East at Cadiz. 1/12/1999

BN 6777 East passing through Cadiz. 1/12/1999

The Arizona and California interchanges with the BNSF at Cadiz. Here is their train that started out at Parker, Arizona on this morning. 1/12/1999

BNSF 4073 West arrives into Cadiz. 1/12/1999

BNSF 1065 East a few miles east of Cadiz. 1/12/1999

Crossing one of the larger bridges between Cadiz and Danby is the BNSF 761 West. 1/12/1999

BNSF 1116 East passing through Danby. 12/27/1998

Santa Fe 608 West at Essex. 2/13/1999

In the last of the afternoon's sun is the Santa Fe 5434 East near Fenner. 12/11/1998

Santa Fe 849 West near Fenner in the early morning. 12/12/1998

BNSF 727 East between Fenner and Goffs. 12/12/1998

Santa Fe 602 East right after sunrise. 12/12/1998

Santa Fe 608 heading west into a new day between Goffs and Homer. 1/13/1999

Moments later, the BNSF 4724 East at the same location as above. 1/13/1999

BNSF 862 West between Homer and Bannock. 1/12/1998

Santa Fe 942 West at MP 600. 12/26/1998

Santa Fe 671 West at Bannock. 1/12/1998

Grade separation between Bannock and Ibis. The tracks rejoin at the west end near Highway 95. Here is the BNSF 961 West. 1/13/1999

Climbing the grade with the Dead Mountains in the background is the Santa Fe 608 West. 2/13/1999

BNSF 8253 East coming into Ibis. 1/12/1999

BNSF 8246 East passing the signals at Ibis. 1/12/1999

BNSF 4706 West passing through Ibis. 1/12/1999

Santa Fe 838 East in the last light of day at Ibis. 12/26/1998

A few minutes later, the Santa Fe 510 West showed up. 12/26/1998

With the mountains in Arizona in the distance, the BNSF 961 West climbs through Java. 2/13/1999

Santa Fe 659 East drifts through Ibis heading down the grade to Needles. 2/13/1999

The BNSF 970 East descends through Java. 2/13/1999

Santa Fe 5177 East meets the BNSF 4361 West between Java and West Needles. 3/27/1999

Santa Fe 581 West starts up the grade to Goffs at West Needles. 3/27/1999

The Station at Needles is at the eastern end of the Needles Subdivision. The platform is still used as an Amtrak stop and for crew changes. This brings an end to out Needles Subdivision Tour.