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Kelso Flyer Part 2 Afton Canyon 10/17/2010

by Chris Guenzler

I woke up to another wet morning and waited for Bill Compton to pick me up at 6:00 AM at my house. We drove the CA 57 to CA 60 to Interstate 15 which we took over a very foggy Cajon Pass. Once up on the High Desert it cleared up to high clouds. We got off the freeway at Main Street at Barstow to get a picture of our train for today.

The Kelso Flyer at rest at the Barstow Amtrak Station. We gassed up the car and headed to Afton Canyon via Daggett where we got stopped by a BNSF stack train. We picked up some oil at Yermo then drove out Interstate 15 out to Afton Road where we drove into Afton Canyon. The road in was flooded at our first crossing of it so we turned around and headed out to the very west end of the Afton Canyon.

Bill's car at Afton Canyon.

Our two photo locations here. Chris Parker called telling us they we delayed again due to the Amtrak 509 not starting. He said they would be coming out to Kelso long hood forward. We saw an eastbound train at Dunn that came to a stop.

Our first train was the Union Pacific 5046 West with the NS 7516 in its consist. We waited for the Amtrak train and finally we saw the Kelso Flyer approaching.

The Kelso Flyer is entering Afton Canyon.

Amtrak running Norfolk Western long hood forward style. Bill and I decided to hike into Afton Canyon. We parked by the Mojave River Bridge 2 and forded the steam to get up to the tracks. We hiked on the road passing a signal on the way to Mojave River Bridge 3. A little more fording the steam took us through the cut to our photo location. Here we would wait for the Kelso Flyer to return from Kelso.

The beauty of Afton Canyon.

Union Pacific 4934 West on a bare table train.

More beauty of Afton Canyon.

Union Pacific 7422 East with DPU 6567 on this general merchandise train.

More of the beauty of Afton Canyon. As we waited dark clouds floated overhead and then we started seeing lightning and hearing thunder. We both hoped that the train would get here before the storm got here.

The Westbound Kelso Flyer in Afton Canyon. We walked very fast via the bridges to get back to the car.

At Afton we had a green signal so we walked as fast as we could. We got off of Bridge 2 and the rain started but we got back to the car not getting too wet. We drove out of Afton Canyon as a westbound stack train was coming out of Afton Canyon. We got back on Interstate 15 and took that to the exit for Minneola Road and went to the grade crossing where we waited for that stack train to arrive.

Union Pacific 4779 West on that stack train. We took Yermo Road to the Dagget- Yermo Road which we took south to Interstate 40 which we went west on back to Interstate 15. We drove back over a very foggy Cajon Pass and got off at Cleghorn Road and pulled up with a red over green signal. Here we met six gentlemen from England.

BNSF 7366 West came down through Cajon on a dark foggy afternoon. From here we headed home via Interstate 15 to Interstate 210 and then CA 57 back home to Santa Ana. It had been a great trip to Afton Canyon.